Mozambique: Are Ruby Mine Resettled Families Getting Luxury $95,000 Houses?

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Montepuez Ruby Mining (MRM) has now delivered 105 houses for families in the resettlement village of Namanhumbir, built by the mining company, to re-house Nthoro communities previously lining on land given to the mine a decade ago. MRM says it has spent $10 mn for 105 of these houses - $95,000 per house - including electricity, water and community projects including a primary school, market, mosque, church and police station. Each family also receives 2 ha of farmland. The MRM 28 December press statement is on  http://bit.ly/MozMRMhouses

In its 22 June 2020 resettlement update, MRM notes a problem because it is trying to resettle families on already occupied farmland, and it admits there is no support from local leaders to move the exiting farmers.

The mine has very high level political links. Montepuez Ruby Mining is 75% owned by Gemfields and 25% by Mwiriti, which is controlled by Raimundo Pachinuapa, a liberation war commander now on the Frelimo Political Commission. MRM is chaired by Samora Machel Jr. Pachinuapa’s son Raime is MRM’s director of corporate affairs. Gemfields agreed to pay $8.3 mn to settle 273 claims of killings, severe beatings and house burnings related to the Montepuez ruby mines, the company announced on 29 January 2019.  http://bit.ly/Ruby-Moz436  Gemfields earned $120 mn from its Mozambique ruby auctions in 2019.

Houses being built by the Ministry of Public Works , Housing and Water are less expensive. The first 22 two-bedroom houses in Nampula have been provided to young married people, recent graduates and civil servants with a 15-year mortgage of 13,000 Meticais per month (currently $173, but with devaluation much less per month in 15 years). The Ministry's Housing Promotion Fund is upgrading 2000 wattle and daub houses at a cost of $1265 each. Wattle and daub ( pau-a-pique ) is a building method which has been used for thousands of years in Europe and elsewhere, and is common in northern Mozambique. A woven lattice of wooden strips (called wattle) is filled with a mud-and-straw based sticky material (called daub). ( O Pais Economico  12 Feb)

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