Mozambique's ruling Frelimo Party has won "a resounding victory" in the municipal elections held on 19 November, according to Manuel Tome, spokesman for the Frelimo election office. Addressing a Maputo press conference on 20 November, Tome said "we set out to win in all 33 municipalities, and we are certainly going to have a smashing victory".
He did not have detailed figures yet from all of Frelimo's polling station monitors, but enough information was available for him to declare victory in most of the smaller municipalities - such as Catandica and Manica in Manica province; Marromeu and Dondo in Sofala; Metangula and Cuamba in Niassa; Milange in Zambezia and Montepuez in Cabo Delgado.
Although it is clear that the Frelimo mayoral candidates in Maputo and Matola, respectively Eneas Comiche and Carlos Tembe, have massive leads, Tome declined to speak about any of the major cities, on the grounds that not enough polling stations had reported back.
Asked about the second largest city, Beira, which the opposition certainly hopes to take, Tome said "we have good results from some polling stations, bad ones from others".
Tome declined to admit defeat in any of the municipalities - though it seems clear that Renamo is winning all down the coast of the northern province of Nampula - in the municipalities of Nacala, Angoche and Mozambique Island.
Frelimo was quite prepared to accept defeat in these towns. "If we lose here or there, that's part of the democratic process", he said.
Tome accused Renamo of "flagrant breaches of the law", notably by campaigning illegally at the polling stations. He said that such incidents had happened "all over the country".
The election campaign ended 48 hours before polling day: this period is supposed to give the voters a chance to reflect on the promises of the candidates and make their minds up. At the polling stations nobody is allowed to campaign, or even wear political party T-shirts, badges or other items identified with any of the candidates.
Yet Renamo members were seen urging voters in the polling station queues to cast their ballots for Renamo. Tome said that some of those campaigning illegally were Renamo parliamentary deputies - including Ossufo Quitine, head of the Renamo parliamentary group, and Angelina Enoque, a member of the parliament's standing commission.
Tome said that in several places Renamo appointed polling station monitors who live outside the municipal area. "We were very tolerant and overlooked this", he added.
Asked about the high rate of abstention, Tome pointed out that while the turnout was lower than hoped, it was still considerably higher than in the country's first local elections in 1998, when less than 15 per cent of the registered electorate voted.
By 21 November the results of the municipal elections were very clear. Despite its high hopes of sweeping to power in town halls throughout the centre and north of the country, the opposition Renamo-Electoral Union coalition has only won clear victories in four municipalities - Beira, Nacala, Angoche and Mozambique Island.
In two of the smaller municipalities, Mocimboa da Praia and Marromeu, the result is on a knife edge. The mayoral candidates of the ruling Frelimo Party won by 114 votes in Mociboa da Praia, and by just 12 votes in Marromeu. These are results that could be reversed by the National Elections Commission (CNE) when it examines votes declared invalid at the polling stations.
In all the other 27 municipalities, Frelimo seems certain to win. AIM does not yet have detailed results from a few large cities - notably Quelimane and Lichinga - but the reports reaching Maputo are that Frelimo has won.
The following table of results has been pulled together from polling station notices reported by Radio Mozambique, AIM and the daily paper "Noticias". Unless otherwise stated, the results are only from some, not all, of the polling stations in each municipality.
In this item, AIM is only giving results for the mayoral elections. But in every municipality that AIM is aware of, the results for the assemblies follow the same trend as for the mayors.
Agostinho Ntuali (Frelimo) 8,241
Mussa Incacha (Renamo) 3,391
Fabiao Namiva (Independent) 466
Montepuez (full count)
Rafael Correia (Frelimo) 8,250
Luis Culaire (Renamo) 2,805
Mocimboa da Praia
Cassimo Abdala (Frelimo) 3,454
Jaide Assane (Renamo) 3,340
Teodosio Uatata (Frelimo) 2,288
Maria Moreno (Renamo) 1,789
Metangula (full count)
Anafe Achimo (Frelimo) 1,334
Orlando Esquadro (Renamo) 164
Castro Namuaca (Frelimo) 2,456
Luis Mecupia (Renamo) 1,660
Alberto Assane (Renamo) 5,408
Jose Constantino (Frelimo) 5,001
Isidro Assane (Independent) 456
Manuel Jose dos Santos (Renamo) 2,611
Geraldo Caetano (Frelimo) 1,806
Joao Bernardo (Frelimo) 2,045
Luis Silva (Renamo) 565
Baptista Juliao (Union for Change) 135
Rogerio Gaspar (Frelimo) 4.065
Jose Manteigas (Renamo) 1,293
Milange (full count)
Loborino Alamane (Frelimo) 1,760
Lourenco Impissa (Renamo) 617
Cesar de Carvalho (Frelimo) 13,643
Jose Caloamba (Renamo) 5,528
Cassiano Marcelino (Frelimo) 4,659
Fabiao Bjingue (Renamo) 1,624
Alberto Sarande (Frelimo) 10,637
Pedro Siavaca (Renamo) 6,447
Catandica (full count - official result)
Eusebio Gondiwa (Frelimo) 2,300
Verediano Manivete (Renamo) 612
Moguene Candeeiro (Frelimo) 3,549
Jose Nicolau (Renamo) 926
Marromeu (full count)
Alberto Joaquim (Frelimo) 1,943
Joao Agostinho (Renamo) 1,931
Beira (unreliable, because very few polling stations)
Djalma Lourenco (Frelimo) 7,986
Davis Simango (Renamo) 6,341
Antonio Simao (IPADE) 183 Pedro Langa (PIMO) 126
Manuel Cambezo (Frelimo) 6,299
Joaquim Greva (Renamo) 3,247
Matias Traquino (IPADE) 610
Lourenco Macul (Frelimo) 5,203
Francisco Manuel (Renamo) 578
Aida Chicalia (Independent) 267
Jose Pagula (IPADE) 137
Narciso Pedro (Frelimo) 5,169
Manuel Manhique (Renamo) 642
Vilankulo (full count)
Sulemane Amugi (Frelimo) 3,143
Manuel Gulucha (Renamo) 383
Jorge Macuacua (Frelimo) 9,406
Angelo Cuna (Renamo) 374
Francisco Chichongue (Frelimo) 6,049
Pedro Pelembe (Renamo) 451
Casimiro Monjane (Frelimo) 1,430
Idrisse Abdala (Independent) 419
Aurelio Jamisse (Renamo) 43
Alberto Chicuamba (Frelimo) 874
Antonio Cavele (Renamo) 85
Carlos Tembe (Maputo) 46,190
Albino Mapanga (Renamo) 6,201
Maputo (very few polling stations)
Eneas Comiche (Frelimo) 6,380
Philippe Gagnaux (Independent) 1,073
Artur Vilanculos (Renamo) 1.023
Carlos Jeque (IPADE) 169
Pedro Loforte (Independent) 72
All the above results still require confirmation by the National Elections Commission (CNE).
Jose Manteigas, the candidate from the opposition Renamo-Electoral Union coalition for mayor of the central town of Mocuba, has announced that he will seek to have the results of the election cancelled.
The Frelimo candidate, Rogerio Gaspar, had more than three times as many votes as Manteigas: 4,065 people voted for Gaspar, as against 1,293 for Manteigas.
Interviewed by Radio Mozambique, Manteigas claimed that he had been at a disadvantage because of his initial disqualification.
The National Elections Commission (CNE) disqualified Manteigas because it believed he had falsified the document used to prove that he is a resident of Mocuba. Renamo appealed against the disqualification, and the Constitutional Council, which has the final say in electoral disputes, upheld the appeal.
Renamo has praised as "impartial" the newly-established Constitutional Council. Renamo spokesman Fernando Mazanga told AIM on 18 November that this was the first time an "impartial" body had appeared in the country, and if it continued along this path, it would deserve the confidence of his party.
But the Council only took its decision on 17 November - by which time the election campaign was over. So Manteigas is demanding cancellation of the result, and the holding of fresh elections so that he, like his Frelimo opponent, can have a fortnight to campaign.
But this argument is undermined by the results of the second election, for the Mocuba Municipal Assembly, which faithfully mirror the mayoral election. None of the Renamo candidates for the Assembly was disqualified, and Renamo waged a vigorous campaign for the Assembly election, including a visit to Mocuba from the party leader, Afonso Dhlakama. According to the radio, Frelimo took about 3,200 votes and Renamo 1,100. Manteigas dismissed this argument, and claimed that the vote for the municipal assembly was also affected by his disqualification.
At the end of his two day state visit to Mozambique on 6 November, Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva confirmed his country's commitment to building a pharmaceutical plant in Mozambique to produce anti-retroviral drugs. These drugs prolong the lives of people infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Speaking during a visit to Maputo Central Hospital, President Lula declared that he was sure the new pharmaceutical plant could become a reality in a short space of time. The plans will be ready by December, and then construction could start.
President Lula added that the drugs produced at this plant will not treat only Mozambicans who are HIV-positive: he wanted to see the drugs made available to patients from other African countries.
He put the cost of the factory at $23 million, and thought it perfectly possible to raise this sum. The justification was clear from the Mozambican numbers alone. An estimated 1.5 million Mozambicans are HIV-positive, and it is thought that over 350,000 are showing the symptoms of AIDS.
President Lula said that the generic anti-retrovirals that will be produced in the Mozambican factory, have already proved highly effective in Brazil, cutting the mortality rate from HIV/AIDS by 50 per cent.
The Mozambican Ministry of Health announced on 6 November that the latest epidemiological statistics indicate that 13.6 per cent of the country's adult population (aged between 15 and 49) is infected with HIV, the virus that causes the lethal disease AIDS.
This figure results from the analysis of blood taken from 10,788 pregnant women in 36 sentinel sites (health posts and centres) throughout the country, during 2002. The figure compares with an estimate of a 12.2 infection rate published in 2001, based on blood samples taken during the previous year. The rise in the infection rate is broadly in line with the projections for the progress of the epidemic.
Province by province, from south to north, the HIV prevalence rates are as follows:
Maputo city 17.3 per cent
Maputo province 17.4 per cent
Gaza 16.4 per cent
Inhambane 8.6 per cent
Sofala 26.5 per cent
Manica 19 per cent
Tete 14.2 per cent
Zambezia 12.5 per cent
Nampula 8.1 per cent
Niassa 11.1 per cent
Cabo Delgado 7.5 per cent.
The epidemic seems to be worse in urban than in rural areas. In every province where there are sentinel sites in the provincial capital, these show a higher HIV prevalence than the provincial average.
Thus prevalence in the Gaza provincial capital, Xai-Xai, is estimated at 23.7 per cent. In Chimoio, capital of Manica, it is 24.3 per cent, and in Quelimane, capital of Zambezia, it is 25 per cent. Worst of all, one sentinel site in Beira, capital of Sofala, gave an HIV prevalence of 35.7 per cent.
The giant Brazilian mining company, the Companhia do Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD), which hopes to exploit the coal mines at Moatize in the western province of Tete, is negotiating with the Mozambican government for a mining concession lasting at least 30 years.
CVRD managing director Antonio Miguel Marques told reporters on 5 November he thought there is "genuine willingness" on the part of the Mozambican government to define the rights of the company that will eventually hold the lease on the coal mines.
He explained that CVRD wanted a 30 year concession because of the long period it takes to obtain a return on investments of this type. If everything was clarified by the end of December, then CVRD might begin exploiting the Moatize coal within the next three years. He said the company is also interested in operating the Sena railway, which links the coal mines to the port of Beira.
Initial studies, Marques said, indicated that to rehabilitate both the coal mines and the Sena line would require an investment of $700 million. He added that to put the project in motion, CVRD would rely on its own funds, on international loans (including from the World Bank), and on Brazilian financial institutions.
"This project will help national development, and will improve the lives of people living nearby", said Marques. He estimated that in the construction phase 10,000 people would be employed, and once the mines are fully operational, they would employ 8.500 people.
Marques said CVRD is also interested in exploiting Mozambican hydropower, and the deposits of titanium-bearing heavy sands.
The policeman who shot dead a protestor, Virgilio Amade, during a September demonstration by Mozambicans who had once worked in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), has been arrested and charged with murder.
The former migrants (known colloquially as "majermanes") had been holding regular demonstrations in Maputo, every Friday, demanding that the government pay them money they claim was sent from Germany to Maputo in the 1980s. On 5 September, the demonstration degenerated into violence, as the majermanes set tyres on fire, hurled stones, and made one of the city's main thoroughfares, 24th July Avenue, impassable.
As dense smoke from the tyres billowed over the area, some of the policemen fired, supposedly into the air, in order to disperse the protestors.
During the shooting Amade was killed, by what the police initially described as "a stray bullet". But the autopsy revealed that he had been hit at such close range that "an intention to kill" could be presumed.
The majermanes accused the commander of the Maputo seventh precinct, Samuel Faduco, of firing the fatal shot - but the police investigation found that the bullet had come from the pistol of Albitro Curva, who works with the Police Dog Unit.
Announcing this finding to the press on 13 November, Maputo city police spokesman Abilio Quive said that Curva had fired two shots, one of which struck Amade in the head killing him instantly.
Quive said that immediately after Amade's death, the police had collected all the guns from the policemen who had been present at the majermane demonstration. They found that 13 of the 18 guns had fired shots. All 13 policemen were investigated, and the ballistic evidence showed that it was Curva who had killed Amade.
Curva has been charged with murder, and is currently in the Maputo top security prison.
A fourth police officer in the southern province of Inhambane has been arrested for trafficking in the drug hashish.
Gildo Guiamba was detained on 13 November. His arrest follows arrests earlier in the month of the Inhambane director of the Criminal Investigation Police (PIC), Amade Hassane, the riot police commander, Tomas Troveja, and the riot police chief of logistics, Zeferino Zandamela.
These police officers are believed to have helped themselves to hashish stored in a police warehouse in Inhambane. This was part of 16 tonnes of hashish washed ashore in coffee tins when a boat used by Pakistani traffickers sank off the coast of Inhambane in July 2000.
The Mozambican relief agency, the National Disasters Management Institute (INGC), has granted 6.5 tonnes of foodstuffs to be distributed among the 275 families whose homes were destroyed by a violent storm in the town of Milange town, in the central province of Zambezia on 6 November. The storm also seriously damaged the communications, water, and power supply systems.
Zambezia INGC delegate Orlando Francisco told reporters on 10 November that a multisectoral team is conducting a survey to determine the exact extent of the damage and the needs of the affected people.
The storm, accompanied by strong winds and heavy rains, preceded by intense heat, killed three people and left another three seriously injured. The injured were evacuated to a health unit in neighbouring Malawi.
Francisco said that after the emergency relief, the next stage will be the rebuilding of the damaged public infrastructures, and the continued support to the victims to rebuild their houses and their lives.
He attributed the prompt response to this disaster to the existing emergency plan prepared by the Zambezia provincial government, which had set aside $442,000 for this purpose.
The Mozambican government's Institute for the Management of State Holdings (IGEPE) says it has found foreign partners to reactivate three paralysed companies, owned either wholly or partly by the state.
IGEPE economist Pedro Walters Junior said that it was now almost certain that the Buzi sugar company, the IFLOMA sawmill, and the Maputo steel company CSM will soon resume production, now that foreign investors have guaranteed the necessary funds.
CS Management Services, owned by Mauritian and South African concerns, has purchased the assets of the Buzi Company, in the central province of Sofala, and proposes to invest $48 million over the next three years.
The Buzi company stopped producing sugar in 1991, due partly to the war of destabilisation, and partly to the decapitalisation of the company and the obsolescence of its equipment.
As for IFLOMA (Manica Forestry Industries), when this was inaugurated in 1982, it possessed one of the most modern sawmills in the region. But the worsening war cut the sawmill off from some of the most important logging areas near the Zimbabwean border, and what should have been a showpiece went into decline.
In order to reactivate IFLOMA, several potential investors were approached, and the government received proposals from four of them, said Walters.
It has decided to sell 80 per cent of IFLOMA to the South African company Komatiland Forests (Pty) Ltd, with the state retaining a 20 per cent minority holding. The South African company has guaranteed to make IFLOMA operational in the short term, and to create jobs there. It is also to present a long term plan for sustainable forestry management.
As for the Maputo steel rolling mill, CSM, this is owned 60 per cent by the Empresa Metalurgica de Mocambique (EMM), part of the Portuguese Simoes group, and 40 per cent by the Mozambican state. The full rehabilitation of the company promised by Portuguese businessman Antonio Simoes in the mid-1990s never happened, and Simoes has not recently set foot in Mozambique.
IGEPE has now signed two memorandums of understanding with the South Africa company Barnes Fencing Industries (Pty) Ltd, granting it a management contract to run CSM for the next ten years. Production is to resume in early 2004, and the company will employ 500 workers.
The school meals programme, whereby free meals are distributed to orphans and disadvantaged girls in primary schools is now catering for a total of 122,000 children in six provinces of Mozambique.
This programme, conducted by the World Food Programme (WFP), in coordination with the country's Education Ministry, was launched in Zambezia, in the centre of the country, in November last year, and now has been extended to Manica, Sofala, Tete, Nampula and Cabo Delgado provinces.
One of the objectives of the programme is to encourage the enrolment of orphans and disadvantaged girls, and its pilot stage of implementation, in Zambezia, proved positive in that more children are enrolling and the number of drop-outs has declined, hence its extension to other provinces.
WFP and the Education Ministry are also providing food assistance to some primary schools in those areas seriously affected by drought in the southern provinces of Maputo, Gaza, and Inhambane, catering for about 30,000 pupils. There are plans to extend this to Manica and Tete, which were also hit by drought.
The number of tourists visiting Mozambique has risen from about 150,000 a year in 1995 to 450,000 a year now, Tourism Minister Fernando Sumbana told a Maputo press briefing on 13 November. This number, he explained, covers all types of short term foreign visitors, including both business and leisure travellers.
Despite this increase in numbers, the Mozambican hotel industry is struggling. Sumbana put the room occupancy rate at an average of 30 per cent. He thought a healthy figure would be at least 55 per cent.
He admitted that access to Mozambique is a major bottleneck to expanding the country's tourism industry. Currently the only place in the entire northern hemisphere that has direct flights to Maputo is Lisbon. "Tourists don't like to keep changing flights", said Sumbana. He thought the solution was to encourage charter flights.
As for what was once the country's flagship game reserve, the Gorongosa National Park in the central province of Sofala, Sumbana said it was difficult to interest private operators in managing lodges here when there were so few animals in the park. Sumbana said negotiations are under way with those countries that have surplus wild life. Thus Botswana has offered 500 elephants. The restocking, however, could only take place in the cool season, to reduce the stress on the animals in transporting them for long distances.
On the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park, linking the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique, the Kruger National Park in South Africa, and the Gonorezhou Park in Zimbabwe, Sumbana was confident that proper tourist infrastructures would exist on the Mozambican side within two years. The first tenders would be launched in 2004.
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