Skip to content

Top officer killed in insurgent attack on Mocímboa da Praia; Nyusi extends state of emergency to 29 July

Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 29 June, 2020

NOTICE: The Zitamar Daily Briefing now has a sister publication — the Angola Economic Briefing. Click here to find updates, analysis, and forecasts on Angola’s economic and political developments, twice a week.


  • Tomorrow: Regular meeting of the Council of Ministers

The latest from Zitamar News:

Top officer killed in insurgent attack on Mocímboa da Praia
Fighting in Mocimboa claimed the life of the most senior military officer in the town, among an unknown number of dead on both sides of the conflict, as well as civilians

Insurgents take Mocímboa da Praia again in dawn raid
Government forces are attempting to regain control of Mocímboa da Praia after insurgents drove them out in a dawn raid on Saturday morning

From the Zitamar Live Blog:

Follow on Telegram or on our website

Nyusi extends state of emergency to 29 July
The president announced relaxation of some measures, such as a phased reopening of schools

One more dies from covid-19
24 more cases have been diagnosed, of which 16 are in Nampula

The best of the rest:

  • Insurgents kidnap ten in Mocímboa da Praia (VoA)
  • One dead in attack on bus in Gondola (O País)
  • Cabo Delgado being supplied by sea to avoid insurgents (Rádio Moçambique)
  • Portugal ready to support Mozambique in Cabo Delgado (Notícias)
  • Sasol hires advisers to sell pipeline and power plant stakes (Reuters, O País)
  • War veteran Monteiro criticises Frelimo’s hold on government jobs (O País)
  • Businessman’s son kidnapped in Maputo (CanalMoz)

Insurgents kidnap ten in Mocímboa da Praia (VoA)
Ten people were kidnapped by insurgents who reoccupied the local government headquarters in Mocímboa da Praia, Cabo Delgado province on Saturday, three months after it was last captured. The insurgents kidnapped eight girls, a merchant and a religious leader, according to residents speaking to VOA. “They kidnapped people and left them in a mosque in the village, and they put others in businessman Imo's warehouse,” reported one of the villagers, shortly before communications were interrupted. The attack caused hundreds of people to flee in boats or on foot. A source speaking to Reuters said that the attack was “very violent” and Mozambican security forces suffered several casualties. The attack was then claimed by Islamic State, which said it had killed 10 soldiers and carried away rounds of ammunition and weapons.

One dead in attack on bus in Gondola (O País)
An 11-year-old child died and four adults were injured, some seriously, after an attack on a bus on Sunday morning near Inchope, in Gondola district in the central province of Manica. The attack, which is believed to have been led by the Renamo Military Junta paramilitary group, was directed against a bus of Nagi Investments that left Nampula on Saturday heading for Maputo. Witnesses say that armed men fired several shots, initially resulting in five people being injured, one of whom died on his way to Gondola District Hospital.
Renamo has tended to target buses run by Tanzanian-owned Nagi as it is believed to be used by the Mozambican military to transport soldiers, alongside civilian passengers who get caught in the crossfire.

Cabo Delgado being supplied by sea to avoid insurgents (Rádio Moçambique)
Cabo Delgado province is being supplied with food and other essentials by sea, since land routes have been affected by insurgent attacks and the collapse of a bridge over the Montepuez River, a government official has said. Markets in the districts of Palma, Nangade, Mueda, Mocímboa da Praia and Muidumbe are being regularly supplied from the port of Mocímboa da Praia. Over 350,000 tonnes of food and 740,000 litres of fuel have been delivered in this way, according to Agae Maunze of the Council of State Representation Services in Cabo Delgado. “A vessel called ‘Estela’ has been making constant trips from the port of Pemba to the port of Mocímboa da Praia. With regard to prices, we have seen a stabilisation trend for most food products”, he commented.
Mocímboa da Praia is growing in importance as a logistics hub, as road routes become too dangerous — which might explain why it is such a prize for the insurgents. Mocímboa da Praia is on the route for Mozambique’s new cabotage company, a public-private partnership. One of its first jobs this weekend was to transport the bodies of soldiers killed in Saturday’s battle for the town, from Mocímboa da Praia down to Pemba.

Portugal ready to support Mozambique in Cabo Delgado (Notícias)
Portugal is ready to support Mozambique in the face of the attacks carried out by terrorists in Cabo Delgado province and by the dissident paramilitary wing of opposition party Renamo in the centre of the country, if the government requests it, Portugal’s minister of defence, João Gomes Cravinho, said. Cravinho said he would go to Mozambique “as soon as possible” to discuss this and other issues.
Encouraging Portuguese intervention is thought to be one of the motivations of Nuno Rogeiro, a right wing Portuguese political pundit who has begun commentating on the Cabo Delgado conflict in recent months.

Sasol hires advisers to sell pipeline and power plant stakes (Reuters, O País)
South African energy and chemicals company Sasol has appointed Nedbank to sell its 50% stake in Rompco, the joint venture that operates a  gas pipeline linking Mozambique and South Africa, two sources told Reuters. The sources said the company had also appointed Deloitte to sell its 49% stake in the 175MW Central Termica de Ressano Garcia (CTRG) gas-fired power plant. Sasol declined to comment to Reuters. A subsidiary of Mozambique’s state-run oil company ENH and South Africa’s government-owned Central Energy Fund each hold 25% stakes in Rompco. The other 51% of CTRG is held by Mozambique’s state-owned electric utility EDM. However, Sasol is now investing $4m to rehabilitate the Phambarra Save section of the EN1 highway in Inhambane province, where the company’s gas operations are, to guarantee the safety of its employees, O País reported.
Sasol’s gas operations in Mozambique are one of the few consistently profitable parts of the company, so for a long while it was assumed they would not be up for sale. Even in Mozambique, however, the company is facing major challenges. Gas from its Pande and Temane fields in Inhambane is expected to dry up by 2029, and while it is looking at various options for replacing this gas, it doesn’t yet have a solution. While the company is undergoing a major business shakeup that includes cutting jobs and selling its West African oil operations, it is not clear how a company dependent on the heavily energy-intensive practice of converting coal and gas into liquids will survive in a carbon-constrained world, particularly as South Africa increases the pricing of its own carbon tax. It looks likely that Sasol will not be around in another ten years – or at least, not in the incarnation that we know today.

War veteran Monteiro criticises Frelimo’s hold on government jobs (O País)
A political party cannot fill all public sector jobs and determine all decisions, according to the former minister and veteran of Mozambique’s war of independence, Óscar Monteiro, in a criticism of the country’s current governance. Monteiro, who did not refer directly to the ruling Frelimo party in comments quoted by O País, called for “this organisation” to return to its true and original vocation of mobilising and educating the citizens, and listen to popular opinion. Speaking in a debate on the course of the past 45 years of independence, Monteiro called for more transparency in how public officials were appointed, without “nepotism or friendship”. “It also means… abandoning the practice of constant changes of middle management, in essence establishing a separation between the political level and the professional level of public administration,” he said.

Businessman’s son kidnapped in Maputo (CanalMoz)
The son of a businessman who owns Casa Pandia, which sells traditional capulana fabric in Maputo, was kidnapped by unknown armed men in Maputo yesterday. Kauchal Pandia was leaving a restaurant in central Maputo when he was abducted. CanalMoz recalls that in January 2014 Kishor Chootalal, owner of Casa Pandia, was kidnapped and his family had to pay a large sum of money for his release.

Tweet of the Day