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Police chief announces new command area to protect gas projects; Bank of Mozambique holds interest rates

Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 17 March, 2021

Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 17 March, 2021 — sent free to our whole mailing list.

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  • Today: Bank of Mozambique’s monetary policy committee meeting
  • Today: President Filipe Nyusi leads graduation ceremony for bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science at the Academy of Political Science, Marracuene district, Maputo

The latest from Zitamar News:

Cabo Ligado Weekly: 8-14 March
The US designation of ISIS-Mozambique as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and a Specially Designated Terrorist Group (SDTG) means that the government considers ISIS-Mozambique a threat to US interests — a victory for IS, which still seeks relevance as a major player on the world stage. If the purpose of IS franchising in Africa is to expand its struggle against the US to new theaters, the designations confirm that the strategy has succeeded in Mozambique.

Cabo Ligado Monthly: February 2021 — download here

From the Zitamar Live Blog:

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The Bank of Mozambique's Monetary Policy Committee decided to hold interest rates steady at its meeting today, citing lower inflation forecasts and lower pressure on the metical. The full announcement is attached.

Mozambique recorded three covid-19 deaths on Tuesday, and one on Wednesday
There were also 555 new cases reported, and 842 recoveries

The best of the rest:

  • Police chief announces new command area to protect gas projects (Rádio Moçambique, Rádio Moçambique, Notícias, Mediafax, RFI)
  • Hunger stalks 6,000 households in Manica (AIM)
  • Over three-quarters of all health workers vaccinated (AIM)
  • Nyusi challenges new armed forces chief to stop terrorism (Lusa, Rádio Moçambique)
  • Covid-19 affects 8000 civil servants (O País)
  • Mozambique to receive UN help to fight illegal fishing (AIM, Notícias, Lusa)
  • Expansion of Nacala port to resume (Rádio Moçambique)

Police chief announces new command area to protect gas projects (Rádio Moçambique, Rádio Moçambique, Notícias, Mediafax, RFI)
Chief of police Bernardino Rafael has announced the creation of two new operational theatres of the Defence and Security Forces, the geographical divisions of the country for security purposes. One is in southern Mozambique, which will be activated when there are major events, and the other covers the Afungi peninsula, home to the natural gas projects in the northern province of Cabo Delgado. Rafael said that the Afungi theatre had been created at the instruction of President Filipe Nyusi to guarantee the protection of the gas projects. The government was forced to create the Afungi operational theatre to protect its interests and those of the French oil and gas multinational Total, Mediafax reported.

Hunger stalks 6,000 households in Manica (AIM)
Around 6,000 households are facing hunger in a district of the central province of Manica over the next four months, due to bad weather. District official Fernando Kingstone said that heavy rain had washed away extensive farmland on the banks of the main rivers in Tambara district. Farmers are still to harvest sesame, which they intend to sell to buy other seeds. Kingstone said that farmers were preparing for the next farming season, and that the government was working to provide seeds and other help. The farmers would expand the farmed area and extend irrigation, he added.

Over three-quarters of all health workers vaccinated (AIM)
A total of 46,439 health professionals in Mozambique were vaccinated against covid-19 between 8 and 13 March, the deputy national director of public health, Benigna Matsinhe, told the press in Maputo on Monday. All have received the first dose of the Verocell vaccine produced by the Chinese company Sinopharm. After 21 days, they should receive a second dose. The plan was to vaccinate all 61,017 health workers within a week, but the deadline has had to be extended to Wednesday. “Then we shall have a short rest, and reorganise to vaccinate the next group,” Matsinhe said. There are 976 health workers involved in the vaccination drive, distributed into 244 teams based at 227 fixed vaccination posts.

Nyusi challenges new armed forces chief to stop terrorism (Lusa, Rádio Moçambique)
President Filipe Nyusi has said that the main mission of the armed forces is to eliminate threats to sovereignty, including terrorism and the people who inspire it in Cabo Delgado province. He was speaking during the inauguration ceremony of the new chief of the armed forces general staff, Joaquim Mangrasse. Besides stopping terrorism, Mangrasse has to stop the attacks by the Renamo Military Junta dissident paramilitary group and its leader Mariano Nhongo in central Mozambique, Lusa reported.

Covid-19 affects 8,000 civil servants (O País)
Around 8,000 civil servants out of 340,000 have been or are infected with covid-19, according to figures from the public administration ministry. The Ministry of the Interior is the worst-hit, with 1,383 cases, of which 773 are current and the rest recovered. Thirteen ministry staff have died and 912 police and administrative staff are quarantined. The health ministry comes second with 1,306 cumulative cases, of which 734 are current. Most of the cases and deaths have been concentrated in Maputo.

Mozambique to receive UN help to fight illegal fishing (AIM, Notícias, Lusa)
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will help Mozambique to fight illegal fishing in a new technical support project, the organisation said in a statement. The FAO said it would support Mozambique in implementing international agreements against illegal fishing, as well as helping to revise laws on fisheries policy. The project, whose work plan was approved by the fisheries ministry on Monday, will run for two years. Fisheries minister Augusta Maíta said that it was important to stop illegal fishing to ensure sustainability in the management of marine resources, as about 60% of the population relied on the sea for a living. Mozambique alleges it loses around $60m each year due to illegal fishing, according to official figures.

Expansion of Nacala port to resume (Rádio Moçambique)
The expansion of the port of Nacala in the northern province of Nampula will resume this year, after being interrupted last year because of covid-19, the provincial director of transport and communications, Leo Jamal, said. Around 30% of the expansion has already been completed, with most of the rest of the work expected to be finished this year. Completion is scheduled for 2022. Jamal said that maritime cabotage [coastal transport within the country] in the port of Angoche would also be revived, with the construction of one of three inter-district terminals in the region planned this year. He added that, by the end of his mandate, mobile phone coverage in Nampula would increase from 80% to 100%.


  • The Council of Ministers announced that it had approved amendments to the governing documents of the Total-led Mozambique LNG natural gas production project in Cabo Delgado province. Agreements amending the concession agreement, the direct financing agreement and the development plan were ratified. The changes reflected the entry of Total into the project and incorporated changes to installed capacity and updates to the financing of the project, the council said
  • Hidroeléctrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB) announced that Boavida José Lopes Muhambe is its new chairman, succeeding Pedro Couto
  • Eni said that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, under which the two would look for opportunities to collaborate on development projects in Mozambique, particularly in Cabo Delgado province (see here)
  • Nueva Pescanova said that its Mozambican subsidiary Pescamar had received its latest fishing ship, the Ponta Timbue. The freezer beam trawler will leave for Mozambique to join the prawn fishing campaign in the next few days (see here)
  • 3t Enermerch, a joint venture between infrastructure services company EnerMerch and technical training company 3t Energy Group, said that it had been awarded a contract by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to provide an analysis of oil and gas skills training by technical and vocational education institutions in Mozambique
  • Pathfinder Minerals announced that Jonathan Summers had been appointed as a non-executive director, and that John Taylor had resigned as a non-executive director, both with immediate effect. The company added that, to help it conserve resources, Summers had agreed to waive any salary for the first 12 months (see here)
  • Kenmare Resources announced that Tim Keating was stepping down as a non-executive director, having been nominated by Oman Investment Authority (OIA), Kenmare’s largest shareholder. OIA has nominated Sameer Oundhakar to replace him. Gabriel Smith has also decided not to stand for re-election as a Non-Executive Director at this year's AGM (see here)
  • The cities of Pemba and Aberdeen in the UK signed a three-year extension to their memorandum of understanding

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