Mozambique: New Ministers Sworn in

Maputo — Mozambican President Armando Guebuza on Thursday swore into office the new Defence and Environment Ministers, respectively Filipe Nhussi and Alcinda Abreu.

Guebuza told the new ministers that he expected to see them coordinate the central bodies and the subordinate structures of their ministries so as to achieve "quantifiable results".

"It is up to the new ministers to monitor actions for building a prosperous Mozambique", he said. "For this, open governance, and the spirit of teamwork and inclusion should prevail, so that we can best serve the Mozambican people".

Guebuza moved Abreu from Foreign Affairs to the Environment Ministry, replacing Luciana de Castro. She was not consulted first - she heard of her new job in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, where she had gone as Foreign Minister, to attend the summit of the Organisation of Islamic Conference.

Nhussi replaces Tobias Dai, whom Guebuza sacked on Wednesday. Dai had been Defence Minister since 2000.

Nhussi told reporters he intended to sit down with the current collective of leading officials in his ministry to establish the priorities for his work, taking into consideration the country's national defence strategy. "I shall work within the available material, human and financial conditions and resources", he said.

Tobias Dai declared that he was leaving the Defence Ministry with a sense of "mission accomplished", though he recognised that a great deal more needs to be done in the defence and security sector, He made no comment on the demands from various sectors of Mozambican society for his resignation following the March 2007 explosions at a Maputo military arsenal in which over 100 people lost their lives.

Sam/pf (280)

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