Mozambique: MDM and Frelimo Offer Differing Visions of Beira

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Maputo — Radically different views on the future of the central Mozambican city of Beira were on display on Thursday, with the current mayor and leader of the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), Daviz Simango, arguing that only a vote for the MDM will guarantee the continued development of the city, while the Frelimo mayoral candidate, Augusta Maita, claimed that Beira had been "abandoned" and only Frelimo could rescue it.

Speaking in the outlying suburb of Nhangau, the most rural part of Beira, Simango recalled that before he became mayor "there were no health posts here in Nhangau. There was no hospital. There was no school. The nurses had nowhere to live, and there was no ambulance. The municipality built all of this".

He promised that, if the MDM retains power in Beira in next Wednesday's municipal elections, the Council will build more health centres and schools for Nhangau, and open more sources of clean drinking water.

"We want to produce more for our people, but for this there must be hope in the MDM, trust in the MDM. We have to believe in what the MDM is doing and that it is going to do much more", Simango continued. "We want to boost the cold storage systems for the fishermen in Nhangau. We have already installed one, but we want more".

"The MDM we know makes things happen", said the mayor. "The MDM is changing Beira, and we are asking you to vote for this MDM".

Maita had a completely different view of Beira, and accused the MDM-led municipal council of abandoning the city. Speaking in the administrative post of Inhamizua, she claimed that, throughout its 26 neighbourhoods, the city "is infested with garbage", and the problem can only be solved though a Frelimo victory in the election.

The good things that had happened recently in Beira, she suggested, were the work, not of the municipal council, but of the central government, citing improvements in the water distribution system, allowing 2,000 new connections in Inhamizua, benefitting 11,000 people.

"We want Beira to move towards development", Maita told the crowd, "and you have it within your reach to take the city out of its current situation".

"We must vote for Frelimo and for women so that our victory is clear and convincing", she urged. "Let's bank on Frelimo and I'm sure you will not regret it".

Frelimo has been in opposition in Beira for the past 15 years. Simango was first elected mayor in 2003, when he stood on the ticket of the former rebel movement Renamo. But when, in 2008, Renamo refused to stand him for a second term, Simango ran as an independent and crushed his rivals from both Renamo and Frelimo. He founded the MDM in 2009, and it was as the MDM candidate that he won his third term of office in 2013.

Mad/pf (488)


Xai-Xai (Mozambique), 5 Oct (AIM) - Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Thursday inaugurated a vegetable processing centre (CEPHOL) in Xai-Xai, capital of the southern province of Gaza.

This centre was financed by the African Development Bank (ADB), to the tune of over 3.175 million US dollars.

According to Armando Ussivane, the chairperson of the Lower Limpopo Irrigation Company (RBL), the new processing centre is part of the Lower Limpopo Irrigation and Climate Resilience Project. It is intended to encourage farmers to increase their production and productivity, to boost food security and to promote agro-processing.

The centre was built on an embankment which should resist any future floods in the Limpopo Valley. The area is half a metre above the maximum level reached by the waters during the enormous Limpopo floods of 2000.

"This centre has been set up in an area of three hectares, where it is possible to install greenhouses in the future, to produce seedlings, and demonstration fields for crop varieties", said Ussivane.

CEPHOL buys from local farmers a range of vegetables, fruits, root crops and beans, which it then processes - it washes, selects, calibrates, packages, stores and conserves the crops.

Ussivane said that, through this type of business, CEPHOL hopes to contribute to vegetable production, by linking farmers to the markets, reducing post-harvest losses through good conservation techniques, and ensuring that vegetables are available on the market throughout the year.

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