Maputo — The Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, on Thursday passed a government bill creating 13 new districts in four northern and central provinces.
In most cases, this involves upgrading administrative posts to district status, but in two cases (Quelimane, in Zambezia, and Mozambique Island, in Nampula) districts that had been abolished in 1986 are reinstated.
The government argues that the measure is intended “to consolidate the district as the main territorial unit for the organisation and functioning of the local state administration, and as the basis for planning economic, social and cultural development”.
The new districts would also “consolidate new poles of development in order to fight against poverty” and “will bring the centres of political, administrative and economic decisions closer to the public”.
The government also argued that, by upgrading administrative posts to districts, the Mozambican state would “provide better assistance to people in the more remote areas”.
The bill was entirely uncontroversial, and so was passed unanimously.
The new districts are as follows:
Nampula province: Mozambique Island, Lurde and Liupo;
Zambezia province: Quelimane, Luabo, Mulevala, Mocubela, Derre and Mulombo;
Tete province: Marara and Doa;
Manica province: Macate and Vanduzi.
These changes mean paying for staff and capital expenditure in 13 new districts. The Ministry of Finance puts the budgetary impact of the bill at about 1.1 billion meticais (36.4 million US dollars) spread over three years.
With all provincial capitals now also considered as districts, the total number districts in Mozambique rises to 151.