Wednesday, November 30, 2016


As November slips to its end, there is still no consensual proposal on decentralization from the joint commission between the Mozambican government and the rebel movement Renamo.The international mediating team had hoped to submit this proposal to the country’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic before the end of the month. But on Tuesday, the coordinator of the mediating team, European Union representative Mario Raffaelli, admitted that it might only reach the Assembly’s hands in December.Raffaelli admitted this delay when he spoke to reporters after an internal meeting of the mediating team, at which the former President of Botswana, Ketumile Masire, who has been absent from recent sessions, was brought up to scratch on the latest development.“November is an indicative date”, said Raffaelli. “There’s no problem if the document is delayed by three days. We shall do everything to send it”.The mediators drew up a proposal on decentralization in late October, and then left the country for a short period while the government and Renamo analysed the proposal, which centres on the issue of provincial governance, and how provincial governors should be appointed or elected.This month, the government and Renamo made their counter-proposals, and the mediators’ task is to attempt to weave these together into something that will enjoy consensus. Raffaelli confirmed that the mediators are still working on harmonizing the counter-proposals.“If we had already harmonized them, then we would have a full meeting of the Joint Commisison”, he said. In recent weeks, there have been no plenary sessions of the Joint Commission. Instead, the mediators have held separate meetings with each of the two delegations.The decentralization proposal is supposed to lead to constitutional amendments and to new, or revised legislation, which must be approved by the Assembly.As the days pass, the likelihood that the Assembly will be able to approve any part of the decentralization package before the end of the year is diminishing. For the current sitting of the Assembly is due to end on 20 December, and has yet to deal with several items that cannot be delayed, such as the 2017 government plan and budget, and President Filipe Nyusi’s State of the Nation address. 

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