11 October 2017

Mozambique: Renamo Tries to Sack Provincial Assembly Director

Maputo — The chairperson of the Sofala Provincial Assembly, in central Mozambique, Carlitos Viano, has sacked the director of the assembly's technical secretariat, Rui Manuel, for refusing to obey instructions from the rebel movement Renamo, according to a report on the independent television station, STV.

Renamo holds a majority of the seats in the elected Provincial Assembly, but Manuel is a civil servant, appointed to his position by the Ministry of State Administration.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Viano said Manuel has disobeyed instructions from the Renamo group in the Assembly, ever since the Assembly was sworn into office two and a half years ago.

Viano claimed this had contributed to a poor working environment in the Assembly because Manuel allegedly mobilised other staff to disobey the guidelines laid down by the Renamo group.

He claimed that under the 2007 legislation on the municipalities he has the power to appoint and dismiss staff. So he had dismissed Manuel, and appointed a commission of three staff members to run the secretariat. But, if the Ministry of State Administration thought it should appoint another director, “we are open”.

Rui Manuel, however, is not going anywhere and has refused to accept what he calls “an illegal order”, and “an aberration”.

He said Viano was quoting the wrong law. Manuel pointed out that the correct legislation was not the law on municipalities, but the 2010 law on provincial assemblies, which states that the power to appoint the directors of the assembly secretariat lies in the hands “of the minister who superintends local state administration”.

In other words, argued Manuel, the only person who can sack him is Carmelita Namashalua, the current Minister of State Administration and the Public Service.

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