Tuesday, January 25, 2011


The Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC) on Tuesday announced the conclusion of phase three of the expansion of the Matola Coal Terminal, which is owned and operated by the South African company Grindrod.David Rennie, the chairperson of MPDC and executive director of Grindrod, told reporters that phase three raises the throughout capacity of the terminal from four million to six million tonnes of coal a year. A pre-feasibility study is under way for a fourth phase in the expansion that will lift the capacity of the terminal to between 12 and 17 million tonnes a year, with a storage capacity of 1.4 million tonnes.Before phase three, the terminal could only load 8,000 tonnes of coal and 12,000 tonnes of magnetite a day. But now, the maximum loading possible from the terminal is 30,000 tonnes of coal and 48,000 tonnes of magnetite a day. The coal comes from South Africa, and its destination is largely to coal hungry markets in Asia, particularly India. Indian demand for coal is put at 100 million tonnes a year.Coal is one of the key products in the drive by MPDC to raise the amount of cargo handled by the port sixfold by 2030. According to Rennie, the port moved 8.7 million tonnes in 2010, and he target for this year is 12 million tonnes. He pointed out that, at the height of colonial rule, in 1972, the port handled 17 million tonnes. The South African apartheid regime’s undeclared war against Mozambique saw a collapse in traffic through the port, reaching a low point of about a million tonnes in 1986.But Rennie believes that, with sufficient investment in port infrastructure and equipment, it will be possible, by 2030, to build traffic up to about 50 million tonnes a year. The detailed plans are that traffic should rise to 26.2 million tonnes by 2015, reaching 34.2 million in 2020, 40.1 million in 2025 and 48.6 million in 2030.According to MPDC Chief Executive Officer Jorge Ferraz, the total investment envisaged by MPDC is 750 million US dollars. Of this sum, 323 million dollars is to be invested by 2015. (This comes on top of 258 million dollars that was invested in the past 15 years).Some 200 million dollars will be spent on rehabilitating existing quays and building new ones. The port consists of two complexes – the MDC quays and terminals (some of them dating to the 1960s) in Maputo, and the bulk terminals (for aluminium, coal, grain and fuel) at Matola. Between them lies an area that is undeveloped, where space exists for expansion and new quays.Ferraz pointed out that in 2007 only five shipping lines were stopping at Maputo. That figure has now risen to 13, and over the past four years there has been a 95 per cent increase in the number of ships calling at Maputo.Key to MPDC’s plans is the dredging of the entrance channel. A dredging vessel, the “TSHD Pelletier” arrived in Maputo in September, and this month completed its task of deepening the access channel from 9.4 to 11 metres. The depth at the quays and at the container and coal terminals has been restored to 12 metres. Prior to the dredging the largest size vessel that the port could accommodate was 50,000 DWT (deadweight tonnes – the measure of how much a ship can safely carry). But now “Panamax” size vessels, of up to 80,000 DWT, can enter the port. Ferraz says this reduces unit costs and makes the port more competitive.  Initially, the major private shareholder in MPDC was the British Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, which failed to abide by the terms of its contract, did not make the promised investment, and did not pay the agreed rent for lease of the port to the Mozambican port and rail company, CFM. In 2007, however, the British company sold its shares to Grindrod and to Dubai Ports World. Currently, MPDC is 49 per cent owned by CFM and 51 per cent by the private sector consortium, Portus Indico. 48.5 per cent of Portus Indico is owned by Dubai Ports World, 48.5 per cent by Grindrod and three per cent by the Mozambican company, Mocambique Gestores. The MPDC lease on the terminal was initially only for 15 years. But last year the government extended the lease by a further 15 years, so that it will only expire in 2033. MPDC regards this as a vote of confidence, which will facilitate implementation of its master plan for the port and the mobilization of the investments required.


Three people, two of them children, died on Sunday, in the northern Mozambican province of Nampula, when they were swept away by the waters of the Mecutane river, swollen by torrential rains earlier in the day. According to a report in Tuesday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”, the bodies of the two children were recovered on Monday morning, but that of the adult has not yet been found.In the centre of the country, the Zambezi and the Pungoe rivers are continuing to rise. Three districts on the banks of the Zambezi – Mutarara, Tambara and Chemba, in Tete, Manica, and Sofala provinces, respectively – are now cut off from the rest of the country, because dozens of Zambezi valley roads have become impassable. One major factor in the rise in the level of the Zambezi is the increase in discharges from the Cahora Bassa dam. As from Saturday the dam increased its discharges from 1,900 to over 3,500 cubic metres a second. This was largely due to the opening of floodgates on the Kariba dam further upstream.The Zambezi has burst its banks in Caia district, Sofala province, and several houses have been submerged, but there are no reports of any loss of life.Casimiro Abreu, the deputy general director of the country’s relief agency, the National Disasters Management Institute (INGC), told Radio Mozambique that, although several rivers are above flood alert level, “the situation is under control, despite localised flooding’.“The fact that districts have been isolated does not mean that we are unable to assist those affected”, said Abreu, “since we have various means of reaching there”.He added that around 35,000 people who had been living on the banks of the Zambezi, or on islands in the river, had heeded the calls to move to higher ground, and are currently accommodated in safe areas.“There is some resistance to abandoning dangerous areas”, he admitted. “But this involves a fairly small number of people farming on the islands, and who are currently harvesting their crops. People are aware of the flood risk and we are monitoring the situation’.   Further south, the Pungoe has burst its banks and inundated crops in Nhamatanda and Dondo districts. Should the river rise much higher it will spill onto the Beira-Zimbabwe road. During previous Pungoe floods, traffic along this highway has sometimes become impossible.The Save river, which marks the boundary between Sofala and Inhambane provinces has also burst its banks, inundating parts of Govuro and Machanga districts. But since Sunday, the level of the Save has been falling.Nonetheless a company of sailors from the Mozambican navy and local fishermen are on hand, should rescue operations prove necessary.


The Irish company Kenmare Resources has announced that production of ilmenite (iron titanium oxide) at its dredge mine in the northern Mozambican coastal district of Moma increased by 12 per cent in the second half of 2010.Ilmentite is the main ore produced at the mine. Production of zircon (zirconium silicate) rose by 21 per cent over the same period, and production of rutile (titanium dioxide) by a remarkable 147 per cent.   Production of the heavy mineral concentrate (from which the three ores are later separated) rose by eight per cent, and in the second half of the year 346,202 tonnes of finished products were shipped from Moma.  This brings total shipments for the year to 712,650 tonnes, an increase of 71 per cent on the 418,000 tonnes exported in 2009. Kenmare regards this as “a very strong performance”, particularly because mining at Moma stopped for a month because of a breach in the wall of a tailings pond in October. This accident led to a wave of water, sand and mud crashing through the village of Topuito, killing a child, and damaging a large number of homes.Kenmare announced that all affected families gave now returned to their homes and have received compensation. Extensive earthworks were erected “to ensure there could be no repetition of the spillage”, said the Kenmare statement. Mining resumed on 9 November, and in the latter half of the fourth quarter, the mine was running at full capacity.The company also announced that “site work will commence shortly on the upgrade of the jetty, which will enhance operational flexibility by allowing berthing and loading of the trans-shipment vessels on both sides of the jetty. This project is on schedule for completion in the second quarter of 2011”.Kenmare says that its project for expanding production, so as to increase the mine’s output by 50 per cent, is on schedule. The full expansion team of 110 staff is now in place. “The construction of long lead-time items is well underway, while the remaining packages have been tendered and further contract awards are due shortly”, announced the statement. Kenmare expects the conditions for increased production to be completed in 2012.The company reported strong world demand for pigments (the main use of titanium minerals). “The speed and strength of the demand recovery in 2010 caught many industry participants by surprise and feedstocks are now in tight supply, despite producers returning production to full capacity”, said Kenmare. “This shortage will become more acute in the coming years”.From the company’s point of view this is good news, because “prices are expected to increase significantly as limited new supply is expected to enter the market within this time horizon”.There is particularly strong demand in the United States, Europe and China for Kenmare’s main product, ilmenite, and the company expects to be able to charge customers much more for its ilmenite in 2011. Strong Chinese demand for zircon means that the price of this ore will also increase substantially.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Mozambique’s Minister of Transport, Paulo Zucula, has guaranteed that the crisis of passenger transport in Maputo, characterised by huge queues at the city’s bus stop during the rush hours, will soon be solved.To this end, 50 new buses for private operators are already in Maputo, and the only hold-up remaining is to conclude negotiations with the banks about how they will be paid for. The import procedures began in mid-2010, but were delayed due to problems with exempting the vehicles from import duties.“The private operators made a mistake because they requested the exemption when the buses were already in Maputo”, Zucula told reporters. “The exemption procedure should have begun while the buses were being imported”.He added that the government has ordered a shipment of buses from China that should soon arrive in Maputo to strengthen the current fleet of the publicly-owned bus company, TPM.This is in addition to a further shipment of 150 buses from the Indian company Tata, which will arrive in the next four to five months.Zucula recognised that the new buses will not definitively solve the problem, since traffic in Maputo, particularly on the main routes in and out of the city, is also severely delayed by rush hour traffic jams. “We must be very creative in finding a way to minimise the problem”, said Zucula, who raised the hypothesis of introducing road traffic innovations, particularly during peak traffic times, in order to cope with congestion and speed up the flow of traffic.Under current conditions, the Minister added, congestion is so bad that a bus can take one, or even two, hours to travel a distance which under normal circumstances would take 20 minutes. One of the results of this crawl through the traffic is the build-up of long queues at the bus stops. Among the measures under consideration, said Zucula, was the introduction of bus lanes, and an extension of the current one-way system. Thus two main thoroughfares that run parallel through central Maputo, 24th July Avenue and Eduardo Mondlane Avenue, could become one way streets, with traffic flowing in opposite directions during the morning rush hour of 06.00 to 08.00. Such measures, he believed, could reduce congestion by more than 50 per cent. These were not measures that could be introduced from one day to the next, he added. It was necessary to take precautions and analyse all the consequences, so that the new measures did not increase the number of traffic accidents in the city.Other measures suggested include setting up a coordination office to manage the TPM fleet during the rush hours, sending the buses where needed, depending on the concentrations of passengers. Once traffic flow was back to normal, the buses would resume their normal routes.“Obviously this doesn’t solve the problem”, said Zucula, “but it reduces the waiting time at the bus stops”.The government also intends to acquire articulated buses which can hold up to 170 passengers. “Articulated buses are very good at peak times, given the number of people they can hold”, said the Minister. “But after the rush hour they become inefficient, because they circulate almost empty’.One of the major challenges is financial, with the government facing difficulties paying to maintain and expand the TPM fleet. The company runs at a loss, and so its survival depends on funds granted from the state budget.Zucula pointed out Mozambique is far from the only country that subsidises urban passenger transport. This is a situation common to most countries, in both the developed and the developing world. To eliminate the TPM subsidy, Zucula said, would imply a flat rate fare of 25 meticais (about 77 US cents) per journey. The current fare is just five meticais.Doubtless the government is well aware that fare rises can spark off serious disturbances. An attempt in February 2008 to raise the fares charged by the privately owned minibuses that still provide much of the city’s passenger transport led to serious rioting in the streets of Maputo, and the far rise was quickly reversed.


A key figure in the people trafficking racket uncovered earlier this week by the Mozambican police and the independent television station STV may have escaped from police custody, according to reports reaching AIM on Friday.He is Pakistani citizen Momad Altaf, owner of the house near Maputo International Airport, where 70 Pakistani and Bangladeshi migrants were discovered, sleeping in squalid conditions, on Wednesday morning.Altaf was taken, along with his 70 “guests”, to the Maputo 18th police precinct – where he is believed to have escaped, although neither the Criminal Investigation Police (PIC) nor the Maputo City Police Command . But Chefo had already left the city command, and was not answering his phone. AIM did manage to speak to the National Director of PIC, Carlos Come, but he said he had no further information on the case. He promised to investigate and contact  later – but by the time of writing this news item there had been no such contact. Momad Altaf is clearly the man who could lead the police to more senior figures in the people trafficking network, and might also identify any immigration officials who facilitated the entry of the Pakistanis and Bangladeshis.It was Altaf who, when STV asked him to explain the presence of dozens of young Asian men sleeping on his floors, replied “they’re my best friends”.STV also revealed that Altaf offered the police 1,000 US dollars for each of the migrants, if they were allowed to stay – a bribe of 70,000 dollars. The offer was rejected .


The Australian regulatory body, the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), on Friday approved the takeover bid by the mining giant Rio Tinto for 100 per cent of Riversdale Mining, one of the companies with major coal concessions in the western Mozambican province of Tete.The Rio Tinto offer is to purchase Riverdale in its entirety for 16 Australian dollars (slightly less than 16 US dollars) a share. Rio Tinto would thus spend about 3.9 billion Australian dollars on the takeover.The takeover closes on 18 February, but seems almost certain to go ahead, since Riversdale has already recommended that its shareholders should accept the Rio Tinto offer, in the absence of any higher proposal.The Riversdale board declared that the Rio Tinto offer “delivers certain value for your Riversdale shares”, and warned that if the offer did not succeed “the Riversdale share price may fall”.The 16 dollars offered is much higher than the price for Riversdale shares quoted on the Australian stock exchange in the months prior to the Rio Tinto bid. Riversdale’s main project in Tete is at Benga, in Moatize district, where production from an open cast coal mine is expected to start later this year. High quality hard coking coal will be exported from Benga, and some of the thermal coal will fuel a planned power station.On the other side of the Zambezi river, Riversdale is exploring a second area, in Changara district, which also has high potential for coking coal exports.


The Mozambican government is considering the resumption of timber exports to Russia, following an interest expressed by the Russian authorities.According to the government’s Export Promotion Institute (IPEX), over the last three years a series of requests for information about the possibility of timber exports has been received from Russia. The Russian proposal is to set up a partnership with Mozambican businesses to exploit the country’s forestry resources, particularly its precious hardwoods (such as ironwood, panga-panga, umbila, and pau-preto).A group of Russian business people visited Maputo towards the end of last year, with the aim of studying the tropical timber market. According to IPEX, initially the Russian businesses would simply buy timber and export it to Russia, but later they would hope to create a joint venture with Mozambicans. In the 1980s the former Soviet republics were among the main destinations for Mozambican timber exports. Currently Mozambique imports 50 million dollars worth of timber a year to European, Chinese and African markets.

Friday, January 21, 2011


An hour long power cut on Wednesday night at Maputo Central Hospital, the largest health unit in Mozambique, put patients’ lives at risk, and forced doctors to carry out emergency procedures by candlelight.This was the second time in the space of a month that the entire hospital has been plunged into darkness by a power failure. The first occasion was in December, following torrential rains in the city.Wednesday’s power cut occurred at around 21.30, and so far hospital officials do not know what caused it. Staff at the emergency services resorted to candles and even used their mobile phones as torches in order to continue working without electricity.This critical situation arose because the hospital’s back-up generators failed. The hospital’s clinical director, Momed Rafico, on Thursday that the hospital possesses generators which are supposed to guarantee electricity to all sectors in the event of a power cut. But on Wednesday night the generator feeding the emergency services did not respond when switched on.He believed this is because the quantity of electrical equipment now in the hospital overloads the generators. The age of the generators did not help matters.“We had a lengthy power cut”, Rafico said. “Usually after five minutes we have to take measures. We have generators at strategic points in the hospital. We have one generator which feeds the emergency services, the x-ray unit, the special clinic, the medical and surgical wards, the kitchens, and the sterilization centre, among others. But when we tried to connect it to the emergency services, it failed, because it was overloaded”.“To guarantee the supply of power to the emergency services, we had to cut the supply to other sections”, he added. “This takes a long time, and we were still doing it when EDM (the electricity company) restored power from the grid”.Rafico said that nobody died because of the power cut, even though two patients under intensive care were reliant on electrical machinery. Their good fortune was that these machines accumulate power and continued functioning even after the interruption to the power supply.“The situation of these two patients under intensive care was what most concerned us”, Rafico said. “Fortunately nobody was being operated on, and there were no children requiring care”.But he was in no doubt that the situation was extremely serious, and that such power cuts can result in the death of patients.Power cuts are a normal part of life in Maputo, particularly during storms, which often cause short circuits. Essential services thus always keep back-up generators to cope with the power cuts.


Mob violence led to the destruction of six homes of neighbourhood secretaries in the town of Namialo, in the northern Mozambican province of Nampula, on Wednesday night, according to a report in Friday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”.The crowd accused the six officials of spreading cholera. This is the latest in a series of attacks carried out by people who refuse to believe that cholera is spread by poor hygiene, and instead attribute it to a conspiracy of officialdom.There is currently an outbreak of cholera in Nampula province, and four people are reported to have died of the disease in Namialo.The police were obliged to fire into the air to disperse the rioters, and made ten arrests.The mob also wanted to attack the local health centre, but failed although they did assault the security guard on duty. One of the most macabre aspects of the campaign of disinformation against cholera is that it targets precisely the people trying to halt the spread of the disease, such as health workers and Red Cross activists. Thus those fighting against the disease are accused of causing it.The interim head of the Namialo administrative post, Paulino Essiaca, told “Noticias” that the wife and son of one of the secretaries whose homes were destroyed were injured in the attack.Namialo has suffered from an outbreak of severe diarrhea and vomiting, the symptoms of cholera, which Essiaca blames on the consumption of contaminated water. The local authorities and the Red Cross have been using chlorine to purify water supplies. As in the past, the vague similarity between the words cholera and “chloro” (chlorine in Portuguese) may have led to the rumour that local officials are deliberately poisoning the water.


The Portuguese company BES Africa, a holding company of the Banco Espirito Santo group, on Thursday formalised in Maputo its purchase of 25.1 per cent of Moza Banco, one of the newest of Mozambican banks, with the signing of an agreement with the managers of the bank.This closes a deal that began last year with an agreement in Lisbon between BES Africa and the two main shareholders of Moza Banco, Geocapital and Mocambique Capitais. Geocapital is the holding company of the Macau billionaire Stanley Ho, and describes itself as a bridge between China and the Portuguese speaking world. In addition to Ho himself, the main shareholders are Portuguese investor Jorge Ferro Ribeiro, and a second Macau businessman Ambrose So Shu Fai, who is also a Committee Member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, an advisory body to the Chinese government.Mocambique Capitais is the driving force behind Moza Banco, and was the brainchild of a former governor of the Bank of Mozambique, Prakash Ratilal. It is a private shareholder company, open to any Mozambican businessman or other professional. It started life in 2001 with 13 shareholders, and now has about 300. Of the 25.1 per cent of Moza Banco acquired by BES Africa, 0.6 per cent was sold by Mocambique Capitais, and the rest came from Geocapital.According to a statement from Moza Banco, this reduces Geocapital’s holding in the bank to 24.5 percent. The changes leave Mocambique Capitais as the majority shareholder with 50.4 per cent. “With the entry of Banco Espirito Santo in the shareholding structure of Moza Banco, the share capital of this financial institution will double to 30 million US dollars by 30 June 2011, in order to speed up the establishment of more branches in other parts of the country”, said the statement. Moza Banco started its operations in June 2008. Currently it has just two branches and 63 workers. According to Prakash Ratilal, its expansion plan is to reach 30 branches and about 300 workers by 2013.


Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB), the company that operates the Cahora Bassa dam on the Zambezi, in the western Mozambican province of Tete, has warned that it will increase the discharges from its floodgates to 3,550 cubic metres a second as from Saturday.A note from HCB, received by AIM on Friday, states that this is because of the announcement by the Zambezi River Authority in Zambia, that the floodgates on the Kariba dam will be opened on Saturday to come with a heavy inflow of water into the Kariba lake, caused by heavy rainfall in the upper Zambezi basin. Increased Cahora Bassa discharges threaten flooding on the lower Zambezi, and so HCB urged members of the public to leave flood prone areas near the banks of the Zambezi and its tributaries.The increased discharges are almost double the 1,900 cubic metres a second that HCB has been releasing over the past fortnight or so. Nonetheless, the volume of water to be discharged is much less than that released by the dam in late December, when HCB increased the discharges to 4,500, then to 4,950 and eventually to 5,200 cubic metres a second.The purpose of those increases was to lower the level of the Cahora Bassa lake so that it would be better able to store water flowing in from Zambia and Zimbabwe in January-March, usually the critical period in the rainy season.As a result, in late December and early January the Zambezi was well above flood alert level on its entire length between Tete city and the Indian Ocean. But no rescue operations or evacuations were required, largely because most people who once lived in the flood prone areas of the lower and middle Zambezi Valley were moved to higher ground in the floods of 2007 and 2008.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


The Mozambican immigration authorities on Tuesday night detained 63 Bangladeshi citizens at Maputo International Airport, whose entry visas turned out to be forged.The immigration desk at the airport is now armed with sophisticated electronic equipment which can detect forged passports and visas. The visas of all 63 Bangladeshis were scanned, and did not produce the image on the computer screen that would prove their validity.The head of the airport immigration services, Antonio Paulino, told the independent television station STV that the Bangladeshis had arrived on an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa. The plane had carried around 200 passengers, most of them Asians.“During the immigration procedure, it was possible to discover that at least 63 of them were carrying forged visas”, he said. “We tried at once to put them back on the plane, but the airline did not want to cooperate, and the aircraft took off without. Right now they will be sent to the Maputo 18th police precinct, until they are repatriated on Thursday”.Apparently the Bangladeshis had traveled from Dhaka to Addis Ababa via Dubai. On arrival, they claimed to be seeking business opportunities, and protested that they did not know that their visas were forgeries. But they certainly did not look like investors or businessmen. The STV footage showed that they were mostly young men, many wearing jeans and T-shirts and carrying rucksacks. Most did not speak English, let alone Mozambique’s official language, Portuguese.STV tried to speak to several of the Bangladeshis, but the reporter’s questions were usually met with stares of incomprehension, and mutters of “I don’t speak English”. One of them claimed, in broken English, that he was a tourist. Another, who spoke some English, said he planned to return to Bangladesh within a fortnight, but could not explain what he planned to do in Mozambique.The suspicion is that the immigration authorities have stumbled across a racket in human trafficking, in which Bangladeshis are sent to southern Africa to work in sweatshops or other shady businesses. Possibly their final destination was not Mozambique at all, and the intention was to send them on to South Africa.Paulino told STV that this was far from the first time that passengers were caught with phony visas. “This phenomenon has become worse since Ethiopian airlines started operating in our airspace (in early December)”, he said. “Many of the passengers on Ethiopian Airlines are of Asian origin”.The Maputo director of Ethiopian Airlines, Hailu Woldekian, denied that his company was involved in any illegal immigration racket. He said that the Bangladeshis had all displayed passports with apparently valid entry visas, and all bought tickets.“Our responsibility is to transport them, and we did that, because they paid for their tickets and all other expenses”, he said. “Right now, our mission is to assist our clients”.


Eduardo Galiza-Matos Junior, a parliamentary deputy of Mozambique’s ruling Frelimo Party, on Wednesday told AIM he is deleting the name of Momad Assife Abdul Satar (“Nini”), one of the men who ordered the assassination in 2000 of the country’s top investigative journalist, Carlos Cardoso, from his list of friends on the social networking Internet site, Facebook.Galiza-Matos also categorically denied that he had ever written anything about Satar on his own Facebook page. He was cited, in Tuesday’s issue of the newsheet “CanalMoz” as saying “Nini Satar asked me to be a friend and I accepted”, and that “although he is in jail, I think he has his rights”.Galiza-Matos says these words were attributed to him by “CanalMoz”, and that he never wrote them.As yet, there has been no official reaction from the Justice Ministry to the revelation that a convicted murderer not only has Internet access, but runs his own Facebook page, in violation of all the rules governing the access of prisoners to communications.Nini Satar is currently serving a 24 year sentence in the Maputo top security prison for his part in the assassination of Carlos Cardoso.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


A Zimbabwean rubbish dump is polluting a major source of water for the central Mozambican province of Manica, according to a report in Tuesday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”.The rubbish dump, in the eastern Zimbabwean city of Mutare, was set up 60 years ago by the British colonial authorities, at the spot where the Munene river has its source. The Munene is a tributary of the Revue river, which supplies water to the Manica provincial capital, Chimoio, Manica town and the municipality of Gondola.Natercia Nhabanga, the Manica Provincial Director for the Environment, describes the situation as very serious, since all manner of waste is deposited at the Mutare dump, including industrial waste and hospital waste.The water from the Munene flows into the Revue and then into the reservoir of the Chicamba dam, which is an important fishing centre and provides drinking water for the main urban centres of the province.The pollution of the Munene was first raised by the mayor of Manica town, Moguene Candieiro, in 2009, and in 2010 the governor of the province, Ana Comoane, set up a technical commission to investigate the matter.That commission has visited Mutare and the rubbish dump several times, and has met with the Mutare municipal authorities.Nhabanga said that the Mutare authorities have recognised the seriousness of the problem, but said that, due to Zimbabwe’s financial and economic problems, there is no short or medium term solution.However, they also said they were looking for a new site for the dump. Contacts have been made with South Africa, which could send experts to help Mutare municipality remove or destroy the dump.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Five people have died and another 22 people were injured after bad weather hit the south and centre of Mozambique over the last few days.According to information from the National Emergency Operation Centre (CENOE), the destruction caused by the bad weather has affected more than 13,000 people.These facts were revealed on Friday in Maputo during a meeting of the Technical Committee for Disaster Management in their regular weekly gathering to review their activities.Between 10 and 12 January this year there were heavy rains (over 50 millimetres) in the provinces of Manica, Sofala, Gaza and Inhambane, accompanied by thunderstorms and high winds that were at their strongest in the districts in the south of Manica (Sussundenga, Mossurize and Machaze).According to CENOE, in this period the bad weather caused one death and affected 54 families. The weather caused the destruction of 51 houses, three schools, 12 classrooms, two bridges, two churches and mosques, and a health unit.The figures given by CENOE may be an underestimate of the full toll taken by the storms. Reports received on Thursday state that 11 people died in the province of Manica after bad weather hit the region, including eight people who were killed by lightning in the district of Mossurize.According to the administrator of Mossurize district, Alberto Chimoio, members of the Zionist Apostolic Church were inside the premises of the church when lightning hit the building. Six others were injured and taken to hospital.


The province of Zambezia, in the centre of Mozambique, is suffering a medical crisis since the end of November last year, a situation characterised by a shortage of medicines in local health units. This is leaving patients facing enormous difficulties in getting the drugs that they need.The newspaper “Noticias” reported on the crisis from Quelimane, the capital of Zambezia province. It reported that since last week many patients who went to outpatients had to return home without their medicines.Some health clinics in Quelimane have also had difficulties since December getting enough materials for dressings.However, the provincial director of Health in Zambezia, Alberto Baptista, categorically rejected the allegations about the breakdown in the supply of medicines, but admitted that at this moment the province is without the capacity to send medicines to the districts.Baptista acknowledged that there were shortages in medicines, but argued that all the health units have drugs, but just not in the quantities required.He said that in the event of any disruption to supply, the authorities would look to resolve the problem through the internal redistribution of medicines.On 31 December Health Minister Alexandre Manguele admitted that the country's hospitals had to use expired drugs in 2010 due to the shortage of medicines in the National Health Service (SNS).“We had to use expired medicines. But we first analysed, outside the country, the possibility of extending the validity of the medicines”, said the minister, adding that “when we have to face this sort of situation, it means that we do not have enough drugs.”According to Manguele, the shortages affect antiretroviral, tuberculosis and anti-malarial drugs, but the Health Ministry is currently working to acquire them. To this end, the Ministry’s Central Medical Stores has 500 million meticais (about 15 million US dollars) to spend on importing these drugs.“We are making an enormous effort to normalize this situation in the first quarter of 2011”, said the minister.Meanwhile, the Health Ministry is redistributing existing drugs, some of which are about to expire, to various parts of the country.


Renowned economist Jeffrey Sachs on Thursday in Maputo argued that the Mozambican government should renegotiate for a better sharing of the benefits from the country’s mega-projects.Lately there have been many critics arguing that the government should renegotiate the mega-projects’ contracts because they allow for excessive tax benefits. However, the government has not yet taken a clear public position in relation to this issue.In total the Mozambican authorities have approved nine investments considered to be mega-projects, which have mobilised about 9.82 billion US dollars. Among the projects are the Mozal aluminium smelter, the Sasol exploitation of natural gas in Inhambane, and the Kenmare heavy mineral sands project in Nampula.Speaking on Thursday during a lecture on the theme “Mozambique and the Global Economy”, Sachs stressed the need to renegotiate the mega-projects to benefit both investors and Mozambicans.“We need to change the rules of the game to ensure that there are mutual gains and this should be done based on the principles of transparency and honesty” said Sachs, who is an advisor to the United Nations Secretary General on the Millennium Development Goals.In his lecture, Professor Sachs gave the example of the case of a natural gas exploration company in Israel, where only a quarter of the income reverted to the State, with the great majority of the income going to the investor.“The Israelis ask why only 25 per cent of income is for our country when the resources are ours” he said, stressing the need to share fairly the gains.“Nothing is perfect in life, and it is necessary to renegotiate what was not well negotiated at the start” he argued, stating that “all the parties must understand the necessity of this … I am not against the mega-projects, but there is a need to have mutual benefits”.According to Sachs, the country needs these resources for the construction of schools, hospitals and other infrastructure for development.Sachs said that Mozambique has many things that the world needs, such as coal and the huge potential for agriculture and energy. But these resources cannot be offered to the world at zero cost.However, he stressed the need for the country to invest in construction and to improve the network of roads and railways as well as in sources of energy.For him, these infrastructures are necessary to guarantee the exploitation of the country’s existing resources. He said that the existence of these infrastructures will be an important factor for attracting foreign investment.
During the lecture, a Mozambican economist asked Sachs if the growing number of mega-projects posed a risk to the country of lowering the competitiveness of other products, a phenomenon known at the “Dutch Disease”.Sachs said that in his opinion there is no risk of overvaluing coal, for example, to the detriment of other products, particularly agriculture. He said that it is possible to triple coal production and also triple agricultural production, so that the country has the conditions to export the same quantity of both products.Indeed, it was agriculture on which Sachs centred his approach to the policies of economic development, particularly in the rural areas.He argued that the government should create the conditions for development in rural communities by guaranteeing access to fertilisers, subsidies for agriculture, infrastructures and a network of markets.With such a system, not only would there be success in agriculture, but also better food security, education, health, and other factors connected to community development.Sachs said that he believed that Mozambique would be successful in the coming decade taking into account the current state of the Mozambican economy, the strategic location of the country and its position in the context of the global economy.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Citizens desacatam coercive decisions

After the demonstrations of 1 and 2 September 2010, convened by means of SMS 's, the Government decided to send register forcibly the names of the owners of each SIM card, with the intention of controlling and be able to blame spammers messages, including call for demonstrations. But the Government's decision is simply challenged by the population. And this is not the first time that citizens are ignorant coercive decisions enacted by the "Executive".As a first measure, the Government established a period of approximately 45 days to register approximately 7 million customers of the two mobile networks operating in the country, but people don't obey deadlines, apart from that are immediately mobile telephony operators complained that it would be virtually impossible in such a short space of time record size volume users of SIM cards, some of them even hidden areas of the country. registration card that should have finished 15th November 2010, has been extended until January. Even with the extension, people are not simply to comply with the coercive measures enacted by the Executive When lacked one day to the end of the new deadline of the registration of SIM cards, i.e. the 06 January the Chairman of the Board of Directors (PCA) of Instituto Nacional das Comunicações de Moçambique (INCM), Isidro da Silva, told the press that only 1% of the total universe of mobile telephony customers had granted registration of your numbers of prepaid system.In approximately 4 months of records compulsory SIM cards, only 70 thousand have been recorded, in a universe which is estimated at 7 million users.
The time extension granted by the Government for the registration of SIM cards ended. The ministerial decree requiring the registration of SIM cards determines the automatic blocking of all numbers that are not registered to date established for the purpose of the records. But nothing is happening.People still talk with its unregistered numbers. Carriers continue to sell new SIM cards for new customers, without which they are recorded at the time of purchase, as happens elsewhere, where there is the practice of registration of SIM cards.So far, a number can be purchased and used at the time. The Government does nothing. The term ended already about a week ago. Nobody appears in public to say whether the registration period of SIM cards was extended, or then to declare such blocking of unregistered numbers.This is not the first time that the population ignore decisions of Government – Inspection cars. Other times, it happened with the mandatory inspection of vehicles, also introduced forced by the Government, specifically by the Ministry of transport and communications. The population did not simply to the locations of inspection and the Government was obliged to continuously extend the deadlines. Until one day decided to extend the mandatory inspection of vehicles for an indefinite period. Inspection terminals are on flies.Yesterday, the wording of Canalmoz came a statement INAV – Instituto Nacional de Viação, announce the extension of the exchange for the old driving licence (Pink) by the present Charter with biometric data.The term initially established for the purpose of the exchange of driving was 31 December 2010. Deadline expired and many motorists still continued to circulate with the ancient letter.INAV has extended the deadline until January 31st. And yesterday, the deadline has been extended to "the end of February 2011," says a press INAV that was sent to our newsroom.And don't espantaria to many if the INAV extend further time of validity of driving licences, to the "date to announce" just as if the INCM did the same thing with the registration of SIM cards.INAV, however, still not clarified if not biométicas – the cards pink – allow their holders to conduct abroad, particularly in other SADC countries.(Borges Nhamirre)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


The only coal mine currently operating in Mozambique’s western province of Tete, Minas de Moatize, in 2010 mined just 22,000 tonnes of coal - less than half the target set of 48,000 tonnes for the year.The Governor of Tete, Alberto Vaquina, told Radio Mozambique that this was still 20 per cent higher than the previous year.Whereas the gigantic coal projects planned for Tete by the Brazilian company Vale, and Riversdale Mining of Australia, involve open cast mining, and exporting millions of tonnes largely to markets in Asia, Minas de Moatize is a small underground mine, producing coal for the domestic and regional market.
Nonetheless, Minas de Moatize has the potential to generate an annual income of around 250 million US dollars.In May 2010, Minas de Moatize was acquired by the British company Beacon Hill Resources plc. Since the acquisition of the company, the new owner has concentrated its operations on refurbishing the existing underground mine. The aim is to process coal from this underground mine and from an eventual opencast pit to produce thermal coal for local African markets.As part of these plans, funds have also gone into developing the facility to wash the coal to produce export grade thermal and coking coal.Currently Minas Moatize is mining over 8,000 tonnes of coal a month, up from 2,000 tonnes a month prior to Beacon Hill taking control. Beacon Hill expects that developments will increase production by an additional 120,000 tonnes by the end of 2011. The company hopes that the open pit mine will begin production in the first quarter of 2012, and produce 2.36 million tonnes of saleable coal a year.Current estimates indicate the existence of a deposit of 33 million tonnes of coal in the Minas de Moatize concession.


The Mozambican police confirmed on Tuesday the death of 11 illegal immigrants who drowned when they entered the country through the district of Palma, in the northern province of Cabo Delgado. According to the spokesperson for the General Command of the, Pedro Cossa, the incident occurred on 2 January, when a vessel of unknown origin dropped a number of people in deep water. “From this group of people, 11 - eight Ethiopians and three Somalis – died of drowning. They must have been unloaded into deep water”, said Cossa, speaking at his regular weekly briefing with reporters. Twelve Ethiopians also from the same group survived, and have been detained by the police. The information they gave provided the basis for police investigations. “When a team from the police and the maritime administration went to that place they only found 11 graves”, said Cossa. The police did not exhume any of the bodies of the drowned immigrants. Possibly other immigrants were also dropped by the boat, and managed to evade both death and the police. If so, their current whereabouts are unknown.Cabo Delgado is the main point of entry for illegal immigrants from the Horn of Africa, who have usually crossed Kenya and Tanzania before reaching Mozambican soil. Often they hire boats to take them to the northern Mozambican coast – occasionally with fatal resultsIn June last year, a vessel carrying 82 illegal Somali immigrants sank off the coast of the Cabo Delgado district of Mocimboa da Praia, killing at least nine people and possibly many more - 40 passengers who were aboard were listed as missing. Last November, police in Nampula province detained 141 illegal immigrants, all of them Somalis, who were in two trucks at night, hiding under tarpaulins. In December 140 illegal immigrants were detained in the Zambezia province - including Somalis, Pakistanis, Ethiopians, Congolese and Bengalis.It is thought that many of these immigrants have no intention of staying in Mozambique, but are simply using the country as a corridor for entering South Africa.


Mozambique’s inflation rate, as measured by the Maputo City Consumer Price Index, was 3.48 per cent in the single month of December – making this the worst festive season inflation for the past three years.According to a statement issued on Tuesday by the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of Mozambique, this brought inflation for the year to 16.62 per cent. The average 12 monthly inflation rate was 12.7 per cent – which was the government’s revised target.The main factors in 2010 inflation were price rises in foodstuffs and non-alcoholic drinks. The Monetary Policy Committee blamed this on the deficit in domestic food production, forcing the country to rely on imports. But imports became much more expensive because of the depreciation of the Mozambican currency, the metical, and the strong appreciation of the South African rand.Since much of the food consumed in southern Mozambique is imported from South Africa, the rise of the rand sent food prices soaringOther factors were the rise in fuel prices in the first half of 2010, and speculation by shopkeepers in the run-up to the Xmas and New Year holidays. The Committee claimed that the government’s measures to attenuate the rising cost of living, taken after the 1-2 September riots in Maputo against price rises, “were important in cushioning the inflationary pressure, but were not sufficient to annul the inflationary surge and the pressure associated with the festive season”.The Committee noted that the average international prices for most of Mozambique’s main exports increased in November – very sharply in the case of cotton (up by 22.8 per cent) and sugar (7.3 per cent). But the price of Mozambique’s largest export, aluminium, fell by 0.8 per cent.The price of key imported goods also rose in November – a barrel of Brent crude rose by 3.3 per cent, while international rice and wheat prices were up by 1.9 and 1.5 per cent respectively.The Committee said that in December, the Mozambican banking system found itself with an excess of foreign currency. So for the first time ever, the Bank of Mozambique, via the Interbank Exchange Market, purchased more foreign currency from the commercial banks than it sold. The difference was 26.9 million US dollars.This, together with the disbursement of foreign aid, pushed the preliminary balance on the country’s net foreign reserves up to 1.877 billion dollars – 203 million dollars more than in November, and 35.7 million dollars more than in December 2009.December also saw a recovery in the exchange rate of the metical against the US dollar. At the end of November, according to the Committee, there were 35.37 meticais to the US dollar, but a month later only 32.83 meticais were needed to buy a dollar – a monthly appreciation of the metical by 7.18 per cent.The annual depreciation of the metical against the dollar was 19.34 per cent – better than had been feared, but a considerable deterioration when compared with the figure of just 9.65 per cent depreciation in 2009.The commercial banks are offering exchange rates that are very similar to the Central Bank’s rates – an average of 35.45 meticais to the dollar at the end of November, and 32.64 meticais to the dollar on the last day of the year.The Committee’s statement does not mention the metical/rand exchange rate, but that too has improved. A couple of months ago there were 5.3 meticais to the rand, but there are now less than 4.8, which should make a considerable difference for importers.The Committee noted that, despite the improvement in the exchange rate, “signs of inflationary pressure are still present in the Mozambican economy”, and it was therefore “opportune to strengthen anti-cyclical measures to hold back inflation in 2011”The Committee announced that the Central Bank’s key interest rate for its dealings with the commercial banks will rise from 15.5 to 16.5 per cent. This may well help strengthen the metical further – but at the price of higher interest rates for the customers of the commercial banks.The average annual interest rate charged on a bank loan is currently 21.26 per cent, while people holding deposit accounts can only expect annual interest of 11.7 per cent – although the Committee notes that competition is beginning to work in the financial market “with a considerable number of banks offering savings products with more attractive average interest rates”.The Committee also decided that the Central Bank will step up its intervention in the inter-bank markets in order to restrict the money supply.The key targets for 2011, it said, were to hold average annual inflation to eight per cent, and to hold net international reserves that will cover 4.5 months of imports of goods and services.


Mozambique’s main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, is boycotting the parliamentary ad-hoc commission that was set up in December to draft amendments to the constitution.There should be 21 members of this ad-hoc commission, appointed by the political parties in proportion to the number of seats they hold in the country’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic. The ruling Frelimo Party has already appointed its 16 members of the Commission, and the Mozambican Democratic Movement (MDM), has appointed one member. Renamo has the right to appoint four commission members – but the rapporteur of the Renamo parliamentary group, Saimone Macuiana, cited in Wednesday’s issue of the independent daily “O Pais”, said the party will simply take no part in the Commission’s work.“This amendment of the Constitution is to distract people”, Macuiana claimed, alleging that “many points in the defence of democracy are not being respected”.Asked whether Renamo might reconsider its position, Macuiana declared bluntly “Renamo won’t reconsider anything. We don’t agree”.Renamo is furious that Frelimo has not yet indicated which parts of the Constitution it wants to change. Frelimo is, however, on record as saying that it has no wish to change the constitutional limits on presidential terms of office. The Constitution states that nobody may occupy the Presidency for more than two consecutive terms. President Armando Guebuza is now in his second term, and has repeatedly declared that he has no wish for a third term. Frelimo has also said that it merely wishes to “consolidate” the existing constitution, and not completely rewrite it.The Renamo boycott will not prevent the ad-hoc commission from meeting and drawing up draft amendments. The sole result of the boycott is that the Commission will be somewhat cheaper, since there will be four fewer deputies drawing remuneration for their work on the Commission.The position taken by the Renamo parliamentary group appears to contradict that of the party’s leader, Afonso Dhlakama, currently living in self-imposed exile in the northern city of Nampula. In an interview published by the newsheet “CanalMoz” on Wednesday, Dhlakama said he would not allow “unilateral” changes to the constitution.But if Renamo refuses to take part in the Commission, then the only opposition to any proposal made by Frelimo will come from a solitary deputy of the MDM.Dhlakama claimed that “Frelimo wants to change the Constitution in order to copy Angola, so that the President of the Republic is elected by parliament. It doesn’t want the President to be elected by the population any more”.“That makes no sense”, he added. “The President is the symbol of the country and so the election should be direct and universal. Does Frelimo want to stuff ballot boxes so that it will later elect a drug trafficker in the Assembly and say he is President of the Republic. I will not allow it”.In fact, Frelimo has not so far suggested any change to the way in which the President is elected. And hidden from public view in his house in Nampula, emerging to give interviews every now and then, Dhlakama is certainly in no position to allow or disallow anything. “I promise to undertake work outside the Assembly to make Frelimo retreat”, said Dhlakama. “If they want to revise the constitution to show that they are democrats, then let’s hold a referendum. I shall defend my point of view, which is that the President should emerge from the will of the people”.The Constitution does list a number of fundamental principles that can only be changed by referendum. One of them is “the separation and interdependence of the sovereign bodies”. Clearly, election of the President by parliament would violate the separation between the executive and the legislature, and would indeed, whatever its merits or demerits, require a referendum.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


The governor of the northern Mozambican province of Niassa, David Malizane, has promised to take to court all contractors who start jobs for the provincial government but then abandon them.Interviewed by the Beira daily paper “Diario de Mocambique”, Malizane said “the money used in these building jobs belongs to the people. So we have to bring offenders to justice”.He said that the Provincial Directorate of Education and Culture has already sent eight cases, involving unfinished schools, to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, and more will follow.“We have to discipline those contractors who do not honour their undertakings with the state”, said Malizane. “Matters are even worse when they abandon the jobs, and hide somewhere, where it is impossible to contact them”.If the contractors were honest, he added, and found that the money budgeted for a particular job was not enough, they could negotiate with the government department involved to readjust the costs. But simply abandoning unfinished jobs “holds up the development of the province”, he said.“We need to verify step by step where the problems are”, Malizane said. “Were there problems in some cases inside the state bodies that hired the contractors? We have to take measures on all sides, because the abandonment of building work cannot continue”.“We shall take over work that is half finished”, he continued, “and then the contractors will have to explain why they interrupted the work”.The new provincial directors of planning and finance, Feliciano Dembele, and of public works, Graciano Artur, have been charged with looking into the matter and reporting their findings to the provincial government. Malizane wanted an exact picture of how serious the problem is, so that appropriate measures can be taken.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Only 10% of Mozambicans economically active pay taxes

Mozambican families continue to pay more taxes than companies. Of the total value of receipts from income Tax levied by Authority of Mozambique 2010, individuals contributed in 98%, while those companies had a contribution of only 2%. This means that the state charges more natural persons, who work to keep their families, and leaves the "freshness" companies.It should be noted that large companies in Mozambique belongs to individuals connected to political power, specifically the State leaders and members of the party in power: the party Frelimo.Speaking yesterday at a press conference about the balance of fiscal 2010, the President of the Tax Authority of Mozambique, Rosario Fernandes, acknowledged that the disparity in tax contribution of enterprises and persons "is very unbalanced and should be reversed." But he didn't say how. Just said that companies make more contribution to the State coffers, with regard to natural persons, "as in other countries". Regarding the fiscal balance of the year (2010) the Tax authority of Mozambique announced that this was the best year ever, in the collection of recipes from State. over 63.4 billion (63.419.326, 43MT) were collected by the Tax Authority, between 1 January and 31 December 2010. This second Fernandes, value outperforms planned by the Government and approved by the Assembly of the Republic, 10.4%. According to the prescribed in the State budget for 2010, the Government hoped to raise just over 57.4 billion meticais in this year.Compared with the collection of 2009, 2010 revenues mean an increase of 33.7%, i.e. an increase of more than 16 billion meticais.The levels achieved in 2010, either in percentage terms, either in absolute values of tax and customs revenues, are like the best of all time, since the proclamation of national independence in 1975. Rosario Fernandes highlighted the role of Tax Authority in tax. "From 2006, the year of entry into operation of the Tax Authority, all targets enforcement officer were successively sobrecumpridas" announced. Paradoxically seems to be the largest collection of history have been achieved in the year of tax exemptions. Was in 2010 the Government announced and implemented some measures of tax relief to many products, within the framework of measures to mitigate the cost of living, which led the population to leave the street to manifest itself in September 2010. these measures with negative impact on tax revenues of the State, announced by the Minister for planning and development, 07 September 2010.
• "Maintain ongoing tax measures for potato, tomato, onions and eggs, inter alia, the establishment of reference prices below the actual collection of customs duties and VAT;
• Lower the price of rice (3rd. Quality) at 7.5%, differing customs duties on the product;
• To temporarily suspend the import surcharge sugar ".
Previewing that these measures would adversely affect the tax revenue to the State coffers, Minister Aiuba Cuereneia cautioned that the tables were "transitional."Fiscal measures should be taken as transitional (until December 2010), taking into account their unsustainability in medium and long term, conditioned by the development of the international situation ", said Minister at the time they were announced.However, these measures did not affect the collection, and the year of crisis, the Government managed to more than 63.4 billion meticais, revenues.Asked about this apparent paradox, Rosario Fernandes said that "nothing extraordinary happened. The effort of officials and other partners of the Tax Authority is that there was grossing ".It is remarkable that this largest fundraising revenue have been achieved in the year that the Government has released the Fiscal education campaign to increase fundraising revenues.In another development, the Tax Authority's President said that there have been major advances in assigning NUIT ´ s (Single Tax Identification Number) in 2010. Until 31 December 2010, reached the bar 1. 221.883 NUIT ´ s allocated at national level. Until 31 December 2010, had been issued 994,569 NUIT ´ s. This means that in 2010 were issued 227,314 NUIT ´ s. Rosario Fernandes said this number represents 13.66% above the goal planned for 2010. Meanwhile, remains insignificant number of Mozambicans who pay tax. Only 10% of the over 10 million Mozambicans economically active is paying direct taxes.To integrate more taxpayers in the country's tax base, Rosario Fernandes said the Tax education campaign launched in April of last year, is one of the measures adopted.(Borges Nhamirre)

In Malawi children recruited for forced labor in the District of Tsangano

Tsangano district, located in the northern province of Tete, regarded as the largest producer of potato reno, beans and wheat, making the border with Malawi, notes entry massive children aged between 7 and 15 years. At least 70 children enter daily for fish production in machambas of potato, wheat and beans, from 6 am to 5 pm.Minors are ordered from Malawi by peasants Mozambicans that have large machambas. Recruitment happens without the permission of the authorities of both countries. It is specifically minors from Nguni and Neno, in neighbouring Malawi, entering our country illegally and escorted, as if slave if treat.For receipt of minors are sent two or three young to wait by petizes frontiers of Biribiri and Turn off to later being taken at machambas where you spend the day working without rest.Children are transported through a lorry until the border where they are delivered to Mozambicans.Second found our reportage on the ground, the petizes crossing the border of Malawi to Mozambique towards the District of Tsangano, at around 4 hours of dawn.These petizes come in Mozambique, using the route of Mwenjate, alternatively. Arriving to Mozambique, children work about 12 hours, without interruption.At the end of the day, they are paid malawiana currency monetary values, ranging from 100 to 150 kwachas. This equates to approximately 20 Mt.Often, much of the money the whole day is spent on buying cookies and banana, among others food products immediately.After poor meal, by the way the single of the day, according to our findings on the spot, they are taken to a place closed near a small market, in that location.There are instructed to wait for the car that has led back to Biribiri frontier, where they are expected by other Lords, by Malawian signal to evacuate them to their areas of residence.Most of these children are orphaned and not attends school. Characteristics of people living in extreme poverty, beyond the visible state of malnutrition.We tried to talk with minors. It was hard but we ended up getting. On-site was a young man who seems to have more than 25 years of age. This prevented the children speak to our story. Even so, we ended up getting. "Call me, I have Bwerere Jakson nine years old. Live in the area of Neno in Malawi. I am an orphan from father and mother, as well as many children here. I'm here in Mozambique to work on machambas potato, beans and sometimes from wheat. Led side Malawi with a few Honourable through a lorry until Biribiri zone, where we are unloaded. We were violating the borders to the area of Mwenjate already in Mozambique. In this place, we found two titios that lead a lorry and sometimes has been on foot until near the residential area of the seat of the District of Tsangano. There, we left and walked to the machambas."In machambas, we work without eating, without rest, from 6 p.m. until 5 p.m. Arrival this time, they give us money ranging from 100 to 150 kwachas. Older people receive more money, "said the smallest.Our conversation was interrupted when the young man, ' ', team leader is aware of the absence of small Bwerere."What are you doing there? Not hamlets are already starting hours? "said the young already furious, who were unable to determine the identity, but we know that it is Mozambican and resides in the Tsangano district headquarters."Confirm the daily entry of minors here in the district, but this is not trafficked children. Must be smaller than living in conditions of vulnerability in that country. Resort to our district for, through work in machambas, achieve sustenance, "Ana Berssone, administrator of the District of Tsangano."I often see the massive movement of minors, especially in the mornings and at the end of the day really are innocent children live in poverty. We as district, we strive to end illegal child labor input and within our district. I must say that these actions are not necessarily by disclosure of the law on the rights of the child and also we enter into talks with the authorities Malawians to jointly seek possible solutions of the problem, "he continued.On the other hand, Ana Berssone acknowledged that it will be difficult to interact with the Malawian Government, because, according to her, "relations between the two countries are bitter".Data in our possession indicate that children working in machambas of Lords Honorius and Dona Lucia, taken as large producers in that district.Have acquired, through production, many goods such as tractors, vehicles and even made houses improved. (George Mirione)


Was created in the largest Internet social network, Facebook, a movement of people who declare anti-frelimistas. The group is called "Anti-Frelimo" and says it doesn't support the standard of living faustosa, allegedly coming from corruption, carried out by members of Frelimo Government, faced with the misery of the people."We are a group of people that doesn't support the standard of living that the Mozambican people is subject. We cannot explain how a country with immense natural resources cannot create better conditions for the vast majority of its people. Mozambique has 35 years of misery. The quality of life is precarious, but the men who rule this country on the face of people wasting your wealth conquered through acts linked to corruption ". It is with this unusual group speech that presents itself, and is gaining sympathies on the Internet.The Group makes up invitation to all who feel that the standard of living of the overwhelming majority of Mozambicans could be different and better if they were not Frelimo's policies. "We're going to stand up and do a campaign for a better life, opposing the Party of ' batuque and corn cob»", is released the invitation on Facebook.The mural of irreverent party Anti-Frelimo, are published only information that was published by media, region about corruption and other abuse involving members of the Government.Questions also some facts that never had due follow-up or clarification. Such is the case of Telegrams published by Wikileaks portal accusing high figures of Frelimo party and State, including the head of State to collaborate with drug trafficking. Therefore, it is a group that clearly says "no to batuque and corn cob". Only publishes information of infamies of Frelimo.The Anti Group guy-Frelimo is a flag of the party Frelimo and a clearly visible red "X", overlap the batuque and corn cob.There, on the page, information about the date of creation of the group nor the managers of this Facebook page, but the page has every day that passes, more info of the stigmata of Frelimo's leaders and Government, as well as followers suitably identified.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Residents of Namarecua village, in the district of Montepuez in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, have beaten to death their community leader because they believed that he was spreading cholera.According to the daily paper “O Pais”, Fatima Constantino explained that her husband, Luis Pedro, had just returned from Pemba, the capital of Cabo Delgado, where he had attended a meeting with the provincial governor Eliseu Machava, when a crowd stormed her house. Constantino said that the crowd accused her husband of having brought from the meeting with the governor products that spread cholera. They tied up her husband and took him to the village where they beat him to death.A climate of fear and mistrust hangs over the village. The head of village, Arcanjo Salimo, claims to have narrowly escaped a lynching because he was away from home. “I decided to sleep in the fields. Now I am thinking about moving away because I can no longer live here” said Salimo.The provincial health director, Mussa Agy, said that the wave of disinformation about cholera and the deaths resulting from it are partly due to a lack of coordination between the village structures and the health sector in the region.The district commander of the Mozambican Police, Paulo Silva, has announced that 15 people have been arrested in connection with the murder.In December a number of people died from acute diarrhoea and vomiting in the districts of Montepuez and Ancuabe in Cabo Delgado. This has been blamed on individuals preventing patients from reaching the hospital.This is not the first case of murder resulting from disinformation about cholera, particularly in the north of Mozambique. Disinformation campaigns have led to violence, the murder or attempted murder of health staff and Red Cross activists, and the destruction of health posts and the equipment they contain


The Limpopo National Park (LNP), in the southern province of Gaza, has reported revenue of 5.8 million meticais (about 175,000 US dollars) from tourism in 2010.Last year 23,934 people visited the park, of which 3,056 stayed overnight. Others used the LNP gates to reach other destinations such as the coastal regions of Gaza and Inhambane provinces.A source from LNP told AIM that the park had been expecting much larger revenues during this period because of the World Cup hosted by neighbouring South Africa in 2010.To that end, the Mozambican government had established an inter-ministerial committee in 2009 made up from the Ministries of Finance, Tourism, Youth and Sport, Transport and Communications and the Interior. This had the task of promoting Mozambique’s image to attract tourists to visit the country during the 2010 World Cup.
Data on tourism in that park shows that there was an increase of 7.2 per cent compared with the same period in 2009, when LNP reported revenue of 5.4 million meticais (about 163,000 US dollars).“The increase is a result of the hard work in marketing, improving accommodation facilities and improving road conditions to access the park”, said LNP Administrator Baldeu Chande.According to Chande, LNP is currently upgrading accommodation facilities, which will include the provision of more entertainment, to persuade tourists to extend their stay in the park.“We are working on different fronts to construct more tourist resorts, to open new roads for safaris for four wheel drive cars, to create conditions for walks around the park to watch wildlife, and to provide opportunities for fishing and other activities”, said the administrator, adding that should these initiatives come to fruition the revenue generated by the park will soar.LNP is also working with partners to disburse the funds required to resettle 1,100 people who are currently forced to share the same area with dangerous wild animals.Once resettlement is completed the authorities will remove the fence with the adjoining Kruger National Park in South Africa to allow for the free movement of wild animals. It is hoped that this will increase the number of visitors.The Limpopo National Park forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park along with the South African Kruger National Park and the Zimbabwean Gonarezhou National Park.


Community leaders in the border regions of the district of Milange in the central province of Zambezia, are accused of selling farmland to Malawian nationals, stripping hundreds of Mozambicans of their fields. This has led to talk of social tensions and unpredictable consequences. According to Friday’s issue of the daily paper “Noticias”, the regions of Corromana, Molumbo, Majaua and Tengua are reported as the most affected, leaving hundreds of citizens without land to grow food for their families. The residents who denounced these illegal actions carried out by community leaders said that the problem is not new. However, they said that it has been reaching alarming proportions with more people losing their farmland.  Pedro Berson, one of the citizens who denounced the sale of land to Malawian farmers, said that after the harvest all food is taken to Malawi where it is sold. The residents have asked the governor of Zambezia to act immediately to prevent outbreaks of conflict between the people of both countries, who have close historical and cultural ties dating back many years. The residents said they are tired of watching peacefully, and threatened to take measures to solve the problem once and for all. However, they refused to explain what their next step is going to be. “We do not oppose Malawians growing food in our country, but we must ensure that priority is given to Mozambican nationals. In my country I do not have access to the best farmland, so what are my rights as a Mozambican?” asked Alberto Mario. He added that Mozambican nationals should never lose their own land just because of greedy traditional chiefs. The governor of Zambezia, Itae Meque, said that corrective measures will be taken to solve the problem. However, he warned that the issue should be addressed carefully because both peoples have close historical ties. “Maybe that Malawian farmer has a wife here in Milange, or his parents were born here in Milange. Therefore, we need a little more time to study the problem and take the right action” said the Governor, stressing that no citizen is allowed to sell land because it belongs to the Mozambican state. The district administrator of Milange, Alves Mathe, said that these frictions arise when there are conflicts over land use. According to Mathe, it is under these circumstances that the residents find out who is Mozambican or Malawian. He explained that the government is doing its best to ensure that every Mozambican national has access to land. Mathe argued that there is no reason for conflict over the use of land in Milange, since that district has plenty of land and rivers that allow for an increase in production for both peasant families and associations. The governor of Zambezia urged Milange authorities to work closely with community leaders to resolve the matter.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Thai customs officers seize 73 African elephant tusks

Thai customs officials confiscated 73 African elephant tusks in a shipment from Mozambique destined for Laos, officials said Thursday.The tusks were discovered Wednesday in a Thai Airways International warehouse at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport in two crates destined for Vientiane, Laos' capital, Customs Department Director General Prasong Poontaneh said."Trade in Africa elephant tusks is forbidden under CITES, so no matter what country they are found in, it's illegal to ship them," Prasong said, referring to an international agreement, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.He added that although the tusks were destined for Laos, he suspected the real buyer was a Thai customer who intended the shipment to go missing in Bangkok.//DPA

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Old employees of the Security of the State are rebelled with the regimen. In cause it is the lack of payment of wages, behind schedule referring to a period of six years and the creation of a program of social framing for about three a thousand employees of the Security of the State who had been afectos to the Military House, Regiment of Protecção, Against Military Intelligence and Services of Information and Security of the State. These are said abandoned “the God will give”. However, they are obliged to be presented every day, under superior orders, in vulgo “Quarter of the Coop”, in the city of Maputo. “We are to live a drama. We are obliged to every day walk the foot for that quarter, where we remain the entire day without nothing to eat”, Fernando Alberto said, one of the members of this group. These desmobilizados of the Security of the State, that during much time had worked in the protecção of high figures of the State, do not want to be confused with the desmobilizados ones of war. They demand a special treatment and they accuse the old head with moçambicano State, Joaquin Chissano, of everything to have done for them to destroy its youth. Speaking to our news article (CANALMOZ) in representation of the group, Fernando Alberto counted that the majority of these formerones, while still students, was enlisted in diverse points of the country, during the period of the civil war, with promises to be formed in the exterior and later to serve the interests of the nation. “Many of us we accept this conscription because we thought about increasing our académicos knowledge. But fond of the city of Maputo, we were sent for the regiment where we were trained. Our mission was to provide and to protect the high figures of the State”, said the representative of the group. Fernando Alberto still counts who, in this in case that, by return of 1986 and 1987, its group, after trained, were sent for the region of Maleice, province of Gaza, native land of the former-head of the State, Joaquin Chissano, with the mission to protect its familiar ones, including the population local, of the shares of the war. “President Chissano finished to be nominated. He was in Maleice where we were afectos and where we lose our youth”, he said the source that we are to cite adding that the military formed in the regiment of Magoanine, of that the three a thousand formerones of Security of the State are part, alone were sent for the Christmas zone of Joaquin Chissano, although, in the height, the country to be in war. “We lose our youth to defend the president and its familiar ones. It was a hard sacrifice during this time”, emphasizes our interlocutor. However, it continued saying that fond the moment of the signature of the General Agreement of Paz (AGP) the nut twisted the tail. “Instead of in stating louvor to them for given work e, as desmobilizados conditions to be created to return to our lands of origins, for an effective social reinserção, were lodged in barracks”, count the source. It adds that, without nothing to have complained, they had been surprised in a night of these, with the presence of a strong armed battalion who started to go off. “Many of our friends, apanhados in against foot, had been died in this night and embedded in any way back in the regiment. We who we survive immediately were directed for the Operational Brigade, vulgo BO”, and of that place in return to our regions of proveniência, this for return 1996. Until never he had an explanation of the reasons of such slaughter here. E we do not know what we would have committed”, we said Fernando Alberto. Adding, he affirmed despite volvidos some years, this in year 2004, after the taking of ownership of current president, Seting Guebuza, the group of these desmobilizados was of new requested for the State, to come back to exert the previous functions. “This happens in a height where we had obtained, through our ways, the social reinserção. For example, I age a driver in a security company. Some colleagues who already had obtained job, had had that to leave or same to lose its ranks of work, in the perspective to be reintegrated of new in the Security of the State, what she is not to happen, being this the seventh year”, said our source. The source after said that to have been called in return to the quarter, already they pass six years that the group is not to be reintegrated. “Every day we present ourselves in the quarter, but without functions. We do not have transport money, for what we have that to go the foot. We remain in the quarter all the day without nothing to eat”. “This subject is of the knowledge of the cabinet of the President of the Republic, Seting Guebuza; of the cabinet of the First Lady and also of the minister of the Old Combatants”. To support its affirmations, it presented us a letter sent to the cabinet of the head of State, Seting Guebuza, whose copy is in our power, with the number of entrance 2324, 14 of May of 2009, where the former-employees of the Security of the State reveal its insatisfação with the delay “for the concretion of the objectivos that had taken the Government to the reintegration of the former-employees of the Security of the State (House military man, Regiment of Protecção, CIM and SISE”. In the letter that we are to cite, the cited employees disclose to the head of State to be to live “at this moment a climate of fidget, doubts and questions without it has clarifies who them” and still ask for to the head of State a hearing for clarification of the “initiative of the such “rechamamento”; its objectivo; or if still it has, of fact, will of the part of the government to request the ones that had long ago served faithful to the State and that they had been abandoned without if looking in its rights”. “Had to the excessively long time where the former-employees are acantonados, it has dramatical social consequências, destruction of homes, takings leave of in the workstations due to the fact of the aimed at ones to be dislocated every day for the quarter, in the expectation of one day to see the problem decided and are many the ones that make this sacrifice the foot”, it is read in the letter in our power, also signed for Moisés Marcelino; Gabriel Luciano Ferreira and Joaquin Zefanias Gulube.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


In a bizarre twist of events, the crew of a vessel from Madagascar who say they were hijacked by Somali pirates, are being held in the central Mozambican city of Beira as if they were criminals rather than victims. This fishing boat, with an Italian captain, and a crew of nine Madagascans and a citizen from the Seychelles, was seized on 27 December, but then abandoned by the pirates apparently because the boat ran out of fuel. The boat hoisted sails, and the winds were such that it had to make for the Mozambican rather than the Madagascan coast. They arrived in Beira on Sunday – but since then have been treated as if they were pirate accomplices.The Italian captain, Philip Marzocchi, and his assistant, have been allowed to stay in a Beira hotel, but the rest of the crew have not been permitted to leave the boat.Interviewed in Wednesday’s issue of the independent daily “O Pais”, Marzocchi protested at their virtual imprisonment. “We came here seeking help”, he said. “I’ve already said and I say it again that we were hijacked by pirates who let us go because couldn’t go as fast as they wanted. Now, surprisingly, we are accused of being partners of the pirates and our movements are watched”.Marzocchi said he had made contacts with relatives in Madagascar, who sent him money by bank transfer so that he could buy food and fuel – but he has been unable to take the money out of the bank, “because the Mozambican authorities won’t allow it”.“I greatly lament what is happening”, he said. “What we want is to go home and resume our normal lives. But our colleagues are staying on the boat, without any food. Only I and my assistant have been put in a hotel. Wherever we go, we are accompanied by a policeman”.“We don’t understand this suspicion”, said Marzocchi. “If anybody doubts us, then please use diplomatic means if necessary to remove the doubts, instead of accusing us of being some kind of reconnaissance satellite for the pirates. We have nothing to do with them”.Marzocchi said he had seen another boat seized by the pirates, which seemed to be the “Vega 5”, the fishing vessel belonging to the company Pescamar, which was hijacked on 31 December.He could not be categorical as to whether the boat he had seen was indeed the “Vega 5”, since he had been too far away to read the name – but it looked identical to the photos he had been shown of the “Vega 5”.


 Mozambique’s greatest painter, the internationally famed Malangatana Valente Ngwenya, died in Portugal on Wednesday morning, from what were described as “respiratory complications”.Malangatana had been in Portugal for the past two months dealing with legal issues arising from attempts to counterfeit his work. A woman suspected of forging 20 paintings, nine attributed to Malangatana, was arrested in October.The 74 year old Malangatana had been staying at his daughter’s house during the festive season. When he fell ill, he was taken to the Pedro Hispano hospital in the northern Portuguese town of Matosinhos, where he died at about 05.30 on Wednesday.Malangatana was born on 6 June 1936 in the village of Matalane, in Marracuene district, about 30 kilometres north of Maputo. He attended mission schools, while also helping his mother on the family farm. His father was frequently absent, since he was a migrant worker on the South African gold mines.When his mother fell ill, he went to live with an uncle, and only managed to study up to third grade. As an adolescent, he earned some money as a ball boy in a tennis club, and trained as a traditional healer (following in the footsteps of an aunt).But the arts soon became his dominant passion – he sold his first paintings 50 years ago, but he also tried his hand at sculpture, ceramics, tapestries, poetry, music and acting. His entry into the world of art was through the unlikely avenue of the tennis club. The biologist Augusto Cabral (who later became director of Mozambique’s Natural History Museum) was a member of the club, and one day Malangatana asked Cabral if by any chance he had an old pair of sandals he could give him.According to Cabral, interviewed in 1999, he took Malangatana to his house – but he came away with more than a pair of sandals. For Cabral was an amateur painter, and Malangatana watched him working on a painting.“Teach me to paint”, Malangatana asked. So Cabral gave him some paints, brushes and canvas. “What shall I paint?”, Malangatana asked. “Whatever is in your head”, replied Cabral – advice that Malangatana then followed for the next half century.His first solo painting exhibition was held in 1960, and in 1963 some of his poems were published in the magazine “Black Orpheus”, and included in an anthology of “Modern Poetry from Africa”.But the following year he was arrested. For Malangatana was also a clandestine militant of the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO), and came to the attention of the Portuguese secret police, the PIDE. Other well-known figures from the world of arts and letters, such as the writer Luis Bernardo Honwana, and the poet Jose Craveirinha, were arrested at the same time. Indeed, for a period Malangatana shared a prison cell with Craveirinha. He spent 18 months in jail.In 1971, the Gulbenkian Foundation gave him a grant, and he studied engraving and ceramics in Portugal.After the collapse of the Portuguese colonial-fascist regime in April 1974, Malangatana could rejoin Frelimo openly, and he soon became one of the cultural icons of independent Mozambique. He was able to work full time as an artist as from 1981.His work has been shown across the world, from Cuba to Germany, from India to the United States. Murals by Malangatana can be found not only in Maputo and Beira, but also in South Africa, Swaziland and even Sweden.He received honours and awards from many countries and institutions, including the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) which designated him an “Artist for Peace” in 1997.During the award ceremony, the then UNESCO Director-General, Frederico Mayor, described Malangatana as 'much more than a creator, much more than an artist - someone who demonstrates that there is a universal language, the language of art, which allows us to communicate a message of peace, of refusal of war.'.Describing his own thoughts about art in an essay published several years ago, Malangatana wrote “Art for me is a collective expression that comes from the uses and customs of the people and leads to their social, mental, cultural and political evolution. Art is a musical instrument full of messages. These are messages that the artist selects to put together in front of humanity”.