Mozambique: Nyusi Attacks Independent Press and Social Media

Mozambican media (un-named) are spreading disinformation about the terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado, President Filipe Nyusi told the opening session of a meeting of the Coordinating Council of the Ministry of Defence 25 November.

Journalists and media have reacted angrily. The Mozambique chapter of press freedom body MISA (Media Institute of Southern Africa) feared that the President’s statements “may be interpreted as an order to harass all the mass media who offer other views of the facts occurring in Cabo Delgado, and which do not please the government or the defence
forces”.

Nyusi told the military coordinating council: “We lament the growing trend towards disinformation and the attempts to manipulate public opinion by inventing facts, which are then publicized by using the platforms provided by social media”. He was concerned that “in this saga of distorting reality and of publicizing things which are not real, some of the mass media are being used, and, instead of being guided by professionalism, they end up, deliberately or innocently, acting to the advantage of the enemy”.

Nyusi urged the defence and security forces “to ascertain the veracity of the facts” and to watch all attempts to spread news and images. “The first vigilance comes from you. … You must not be deliberately denigrated while you watch passively and hold nobody responsible for these acts”.

This looks very much like giving the military censorship power in Cabo Delgado. And saying that some journalists are acting to the advantage of the enemy and that the military should hold people responsible is seen as in invitation to attack journalists, especially at local level, who are accurately reporting the war.

And it is clearly a reversal of a statement by Nyusi in August at the launch of the Northern Integrated Development Agency (AIDN), when he stressed "Cabo Delgado is not closed to journalists." But Zitamar (26 Nov) notes that applications from foreign journalists to visit Cabo Delgado have continued to be refused.

And the war goes on

Fighting continues in Muidumbe district, with some towns changing hands several times, notably Namacande, the district capital of Muidumbe. But the on-going fighting has stopped the insurgent push toward Mueda. Over 45,000 people fled Muidumbe district in the past month, the International Organization for Migration said on 27 November.

There has also been some fighting along the coast and on the islands. Palma police banned sea travel to and from Pemba.  Hotter and drier so far this year;
2019 cyclones stronger due to climate crisis

Mozambique temperatures for January-October 2020 were 1 degree above the 1981-2010 long term average, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Provisional Report on the State of the Global Climate 2020, published 2 December. Globally, 2020 will be the third hottest year in history, after 2016 and 2019. In January to September 2020
Mozambique had below average rainfall, except in Niassa and western Nampula. https://library.wmo.int/doc_num.php?explnum_id=10444 [21]

The Mozambique Channel had what WMO describes as a moderate to strong Marine Heatwave in 2020. Heating in the Channel is what made the 2019 cyclones more serious than usual, because cyclones build up their energy by taking heat from seawater.

A paper in the journal _Geophysical Research Letters_ shows that Cyclone Kenneth, "the strongest cyclone ever to make landfall in Mozambique, [which] did so unusually late in the season," hitting Cabo Delgado in April 2019, was such an intense storm because of high ocean temperatures in the northern Mozambique Channel. "During summer 2018/2019, Mozambique was devastated by Idai and Kenneth, the first time two Intense Status tropical cyclones have ever made landfall here. The season broke numerous records for the Southwest Indian Ocean (the greatest deaths, the largest damage, and numbers of Intense Status cyclones and tropical storms)". The paper "Exceptional Tropical Cyclone
Kenneth …" by a Cape Town University team was published 29 July 2020 and is available free on https://doi-org.libezproxy.open.ac.uk/10.1029/2020GL088715 [22]

Global heating is raising sea level temperatures, particularly in the Mozambique Channel, and as cyclones move across the Indian Ocean, they take energy from warm water. Hotter sea water means more energy is drawn up, which means more intense cyclones.

As UK follows Mozambique example

British farmers need 7 years help  to be as good as Mozambicans   Subsidies and guaranteed markets have always been opposed for Mozambican farmers by donors and the IMF and World Bank. Apparently it has to do with the "level playing field". Mozambican farmers are so much better than northern farmers that Europe and the US must give them huge
subsidies to compete with superior African farmers.

Current UK farm subsidies are $3.1 bn per year. Of that $2.1 bn is explicitly to oligarchs - it is based on land holdings, not farming, and goes to the Duke of Westminster, the Queen and others of the very wealthy. The other $1 bn does go to farmers. As the UK leaves the EU, these subsidies will be phased out.

But to reach the subsidy-free status of Mozambican farmers, British farmers will receive huge subsidies over the next seven years to improve  productivity, including new machinery. (_Guardian_ 30 Nov) It is interesting that the British government sees the need for huge subsidies to pull local farmers up to a level where they can be subsidy free, but thinks Mozambican farmers are so much better that they can be subsidy free now.

CRITICISM OF THE UK'S 'CRONY LIST' FOR CONTRACTS WAS DISMISSED AS 'TRIVIA' by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, thus confirming that he has
adopted the Mozambican system of giving friends of officials, members of parliament, and others with links to the ruling party priority in obtaining government contracts. (_Guardian_ 26 Nov) This goes along with abandonment of linking "governance" and aid. At least Britain won't complain about how Frelimo issues contracts.

HAVING ADOPTED THE MOZAMBIQUE CRONY LIST system for contracts, it is now following Mozambican practice on asset declaration. Mozambique requires ministers and senior officials to provide accept declarations for themselves and their family, including in laws - but these are kept secret, and are often not submitted. The UK has in the past, required these to be public. But Akshata Murty, the wife of Finance Minister (Chancellor) Rishi Sunak, in one of the wealthiest women in Britain, richer than the Queen. Normally her holdings would be public, and include $2 bn in Infosys, which has major contracts with the government, plus many other businesses. But she and Sunak have been allowed to keep
her assets secret. (_Guardian_ 28 Nov)

As Mozambican aid to Britain, is there an advisor in the Mozambique High Commission in London showing the UK how to help cronies?

BRITISH SOLDIERS ARE CURRENTLY IN MALAWI, assigned to counter-poaching missions in Liwonde National Park and the Nkhotakota and Majete Wildlife Reserves. (_Daily Maverick_, 24 Nov) This is what Dyck Advisory Group (DAG) was doing in Mozambique before they became involved providing air support in the Cabo Delgado civil war. This suggests if the UK wanted to provide some discreet military support, it could come over the border
from Malawi.

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