Mozambique's Constitutional Council, the body in charge of verifying the nomination papers of presidential candidates, has accepted five of the eight nominations presented by the legal deadline of 2 October. A statement from the Constitutional Council published on 13 October declared that the presidential election of 1-2 December will be contested by the following candidates:
Three other candidates were rejected, namely: Neves Serrano, leader of the Progressive Liberal Party of Mozambique (PPLM); Joaquim Nhota, leader of the Democratic Liberal Party of Mozambique (PADELIMO); Jose Massinga, leader of the National Democratic Party (PANADE).
The Constitutional Council explained that none of these three candidates met the condition of presenting at least 10,000 supporting signatures from registered voters, all duly authenticated by a notary. There were strong grounds for believing that many of the signatures they did present had been obtained fraudulently.
Thus, in the case of Serrano, the forms for his supposed 10,000 supporters "had almost all been obviously filled in and signed by the same handful of individuals". Furthermore, even though these voters were supposedly from several different provinces, all the authentication came from two notarial offices in Maputo.
As for Massinga, his lists of supporters, apart from not containing his photo (a legal requirement so that proposers know who they are supporting), were arranged in numerical sequence - a clear indication that the names and voter card numbers had simply been copied out of an electoral register. As with Serrano, almost all the forms had been "manifestly written and signed by the same small group of people".
With Nyota, the problems were much the same - many of the signatures were fraudulent, since the same handwriting was evident. He too had copied names out of electoral registers - the sequential numbering of the voter cards being an obvious give- away. As for authentication by notary, Nhota used the same two Maputo notarial offices as Serrano. He had done a little more work by using a notary in the adjoining city of Matola as well.
Yet how did Maputo and Matola notaries authenticate documents supposedly signed by people living in other provinces? The candidatures of Sibindy and Reis ran into similar problems. They both had signatures clearly written "by the same small group of people", and Reis, or his campaign managers, also seemed guilty of copying names out of electoral registers.
Some of Sibindy's proposers had signed for him twice, while some of those that Reis presented were names with no signatures at all. But both candidates proved able to overcome these irregularities and presented valid lists of 10,000 signatures within the legal deadline.
Despite its smooth electoral machinery, even Frelimo made mistakes in presenting Guebuza's candidature. These concerned, not the supporting signatures (of which there were more than 50,000), but Guebuza's identification details (where he had omitted to put his profession), and his declaration accepting nomination (where his signature had to be authenticated by a notary). Guebuza managed to correct these slips very rapidly.
The only two candidates whose papers, according to the Constitutional Council statement, contained no irregularities were those of Dhlakama and Domingos.
Obtaining signatures fraudulently is a crime, and the Constitutional Council announced that it is passing the relevant documents onto prosecutors for possible criminal proceedings. The main responsibility for such fraud lay with the candidates themselves - but the staff in the Maputo and Matola notarial offices were not free of responsibility.
There are public notaries all over the country. The use of the same few notaries in Maputo and Matola to authenticate supposed signatures from various other provinces smells very strongly of a corrupt arrangement.
The National Elections Commission (CNE) has notified five of the 25 political parties and coalitions planning to contest the parliamentary elections of irregularities in the nomination papers of their candidates.
According to the CNE's executive branch, the Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE), in three cases the irregularities were "serious". The parties or coalitions concerned have five days as from the date of notification to correct the irregularities and resubmit the nomination papers. If they are unable to correct the irregularities, their candidates will be disqualified.
There is a wide range of possible irregularities. Some might disqualify all candidates for a particular party - as in cases where the party has failed to provide copies of its statutes, or of its registration with the Ministry of Justice.
Others only affect individual candidates - these would includes cases where the candidate has failed to prove that he or she is a registered voter (by supplying a voter card number), or has not provided a certificate of no criminal record.
Candidates must also provide signed documents accepting nomination, and agreeing to the appointment of the election agent chosen by the party or coalition.
Nobody can be a candidate for more than one party or coalition or for more than one of the 11 provincial constituencies, on pain of being excluded from all.
The notifications mean that no definitive list of parliamentary candidates will be presented until after the starting date for the election campaign which is 17 October.
Joaquim Chissano has intervened in the dispute over electoral observation between the National Elections Commission (CNE) and the European Union, by telling the CNE, in no uncertain terms, that the EU's requests should be accommodated.
In the negotiations for a memorandum of understanding on observation, the EU has sought to ensure that observers will have access to all stages of the count, and not only to the polling stations.
Accusations of malpractice in previous elections have arisen, not from events in the polling stations, but from the vote tabulation at provincial and national level - precisely the levels from which observers are excluded.
So the EU have requested that observers should be allowed to observe the entire process from beginning to end - including being present in the rooms where the results sheets from the polling stations are tabulated into provincial results, and finally into a national result.
The CNE majority (appointed by the ruling Frelimo Party) claims that the presence of observers at meetings of the Provincial Elections Commission and of the CNE itself would be illegal (though in fact the electoral law contains no such ban).
On 12 October, immediately before departing for a visit to Gabon and Portugal, President Chissano told reporters from Mozambican Television and radio that he had "instructed" the CNE to "accommodate the requests from the European Union".
He added that he was not trying to interfere in the decisions of the CNE, which is an independent body, but he felt he had a duty as head of state to intervene.
President Chissano clearly did not take the categorical line of CNE spokesman Filipe Mandlate who had told reporters "if it's not in the law, it must be illegal". The President's position was much more nuanced. "If the law tells us to do something, it's difficult to change it at this stage", he said. "But if there's space for accommodation, I'm sure the CNE will find it".
Did the law really forbid the presence of observers at tabulation? President Chissano gave the impression that he was not sure about this. But if the law really did prevent this, "then we have to find a way to satisfy the observers so that they can report on what they have observed".
He stressed that Mozambique has nothing to hide, and mechanisms must be found to make that very clear. "Nothing must be done that gives the impression we are hiding anything", Chissano stressed.
For the first time ever, Mozambicans living outside the country will be able to vote in the presidential and parliamentary elections. Filipe Mandlate, spokesperson for the National Elections Commission (CNE), announced the decision at a Maputo press conference on 12 October. He said the CNE had voted on the matter the previous day - and, just as with the earlier decision to register emigrants as voters, the CNE majority (appointed by the ruling Frelimo Party) was in favour, while the minority (appointed by the opposition Renamo-Electoral Union coalition) was opposed.
The CNE majority decided to press ahead with voting in the immigrant communities, despite the relatively poor results of the voter registration abroad, which took place from 6-25 September. The Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE), which is the electoral branch of the civil service, had estimated at 300,000 the number of Mozambicans of voting age living in the nine countries where the registration took place (South Africa, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Portugal and Germany). But in fact just under 47,000 Mozambicans registered - 45,865 of them in the seven African countries, and 1,101 in Europe.
Mandlate said two major difficulties had been identified. First, many Mozambicans living outside the country have no documents identifying them as Mozambican citizens, and without proof of their nationality they were unable to register. Secondly, there were very few registration brigades and, with the exception of South Africa and Kenya, they were all located in Mozambican embassies and consulates. Mandlate thought that it was the sheer distance from the consulates that had inhibited many people from registering. Nonetheless, the CNE majority had decided that those who did register should be given the opportunity to vote.
The full breakdown of the registration abroad was as follows:
South Africa 32,186
The Mozambican electoral legislation is drafted so that the emigrants elect two deputies - one for the emigrant communities in Africa, and one for those in the rest of the world. This was copied from Portuguese legislation, where the emigrant vote is divided into Europe and "rest of the world". There is now a glaring anomaly - slightly more than a thousand Mozambican emigrants living in Europe will elect the same number of deputies (one) as over 45,000 living in African countries.
Registered voters in the emigrant communities will be able to vote for the full range of presidential candidates, but when it comes to the parliamentary election, most opposition parties are not bothering to stand anyone for the two diaspora constituencies.
Even Renamo is not contesting them. In Portugal and Germany, the voters will have a choice between the ruling Frelimo Party, and the unknown Popular Democratic Party (PPD).
The choice is slightly wider in the African constituency where, in addition to Frelimo and the PPD, the Party for Peace, Development and Democracy (PDD) of Raul Domingos, the former number two in Renamo, is also standing.
Frelimo has chosen members of its 15-strong Political Commission to head its lists of parliamentary candidates in ten out of the 11 provincial constituencies. The exception is the central province of Zambezia, where the list is headed by Prime Minister Luisa Diogo, who is rising meteorically in the party hierarchy, but has not yet made it onto the Political Commission, in practice the most powerful body in Frelimo.
In the northern province of Cabo Delgado, the list is headed by Jose Pacheco, who is also the provincial governor. In the neighbouring province of Niassa, the head of the list is Margarida Talapa, who is a member of the Standing Commission, the governing board of the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic.
The Assembly's chairperson, Eduardo Mulembue, is head of the list in the western province of Tete, and the head of the Frelimo parliamentary group, Manuel Tome, occupies the same position in Nampula province.
Former defence minister Alberto Chipande, the man who fired the first shots in Mozambique's war for independence, heads the list in the central province of Sofala, while Transport Minister Tomas Salomao is number one on the list for the neighbouring province of Manica.
In the southern provinces of Inhambane and Gaza, the lists are headed respectively by Virgilia Matabele, Minister for Women's Affairs and Social Welfare, and a former minister for the same portfolio, Alcinda Abreu.
Veronica Macamo, deputy chairperson of parliament, heads the list in Maputo province, while in Maputo city that position goes to the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, and former chief of staff of the armed forces, Antonio Hama Thai.
Five out of the 11 candidates chosen to head the Frelimo provincial lists are women, in contrast to the Renamo-Electoral Union coalition in which all 11 people at the head of its provincial lists are men.
A second remarkable Frelimo decision is that, contrary to the practice in 1999, none of the heads of the lists are natives of the provinces where they are standing. Thus Diogo is from Tete, but is standing in Zambezia, Chipande is from Cabo Delgado but is standing in Sofala, and so on. This is hardly an accident: Frelimo appears to be declaring that it is a truly national party, and so the heads of its lists can come from anywhere in the country. This time round, the party seems determined to make no concessions to tribalism or regionalism.
Of the 15 people elected to the Political Commission at the last Frelimo Congress, in 2002, one (Rafael Maguni) has died, and four are not on the provincial lists. In two cases - that of President Joaquim Chissano and mayor of Maputo Eneas Comiche - this is because running for parliament would be incompatible with their current positions. Former Prime Minister Pascoal Mocumbi is now working outside the country, and is thus unavailable, and the 15th member, Armando Guebuza, the Frelimo general secretary, is the party's candidate for president.
There were some major upsets in the Frelimo provincial conferences that chose parliamentary candidates. The Political Commission could have overturned conference decisions but in most cases it let them stand. Thus Foreign Minister Leonardo Simao did not make it onto the list of full candidates for Gaza province. Instead he is number seven on the list of alternate candidates - alternates may enter parliament if full candidates die or resign.
Minister for Youth and Sport Joel Libombo likewise failed, and comes in at number 10 among the alternate candidates for Maputo City.
One of the most respected guerrilla commanders in the anti- colonial war, Raimundo Pachinuapa, now finds himself at number five in the list of alternates for Cabo Delgado.
But the greatest surprise is the complete disappearance of Sergio Vieira, the director of the Zambezi Valley Planning Office, and one of Frelimo's most outspoken intellectuals. He has proved one of party's most effective parliamentary orators - yet he has failed to secure a place even on the list of alternate candidates for his home province of Tete.
Others won places on the lists of full candidates - but in positions so low down, that they are unlikely to be elected. Thus Agriculture Minister Helder Muteia is number 27 on the Zambezia list. Zambezia is a Renamo stronghold, and in 1999 Frelimo only won 15 of its 49 seats. For Muteia to enter the next parliament, Renamo would have to suffer a catastrophic collapse in Zambezia.
Muteia may still be paying the price inside Frelimo for daring to challenge Guebuza in the election for general secretary in 2002, and for his unorthodox positions on land - he once floated the idea of limited privatisation of land, a view regarded as heretical.
Francisco Madeira, Minister in the Presidency for Diplomatic and Parliamentary Affairs, is number six on the list for Sofala, and Guideon Ndobe, head of the veterans' association, is number ten - but currently Frelimo only has four deputies in Sofala.
Most of the provincial governors are on the lists - and mainly in electable positions: David Simango at number four in Niassa, Tomas Mandlate at number five in Tete, Lucas Chomera at number 10 in Zambezia, Abdul Razak Noormahomed at number four in Nampula and Aires Aly at number two in Inhambane.
But there are a couple of striking exceptions. The governor of Manica, former trade union leader Soares Nhaca, is at number nine on the list - and in this province Frelimo in 1999 only won five seats.
As for the campaigning anti-corruption governor of Sofala, Felicio Zacarias, he has made so many enemies inside the Sofala Frelimo organisation that he is not on the list at all.
Several familiar Frelimo faces from the current parliament will certainly be back in the next one. They include the head of the Assembly's Plan and Budget Commission, Virginia Videira (number two on the Maputo City list), the head of the Legal Affairs Commission, Ali Dauto (number nine for Maputo city), the blind deputy, musician, and campaigner for the disabled, Isau Menezes (number three for Sofala), leading jurist Acucena Duarte (number three for Tete), and Frelimo secretary for foreign relations, Amelia Sumbana (number nine for Maputo province). Only massive Renamo gains could deprive any of these deputies of their seats.
One of the most interesting newcomers to parliament will be Antonio Frangoulis, former head of the Maputo branch of the Criminal Investigation Police (PIC), ad the man who headed the investigation into the murder of the country's foremost investigative journalist, Carlos Cardoso. Interior Minister Almerino Manhenje inexplicably sacked Frangoulis in mid-2002, and he subsequently left the police. At number seven on the list for the Frelimo stronghold of Maputo City, he is certain to be elected.
The director of the electoral office of the Renamo-Electoral Union coalition, Eduardo Namburete, looks certain to enter parliament in the forthcoming elections. He is head of the list of Renamo candidates for Maputo city, and although the capital is a stronghold of the ruling Frelimo Party, it contains enough opposition votes to ensure the election of a couple of Renamo deputies.
Namburete, the head of the communication school at Maputo's Eduardo Mondlane University, is the most prominent academic to have joined the opposition coalition. When he announced that he would run the Renamo campaign, he was at pains to stress that he had not actually joined Renamo.
It now looks as if part of the deal between Namburete and the Renamo leadership was that he would be guaranteed an electable place on the Renamo lists.
There are few surprises among the names of those chosen to head the Renamo lists in the other provinces. A former general in the war of destabilisation, Ossufo Momade, tops the list in Nampula, while Vicente Ululu, a member of the Standing Commission, the governing board of the Mozambican parliament, is number one in Cabo Delgado in the far north.
Renamo secretary general Viana Magalhaes heads the list in the central province of Zambezia, and the firebrand Manuel Pereira, who was a clandestine Renamo organiser in Beira during the war, holds the same position in Sofala.
Businessman Artur Vilanculos, who was the Renamo candidate for mayor of Maputo in the 2003 local elections, heads the list in the southern province of Inhambane. Current deputies Samuel Simango and Albino Muchanga top the lists in Tete and Manica respectively.
Renamo deputy Jeremias Pondeca, notorious for his leading role in disrupting parliamentary sittings in 2001 and 2002, has been shifted from Maputo province to head the list in Gaza. Frelimo regularly chalks up majorities of over 90 per cent in Gaza, and Renamo did not elect a single deputy in the province in the two earlier elections (in 1994 and 1999).
The other two heads of lists, Antonio Muchanga in Maputo province, and Abel Sana Sana in Niassa.
As in 1999, the deal between Renamo and the minor parties in the coalition is that they will back Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama for the Presidency in exchange for electable positions on the Renamo parliamentary lists. Among the leaders of the minor parties thus guaranteed seats in the next parliament are the following:
Samo Gudo's election is far from guaranteed - in the current parliament Renamo only holds two Maputo City seats. To get him in, Renamo may have to resort to the same tactic as in 1999 - persuade the Renamo member occupying the number two slot on the Maputo city list to resign, thus making way for the FUMO leader.
One minor party that is now likely to disappear is the Mozambican People's Progress Party (PPPM). Its leader, the ageing Padimbe Kamati, has been put at number eight on the list for Cabo Delgado, a province where Renamo only won six seats in 1999.
There are several shocks in the Renamo lists. Thus the party's foremost intellectual, David Alone, failed to reach the list of full candidates from his home province of Tete. He is number four on the list of supplementary candidates from Tete (supplementary candidates may enter parliament if full candidates die, resign or are absent).
A man once regarded as a major catch for Renamo, the former governor of Sofala province, Francisco Masquil, looks certain to lose his parliamentary seat, since he has been relegated to number 11 on the supplementary list for Sofala.
Among the newcomers on Renamo's lists are a former general secretary Francisco Marcelino (better known by his nom-de-guerre of Jose de Castro), who is number six on the Nampula list. Castro's parliamentary ambitions help explain his resignation in May from the National Elections Commission (CNE) - no member of the CNE may stand for parliament.
The rehabilitation of the 534 kilometre Limpopo line, linking the port of Maputo to Zimbabwe, will help Mozambique resume its pre-eminent position in terms of rail services and stimulate long term economic development, through the creation of more jobs, declared Transport Minister Tomas Salomao on 9 October.
The line was severely damaged in the massive flooding of February 2000, but has now been rehabilitated by a consortium formed by the South African company Grineker, and the US company Harsco.
Speaking in Chokwe, in the southern province of Gaza, during the official ceremony to hand over the completed work, Salomao described the undertaking as a visible landmark in the efforts to rebuild, with international cooperation, infrastructures destroyed by the 2000 floods. "We continue committed to the reconstruction of all infrastructures damaged by the floods in order to enhance economic growth in all areas", he said.
He praised the efforts of the country's cooperation partners, namely the United States and Canada, for their assistance in carrying out the reconstruction. Emergency rehabilitation took place immediately after the flood waters had receded - at this stage the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided $1.2 million for the purchase of ballast and its transport to the line, while the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) provided $6 million for other costs.
Mozambique's own port and rail company, CFM, provided $7 million from its own funds. The emergency work was completed in November 2000, and traffic between Maputo and Zimbabwe resumed.
In order to restore full reliability and security to the line, definitive rehabilitation took place from 2001 to 2004, funded by USAID to the tune of $53.5 million. The work concentrated on the stretch worst hit by the floods - the 225 kilometres from Maputo port to Macarretane in Gaza. 72 kilometres were completely rebuilt, 50,000 new concrete sleepers were laid, and drainage systems installed.
The chairperson of the CFM board of directors, Rui Fonseca, was clearly not happy with the quality of the work done. He said the line had been rehabilitated to a "reasonable" standard, but there were still irregularities". "
Perhaps it is not what CFM dreamed of and desired", he said, "but it is what was possible. CFM hopes that the contractor and the inspecting company will correct the anomalies that we detected right from the start and throughout the work".
President Joaquim Chissano on 5 October presided at a ceremony in Dondo, in the central province of Sofala, at which the Beira rail system was leased out to private management. The lease contract was signed by the Mozambican government, by the publicly owned rail company, CFM, and by the Indian consortium Rites and Ircon International, which won the tender to manage the rail system.
A new company has now been formed, the Beira Railway Company, 51 per cent owned by Rites and Ircon, and 49 per cent owned by CFM.
Rites and Ircon have promised to invest $55 million in the system, while the World Bank is providing a loan of $110 million. Most of this money will be absorbed by rebuilding the Sena line, the railway from Beira to the coal mines at Moatize in the western province of Tete, and including a spur into Malawi. This railway was destroyed by Renamo rebels during the war of destabilisation, and no trains have run on it since 1983.
CFM started rehabilitating the 90 kilometre stretch from Dondo to Muanza, using $11 million of its own money. But the entire line is over 500 kilometres long.
The second line in the system is the Machipanda line, which is the railway from Beira to Zimbabwe. This line is already fully operational, and does not need major rehabilitation.
Rebuilding the Sena line is regarded as crucial for development of the Zambezi valley, and particularly for reviving the coal mines. Without the railway there is no economic way of exporting the coal (apart from small amounts trucked into Malawi).
Major international mining companies, such as Anglo-American, Rio Tinto, BHP-Billiton, and CVRD of Brazil, have expressed an interest in running the coal mines - but none will invest until the transport link to the coast is guaranteed.
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