Maputo — Mozambican President Armando Guebuza on Saturday appointed former Education Minister Aires Ali as Prime Minister in his new government.
The appointment comes two days after Guebuza was sworn into his second term of office, following his overwhelming victory in the presidential election of 28 October.
Ali replaces Luisa Diogo, who is not a member of the new government. Currently Diogo's only official state position is that of a member of the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic. Both she and Ali are also members of the Political Commission of the ruling Frelimo Party.
Prior to his appointment as Minister of Education and Culture in 2005, Ali had been governor of the northern province of Niassa (1995-2000), and then of the southern province of Inhambane (2000-2004). Earlier posts Ali held were provincial director of education in Nampula (19880-1986), head of the office of the Minister of Education (1989-90), and National Director of School Social Welfare Programmes (1991-92).
Guebuza has simply reappointed the great majority of ministers who served in the last government. Thus the two key economic ministries remain in the hands of the same people who have negotiated with Mozambique's foreign partners over the fast five years - Manuel Chang as Minister of Finance, and Aiuba Cuereneia as Minister of Planning and Development.
Also Jose Pacheco remains Minister of the Interior, Filipe Nyussi Minister of Defence, Oldemiro Baloi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ivo Garrido Minister of Health, Soares Nhaca Minister of Agriculture, Benvinda Levy Minister of Justice, and Venancio Massingue Minister of Science and Technology.
Similarly unchanged are Esperanca Bias as Minister of Mineral Resources, Alcinda Abreu as Minister of the Environment, Helena Taipo as Minister of Labour, Salvador Namburete as Minister of Energy, Antonio Fernando as Minister of Industry and Trade, Paulo Zucula as Minister of Transport, Vitoria Diogo as Minister for the Public Service, and Antonio Sumbana as Minister for the President's Office.
Fernando Sumbana remains Minister of Tourism. For the last year he has also been Minister of Youth and Sport, since the previous holder of that post, David Simango, was elected Mayor of Maputo in the November 2008 municipal elections. Now there is a new Minister of Youth and Sport, Pedrito Caetano, who is a newcomer to the government.
Guebuza has split the Ministry of Education and Culture into two. The new Minister of Education is Zeferino Martins, who was once Deputy Minister of Education under Guebuza's predecessor, Joaquim Chissano, and in recent years has been Executive Director of the Commission for the Reform of Professional Education (COREP).
Guebuza appointed the poet Armando Artur Joao as Minister of Culture. He was previously Deputy President of the Maputo-based Portuguese Language Bibliographic Fund.
Cadmiel Muthemba leaves the Ministry of Fisheries to replace Felicio Zacarias as Minister of Public Works and Housing. Victor Borges is promoted from Deputy Minister to Minister of Fisheries.
Carmelita Namashalua moves from Deputy Minister to Minister of State Administration, replacing Lucas Chomera,
Mateus Oscar Kida becomes Minister for Veterans' Affairs, while the previous occupant of this post, Feliciano Gundana, becomes Minister in the Presidency for Social Matters.
Adelaide Amurane, a former Deputy Minister of Labour under Chissano, moves into Guebuza's office as Minister in the Presidency for Parliamentary, Municipal and Provincial Assembly Affairs.
Iolanda Cintura, formerly National Director of Liquid Fuels in the Ministry of Energy, becomes Minister of Women's Affairs and Social Welfare, replacing Virgilia Matabele.
Guebuza has also reappointed several of the deputy ministers. Thus Jose Mandra remains Deputy Minister of the Interior, Pedro Couto Deputy Finance Minister and Jaime Himede Deputy Minister of Energy.
Likewise, the two Deputy Foreign Ministers in the last government, Eduardo Koloma and Henriques Banze, are both reappointed, as are the Deputy Ministers of the Environment, Ana Chichava, of Tourism, Rosario Mualeia, of Mineral Resources, Abdul Razak Moormahomed, of Defence, Agostinho Monjane, of Youth and Sport, Carlos Castro de Sousa, and of the Public Service, Abdurremane Almeida.
The second Deputy Minister or the Public Service, Maria Jose Lucas, replaces Victor Bernardo as Deputy Minister of Planning and Development, while the former governor of Zambezia province, Carvalho Muaria, becomes Deputy Minister of Public Works. Gabriel Muthisse moves from Deputy Minister of Public Works to Deputy Minister of Fisheries. The former provincial director of agriculture in Sofala, Antonio Limbau, because Deputy Minister of Agriculture.
There are three Deputy Ministers of Education, One, Arlindo Chilundo, is the director of the Frelimo Central Party School in the southern city of Matola. Augusto Jone Luis is a supplementary member of parliament on the Frelimo list for Sofala province, and the third deputy minister is prominent food scientist Leda Florinda Hugo.
A former director of the Centre of African Studies at the Eduardo Mondlane University, Marcelino Liphola, becomes Deputy Minister for Veterans' Affairs.
Other newcomers to high government office are the Deputy Minister of State Administration, Jose Tsambe (formerly Frelimo First Secretary in Gaza Province), the Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Kenneth Marizane (a former university lecturer in Beira), the Deputy Minister of Justice, jurist Alberto Nkutumula (who writes an internet blog under the pseudonym Nero Kalashnikov), and the Deputy Minister of Women's Affairs and Social Welfare, Virgilio Mateus.