25 October 2018

Mozambique: Nyusi Returns to Cabo Delgado

Maputo — Pemba (Mozambique), 25 Oct (AIM) - Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said on Wednesday that the second phase of paving the road from Mueda to Negomano in the northern province of Cabo Delgado will begin before the first phase is complete.

Nyusi was speaking shortly after his arrival in the provincial capital, Pemba, for his second visit to the province this month. The main purpose of his visit this time is the formal launch of the 2018/19 agricultural campaign.

On 2 October Nyusi laid the first stone for the rehabilitation and paving of the 165 kilometre road from Mueda to Negomano. The paving is financed by the African Development Bank (ADB) and will cost 40.6 million US dollars.

The work will be undertaken in two phases. The first is tarring the road from Negomano, on the Tanzanian border, to Roma, a distance of 70 kilometres. The second phase will run from Roma to Mueda.

The purpose of this project is to ensure a good, tarred road between Tanzania and Mozambique. The border between the two countries is the Rovuma River, and in 2010 the "Unity Bridge" across the river was inaugurated by the Mozambican and Tanzanian presidents of the time, Armando Guebuza and Jakaya Kikwete.

The bridge has remained underused, largely because of the lack of good road connections on the Mozambican side.

Nyusi told the 2 October ceremony that the road will be the final piece in the country's main north-south highway, running from the Rovuma river to Ponta de Ouro, on the border with the South African province of Kwazulu-Natal.

Nyusi told the crowd that greeted him at Pemba airport that the launch of the agricultural campaign will bring together agricultural producers and the population in general. He stressed the need for positive agricultural results in order to guarantee food security and generate income for producers.

Nyusi added that the agricultural potential of Cabo Delgado plus the favourable long range weather forecast meant that good harvests could be expected in 2019.

He thanked the Cabo Delgado public for the orderly and peaceful way in which the municipal elections were conducted in the province on 10 October. "Let's continue like this, because only in this way will we dignify the gains we have been making since our independence in 1975". Nyusi said.

Mad/pf (387)

1251018 RENAMO COORDINATOR THREATENS TO BREAK OFF TALKS

Maputo, 25 Oct (AIM) - The interim coordinator of the Political Commission of Mozambique's main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, Ossufo Momade, on Thursday again threatened to end Renamo's talks with the government unless "electoral truth" is restored.

This is the second time that Momade has threatened to end the negotiations, which are centred on disarming and demobilising Renamo's militia and integrating its members into the armed forces and the police or back into civilian life.

He first made the threat on 13 October, just three days after the municipal elections. Renamo is alleging fraud in five municipalities, but accepts the results in the other 48 cities and towns.

The fraudulent results were announced, Renamo says, in the southern city of Matola, and in the towns of Marromeu, Moatize, Alto Molocue and Monapo, in Sofala, Tete, Zambezia and Nampula provinces respectively.

Speaking to a Maputo press conference by telephone from his military base in the central district of Gorongosa, Momade made two completely new demands. He called for a commission of inquiry to look into the frauds and to establish "the electoral truth", and he demanded the direct involvement of President Filipe Nyusi.

"I want here and now to invite the Head of State to clear up the problem, otherwise we shall leave the negotiations", he said.

This hard line from Momade is completely at odds with the position of the Renamo election agent, Andre Majibire. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, after the National Elections Commission (CNE) had announced the results, Majibire said Renamo was taking its complaints to the Constitutional Council, the highest body in matters of constitutional and electoral law, and he was confident that the Council would rule in Renamo's favour.

Majibire made no threats, and gave no hint that Renamo would break off talks with the government. Indeed, Majibire seemed delighted with the results overall and declared that Renamo was the real winner of the elections.

Renamo had gone into the elections with just one municipality (the northern city of Nampula, which it won in a by-election in March) and now it has eight, he said, plus hopes of recovering the five where it alleges fraud.

Momade's two demands have no support in the electoral legislation, which was passed unanimously by the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, including by the Renamo deputies. There is no role at all for the President of the Republic in election disputes, and no provision for setting up commissions of inquiry.

The avenues of appeal are through the district and city courts, and through the Constitutional Council, both of which Renamo is using.

Momade also called on the international contact group, which is mediating the talks between Rena mo and the government to contribute "towards restoring electoral truth so as to safeguard the effective peace and well being of the Mozambican people".

In at least four of the municipalities where Renamno alleges fraud, there were certainly massive irregularities. Those members of the CNE appointed by Renamo had hoped that the CNE would act on those irregularities.

However, the CNE members appointed by Frelimo made the novel argument that the CNE can do nothing to alter the results because the matter is sub judice, having gone before the district courts, and now being appealed to the Constitutional Council. No such argument was ever made in previous elections, and until now it was generally believed that the CNE does have the power to change the results when fraud or irregularities are detected.

The CNE voted on whether to accept the results from the five disputed municipalities, and the Frelimo position won by eight votes to five, with three abstentions.

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