South Africa is already planning to use Mozambican gas as the basis of plastics, fertilizer and ceramics industries. We believe gas would be an excellent basis for industrialization in Mozambique, producing fertilizer, chemicals and plastics. This could create thousands of jobs in related industries. But there was no interest. Mozambique has opted for quick returns by selling the gas as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) or through the Chipande pipeline to South Africa – yet again simply selling raw materials without value added.
The South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has devised a plan for gas industrialisation intended to grow the economy and create more jobs, Engineering News reports. The plan is to first rely on imports of LNG (probably from Mozambique) to kick start the industrial development, with hopes of large-scale imports of gas once infrastructure was more developed.
The story repeats itself – Cahora Bassa, Mozal, exporting coking coal instead of processing local iron ore, exporting gemstones but not creating a local jewellery industry, exporting most cashew nuts unprocessed.
Renamo renews attacks but agrees talks about talks
Renamo will today (Thursday 19 May) name a three person team to meet the government team to talk about talks, Renamo head Dhlakama told O Pais (18 May) and STV on Tuesday. Dhlakama said he had only received a letter that day from President Filipe Nyusi suggesting that the two teams should discuss all issues about the talks, including mediation.
Nyusi named his team on 4 March: former Security Minister Jacinto Veloso, former Justice Minister Benvinda Levi, who is now an advisor to Nyusi on legal matters, and Alves Muteque, an official in the president’s office.
Dhlakama puts at the top of the list for negotiation the issue of governing “our provinces – the provinces that voted for Renamo.” And he says he wants provincial elections in 2019 – in what appears to be a modification of his position. He goes on to say that Frelimo claims that his proposals for elected provincial governments violate the constitution, and if so the constitution should be amended. But he sees Frelimo as equally violating the constitution by “falsifying the vote” and packing the Constitutional Council with Frelimo members.
Refuting claims that he is ill, he did admit he was debilitated the last time he appeared in public because he had malaria. But he added “we are old, we have children. We never intended to stay in the bush” but were forced there by Frelimo. He also claimed again that Renamo is not attacking civilian targets but only military ones; he confirmed attacks on Nagi and Etrago buses because he said they carried soldiers.
Meanwhile last weekend, perhaps to add military clout to Renamo’s entry into talks about talks, there were a series of attacks – several in new places, perhaps in an effort to demonstrate Renamo expansion. On Sunday a bus was attacked in Mocuba, Zambezia near a Renamo base; a Philippine woman was killed and five other people were seriously injured. On Saturday a South African registered car was attacked in Chinguno, Mossurize, southern Manica, and a woman passenger was killed. (AIM Pt 18 May) According to Canal de Mocambique (18 May) six buses were attacked in Morrumbala and Mocuba, Zambezia, and two in Gorongosa, Sofala, on Sunday, all on the main N1 road between Nampula and Beira. Three people were killed and many passengers injured, Canal claims. The buses came from five different companies, including the two which Dhlakama said were transporting soldiers.
The Human Rights League (Liga Mocambicana dos Direitos Humanos, LDH) said on 10 May that since the beginning of the year, “the LDH has been notified of 83 summary executions which occurred in Manica, Sofala, Tete and Zambezia.”
Debt rumbles on
Standard Bank reports (11 May) that Mozambique is now the most indebted country in sub-Saharan Africa, with a debt probably exceeding 100% of GDP, which is widely considered unsustainable.
Economy and Finance Minister Adriano Maleiane yesterday (18 May) told parliamentary committees that Mozambique Assets Management (MAM) does not have the $178 mn to make its first debt repayment on 23 May, and government is trying to renegotiate the debt. (Lusa 19 May)
@Verdade (18 May) and Canal de Mocambique (18 May) print pictures of Armand Guebuza’s son Mussumbuluko inspecting and testing weapons which his companies Msumbiji Investiments and Timabes AG imported from Israel and other countries. They report that in October and November Israeli instructions were in Boane and Namaacha to train members of Casa Militar (the Presidential Guard) to use the new assault rifles and pistols. The newspapers claim that Mussumbuluko’s companies are acting as intermediaries to import weapons for the government using the three big secret loans.
Meanwhile, the boats paid for by the secret loans are in the port of Maputo for all to see. Some of the fast patrol boats are on land and can be seen from the street, seemingly never used. At the dock beside the new Restaurant A3 are at least 20 fishing boats, literally rusting away. One flies a tattered Mozambican flag. An apt image of the whole fiasco.
Source: By Joseph Hanlon