Mozambique Chronology,01-31 May 2000
30 June 2000
MOZAMBIQUE - LEGISLATION - GOVERNMENT
ITEM NO. 00/05/02 - MZ
The Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, approved the government's Economic and Social Plan for this year. Just as they had boycotted the debate, so the deputies of the Renamo-Electoral Union coalition
refused to take part in the vote. The plan therefore passed by 130 votes to none. The resolution approving the plan, instructed the government to submit a revised version of the plan later in the year, after amore
detailed assessment of the impact of the February/March flooding, and after donors have made their pledges for post-flood reconstruction. The resolution also effectively changed the plan by giving the government
specific instructions in several areas of the economy. Thus in agriculture, the government was told to improve the mechanisms for attributing land titles to peasant households, and to undertake activities "to
allow the management of natural resources in partnership with communities". In industry, the resolution instructed the government to take measures "to overcome the crisis in the textile and clothing sector". Under
this resolution the government must also "strengthen institutional measures for post-privatisation monitoring": this follows the concerns expressed by many deputies that the new owners of privatised companies are
doing what they like with the assets, and disregarding their contractual obligations.
From: Assembly approves government plan for 2000 / AIM / 2 May 2000
MOZAMBIQUE - GOVERNMENT - PUBLIC MEDIA
ITEM NO. 00/05/04 - MZ
Mozambican Prime Minister Pascal Macomb announced, that the government intends to restructure the country's publicly owned media, in
order to render them more efficient and to respond to new challenges and the growing competition from the private sector. Speaking
during his weekly press briefing, Macomb said that an ad hoc working group is to be set up within days to deal with this issue.
The restructuring will involve rewriting the statutes of the public media, and clearly defining the powers of their various organs
and structures. He explained that this is part of the government's plan of reforms in the public sector for the next five years,
which is a continuation of what began last year with the overhaul of the professional career structure and wage scale in the state apparatus.
From: Government plans to restructure public media / AIM / 4 May 2000
MOZAMBIQUE - INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION - FLOODS
ITEM NO. 00/05/04 - MZ
The two-day international conference held in Rome to support Mozambique's post-flood reconstruction
efforts has secured pledges from donors of US$452.9 million. This is slightly more than the US$449.5 million
estimated by the Mozambican government, in cooperation with the United Nations, as the minimum required.
Speaking shortly before leaving Rome, President Joaquim Chissano expressed his satisfaction, and said "this
amount corresponds to what we have requested". The fact that more money was promised than had been requested,
he added, was because the international community understands that US$450 million is just the bare minimum
needed for the rehabilitation of the country's infrastructures. Chissano said that after these amounts are
approved, the next step will be to put into motion the necessary mechanisms for the money to come to Mozambique.
From: Chissano happy with results of Rome conference / AIM / 4 May 2000
MOZAMBIQUE - POLITICAL PARTIES - PARLIAMENT
ITEM NO. 00/05/05 - MZ
Armando Guebuza, head of the parliamentary group of Mozambique's ruling Frelimo Party, accused the former
rebel movement Renamo of attempting to sabotage the country's post-flood reconstruction. Speaking at the
end of the last of the Mozambican parliament, Guebuza said that Renamo's opposition to donor conference
in Rome, which raised 453 million dollars for Mozambique, showed that it was "inhuman to the core". "While
we mobilise the international community to support Mozambique at this particularly difficult moment, they
mobilise for the Rome Conference to be unsuccessful and say: countries of the world, give nothing to
Mozambique!", he accused. "Fortunately the international community pays no attention to the inhuman ravings
of Renamo", Guebuza said. "It ignored them completely in Rome". During the Assembly debates over the past
two months, "not even the seriousness of the situation and the humanitarian imperative could dissuade
Renamo from its usual pernicious, time-wasting, divisive and obstructionist tactics", he said.
From: Renamo "inhuman to the core" - Guebuza / AIM / 5 May 2000
MOZAMBIQUE - REGIONAL COOPERATION - AGRICULTURE
ITEM NO. 00/05/08 - MZ
The governor of the central Mozambican province of Manica, Felicio Zacarias, has called for a simplification
of the procedures to grant land to Zimbabwean commercial farmers who apply to operate in that province. Speaking
in Maputo, he said that land demarcation has already been done and topographic studies and plans have been
carried out in the areas where the farmers are to work. The only matters still to be resolved relate to
insurance. The Mozambican central government has expressed readiness to receive Zimbabwean farmers as
individuals or in an agreement with the Zimbabwean government, if it is to accommodate a large group.
Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano said that if they file a formal application, he would instruct
the Manica provincial government to give "an adequate response", explaining that all foreign investments
are welcome. If they make individual applications, the farmers will have to go through all the formalities
required from any foreign investor in the country. About 40 investment applications from Zimbabwean farmers
have been filed with the Manica government, but a number of other farmers have been in informal contacts
for the possibility of investment, since the outbreak of the current land conflict in Zimbabwe.
From: Smoother procedures for Zimbabwean farmers demanded / AIM / 8 May 2000
MOZAMBIQUE - MALAWI - REGIONAL COOPERATION - CRIME
ITEM NO. 00/05/09 - MZ
Crime and the flow of people across the common border between Mozambique and Malawi were matters under discussion
during a recent meeting of police delegations of the two countries in the western Mozambican City of Tete. "This
was a meeting in the context of cooperation between the two countries in the area of border security", said the source,
adding that the Mozambican delegation was headed by the Tete provincial police commander, Adelino Andissene Silveira,
whereas the Malawian side was headed by police commissioner Lawrence Chimwaza. The meeting praised police efforts in
both countries in the fight against crime along the border, and noted that the crime rate has been dropping lately.
However, some Malawian citizens are still complaining of continued attacks by armed gangsters along the Tete Corridor,
but the Mozambican authorities deny these allegations. Mozambique and Malawi have abolished the requirement of entry
visas between them, as an effort to facilitate the circulation of people and goods.
From: Mozambique and Malawi on crime along the common border / AIM / 9 May 2000
MOZAMBIQUE - POLITICAL PARTIES - CRIME
ITEM NO. 00/05/10 - MZ
Four people died and several others were seriously injured when about 100 men believed to be members of the former rebel
movement Renamo attacked the police station at Aube, in the coastal district of Angoche, in the northern Mozambican province
of Nampula. A source in the Nampula provincial police command, said that the head of the Aube police unit, Alvaro Julio, is
among the seriously injured. The Nampula source told reporters that the local Renamo delegate, Valentim Bartolomeu headed
the group of attackers, and that the attack was aimed at stealing weapons "to be used in new attacks, as they carried their
campaign to other areas". The attackers assaulted those policemen who were on duty, and managed to steal two AK-47 rifles,
said the source. "In the midst of the violence, other members of the group went to the cells, broke in and freed two
detainees, who were facing charges of assault and disobeying the legally instituted authorities", the source said,
adding that "another police officer, who found himself in danger, had to open fire and shot dead two members of the
group of attackers". Two other attackers died hours latter, and one of them was found in the bush where his companions
had taken him and tried to treat him.
From: Renamo members attack police station / AIM / 10 May 2000
MOZAMBIQUE - INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION - US/SADC
ITEM NO. 00/05/10 - MZ
Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano stressed that the southern African region remains committed both to securing peace and stability and to democratisation. Speaking as the current chairman of SADC, Chissano was opening the second SADC/United States forum. Chissano pledged that the SADC region wishes "to take firm steps in the difficult process of democratising each of its member states, so that there may reign within them justice based on the effective participation of citizens in economic, political and social life, and on respect for the human rights of all citizens". We want to live in a world of equality where there are no racial and ethnic preconceptions and barriers", Chissano declared. He called for further access for SADC products "particularly to the North American market, in order to allow greater competitiveness and participation of our businesses, without excessively high customs impositions". The head of the US delegation to the forum, Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbot described SADC as "a corner stone in the effort to coordinate development in this region and to speed integration into the global economy". He praised the SADC trade protocol as an instrument that would "make the region attractive for investment".
From: Chissano and Talbot open US/SADC forum / AIM / 10 May 2000
MOZAMBIQUE - REGIONAL INTEGRATION - SOUTHERN AFRICA
ITEM NO. 00/05/10 - MZ
All tariffs on trade between members of SADC (Southern African Development Community) should be abolished by 2012 under the
proposed SADC free trade area, the SADC interim executive secretary, Prega Ramsamy. Speaking at a press briefing during the
second SADC/USA forum, Ramsamy said that the SADC Trade Protocol "is on a good track". The Protocol took effect on 25 January
this year, and the free trade area will be launched on 1 September. 10 SADC members have ratified the protocol: the four yet
to ratify are Zambia, Angola, Congo and Seychelles. The lifting of tariffs will be gradual, but by 2008, 85 percent of trade
within SADC should be completely liberalised. Ramsamy said that, in 2004 or 2005, a review meeting would be held "to see if
we can bring forward total liberalisation". He was convinced that the free trade area would be a "win-win" situation "despite
short term disadvantages for some SADC members".
From: SADC free trade area on track / AIM / 10 May 2000
MOZAMBIQUE - ZIMBABWE - POLITICAL CRISIS
ITEM NO. 00/05/11 - MZ
Mozambican Prime Minister Pascal Macomb assured reporters that efforts are under way by regional leaders to solve the current
crisis in Zimbabwe, but that nothing will be gained by making inflammatory public declarations. "You don't use petrol to put
out a fire", he declared. "All the efforts being made are so that the Zimbabwean authorities and the Zimbabwean people may
find the best way of solving the land conflict", Macomb said. As for the remarks critical of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
made by former South African President Nelson Mandela, Macomb said he was sure that Mandela "is not inciting the Zimbabwean
people to overthrow the government". Asked whether he agreed with Mandela's remark that some people who liberated their countries
then stayed in power too long and became tyrants, Macomb said it was easy to find examples of such transformations, and cited
the late Kamuzu Banda of Malawi. Macomb denied that possible investment by Zimbabwean commercial farmers in Mozambique was
directly linked to the situation in their own country.
From: Macomb on Zimbabwean crisis / AIM / 11 May 2000
MOZAMBIQUE - REGIONAL INTEGRATION - FISHERIES POLICY
ITEM NO. 00/05/12 - MZ
Mozambican Fisheries Minister Cadmiel Muthemba called in Luanda, for a complete integration and harmonisation of fisheries policies among the member countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Muthemba was speaking during the closing session of a meeting of SADC Fisheries Ministers that discussed coordination and harmonisation of policies among the organization's member countries, as a means to take full advantage of the region's potentials. During the meeting, the Mozambican delegation laid a heavy stress on fisheries inspection, which was found to be "very weak", at regional level, so opening opportunities for illegal fishing. On the "Benefit" programme, for the assessment of fisheries resources, which currently involves only Angola, Namibia and South Africa, Muthemba argued that it should be extended to other SADC countries. Related to markets, particularly Europe, Muthemba believed that if the EU were to negotiate with SADC as a bloc over fisheries produce, that would "transform us into a more respected negotiator".
From: Call for integrated SADC fisheries policy / AIM / 12 May 2000
MOZAMBIQUE - REGIONAL COOPERATION - ECONOMIC POLICY
ITEM NO. 00/05/15 - MZ
The Mozambican government is negotiating with neighbouring Zimbabwe to export through its territory the tobacco produced in the western province of Tete, since the Malawian authorities have decided to ban the import of Mozambican tobacco leaf. Tete provincial governor Virgilio Ferrao said that there are ongoing negotiations with the Zimbabwean authorities "for the export of our tobacco through Zimbabwe", which should happen soon. The problem of Mozambican tobacco growers is that Mozambique has no tobacco processing industry. Normally Mozambican tobacco leaf is processed in Malawi, but a panic over low prices on the Malawi tobacco floors led to a sudden ban on the import of foreign tobacco leaf. Ferrao said that all formalities are nearly at a final stage, and Zimbabwe is to process the Mozambican raw tobacco leaf and export it to the international market, particularly to Europe.
From: Mozambican tobacco to be exported through Zimbabwe / AIM / 15 May 2000
MOZAMBIQUE - OAU SUMMIT - SOUTHERN AFRICA
ITEM NO. 00/05/18 - MZ
Mozambique wants the entire Southern African Development Community (SADC) to take a joint position on whether to demand that the forthcoming summit of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) should be moved from the Togolese capital, Lome, said the Prime Minister Pascal Macomb. The Angolan government has threatened to boycott the summit unless it is moved to another venue. For the unsavoury regime of Togolese strongman Gnassingbe Eyadema is one of those named in a United Nations report as violating the sanctions imposed by the Security Council against the Angolan rebel movement UNITA. Under these circumstances, the Angolans argue that it would be absurd to allow Eyadema to become OAU chairman. Macomb declared that "Mozambique is in full solidarity with Angola. We understand that Angola has strong reasons for its position". "We will analyse the situation with our partners in SADC and see what decision to take", he said. "We must take all of SADC into consideration".
From: Mozambique wants joint SADC position on OAU summit / AIM / 18 May 2000
MOZAMBIQUE - INVESTMENTS - NATURAL RESOURCES
ITEM NO. 00/05/19 - MZ
The American corporation ENRON has agreed with the South African company SASOL to build a single pipeline to transport natural gas from the Pande and Temane fields in the southern Mozambican province of Inhambane to the Maputo and South African markets, reads a SASOL press release. Enron was granted rights to exploit the Pande natural gas fields and to build and run a pipeline between this region and Maputo, where it is planning to use the gas in a factory that will produce two million tonnes of steel slabs a year. The release says that ENRON and SASOL found that building one pipeline, rather than two, will allow "more efficiency, better profits and more speed in carrying out the projects of each of the companies in Mozambique". Under the agreement, it is SASOL that will build the single pipeline for clients in Mozambique and South Africa, and ENRON will buy the gas and pay for the supply services. The document notes, however, that this agreement is awaiting formal approval by the Mozambican government, and it will undergo "adjustments" according to the interests of the two companies.
From: ENRON and SASOL agree on a single pipeline / AIM / 19 May 2000
MOZAMBIQUE - REGIONAL COOPERATION - SECURITY - EDUCATION
ITEM NO. 00/05/23 - MZ
Mozambique has offices available for the planned Military Strategic Studies and Analysis Centre for the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), said the Mozambican Defence Minister Tobias Dai. Speaking during the two day conference of CPLP Defence Ministers, Dai said that "the installing nucleus has already provided the offices where the Strategic Studies and Analysis Centre will function. This is our contribution in line with the decision taken at previous CPLP Defence Ministers meetings". A further Mozambican contribution, added Dai, would be the provision of quarters for the training of marines. The Luanda meeting is aimed at drawing up a balance sheet of the achievements in each country's programmes in the context of technical and military cooperation. Other issues to be broached include military training of member countries' units, preparing them to take part in peacekeeping operations, and the possibility of setting up, in African CPLP members, factories producing military equipment for common use. The CPLP members are Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and Sao Tome and Principe.
From: CPLP Military strategic studies centre / AIM / 23 May 2000
MOZAMBIQUE - INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION - FRANCE
ITEM NO. 00/05/24 - MZ
French Cooperation Minister Charles Josselin said in Maputo that France will make efforts to revive the agreement between the European Union and the ACP (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific) group of countries when it takes over the EU rotating presidency as from 1 July. Speaking at a press conference at the end of a two day visit to Mozambique, Josselin said that France would try to persuade other European countries to take an interest in the Southern Hemisphere. "It is important that all European countries should concern themselves with Africa", he stressed. Josselin visited the district of Chokwe, in Gaza province, the area worst hit by the flood on the Limpopo River in February. He said that France has taken responsibility for rehabilitating Chokwe Rural Hospital was swamped by the floods and all the patients had to be evacuated. Josselin also met with Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano, with whom he discussed bilateral cooperation, the conflicts in the Great Lakes region, and the situation in Zimbabwe.
From: French minister ends visit / AIM / 24 May 2000
MOZAMBIQUE - REGIONAL COOPERATION - AGRICULTURE - TOBACCO
ITEM NO. 00/05/25 - MZ
Malawian President Bakili Muluzi may support Mozambican efforts for the lifting of the unilateral Malawian ban on processing Mozambican tobacco, according to a Mozambican government source. In April Malawi suddenly decided to impose a ban on leaf tobacco grown in Mozambique and Zambia. No reason was given for the ban, but it seems that Malawian producers panicked at the low prices offered when the tobacco auction floors opened, and sought an easy scapegoat in foreign producers. But Virgilio Ferrao, governor of the western province of Tete, said that the government has information which "indicates that President Muluzi intends to lift the ban. For the Mozambican authorities it would be convenient if the ban were lifted as soon as possible, since the tobacco is starting to deteriorate". "The warehouses for the conditioning of the leaf tobacco bought from the peasants are overcrowded, and some tonnes of this product have already deteriorated", said Ferrao.
From: Muluzi may intervene in tobacco crisis / AIM / 25 May 2000
MOZAMBIQUE - GOVERNMENT - JUSTICE
ITEM NO. 00/05/29 - MZ
Mozambique's Attorney-General, Antonio Namburete, has suspended one of the assistant attorney-generals, Afonso Antunes, from attending sessions of the Technical Council of the Attorney-General's office. The suspension follows an open letter Antunes wrote, denouncing abuses in the Attorney-General's office, notably the Technical Council's failure to deal with serious allegations of corruption, arising from the country's largest banking fraud, which resulted in the theft of 144 billion meticais (US$14 million at the exchange rate of the time) from the Commercial Bank of Mozambique (BCM) in 1996. Antunes' lengthy letter was published in two parts in "Metical". Namburete wasted no time, and issued the dispatch suspending Antunes from the Technical Council. He claimed that Antunes had "seriously offended the prestige and dignity of this body", and instructed another of the assistant attorney-generals, Casimiro Davane, to head an inquiry into "the circumstances and motivations" which led to publication of the letter. Namburete cannot actually sack Antunes from his post as assistant attorney-general, since he was appointed to the job by President Joaquim Chissano.
From: Battle in Attorney-General's office / AIM / 29 May 2000
MOZAMBIQUE - ECONOMIC INTEGRATION - AFRICA
ITEM NO. 00/05/29 - MZ
Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano declared in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, that economic integration "is not a luxury for Africa, but a necessity for the development of the continent". Speaking at a special summit of heads of state of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), which formed part of the celebrations of the 24th anniversary of ECOWAS, Chissano stressed that regional integration "is the only viable strategy to free Africa from hunger, disease and poverty". "When we speak of integration in Africa, we are talking about the eradication of poverty, about security, the exploitation of African resources for the benefit of Africans, industrialisation and the creation of an African market", he said. The integration the continent needed, Chissano added, was one "centred on the development of the people of Africa which will allow us to be more active partners in building the progress and well-being of all humanity in this millennium". Chissano was addressing the meeting in his capacity as chairman of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
From: Chissano calls for economic integration / AIM / 29 May 2000
MOZAMBIQUE - PEACE PROCESS - BURUNDI
ITEM NO. 00/05/30 - MZ
Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano and his Burundian counterpart Pierre Buyoya met in Abuja to discuss the latest developments in the peace negotiations for Burundi. "By July there will be a proposal on a peace accord", said Chissano after the meeting. He said that Buyoya told him that there have been talks between the mediator in the Burundian peace process, former South African President, Nelson Mandela, and those rebel groups who have so far refused to take part in the peace negotiations. "The Burundian President lamented the fact that those meetings were not at the level of the heads of the rebel movements", said Chissano, adding, however, that "Buyoya is optimistic about the process". Buyoya told Chissano that Mandela recently visited Burundi and "did a good job". "Buyoya made a positive appreciation of Mandela's job and reiterated that he and the Burundian government are prepared to facilitate all talks, as best as they can, and to take all measures at their disposal to facilitate the process", said Chissano.
From: Chissano and Buyoya on the Burundian peace process / AIM / 30 May 2000
MOZAMBIQUE - REGIONAL COOPERATION - TOURISM
ITEM NO. 00/05/30 - MZ
Plans to establish the world's fifth biggest wildlife park could become reality with the expected signing
of an agreement in mid-June by the Mozambican, South African and Zimbabwean governments. A source from the
South African Tourism and Environmental Affairs Ministry said that the park will run along the border of
the three countries. The park will link Kruger Park, the Gonarezhou game reserve in southern Zimbabwe, and
the Banhine, Zevane and Lot 16 parks, in the southern Mozambican province of Gaza. Details for the creation
of the park, to be called Gaza-Kruger-Gonarezhou Trans-border area, were initially discussed in the Zimbabwean
capital Harare between ministers of the three countries. Leo Braack, national coordinator of the South African
parks, told AIM that the ministers want the initiative to be up and running before the end of the year. Seemingly,
the project has the backing of international donors. Braack said that donors have promised to fund Eco-tourism
projects in the region, such as the tri-partite park.
From: Plans To Establish Tri-Partite Wildlife Park / AIM / 30 May 2000
MOZAMBIQUE - EDUCATION - POST GRADUATION
ITEM NO. 00/05/31 - MZ
Post graduate courses are to be offered by the new Education Faculty at Maputo's Eduardo Mondlane University as from
August 2001. The courses will range from Adult Education to Curricular Development, and Sciences and Maths Education.
The faculty will also offer a first degree in Psychology, as well as offering in-service courses for secondary schoolteachers.
Mouzinho Mario, chairman of the commission charged with establishing the new faculty, said that efforts are being under
taken so that the deadline can be met. Speaking in Maputo to journalists at a regional seminar on teacher training,
Mario added that his commission has been charged with the task of drafting the curricula and the study plans, and
establishing the material and human resources so that the faculty can move ahead. As regards curricular assessment,
he said that the commission has been working with its partners from Holland, namely the University of Groningen, the
University of Twente and the Free Amsterdam University. "Currently, lecturers are being trained abroad", said Mario,
adding that already 12 lecturers have been trained, and by August 2001 there would be 18 of them available.
From: Education Faculty post graduation courses from 2001 / AIM / 31 May 2000