Deputies from Mozambique discuss decentralization in Berlin

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The German model of decentralization can be an inspiration for Mozambique. According to Renamo member Eduardo Namburete, speaking from Germany, the system of state autonomy utilized in this European country may be possible in Mozambique.

A delegation from the Mozambican National Assembly was in Berlin this week to gather examples and experiences from Germany’s decentralization model. During the visit, meetings were held with German parliamentarians, government and businessmen.

The delegation consisted of members of two parliamentary committees: the First Committee, Constitutional Affairs, Human Rights and Legality, and the Fourth Commission, Public Administration and Local Government.

Deutsche Welle interviewed Namburete, who was part of the Mozambican delegation.

Deutsche Welle (DW Africa): Which components of German decentralization are of interest to Mozambique?

Eduardo Namburete (EN): To study how they can reconcile the autonomy of the states in the federation without calling into question the uniqueness of the German state. This is an aspect that we also wish to retain in our process – decentralization should not at any time call into question the factor of the Mozambican state being a single and indivisible state.

They succeeded in doing this and we also believe that it is possible and that the Mozambique process must not jeopardize the unity of the state.

There are also other issues that we are discussing with them: the taxation process, how do they develop tax collection, customs operations, the issue of security in states and in the nation. And the interdependence of the various powers, legislation, for example, at the level of states and even legislation that is made at the level of the federation.

DW Africa: Mozambican parliamentarians have regularly traveled to other countries to gather experiences and seek examples. What is the highlight of these visits?

EN: A common factor is the conviction that decentralization strengthens democracy. Decentralization brings power to the people. And this is something we have seen in several countries where these missions have been organized. We are convinced that Mozambique should also not be an exception. The process of decentralization should be carried out to the maximum extent possible to enable democracy to be deepened and, in turn, pacify the country.

DW Africa: Several political analysts speak of a continuing lack of trust between Renamo and Frelimo. Would closer co-operation and a third element to maintain a balance not jeopardise this process or this discussion of decentralization?

EN: There is a third party involved. The specialists who will be involved are neither Renamo nor Frelimo. They are a third party that will help this process to run normally and with the fluidity that we expect.

DW Africa: And will they participate continuously and permanently?

EN: Yes. There will be a way to ensure that these personalities are constantly present throughout the process.

DW Africa: Other parties and civil society are calling for participation in the decentralization debate. Does not Renamo think that it is their right and also that experts on the subject take part in this debate?

EN: The debate is not forbidden to anyone. There are several ways to get involved. Even during the phase that ended recently there was the participation of other parties. For example, the MDM party had the opportunity to set out its views on decentralization within the Joint Commission. Even in this new process, I think that all those who have ideas will have space to participate in this debate.

The process is not forbidden. It is not just an issue of Frelimo and Renamo. There are ways include all the contributions that other parties can make.

DW Africa: Mozambicans have interpreted the end of hostilities and the goodwill of Renamo as signs of hope for the resumption of peace. Is there an agreement already planned to end this crisis?

EN: There is no date for this. This will be the result of the work currently being done. But I can say that the will that exists on the part of our leadership and that of the government means that the country is definitely at peace. And this has been demonstrated by the cessation of hostilities that was decreed by president Afonso Dhlakama, first for a week and then for two months. This continues as promised and decreed. And so far there is no reported incident, which leads us to believe that it will last forever. Obviously there will be an official statement when all this work that is underway comes to a satisfactory conclusion. There will be no reason for the country to go back to observing confrontations again.

Source: Deutsche Welle
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