Mozambique: Businesses Want New Mayor to Solve Pending Problems

Maputo — Maputo business people want to see whoever becomes mayor of the capital in the forthcoming municipal elections solve the problems which the current municipal leadership has failed to handle.

Speaking at a meeting on Wednesday with Eneas Comiche , the mayoral candidate of the ruling Frelimo Party, the business people complained of red tape and corruption, notably in such matters as obtaining land. They also attacked the failure to build landfills for the city's growing garbage problem, and the chaotic state of parking in the city centre.

The meeting, attended by representatives of about 100 businesses, was intended to collect ideas from the business class for the manifesto on which Frelimo will wage its election campaign.

One participant, Samuel Saiete, accused the Municipal Council of sabotaging his efforts to set up a business to sell fisheries produce. There are city councillors, he said, who do not assist in processing requests, but instead make the development of the municipality difficult.

"In 2012, I asked the council for land on which to set up refrigerated containers, from which I would sell fisheries produce, Unfortunately up to today, the Council has not accepted this", he said. "I have lost a great deal of money".

Eugenia Nkutumula criticised the city council for failing to build car parks - as a result motorists leave their vehicles in inappropriate places. "The winning party should end the anarchic parking on the streets of Maputo", she said.

Comiche agreed that the best way to deal with the city's garbage is to build a new landfill - but noted that this is already being done. A landfill is under construction in the Mathlemele neighbourhood in the adjoining city of Matola. This will take rubbish from both Maputo and Matola.

He wanted to see work on this landfill speeded up. "I am convinced that the solution for waste management will be the conclusion of the Mathlemele landfill", Comiche said. "I believe that is the immediate solution for managing solid waste".

As for the informal vendors, who proliferate on the streets of the capital, and whom formal sector shops accuse of unfair competition, Comiche said he wanted a solution that will satisfy both the informal sellers and the formal businesses.

"They are selling so that they can earn something", he said, claiming that this kind of petty trade exists in most cities throughout the world.

Comiche thought that most of the city's problems could be solved through the creation of public-private partnerships, and with the involvement of civil society. "Such partnerships should benefit all municipal citizens", he said. "They should be smart partnerships".

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