10 December 2016

Mozambique: Husband Killed Valentina Guebuza

Valentina Guebuza was shot and killed by her husband Zofimo Muiuane on Wednesday 14 December. She was daughter of ex-president president Armando Guebuza and head of Focus 21 and other family businesses, and one of the wealthiest women in Mozambique. Guebuza, 36, and Muiuane, 43, were married in July 2014; they have one child. Among the wedding guests were South African President Jacob Zuma, King Mswati III of Swaziland, and Isabel dos Santos, daughter of Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

Police said Muiuane shot his wife four times, using a pistol which was unlicenced in Mozambique and which he had brought from South Africa. Muiuane is head of marketing at the state-owned mobile telephone company Mcel, which is in financial difficulty and has been losing customers to competitor Vodacom. Muiuane's parents were family friends of Armando Guebuza.

Valentina Guebuza was a member of the Frelimo Central Committee. She was one of "The 20 Young Power Women In Africa 2013" in Forbes, the US magazine which once billed itself as the "capitalist tool". At the time, the magazine said "The 33 year-old daughter of Mozambique’s President Armando Guebuza heads Focus 21 Management & Development, a large family-owned investment holding company with interests in banking, telecommunications, fisheries, transport, mining and property. Focus 21 owns significant stakes in Beira Grain Terminal and Chinese Pay TV Company StarTimes' operations in Mozambique." StarTimes won the contract for implementing the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting systems in November.

The murder has put more focus on violence against women and domestic violence, which have become increasingly prominent issues recently. Margarida Talapa, the head of the Frelimo parliamentary group, expressed her dismay at the “aggression and domestic violence against women” which had culminated in Valentina’s death, One recent study showed that in Maputo, seven out of ten women had been violated or mistreated in public places, particularly in the high density suburbs.

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