Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Chinese financing to Mozambique increases 160 pct in 2 years

China is now Mozambique’s largest creditor, after increasing its funding to the African country by 160 percent since 2012 as significant Chinese investments are being prepared.The weight of financing from China to Mozambique will grow nearly 50 percent, compared with current loan values, with a new loan of US$400 million announced last week.The new loan is for construction of a 600-kilometre power transmission line between the Mozambican provinces of Zambézia and Nampula, according to the Mozambican government.
Construction of the northern plant of the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric facility is scheduled to begin soon and the Mozambican government expects the project will cost US$413 million (368 million euros) and has attracted the interest of China Three Gorges and China State Grid, according to Portuguese financial daily Diário Económico.China State Grid also intends to finance and build the hydroelectric plant of Mpanda Nkua, designed to be the second largest hydroelectric in the country and awarded to Brazilian construction companies in 2010, but which ran into difficulties.According to data compiled by the Portuguese bank in its latest report on Mozambique, total debt to China was US$886 million in 2014, 160 percent more than in 2012, when the main creditor of Mozambique was still Portugal.
Debt to China already accounts for about one-third of Mozambique’s total debt, which has nearly doubled since 2010.The recent increase in debt was “essentially based on taking on bilateral loans with China, which accounted for about 70 percent of new disbursements in 2014,” along with multilateral loans, said the BPI report.Taking on foreign loans has been a way for Mozambique to offset the declines in extraordinary income and donations, which resulted in an increase in the state budget deficit.BPI expects total debt will continue, in this scenario, to increase to “levels considered high for a country with the level of development of Mozambique,” and recommends reducing the general state deficit, even taking into account expected economic growth that will tend to “dilute debt levels.”Last year, the pace of economic expansion continued “high,” BPI said, up from 7 percent for the fourth consecutive year, based on the mining and quarrying, construction and financial services sectors.This year, it is possible that growth will “decelerate slightly” compared to 7.5 percent estimated by the Mozambique government, but “the economic outlook for Mozambique remains largely positive, with strong growth rates enhanced by megaprojects and low inflation rates.”Some recent setbacks for investment in the coal sector, due to the fall in the price of this raw material, have been offset by new agreements signed, particularly with Chinese companies, said BPI.

Illegal wood exports cost Mozambique US$540 million

The Mozambican state has lost about US$540 million in revenue from the illegal export of timber from its national forests over the last 10 years. The revelation is contained in a report released by the University Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) at the launch of the'Forest Governance in Mozambique: The Urgency of the Moment' project, a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for Conservation of Nature initiative being conducted with Swedish financial support.The study reveals that forest resources are being exploited unsustainably and that the contribution of the forestry sector to the national economy would be much larger if illegalities in the exploitation and export processes were addressed.In addition to voicing these concerns, the survey, conducted by a group of three researchers at UEM in the south, centre and north of Mozambique, makes specific recommendations including the revision of laws concerning wood processing, the reclassification of tree species, the monitoring of license allocation and the improved evaluation of management plans submitted.National forests, especially in the centre and north of the country, are visibly dimishing and some species, such as ironwood, ebony, umbila, jambirre, chanfuta and mondzo, are now endangered. 
clubofmozambiqueThe WWF is undertaking various actions to alert the government, civil society and the media to the extent of the forestry depletion and the gloomy environmental outlook that can be expected if action is not taken.Anabela Rodrigues, Director of the WWF, describes the situation as worrying not only because revenues are lost to the state and local communities deprived of economic opportunities, but because of forests’ role as regulators of climate change."Disasters resulting from the deforestation along the banks of rivers can be expected. As an example, witness the serious impact floods have had in recent times," she said.
According to the WWF, the solution is to make information on the subject more widely available, helping civil society organizations advocate and solve problems which cannot be left solely to government.Acting through its embassy here, Sweden has expressed its commitment to supporting the country as it addresses these matters, while encouraging stakeholders to work together in seeking solutions to the problem.
What happens in the case of exports, according to the authors of the study is the existence of irregularities characterized by unfair competition with foreigners who take the lead in terms of exploration and also income.For example, ‘Notícias’ learned that more than 90 percent of the wood harvested in the country is destined to China, to the detriment of some countries traditionally partners of Mozambique in this field.In exploration the Chinese appear as Mozambican partners, but in the end most of the income is reversed in favour of foreigners.

Mozambican companies will have to pay to get their VAT

clubofmozambiqueThe announcement that the Mozambican government will issue treasury bonds to repay the value added tax (VAT) that the state owes companies has cheered the private sector, but surely, reports ‘O País’ today, companies did not expect to have to pay for getting their own money back. The Minister of Economy and Finance, Adriano Maleiane, yesterday clarified the matter, assuring the public yesterday that refunding the VAT owed to companies by issuing treasury bonds would not increase the national debt. The reason being, said Maleiane, that the state will pay the amount of the bonds issued only to creditor enterprises. If companies that are state creditors choose to go to the bank, they will have to negotiate their reimbursement with the financial institution, and on the assumption that interest will be deducted in the amount of the treasury bond.So companies that have waited years to have their VAT refunded will get their money back in a transaction that will cost them part of it to the benefit of the commercial banks which purchase the bonds from the state. Their loss will depend on the margin that the taxpayer and the bank agree on, and it will represent the interest rate or the commission of the transaction. The state will in fact settle the debt with the commercial bank in an arrangement under which the treasury comes out of the transaction without paying any charges.

Company that acquired Rio's Mozambique

A year after Rio Tinto pulled the plug on its Mozambique coal venture, the Indian company that bought the assets is planning an ambitious expansion.The Benga mine acquired from Rio by International Coal Ventures Private Limited (ICVL) has a current production capacity of about 5.3 million tonnes per year but its target is 13 million tonnes in five years' time, ICVL's Mozambique director Nirmal Chandra Jha said on Monday.Jha, speaking at a Mozambique coal conference, said the mine is currently producing about 4 million tonnes per year, less than half of which is export quality.Any expansion will hinge on upgrades to Mozambique's rail system, which can only handle about 6 million tonnes per year."We hope that in five years, the infrastructure will also improve. That's a big hope," Jha told Reuters on the sidelines of the conference.Infrastructure challenges were a big reason behind Rio's decision to exit Mozambique, which has some of the world's largest untapped sources of coal but is still recovering from a civil war that ended two decades ago.The coal assets Rio bought through a $4 billion acquisition of Riversdale in 2011 were sold for just $50 million to ICVL.Depressed prices are an obstacle to investment and expansion in the present environment.But ICVL was set up by the Indian government to acquire and develop coal assets to meet the needs of state-owned firms such as the Steel Authority of India, and so the company has potentially deep sources of finance to tap.Of the 13 million tonnes targeted, about 4.5 million would be for coking coal, used in the production of steel.India is keen on Mozambique as a potential source of coal because of its ideal local on the western rim of the Indian Ocean, and it needs the commodity to fuel its industrialization.Indian imports of thermal coal used for power generation are seen outpacing China's in 2015. 

Mozambique Judokas win bronze in African Cup

clubofmozambiqueMozambique’s judokas are up in the medals rankings again.Artur Carlos Junior in the cadets, Ayton Siquir in the under-73 kg category and Yanick Martins in the 90 kg and over, all took bronze on Saturday and Sunday in the African Cup judo tournament being held in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt.Artur was the first to make it to the podium, having bested Gabonese Oliver Ikake. Ayton Siquir easily won against Moroccan Ashraf Mjoum, and Yanick Martins triumphed over South African David Stöckigt.The team going to Egypt were Artur Júnior (-60 Kg), Ayton Suqir (-73 Kg) and Yannick Martins in the cadets. Kevin Loforte particpated in Juniors.The Mozambican judokas’ participation was made possible by the state’s Sports Promotion Fund (Fundo de Promoção Desportiva) in collaboration with Moza Banco.The African Cup ends on July 30.

Two Mozambicans arrested in Swaziland

clubofmozambiqueA teenage boy and two Mozambican men have been arrested by the police in connection with the murder of Prince Ncabeni, who was also known as Makoya.The prince, who ran a pirate taxi business in Mbabane, was allegedly murdered by people who hired his taxi on Monday night.
His body was found lying next to the road at Nhlambeni, three hours after he had been hired by unknown people in Mbabane.In the afternoon, yesterday, Manzini police made a major breakthrough and arrested and charged three suspects in connection with the murder of the prince. The arrest of the trio was confirmed by the Police Information and Communications Officer, Assistant Superintendent Khulani Mamba. “Three men were arrested and charged in connection with the murder of the prince.""They are a 19-year-old man of Nyembane (Inhambane?)in Mozambique, another 20-year-old man of Mozambique and a 20-year-old man of Mhlaleni. They were found in possession of a 9mm Parabellum loaded with six live rounds of ammunition without a licence or permit while at KaShali. The suspects will appear at the Manzini Magistrate’s Court today,” said Mamba.Mamba said so far, the suspects have been charged for being found in possession of the 9mm Parabellum.He said the trio are yet to make a confession today upon which the charge sheet would be amended to murder.Mamba said the car, a blue Honda Fit which was used by the prince, was recovered and that it was currently in custody of the police. Prince Ncabeni was the son of the late Prince Phiwokwakhe, brother of King Mswati, and he was running his business from The Mall parking lot in Mbabane.When the body of the prince was found, the police said he was hacked in the head, as he had a gashing wound.It is speculated that the prince and the person who hired him might have been joined by others in the taxi along the way.It is suspected that the prince never knew the customer who hired him on the day and he just engaged his service randomly.

Mozambique has only 1810 doctors

clubofmozambiqueHealth Minister Nazira Abdula says that Mozambique has only 1810 doctors, a number considered too low to service the population's needs.According to the minister, 36 medical specialists graduated in 2014, of which ten graduated in internal medicine and seven in paediatrics. The minister said that the training of medical specialists is a priority for the Mozambican health ministry.Speaking about the long-running shortage of medicines, the minister assured the public that there would be no lack of drugs in the country's hospitals. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario on Monday demanded an audit of the overdue accounts of the National Social Security Institute (INSS).Making what he described as a routine working visit, Rosario said “I note that the accounts for 2013, 2014 and 2015 are delayed. This does not benefit transparency, and so I am urging the Institute to publish these accounts with all possible urgency, and to hold an internal audit”. He also wanted the Labour Ministry (to which the INSS is subordinate) to send in inspectors “to help the Institute. We want there to be an internal audit before the Financial Inspectorate arrives. We want there to be absolute transparency in the system”. The missing accounts should be published in November or December this year.He urged Labour Minister Vitoria Diogo to assess the performance of the INSS management. “We want the Ministry of Labour to assess the performance of the directors in the areas of finance, human resources and investments”, said Rosario. 
“There must be a constant assessment to know if these are the people who are going to ensure security and efficiency, or whether it ought to be done by others”. He demanded improvements in the way the INSS attends to beneficiaries who visit its offices – these, he pointed out, were the people who own the money that the INSS handles. He gave the INSS a deadline of two months to modernize the counter at which users are seen. Rosario also wanted to see an end to manual registers of beneficiaries by December.The number of contributors to the social security system has been growing in recent months, he noted, and it was essential that INSS staff behave correctly towards contributors. The point of such visits, the Prime Minister said, was to understand how services are being provided and to check whether they are in line with the government’s five year programme for the 2015-2019 period. “You are the guardians of our money”, he stressed.

For his part, the chairperson of the INSS board, Francisco Mazoio, said his team was working “to modernize the Institute, and we are struggling to reach a level of excellence in attending our beneficiaries”. There are currently 1.3 million INSS beneficiaries, of whom 45,000 are pensioners. The Institute claims to be financially healthy with a total revenue last year of 7.4 billion meticais (about 195 million dollars) and expenditure of 5.5 billion meticais.


Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi told reporters on Tuesday that he had achieved all the objectives he had hoped for from his three day visit to France.Speaking to the Mozambican journalists who covered the visit, Nyusi said he was sure there would now be greater cooperation between the Mozambican and French governments, and also in the field of business. Nyusi revealed that one of the major French banks, Societe General, intends to open
a branch in Maputo in the near future. He believed that this would act as a signal for other French banks and companies to invest in Mozambique.Cooperation with France, as with many other countries, would be based on the “win-win” principle of mutual gains, said the President. “The fact is that Mozambique is no longer a country that is talked about, but a country with which one talks”, he added. He noted that in the meetings he attended, companies were represented not just by managers, but by their owners. “This shows that they have a great interest in investing in our country”, he claimed, “and I have no doubt that within a short time these companies will begin to flow into Mozambique”. Attracting foreign investment was essential, Nyusi said, in order to provide jobs for the thousands of young Mozambicans who leave the countries schools and universities every year. “It is companies that create wealth for a country to prosper”, he declared.

Nyusi said he had urged French businesses to invest in the areas which his government believes will contribute most rapidly to the well-being of Mozambicans, particular agriculture in order to guarantee the country’s food security and produce a surplus for export. He believed that Mozambique enjoys all the conditions necessary to become a major food exporter, since it has around 40 million hectares of arable land, and its many rivers provide plenty of water for irrigation. But to ensure that agriculture develops in Mozambique, measures must be taken to end the situation in which vast fertile areas are in the hands of people who are not putting it to productive use. Nyusi said this has frustrated those who really want to farm and to produce food.Mozambican government officials have frequently warned that people who do not use their land will be stripped of their land titles. Now that this threat comes from the President himself, perhaps there is a greater chance that it will become reality.

Mozambique’s port of Nacala, Mozambique to start exporting coal

The new Nacala-a-Velha coal terminal, in Mozambique’s Nampula province, has received 50 tons of coal, and this is the first time coal will be exported from this port, said the director of the Nacala Integrated Logistics Corridor.This corridor includes a 900-kilometre railway between Moatize and Nacala-a-Velha, crossing through part of Malawi, costing an estimated US$4.4 billion and is the result of a partnership between Brazilian group Vale and Mozambican state port and railway company CFM.José Ottoni, director of the Nacala Integrated Logistics Corridor, said the Interior Minister Jaime Basilio Monteiro, visiting Nampula province, said legal procedures were underway to bring the first ship to Nacala, because the vessel is licensed to load from the port of Beira.He gave assurances that normal coal shipments will be provided from August, when conditions should be in place to transport the coal.“In 2017, when we reach the installed capacity of the port, we will export 22 million tons of coal per year and until then we will export 18 million tons of coal a year, when we will be operating with 89 locomotives and 1,862 wagons,” Otoni said.

Party blocks parliamentary inquiry on EDM's

The parliamentary group of the opposition Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) on Thursday once again called for the arrest of former President Armando Guebuza.The spokesperson for the MDM parliamentary group, Venancio Mondlane, first made this demand on the floor of the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, on 17 June, in connection with the US$850 million loan to the Mozambican Tuna Company (EMATUM), guaranteed by the government in 2013.This time he demanded that Guebuza be detained in connection with contracts between the publicly owned electricity company, EDM, and companies in which Guebuza is a shareholder. He alleged that the contracts were obtained without going through a proper tendering procedure.The relations between EDM and supplying companies in which Guebuza and other leading figures in the ruling Frelimo Party had interests were “promiscuous”, accused Mondlane.He was speaking in a debate on an MDM proposal to set up a parliamentary commission of inquiry into the affairs of EDM. The MDM queried the legality of the contracts EDM had signed with other companies, and claimed that EDM was currently running at a huge loss, owing around US$50 million to its main supplier of power, HCB, which operates the Cahora Bassa dam on the Zambezi river.The MDM also attacked the EDM rural electrification programme, claiming that it was only a few institutions and families living in district capitals which benefitted from this programme, and that almost none of the power was used in agriculture,
Resultado de imagem para venancio mondlaneBut the MDM proposal, backed by the former rebel movement Renamo, ran up against clauses in the Assembly’s standing orders, which state that the Assembly may not set up commissions of inquiry on any matter that is before the courts – and the finances of EDM are currently before the Administrative Tribunal, the body that inspects the legality of public expenditure.Last year, the Finance Ministry sent the auditors into EDM. The General Inspectorate of Finance (IGF) undertook an audit and submitted the audit report to the Administrative Tribunal. The Tribunal informed the Assembly that it is currently working with the Attorney-General’s Office to ascertain the truth of the findings in that report. If there is evidence of financial wrongdoing, that will be appended to the EDM’s accounts for possible proceedings against those responsible.
For the Frelimo parliamentary group, this meant that the affairs of EDM were indeed before the courts, and so it would be against the Assembly’s own statutes to set up the commission of inquiry demanded by the MDM.The opposition, however, argued that an audit report before the Administrative Tribunal does not count as a judicial case. It was just “a normal procedure”, said MDM deputy Jose Manuel de Sousa, while Eduardo Namburete of Renamo insisted that the IGF audit “does not prevent the Assembly from holding its own inquiry”.The opposition drew a distinction between an “administrative matter” and a “judicial case”, but Frelimo insisted that the very fact that the EDM finances were in the hands of the Administrative Tribunal meant that the MDM’s demand was illegitimate, and would violate the separation of powers.Frelimo deputy Lucas Chomera praised the government’s decision to call on the IGF “which shows its commitment to fighting mismanagement and corruption”. A parliamentary commission, he argued, might interfere with the work of the Tribunal.As for EDM’s financial woes, Chomera said they predated Guebuza’s presidency by decades – they began in the 1980s when, during the war of destabilization, Renamo repeatedly blew up pylons, downed power lines and murdered EDM workers.At times the debate was embittered. Not only did Mondlane call for Guebuza’s arrest, but he suggested that the government was “a criminal association”, while Antonio Muchanga of Renamo claimed that those who opposed a commission of inquiry “are allies of organized crime”. The Frelimo overall majority ensured that the MDM proposal went down to defeat. The 133 Frelimo deputies in the chamber voted against it, while the 87 opposition deputies present voted in favour.

Albinos ‘hunted’ in Nampula

Resultado de imagem para albinosFollowing the disappearance of three albino Mozambicans, the Police of the Republic of Mozambique (PRM) have put out an alert regarding the existence of a possible network dedicated to the hunting of albinos – individuals with a genetic mutation causing partial or total loss of pigmentation in the skin, eyes and hair – allegedly for body parts.According to the provincial commander of the PRM in Nampula, Abel Nuro, two of the three albinos abducted have been rescued while one is still missing. Nuro also said that all three were kidnapped by people suspected of belonging to a crime ring trafficking humans for the removal of organs.According to ‘Notícias’, as soon as the abductions were reported, the police set to work identifying the gang, culminating in the release of the two victims. The abductions took place at different times.The albino still missing was identified by police as Basilio Abacar, 20 years of age, who was taken from his home in Nataleia, in the district of Malema by two individuals who are still at large. The men sought have been named as Horácio Carolino and Feliciano Sebastião, who had, days before the young man's disappearance, told the family that they were looking for albinos.

5.6 earthquake

An earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale rocked Island of Mozambique on Wednesday causing panic among the population of this district of Nampula, in the north, although no injury or damage to property was reported.According to Ismael Amade, coordinator of Community Radio Mozambique Island, the earthquake struck at 16h10m and "caused some people to panic, who then fled to the mainland side of the island, taking some of their property with them."According to the American Geophysical Institute, the quake took place in the Mozambique Channel at a depth of 15 kilometres, about 76 kilometres away from the Island of Mozambique and 202 kilometres from the provincial capital, Nampula.Although announcements on ‘Rádio Comunitária’ stated that the situation was safe, many residents nevertheless delayed their return home for fear of a tsunami.Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Island of Mozambique was the capital of the country during the colonial era, and has an estimated population of 52,000 inhabitants, the majority of whom live on the mainland side.

US$700,000 for trophy hunting in Mozambique to preserve wildlife

Resultado de imagem para world bankThe World Bank has allocated US$700,000 (R8.7 million) to bolster trophy hunting of elephants and lions in Mozambique as a way to preserve wildlife.“Hunting, when properly regulated and when revenues are distributed to communities in and around parks is an important tool for the sustainable management of parks and natural assets,” said Madji Seck, a spokesperson at the bank’s Washington, D.C. headquarters.But in Mozambique elephants are in a precipitous decline. Between 2009 and 2014, their numbers fell from an estimated 20 000 to 10 300, according to a survey by the Wildlife Conservation Society as part of the Great Elephant Census.The World Bank “is driven by a utilitarian perspective on the consumptive use of wild species,” said Phyllis Lee, zoologist with the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, in Kenya.The idea of consumptive or sustainable use of wildlife, which is written into the Convention on Biodiversity, is that it makes sense for humans to benefit from animals in ways that don’t undermine their habitats and populations.
But, as Lee said, “it now appears to some conservation practitioners that sustainable use has been hijacked to represent [sport] hunting.” She points to the recent admission of the Dallas Safari Club into the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world body that focuses on valuing and conserving nature by ensuring effective and equitable governance of its use, and the sport hunting club’s controversial auction of a permit to kill an endangered black rhino in Namibia, as “the worst possible way of allowing a hunting voice to speak for conservation.” “It’s obviously not speaking for species preservation,” said Lee. “It’s killing for revenue.”Ben Carter, executive director with the Dallas Safari Club, meanwhile said there is a biological reason for hunting.“It’s based on a fundamental premise of modern wildlife management: Populations matter; individuals don’t,” he said.
But Will Travers, President of the Born Free Foundation, argued: “Carter’s narrow utilitarian view has wider moral implications which cannot be ignored.” “Individuals matter. Each one may have survival knowledge to pass on or cultural intelligence, important for social cohesion. But individuals also matter because they have a right to life. They are not the pawns of one species—our own—bent on playing God and dressing it up as modern wildlife management.” In an interview with CNN two months ago, Jeffrey Flocken, the North American Regional Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), said: “from a biological perspective, trophy hunting not only flies in the face of a precautionary approach to wildlife management but in some cases has also been found to undermine it.”
“Hunters are not like natural predators, they target the largest specimens, with the biggest tusks, manes, antlers, or horns,” he said.Faced with the losses of their elephants and other animals,Botswana and Kenya have banned big-game sport hunting.In April 2014, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced the temporary suspension of all imports of sport-hunted elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Tanzania, citing concern that the two countries showed “a significant decline in the elephant population” and concluded that sport hunting of elephants in Zimbabwe and Tanzania “is not sustainable and is not currently supporting conservation efforts that contribute towards the recovery of the species.”In March, USFWS made the ban on elephant trophies from Zimbabwe permanent. Corruption was cited as one of the main reasons.Australia meanwhile has banned the import of trophy-hunted lions, while the European Union has just ordered the ban on elephant hunting trophies from Tanzania and Mozambique because of the threat posed to the animals by poachers.Recently a number of airlines including South African Airways, Lufthansa, British Airways, Iberia and Air Emirates cargo divisions, announced embargoes on transporting sport-hunting trophies. They join Air France, KLM, Singapore Airways, and Qantas who have had the ban in place for sometime.These are promising signs, but as Flocken said, given the gravity of the poaching crisis, authorities such as the World Bank “need to catch on to what the rest of the world already knows—that killing animals to save them is not conservation.”

A 60-year conversation with the guitar

Coherence and consistency - such are the outward features witnessed by the many who have followed the career of legendary Mozambique musician Xidiminguana over the last 60 years. 
As a way of honouring his artistic contribution, the Fernando Leite Couto Foundation is presenting an interview with the artist from 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm this Friday in Maputo.
clubofmozambiqueThe conversation with Xidiminguana will be interspersed with performances by him, and aims to give the audience a new take on the life story of this giant of Mozambican music.
Xidiminguana will be 79 next month, and is highly regarded for his guitar playing, which goes far beyond what might be called the traditional way of playing the instrument. 
Xidiminguana treats the guitar as if it were a companion, someone able to understand him. (According to the artist, his guitar is so intelligent it can not only say his name, but also recite his address and phone number.) As a result, his music often seems like a melodic conversation with the instrument. Anyone who has not had the privilege of attending one of his performances is much the poorer for it, but his fans are lucky in that, even as he gets older, Xidiminguana never misses an opportunity to bestow yet another fascinating performance on them.Another trait often attributed to him is his humility. Famous as he is, he still frequents the suburban bars where, in his relaxed way and inimitable manner, he regales his audience with fantastic stories and reminiscences.
But those who think that Xidiminguana shines alone are mistaken. The entire Honwana family are a part of his success story. His children and grandchildren ensure the technical quality of his sound, and keep his guitars and equipment in good repair. Bernardo Domingos, a noted guitar player in his own right and undoubtedly a big name both present and future in Mozambican music, is his son. Hopefully, the patriarch’s legacy will pass on to yet more generations through Domingos.
Born in Bilene, Gaza province, on August 3, 1936, Xidiminguana is one of the most celebrated creators and exponents of the Marrabenta style, the urban music popular in the south of the country.His name inevitably comes up whenever Marrabenta music is discussed, and his central presence in the genre is guaranteed by the innovation and freshness his song arrangements always display.Xidiminguana has penned numerous compositions, of which 'Delefina ni Kombela Rivhalelo' and 'Tiba Bem' are perhaps the most popular. Though he has been performing for many years, his first recording was made only at the Radio Club of Mozambique in 1974. He now has six albums to his name.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


At least five building workers died, and a further six were injured in a scaffolding collapse at a building site in downtown Maputo on Tuesday afternoon.The building where the collapse occurred is owned by the JAT group, and is intended to house the future offices of the National Social Security Institute (INSS). It is 17 storeys high, and most of those who fell to the ground were working at a height of over 30 metres.When the spokesperson for the fire brigade, David Cumbane, spoke to AIM in the early evening he could confirm three deaths – but at the stage the firemen and other rescue workers were still removing the dead and injured from the debris. Before the fire brigade arrived, it was the construction workers themselves who began the rescue operations, trying to save the lives of their colleagues trapped under the scaffolding. AIM noted that some of the building workers lacked basic protective clothing. They had no helmets, goggles or boots, which should be routinely supplied by any contractor on a building site. One worker, speaking to AIM on conditions of anonymity, said that the scaffolding collapsed because of a defect in assembling it. He claimed it was not the first time that an accident of this sort had happened. “The same thing happened last year”, he said, “but that time we were lucky because nobody died”. This worker complained to reporters of the lack of safety equipment on the site.“There’s no safety gear”, he protested. “We’re working under inhuman conditions. They treat us as if we were slaves. There are even people on the sire working in flip-flops”. The workers also complain of a lack of basic washing and sanitation facilities. Immediately it became aware of the collapse, the government sent a team headed by Labour Minister Vitoria Diogo to the site to investigate the causes of the accident. She ordered that all work on the site be embargoed until the conclusion of the investigations.“This is a very serious situation involving the loss of human lives”, said Diogo. “As a government, we shall do all in our power to find out what caused this accident. Work on this scale demands great attention and great responsibility from the contractors”. The contractor, according to a release from the Labour Ministry, is the Portuguese building company Britalar, which became notorious for its shoddy work on rehabilitating one of Maputo’s main thoroughfares, Julius Nyerere Avenue. Britalar headed the consortium hired to repair the road. The avenue was severely damaged in the floods of 2000 which opened a massive crater at the northern end of the avenue. Rehabilitating the avenue was budgeted at US$12.5 million, provided by the World Bank and by Maputo Municipal council's own funds.Britalar should have delivered the rebuilt road to the City Council in February 2014. But the work ran months behind schedule. Worse still, cracks began to appear in the newly laid asphalt, and even to untrained eyes it was clear that Britalar's work had been shoddy.Samples of the materials used by Britalar were collected and sent to three laboratories, two in Mozambique and one in Portugal. All the laboratories agreed that the road had started to crumble away because of the poor quality of the materials.The contract was eventually cancelled, and the Britalar-led consortium was ordered to repay the Municipal Council a million dollars.