Maputo — Massingir (Mozambique), 5 Apr (AIM) - Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi, at the end of a three day working visit to the southern province of Gaza, told reporters he is pleased at the advances the province has made in various areas of social and economic development.
Speaking on Wednesday in the town of Massingir, Nyusi said he had noted significant advances in both commercial and peasant agriculture.
He said that the rehabilitation of the Massingir dam on the Elephants River, the largest tributary of the Limpopo, would make more water available for irrigation in Massingir district. A new water supply system for Massingir town had been installed that would eventually bring water to around 26,000 people.
“In the livestock sector, Gaza has about 500,000 head of cattle, and the levels of chicken production have risen”, said Nyusi. “The same is true of egg production, with the operations of the company Tongasse (in Mandlakaze district). In Gaza, things are happening”.
Tongasse, he added, was selling its produce not only in Gaza, but also in Maputo, and this was a step towards eliminating dependence on imported chickens and eggs.
The opening of new boreholes, Nyusi said, would free livestock farmers from the need to move their cattle to other areas in search of water.
The problems of water shortages in Chibuto district, he continued, would be solved with a new water treatment station that can treat 10,000 cubic metres a day. This, he explained, was one of the social responsibility projects promised by the Chinese company, the Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group, which has the concession to exploit titanium-bearing heavy mineral sands in Chibuto, believed to be the largest deposit of titanium ores in the world.
The Chibuto heavy sands project, Nyusi believed, would bring many economic and social gains to the province and to the country. Anhui has promised to build not only a mine, but also a new 70 kilometre long railway linking Chibuto to Chokwe, on the Limpopo line from Zimbabwe to the port of Maputo. At the port, Anhui has promised to install a new terminal, dedicated to handling the ores from Chibuto. There will also be a hydro-electric power station at Massingir, and a transmission line connecting it to the Chibuto mine.
At a final rally in Massingir, Nyusi expressed his confidence in the outcome of the negotiations under way with the rebel movement Renamo to disarm and demobilise the illegal Renamo militia.
He said that disarmament is less complex than the question of decentralisation. He and Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama had already agreed the general outlines of a decentralisation package, which is now before the country's parliament, the Assembly of the Republic.
“Now we are discussing demilitarisation”, Nyusi said. “It is not as complicated as decentralisation, but it needs more steps forwards, firm steps that bring trust. The process is under way and we are encouraged”.
He wanted the Assembly to approve the constitutional amendments that make decentralisation possible as soon as possible. He said he was telling the parliamentarians “Go ahead! Don't invent other things to make matters more complicated. We've already reached agreement, so why are you inventing other things?”
He was clearly referring to the Renamo demand that, in the interval between the 2019 provincial elections and the first district assembly elections, scheduled for 2024, district administrators should be appointed by provincial governors and not by the Ministry of State Administration, as is currently the case. This matter was not even mentioned in the consensus document between Nyusi and Dhlakama, which Nyusi had announced on 7 February.
Nyusi also urged Mozambicans to take pride in themselves and in their country. “Don't imagine that this country is the worst in the world”, he said. “For if your country is the worst, that is because you are the worst. Let us all work, so that our country becomes better and we are respected”.