Tuesday, September 20, 2011


For Mozambique to become more competitive, it is fundamental that the country should invest in improving the efficiency of its agricultural production, according to the National Director of Agricultural Extension, Momed Vala.Vala noted that, on average, South African farmers produce six to seven tonnes of hybrid maize per hectare, but the figure does not exceed four tonnes per hectare in Mozambique.“All the South African production is on the basis of hybrid varieties”, he added. “In Mozambique, when hybrids are used, production is four tonnes a hectare – but with the normal varieties we only produce 1.8 tonnes per hectare”.The know-how already exists, Vala stressed, and “what we must do now is to increase step by step our efficiency in production. Only then can we be more competitive”.“Nowadays any South African production uses irrigation”, he continued, “but unfortunately in Mozambique 97 to 98 per cent of agricultural producers are dependent on the rains and only a tiny number benefit from irrigation Nonetheless, there are signs of growth – thus last year “we built, or rehabilitated, 1,728 hectares of irrigation schemes”. But irrigation in Mozambique remains very expensive. Rehabilitating just one hectare of an irrigation scheme costs between 3,000 and 7,000 US dollars. Vala said that in the Tewe irrigation project, in the central province of Zambezia, rehabilitating one hectare costs 5,000 collars. This compares with 600 to 700 dollars a hectare in Vietnam or India.Turning to other crops, Vala said that in South Africa the production of hybrid varieties of tomatoes is 35-40 tonnes a hectare, while the figure in Mozambique is 30-35 tonnes. The commercial dynamic in South African agriculture drove farmers to look continually for better seeds, fertilizers and other inputs.Vala believed that something of the sort was beginning to happen in Mozambique, particularly in Chokwe, in the Limpopo Valley, where rice producers say they know where they can obtain relatively cheap fertilizer. “I told them to go ahead”, said Vala, “because we are preparing a rice campaign that we want to be one of the strongest ever. We must change the paradigm for this crop”. He added that recent investment in agricultural research has led to the release of 64 improved varieties of various crops, including rice, maize, potato and sweet potato.“What is important is that we should all be determined to increase efficiency”, Vala insisted. “Obviously the government too has to increase its efficiency, including in matters of taxation, and in ensuring that seeds are available”.As for the 2011-2012 agricultural campaign that will begin in October, Vala said he expected a growth in production is 9.1 per cent, particularly in food crops. Growth in the 2010-2011 campaign was 6.7 per cent, which Vala attributed to genuine growth in productivity, and not merely to an increase in the area under cultivation.The final figure for the 2011 maize harvest is expected to reach 2.246 million tonnes, well in excess of Mozambique’s own consumption requirements, put at 1.917 million tonnes.
Growth in rice production has been sharp, and the harvest is put at 522,000 tonnes. This is still short of the country’s rice consumption which stands at over 580,000 tonnes.


The administrator of the central Mozambican district of Sussundenga, Mariazinha Niquice, last week ordered the arrest of the owner of the building company Mozambique Construction because he had attempted to bribe her, reports Tuesday’s issue of the independent daily “O Pais”.The contractor, Guideon Carlos Ernesto, was in dispute with the district government over delays in building a residence for the head of the Dombe administrative post. This job was awarded to Mozambique Construction in 2009, with a budget of 505,000 meticais (about 18,700 US dollars).The work should have taken three months, but two years have passed and it is not yet complete.Ernesto claimed the budget was insufficient and demanded more money. The first request, for an additional 250,000 meticais, was granted in 2009, but in 2010 Ernesto said he would need an extra 900,000 meticais to finish the job. The budget had thus more than tripled.Niquice was suspicious that Ernesto had no intention of using the money on the Dombe residence, and demanded a report from the district administration’s own building staff.To avoid such an inconvenient report, Ernesto offered Niquice a cheque in her name for 100,000 meticais.Angered at the attempt to bribe her, Niquice called the police to her office, where Ernesto was arrested. The cheque was filmed by a crew from the independent television station, STV.“He said he wanted to thank me”, Niquice told reporters, “and when I asked him what he was thanking me for, he said it was to facilitate the disbursement of the third amount he had requested from the district administration”.


Mozambican Prime Minister Aires Ali on Monday laid the first stone in a project to build 5,000 houses in the neighbourhood of Intaka, in the southern city of Matola.Construction is in the hands of the Chinese company, Henan Gouji Industry and Development, under an agreement signed on 14 August during President Armando Guebuza’s visit to China.The project, budgeted at 12 billion meticais (about 444 million US dollars), involves building not only the houses, but also schools, a health unit, creches, a shopping centre, a police station, access roads as well as the water supply and electricity networks. The site covers an area of 300 hectares.Construction is expected to take 18 months, and should create around 10,000 direct and indirect jobs. The Mozambican body in charge of project implementation is the government’s Housing Promotion Fund (FFH).The agreement signed with China envisages the construction of 10,000 houses. Ali said that the other 5,000 will be built in the other provincial capitals.He said that the scale of the project meant that it was a key stage in implementing the government’s five year programme for 2010-2014, in the light of which a Housing Policy and Strategy were recently approved.Ali added that the project will have a multiplier effect on the economy, through job creation and the establishment of various social services. “The project is further evident proof of our cooperation with China”, he declared. “The government will continue to encourage this kind of partnership”.The mayor of Matola, Arao Nhancale, guaranteed that no household will be forced to leave the area because of the project. “Today is a very special day”, he said. “The dream of Matola residents will become a reality. This ceremony symbolises the start of implementing an integrated project, since it will allow the establishment of social facilities. We must all embrace this project”. The chairperson of the FFH board, Rui Costa, said that most of the houses will be just one storey tall, though there will be some of two, or even three, storeys. The Minister of Public Works, Cadmiel Muthemba, recognised that one of the problems in financing housing is the difficulty in obtaining bank loans, and the high rates of interest charged by the commercial banks. The promoters of this initiative intend to mobilise additional funding which will be put at the disposal of a Mozambican bank (yet to be identified) in partnership with the National Development Bank of China, precisely so that they can offer mortgages, but at interest rates of no more than 10 per cent.The deputy governor of the Chinese province of Henan, Shi Jichun, who is visiting Mozambique at the head of a business delegation, stressed that implementing the housing project “is a landmark in our cooperation”.An estimated 25,000 people could live in the Intaka houses. Priorities in allocated the houses will go to members of the public administration, particularly young people who have recently concluded their training.


Mozambican President Armando Guebuza is expected in New York on Tuesday morning, where he is due to take part in the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly.The most explosive issue likely to be discussed is a request from Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, for UN recognition of Palestine as a state. Absurd claims are made that recognition of Palestinian statehood would somehow jeopardize future negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, although, for reasons unexplained, recognition of Israeli statehood carries no such risks.Although the US government is, in theory, in favour of a Palestinian state, it is almost certain that the US will use its veto on the Security Council to prevent Palestine from becoming a fully fledged member of the UN.There are 160 points on the General Assembly agenda, and the central theme for the general debate scheduled for 21-30 September is “Mediation in Conflict Resolution through Peaceful Means”. Other matters to be discussed include the perennial issue of reforming the Security Council, nuclear power, and progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals Four high-level meetings are scheduled to discuss prevention and control of non-communicable disease, desertification, land degradation and drought, nuclear security, and the fight against racism and xenophobia.Guebuza was absent from the last two sessions of the General Assembly – in 2009 because of the campaign for the general elections of that year, which saw him win a second term by an overwhelming majority, and in 2010 because of a government decision to cut back on foreign travel in order to reduce government expenditure.


More than 16,000 Mozambican companies are stealing from their workforce by failing to send contributions to the National Social Security Institute (INSS).According to the chairperson of the INSS board, Incencio Matavel, by June of this year these companies had accumulated a debt to the INSS of 431.7 million meticais (about 16 million US dollars).35,782 companies are registered in the social security system. Matavel’s figures indicate that almost half of these companies are failing to pay their social security obligations – even though in many cases the contributions have been deducted from the workers’ wages. Cited by the independent daily “O Pais”, Matavel said the INSS is trying to persuade the companies to pay their debts, but this has been an uphill struggle. As a last resort, the debts are handed over to the courts to collect them, but the companies know full well that this is a slow procedure.But Matavel insisted that the INSS is in good financial health, thanks to the investments it has made in treasury bonds, real estate and shares

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


 The opposition Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) on Tuesday announced its candidates for the municipal by-elections in the cities of Quelimane, Pemba and Cuamba, scheduled for 7 December.As predicted by the independent daily “O Pais”, the candidate for mayor of Cuamba is Maria Moreno, who was head of the parliamentary group of the main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, between 2005 and 2009. When Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama expelled the mayor of Beira, Daviz Simango from Renamo, and Simango set up the MDM, Moreno was one of a significant group of Renamo deputies who defected to the new party.In the October 2009 general elections, Moreno headed the MDM list of parliamentary candidates in Niassa candidates. But the MDM did not obtain enough votes in Niassa for her to achieve a seat.The MDM candidate for mayor of Quelimane, capital of the central province of Zambezia, is Manuel de Araujo. He is an academic, and one of the intellectuals whom Renamo recruited to its ranks for the 2004 parliamentary elections.Elected as a Renamo deputy from Zambezia, Araujo soon became disillusioned with the way Renamo was run, and he too transferred his allegiance to the MDM.For mayor of Pemba, the MDM candidate is the hitherto unknown Assamo Tique.Since Dhakama has announced that Renamo is boycotting the by-elections, the MDM candidates are likely to be the most serious opposition force faced by the ruling Frelimo Party, which holds a comfortable majority in the municipal assemblies in the three cities.The by-elections were precipitated when the mayors of Quelimane, Pemba and Cuamba, respectively Pio Matos, Sidique Yacub and Arnaldo Maloa, all resigned. They had been elected on the Frelimo ticket in 2008, and it was reported that Frelimo, dissatisfied with their performance, requested their resignations (though the three men themselves cite “personal reasons”). It is not yet known whether any of Mozambique’s multitude of extra-parliamentary parties will stand candidates in the by-elections.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


 The leader of Renamo, Afonso Dhlakama, said at his residence in the city of Nampula, the climate of peace and security is not the best of times, so any investment at this point may be a waste. "I warn the foreign investors and that Mozambique is not safe so it is best to leave the country very early not to run out and lose a lot. They may come back after December with the transitional government, "said Renamo leader who has directed a bloody civil war for nearly 16 years.The Renamo president says he has no moral policy to encourage investors to stay in Mozambique, for the moment that follows is not the best. "I was always encouraged to invest in Mozambique, but not worth fooling people that Mozambique is well," said Dhlakama. "All this is to empower the people. We're still young and have the strength to fight for democracy, "the leader of Renamo.Ele added that" Frelimo should be prepared to leave power, "" for better or for worse "because" we are tired of slavery that the people of Mozambique is going on, humiliation and insults. "Dhlakama whom Frelimo has called" crazy "means that the shift from the current political order in the country is nothing more for elections, but rather by doing collapse the "empire" of Frelimo. "If we have elections again to claim the theft of votes and fraudulent elections in vain." "We ended up legitimizing the thieves and criminals of Frelimo," he said.In another development, Dhlakama said that "a transitional government (TG) is the only alternative to get out of the situation in Mozambique is". "The country is partisan. Even the natural resources "." Mozambique, with the transitional government, may hold the first democratic elections free, fair and transparent, "said Dhlakama. "Other than that is unacceptable." Dhlakama says that this process of change in the country can still be peaceful, but "everything depends on the Frelimo." "If they [FRELIMO] want it to be peaceful we will react peacefully, if not do not want remain some other option, "noting that" with Frelimo in power nothing can change. "The Mozambican people are unable to able to counter the" vagaries of Frelimo ", so" as in the past and at present directed to the revolution oust Frelimo, Mozambique because no other can do that. " "You can kill me." "Looking for Mozambique, nobody else can do this because of the way Frelimo is unable to meet a Mozambican," concludes Dhlakama.O charismatic leader of the "Partridge", as demonstrated by the multitude of baths his tour in the provinces of the North that climbed Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambezia and Niassa, has already announced his plans to his followers to overthrow the Frelimo. However claimed that "people do not dare" to overthrow the Frelimo, "because they fear reprisals and are afraid of being killed, because everything is Frelimo in Mozambique." "I recognize that many intellectuals become slaves of Frelimo. That's how the system is therefore accepted to sacrifice myself for the people to own the country and have a government of the people, coming from Mozambique, "Dhlakama secured.


The company Cimentos de Mocambique (CM – Cements of Mozambique) on Thursday inaugurated a new grinding mill at its factory in the southern city of Matola, which should almost double its production.With the new equipment, production at the Matola factory should rise from the current 700,000 tonnes to 1.3 million tonnes a year.The new mill is an investment of 18 million euros (about 25 million US dollars), and is part of the company’s expansion and modernization plans. These plans also include operational rehabilitation of the clinker line, switching the main fuel used from coal to natural gas, installing new filters, modernizing the electrical circuits, and replacing the bagging equipment.Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Francisco de Lacerda, chairman of the Portuguese giant Cimpor, which is the main shareholder in CM, declared that Mozambique is of enormous strategic importance for Cimpor.“Mozambique is a speedily developing market, in which we have a very strong presence”, said Lacerda. “We are totally committed to the development of Mozambique”.After the international decline in demand for cement in 209, there had been a clear recovery in Mozambique, he said “where we recorded a 12.7 per cent growth in our sales of cement in 2010”.He claimed that CM now has a market share of over 80 per cent in Mozambique. In addition to the Matola plant, CM also operates factories in the central town of Dondo, and the northern port of Nacala.Lacerda said that a new mill will shortly be installed in the Dondo factory, and studies are under way for a new furnace in Dondo. These investments will allow the Dondo factory to triple its production by 2013, and by 2018 it should be able to supply all the cement requirements of central Mozambique.


The period for the registration of candidates in the three municipal by-elections scheduled for 7 December began on Friday, according to the timetable published by Mozambique’s National Elections Commission (CNE).The by-elections were precipitated by the resignations of the mayors of the cities of Quelimane, Pemba and Cuamba, respectively Pio Matos, Sadique Yacub and Arnaldo Maloa.Under the CNE’s timetable candidates must register by 8 October. Any registered political party, coalition of parties, or independent citizen’s group, may present candidates. Each candidate must live in the municipal area, and must have the supporting signatures of at least one per cent of the registered electorate.Verification of the eligibility of the candidates will last until 28 October. That is the last date for correcting any irregularities in the candidate’s nomination papers. In previous elections, the most common irregularities have been the failure to produce on time a valid certificate of no criminal record, and proof that the candidate lives in the municipality.Lots will be drawn for position on the ballot papers in each of the three municipalities on 28 and 29 October.The official election campaign is scheduled to begin on 22 November and end on 4 December. No campaigning is permitted in the last 48 hours before polling day, a period in which the voters are supposed to ponder the messages from the candidates and make their minds up. The electoral registers will be updated between 13 October and 1 November. In this period citizens who have attained the voting age of 18 since the last elections, or those who, for any reason, failed to register in the past will be able to ensure that their names are on the voters’ roll.The country’s main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, has announced that it will boycott the by-elections and has even threatened that it will disrupt them. The main candidates will thus come from the ruling Frelimo Party and from the third party represented in , the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM). It is thought likely that the MDM will run one of its best known figures, Luis Boavida, for mayor of Quelimane. Boavida was a prominent member of the Renamo parliamentary group between 1994 and 2009, but defected to the MDM in 2010.


Last week, the 'Wikileaks' released a large number of diplomatic cables from several U.S. embassies. Contained dozens of telegrams relating to the political, economic, military and security of our country. In a telegram "Confidential", issued to the State Department in Washington on May 28, 2009, the then U.S. Charge d'Affaires in Maputo, Todd Chapman, quotes Leonardo Simao, who was foreign minister under President Joaquim Chissano, be to say his "conviction that President Guebuza is directly involved in corrupt activities and runs the party like the mafia." Simao expressed his opinion during a private conversation with one American diplomat. According to this telegram, the American Charge d'Affaires said he was told by Simon that this "Chissano and stood at the head of a group of investors who wanted to establish a private airline to compete with state carrier." The telegram adds, Simon said "that one of the sons of Guebuza appeared in his office to express concern and wanted to be involved. Simon lamented by all corners of the city, the Charge d'Affaires of the points have heard the Minister in the Presidency, Antonio Sumbana, that Simon and his collaborators carried out a campaign of defamation against the President. " In the telegram, sent a copy to the CIA and its military counterpart (DIA), Todd Chapman said that although some people believe that the "concentration of benefits" in the hands of the circle of friends Guebuza is likely to cause divisions in the party, "Simon argues that Frelimo will remain united because even those who are concerned about the slow pace of reforms, the party must recognize that the privileges and jobs that have the level of government, "emphasizing that" there is no other way to obtain employment or advance in economic terms. "The diplomatic telegram that we have been making reference also mentions a meeting between Chapman and the bench by former Member of the Frelimo Party and businessman, Ahmad Kamal, in which he spoke of the "urgent need for reform" within the Frelimo Party.Kamal said the American diplomat that "senior Frelimo leaders - including ministers in the discharge of functions - have strong ties with drug traffickers and individuals involved in money laundering."According to Kamal and mentioned the telegram Chapman, "the Government of Mozambique handled the import statistics in support of the operations of money laundering, and the Director of Customs described as the 'King Corruption'."The Director of Customs of Mozambique is Tivane Sundays. The wife came to form a company with a family of Mohamed Bachir Sulemane, the MBS group. This was confirmed by the DG of the MBS, son of tycoon Mozambique, in his letter to the Mozambique Channel. In it he noted that company, 'Mozambique Constructions Ltd', was terminated days after being formed.Todd Chapman said it was "interesting" the fact that Kamal had "described the form of corruption Guebuza as being" more benign ", of the kind, in fact, did not harm the poor."
Kamal said the Charge d'Affaires to the U.S. "The President and his cronies did not take possession of state funds received or gloves. Instead, economic agents Guebuza ensure that the President may have a minority share in some of the most important companies in Mozambique, including Vodacom. "
Chapman adds: "The family Guebuza is widely regarded as a major shareholderof Insitec, a Mozambican company with vast interests in Mozambique and Southern Africa".The PCA is Celso Correia Insitec which among other functions is also PCA of BCI.
About the alleged five passports that the U.S. administration said the Mozambican citizen "Momad Bachir Sulemane" has a different name, different spelling or rather, a source of Attorney General's Office told Canalmoz / Mozambique Channel that there is still a process research to run separately, which includes research in the National Migration Directorate, the entity issuing the passports."There is a separate process that was the first to be implemented and is currently underway, which is why the issue was not mentioned in this release. Right now I can not at which stage it is, but the process exists, "said the source of the Attorney Mozambique Channel in Tuesday, September 6, 2011.The source said to us that there are already identified and Migration officials related to the subject, which strongly suggests that something happened involving tycoon Mozambican Americans remain classified as "drug lord" and now says RMP Mozambique have found nothing in Mozambique to substantiate this.
In last Tuesday by telephone, heard Ahmad Kamal, who is living in Tete. Will inform you of what is contained in a telegram Wikileakks revealed by Todd Chapman and asked him to comment:"I do not remember saying that to Todd Chapman. However, my opinion is that there is lack of political will to combat drug trafficking "

Monday, September 5, 2011


The 10th All-Africa Games, officially inaugurated on Saturday night at Mozambique’s national stadium, in the Maputo suburb of Zimpeto, should symbolise unity among Africans and promote the culture of peace on the continent, declared President Armando Guebuza.Addressing the opening ceremony, Guebuza urged all the sportsmen and women participating to strive to improve their performance, but always in an atmosphere of friendship and festivity.The President of the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa (SCSA), Jacques Yvon Ndolou, praised the commitment of all those involved in preparing the games. Ndolou also announced that the SCSA has granted Guebuza its highest honour, the Medal of Merit, for his personal involvement in organizing the games. Giving Guebuza the medal, before a crowd of thousands attending the ceremony, Ndolou praised Guebuza for his leadership, and Mozambique for its determination in stepping forward to organise the games after the original host, Zambia, had announced, in 2009, that it was unable to do so.The Zambian authorities had argued that the impact of the international financial crisis, particularly the fall in the world market price of the country’s main export, copper, made it impossible to bear the burden of organizing the games.Mozambique volunteered to take on responsibility for the games, despite the tight calendar. There were skeptical voices in the Mozambican press, doubting that the government would be able to keep its promises and deliver adequate facilities for the games. Nonetheless, the Games Village for the athletes, consisting of 840 apartments, was concluded on time, and so was the construction or rehabilitation of all the necessary sports facilities.Immediately prior to Guebuza’s formal declaration of the opening of the games, Mozambican basketball player, Flavia Azinheira, read out a statement from the athletes, pledging that they will observe the spirit of fair play, and the rules of the various sports.36 countries are taking part in the games, and their teams filed past Guebuza and the other dignitaries. Of particular interest was the Libyan team, which marched behind the flag of the National Transitional Council (NTC), rather than the all-green banner of the fallen dictatorship of Muammar Gaddaffi.Mozambique has not yet recognised the NTC, but the Libyan embassy in Maputo now flies the flag of the insurrection.At the same time, the flag of the Libyan rebels was flying over another major sporting event at the other end of the continent. In Cairo, the Libyan national football team won its qualifying match for the African Cup of Nations against Mozambique by one-nil. The opening ceremony concluded in a blaze of colour and music, as young Mozambicans performed dances illustrating episodes in the country’s history leading to its independence in 1975. At the end, the skies above Maputo were lit up in a ten minute firework display.Although the formal inauguration was on Saturday, in fact the competition in some of the sports, notably basketball and volleyball, had already started by then.


Mozambique’s women’s basketball team, widely regarded as the country’s best hope for a gold medal in the 10th All-Africa games, coasted to victory against the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday.The Mozambican team was always in the lead, albeit only by three points at the end of the first quarter. But the lead had risen to 29 points to 23 at half time, and to 49 points to 33 in the third period of the match. The final score was a Mozambican victory by 67 points to 53 – a winning margin of 14.This was the second Mozambican victory. In its first match, on Friday, the team beat Zimbabwe by 73 to 37. Mozambique must now face Nigeria.In the first day of the football competition, the Mozambican men’s and women’s teams both suffered defeat.In the men’s event, South Africa beat Mozambique by three goals to one. At the end of the first half, the score was 1-1, but in the second half the South Africans scored a further two goals. The Mozambican women’s football team lost to Cameroon by 1-0.The weekend basketball, volleyball and football results are as follows:
Women’s basketball


Group A

Mozambique-DR Congo (67-53)
Kenya-Algeria (61-36)
Nigeria-Zimbabwe (75-45)

Group B

Angola-Mali (45-38)
Rwanda-Ivory Coast (60-56)
Senegal-Cameroon (58-54)

Women’s Volleyball


Group A

Kenya-Mozambique (3-0)
Nigeria-Seychelles (3-0)

Group B

Senegal-Botswana (3-1)
Algeria-Cameroon (3-1)


Group A

Mozambique-Seychelles (3-2)

Group B

Cameroon-Botswana (3-1)
Algeria-Senegal (3-0)

Men’s Volleyball


Group A

Cameroon-Mozambique (3-0)
Rwanda-Seychelles (3-1)

Group B

Algeria-Kenya (3-1)
Nigeria-South Africa (3-0)

Men’s Football


Group A

South Africa-Mozambique (3-1)

Women’s Football


Cameroon-Mozambique (1-0)


Afonso Dhlakama, leader of Mozambique’s main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, has threatened that Renamo will set up barracks throughout the country to regroup its former guerrillas.Speaking at a Sunday press conference in the northern city of Nampula, where he has been living for more than two years, Dhlakama said that barracks would first be established in the centre of the country this week. He did not indicate which provinces or districts will be covered. Later in the year, barracks would also be set up in northern and southern Mozambique.These latest claims appear to contradict Dhlakama’s statements in July that former Renamo guerrillas would be concentrated in the northern province of Cabo Delgado.Most of the Renamo fighters were demobilized, under United Nations supervision, in 1994, immediately prior to the country’s first multi-party parliamentary and presidential elections. According to the final figures issued by the UN Operation in Mozambique (ONUMOZ), 20,537 Renamo guerrillas were demobilized and returned to civilian lifeA further 3,662 volunteered to become part of the new national army, the FADM. But Renamo never fully demobilized. In violation of the 1992 peace agreement signed with the government, Renamo kept back a small force, which it described as its “Presidential Guard”. This force is based in the central districts of Maringue and Cheringoma – no figures are available, but it cannot number more than a couple of hundred fighters.There is no sign that any significant number of the Renamo demobilized are willing to abandon their families, take up arms and fight in another war. Since it is 17 years since they were demobilized, many of them will simply be too old for a further stint of fighting in the bush. Building barracks across the country – even if they are no more than tents and mud huts – requires money and logistics, neither of which Renamo currently possesses.Dhlakama also repeated his boast that Renamo is preparing a “revolution” that will lead to the fall of the ruling Frelimo Party by Xmas. He then envisaged a “transitional government” lasting for three years.
This follows claims made in July that, if he so chose, Dhlakama could drive Frelimo from power “in 24 hours”. Yet when he really did have an army, enjoying the support of Ian Smith’s Rhodesia and then of apartheid South Africa, Dhlakama was unable to overthrow Frelimo in a war that lasted for 16 years.Dhlakama threatened that, if Frelimo resists his “revolution”, there will be bloodshed in Mozambique, or the current government leaders will flee into neighbouring countries. The only alternative to this “revolution”, he warned, would be for President Armando Guebuza to negotiate directly with him.Dhlakama also promised that Renamo will not take part in the forthcoming mayoral by-elections in the cities of Pemba, Quelimane and Cuamba. The three mayors, all elected on the Frelimo ticket in the 2008 municipal elections, have resigned, and elections to replace them must be held this year.The three mayors allege “personal reasons” for their resignation, but Dhlakama eagerly retailed the alternative explanation – namely that Frelimo, unhappy at their performance, ordered them to resign.Dhlakama claimed that they were forced out because they refused to engage in acts of corruption. The three mayors did not confirm that they were obliged to step down “because they fear reprisals”, he alleged.Regardless of the motives for the resignations, they have opened a space for political campaigning in the three cities – yet Dhlakama is refusing to take any advantage of this, and has promised a Renamo boycott. No member of Renamo would take part in the elections, he promised.This means that the elections will essentially be a race between Frelimo and the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM). MDM leader Daviz Simango has made it clear that his party intends to seize the opportunity to put forward candidates.The MDM Political Commission met on Saturday to discuss its strategy for the mayoral by-elections. Simango stressed the importance of the party having all its documentation in order, so that there would no problems in registering for the elections.The National Elections Commission (CNE) claimed inadequate documentation as the reason for disqualifying MDM candidates in nine of the 13 constituencies in the 2009 parliamentary elections.According to the independent daily “O Pais”, the Saturday meeting instructed MDM provincial and district delegates to start selecting candidates for the three by-elections.Simango denied that any candidate has yet been chosen. “The resignations are recent”, he said. “We need to give time for the party’s grass roots structures to work, so that they can choose trustworthy candidates”.


The Mozambican government has selected the Commercial and Investment Bank (BCI), the second largest commercial bank in the country, as the institution through which deferred wages will be paid to Mozambican migrant workers when they return from the South African mines.Mozambican Labour Minister Helena Taipo and the chairperson of the BCI Executive Commission, Ibrahimo Ibrahimo, signed an agreement in Maputo on Monday, under which, by the end of this year, all returning miners should receive their wages in individual BCI accounts.The agreement on mine labour between Mozambique and South Africa stipulates that only part of the miners’ wages is paid in South Africa. After signing contracts with the mining companies, the miners receive their wages for the first six months in full. But from then on, they only receive 40 per cent of their wages - they pick up the other 60 per cent when they return to Mozambique on holiday, or at the end of their contracts. Up until now the miners received their deferred wages in cash from the mine recruitment agency, Teba. This system was highly dangerous, and there are many tragic stories of returning miners being robbed of their hard earned wages.Speaking at the signing ceremony, Taipo said the system of cash payments is completely out-of-date, and there was no good reason why the miners should not benefit from the technological advances in banking.“The miners themselves, on countless occasions, including during my visit last year to the South African mines and farms, have asked the government for their money to be deposited in individual accounts, instead of receiving it in cash”, she said. The government thought this was a legitimate request, and so launched a tender to choose the bank where the miners’ money would be deposited. The BCI won this tender, Taipo said, because it presented the best market proposals, and because it responded satisfactorily to the government’s requirement that banking services must be available for miners in their areas of origin (mostly in Gaza, Inhambane and Maputo provinces), and at the Mozambique/South Africa border. Ibrahimo said that, as soon as the BCI was informed that it had won the tender, it began to make large scale investments in the miners’ home areas. “We don’t just want to be a bank for the miners, but also a bridge linking the Mozambican miners in South Africa to their families”, he said.Under the new payment system, the 60 per cent of the miners’ wages previously sent to Teba, will now be deposited directly into their BCI accounts, and the miners will be able to use this money at any time they choose. Currently there are about 40,500 Mozambicans working on the South African mines