18 January 2013

Mozambique: PM Expresses Solidarity With Victims of Storms

Maputo — Mozambican Prime Minister Alberto Vaquina on Friday addressed a message of solidarity to those families who have lost loved ones, homes and possessions in the heavy rains and flooding that have struck parts of the country this month.

Speaking at the end of a visit to media offices in Maputo, Vaquina said that the country is going through a difficult moment because of the torrential rains. Since more heavy rain is forecast, Vaquina urged all provincial, district, municipal, and local governments, and the country’s relief agency, the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC), to step up their activities to ensure that there is no further loss of life

He also urged members of the public to follow closely all the guidelines issued by the INGC and other government bodies on measures to be taken to ensure safety.

“Since more rainfall is forecast for the south of the country, which risks worsening the situation still further, we are calling on people to take shelter in safe areas”, Vaquina said.

He added that the government is now implementing the contingency plan for dealing with natural disasters that was drawn up last year, and is providing assistance to the victims in lies with the resources available.

Since Tuesday, Vaquina has been visiting the offices of media, both publicly and privately owned, and listening to the grievances of media workers. On Friday, he completed this tour with visits to the Maputo delegation of the daily paper “Diario de Mocambique”, Miramar Radio and Television (owned by the Brazilian Record Group, which is in turn owned by the evangelical sect, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God), and the government press office (GABINFO), and Public Information Office (BIP).

He noted that he had been faced with problems of management, and with difficult relations between workers and managers. Even in those private media where such problems were not raised during his visit, Vaquina doubted that this meant they did not exist – since such problems and tensions “are natural in places where people work”.

Since there is no such thing as a perfect human being, all workplaces had their problems, he said, and the important issue was to seek solutions that could help overcome these problems.

“Workers are human beings, and so are managers, and each of them have their qualities and their virtues”, he said.

Confronted at BIP with claims by a worker that the atmosphere here is characterized by intrigues, gossip and division fomented by the management, Vaquina said that the solution lay in holding regular meetings between the management and the workers.

He warned against listening to just one worker, or one group of workers, who might paint a false picture of the situation.

He stressed that managers have responsibilities and should respect those they work with. The workers also have duties to carry out, and there should be a spirit of collaboration between workers and managers.

Vaquina said his visits had helped him understand how the media function, and he praised the role of the media in publicizing actions by the government and by the people in the fight against poverty.

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