Thursday, June 25, 2015

13.7 million US dollars

The delay in implementing last September’s agreement on a cessation of military hostilities between the Mozambican government and the former rebel movement Renamo could create “additional budgetary pressures”, which would be difficult to accommodate in the 2015 state budget, Agriculture Minister Jose Pacheco warned on Wednesday.Pacheco was speaking at the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, in his capacity as head of the government delegation at the government-Renamo dialogue which has now held 109 sessions.The September agreement envisaged the disarming and dismantling of the Renamo militia. Its members were to have been recruited into the armed forces (FADM) and the police, or reintegrated into civilian life. But none of this happened. To date, over nine months after the September agreement, not a single Renamo gunman has been disarmed. A military observer mission, known by the acronym, EMOCHM, was to monitor implementation of the September agreement, It consisted of 70 Mozambican officers (half appointed by the government and half by Renamo), and foreign observers from eight countries (Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Cape Verde, Kenya, Italy, Portugal and Britain). EMOCHM had a mandate for 135 days, which was extended for a further 60 days. Throughout this period it could do nothing, since Renamo refused to deliver a list of names of those of its militiamen whom it wanted to join the FADM or the police. These were months of inactivity entirely paid for by the Mozambican government.“The government created the conditions for Renamo’s residual forces to be recruited into the FADM or the police, or for their social and economic reinsertion”, Pacheco stressed. He gave the Assembly details about the expenditure on EMOCHM. The government had approved a budget for EMOCHM of 540.2 million meticais (about 13.7 million US dollars at current exchange rates). Running costs accounted for 60 per cent of this, and capital expenditure for 40 per cent.By the time EMOCHM was wound up, only 370.3 million meticais had been spent. So there was an unspent balance of 169.9 million meticais (or 31.46 per cent of the total budget approved). Expenditure would presumably have been considerably higher if EMOCHM had been allowed to do its job, rather than simply sitting in hotels. Pacheco said that the largest item of expenditure was vehicles. 59 vehicles were purchased for EMOCHM, costing 83 million meticais (22.44 per cent of the total). The allowances paid to the foreign and Mozambican members of EMOCHM amounted to 83.7 million meticais (20.61 per cent).   59.9 million meticais (16.1 per cent) was spent on equipment for accommodating the Renamo “residual forces” – such as beds, refrigerators, water tanks, generators, stoves and other kitchen material, But since the Renamo militiamen never left their bases in the bush, this material could not be used.Food cost 33.9 million meticais (8.9 per cent), and accommodation for EMOCHM members cost a further 31.8 million meticais (8.6 per cent). EMOCHM office equipment cost 15.7 million meticais (4.3 per cent). All unused EMOCHM assets are now being transferred to the defence and security forces.Pacheco said the government had decided against any further extension of EMOCHM, and would instead “prioritise dialogue to establish consensus for an effective and lasting peace”. That peace must rest, not only on a cessation of military hostilities, but on an end to “incitement to division and violence, and disinformation”. Crucially, it would also depend on “the demilitarization of Renamo”.

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