President Armando Guebuza on 11 February completed his government, appointing ministers to the three posts left vacant when the first government list appeared on 3 February. He has now appointed all the ministers, deputy ministers and provincial governors, with several major changes.
Luisa Diogo will remain the country's Prime Minister, the post she has held since February 2004, when her predecessor, Pascoal Mocumbi, resigned to take up an international post. But whereas under President Joaquim Chissano, Diogo simultaneously held the posts of Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Guebuza has relieved her of the latter responsibility, enabling her to concentrate full time on the task of coordinating government activities.
Luisa Diogo's former deputy, Manuel Chang, becomes Minister of Finance, which is reduced in size and shorn of its planning functions, with a new Planning and Development Ministry created, under Aiuba Cuereneia, who was deputy minister of state administration in the Chissano government.
Several of Chissano's ministers keep their posts. Tobias Dai, who was commander of the Mozambican army in the final years of the war of destabilisation, remains Defence Minister. He is also Guebuza's brother-in-law.
Fisheries Minister Cadmiel Muthemba also keeps his job, as do the Minister for Women's Affairs and Social Welfare, Virgilia Matabele, and the Minister of Tourism, Fernando Sumbana.
Of the new appointments, perhaps the most surprising is that of Alcinda Abreu as Foreign Minister. She rose to prominence as a leading figure in the Mozambican Youth Organisation (OJM), becoming its deputy general secretary in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Abreu was appointed Social Welfare Minister in 1994, but was dismissed by Chissano in 1997. Despite this setback, Abreu was a Frelimo appointee on the National Elections Commissions (CNEs) that organised the 1998 municipal and 1999 general elections. She was elected to the 15-strong Frelimo Political Committee at the Frelimo congress of 2002.
Abreu's lack of diplomatic experience will be balanced by the decision to keep one of the country's most able diplomats, and a key adviser to Chissano, Francisco Madeira, in his post as Minister in the Presidency for Diplomatic Affairs.
President Guebuza appointed one of the country's most senior diplomats, Eduardo Koloma, as Deputy Foreign Minister. He has served as ambassador to the Nordic countries, and previously as ambassador to Britain. The other Deputy Minister at Foreign Affairs is Henrique Banze, formerly Deputy Defence Minister.
No fewer than six former provincial governors are promoted to ministerial positions. Jose Pacheco, former governor of Cabo Delgado, where he won a reputation for integrity and dynamism, becomes Minister of the Interior. His deputy will be Jose Mandra, who once served on the political commissariat of the armed forces, becomes Deputy Interior Minister.
Felicio Zacarias, former governor of Sofala, and an outspoken campaigner against corruption, is the new Minister of Public Works and Housing.
Tomas Mandlate, former governor of Tete, becomes Minister of Agriculture, David Simango, former governor of Niassa, becomes Minister of Youth and Sport, while Lucas Chomera, former governor of Zambezia, is the new Minister of State Administration.
The Ministry of Culture is merged with the Ministry of Education, thus reverting to the arrangement in the initial post- independence period. Aires Aly, former governor of Inhambane, takes over the Education and Culture portfolio. He has two deputies - Luis Covane, who was deputy minister of culture in the Chissano government, and Antonia da Costa Xavier, who was a high ranking official in the Ministry of Women's Affairs and Social Welfare.
The Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy is split in two. Esperanca Bias, who was deputy minister in the old ministry, becomes the new Minister of Mineral Resources. Salvador Namburete, a former deputy minister of industry and trade, becomes the Minister of Energy.
Antonio Mungwambe, who was deputy trade minister in the early 1990s, becomes the new Transport Minister. The former deputy transport minister, Antonio Fernando, is promoted to Minister of Industry and Trade. Helena Taipo, formerly the director of labour in the northern province of Nampula, is the new Minister of Labour.
One of the country's top surgeons, Ivo Garrido, is appointed Health Minister, while Aida Libombo retains her post as Deputy Health Minister. Luciano de Castro, formerly deputy minister for women's affairs and social welfare, becomes Minister for Environmental Coordination.
As for his own office, President Guebuza abolishes the posts of Minister in the Presidency for Defence and Security Matters, and Minister in the Presidency for Economic and Social Matters (a post which Chissano had left vacant since 1999).
The post of Minister in the Presidency for Diplomatic and Parliamentary Affairs is split in two, with Madeira keeping the diplomatic part, and a prominent Frelimo parliamentarian from Cabo Delgado province, Isabel Nkavandeka, appointed as Minister in Guebuza's office for Parliamentary Affairs.
One of the most sensitive jobs, that of Minister of Justice, goes to Esperanca Machavela, a jurist who worked for many years in the Foreign Ministry, including a stint as ambassador in Lisbon. At his inauguration on 2 February President Guebuza singled out the justice sector for attention, promising that his government "will strive to strengthen the institutions responsible for public security and the administration of justice throughout the country, doing its best to provide them with the necessary human, material and financial resources". In particular, he would "encourage the courts to be more expeditious in settling conflicts and restoring the rights of individuals and companies when breached, and in consolidating professional ethics".
This was a tacit admission that currently the Mozambican legal system is characterised by unethical practices, and that it is enormously difficult to win justice through the courts.
President Guebuza appointed Feliciano Gundana as Minister for Veterans' Affairs. Gundana was one of the Frelimo guerrillas trained in Algeria before the independence war was launched in 1964. He has held a variety of government posts, including governor of Nampula province, and Minister in the Presidency. He was Frelimo general secretary for a period in the mid-1990s.
Venancio Massingue, who takes the Science and Technology portfolio, was formerly deputy vice-chancellor of the country's largest institution of higher education, the Eduardo Mondlane University. His ministry results from the break-up of what used to be the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology. President Guebuza has returned the higher education responsibilities to the Ministry of Education and Culture, while Massingue's Ministry will concentrate exclusively on the scientific side.
Guebuza also several new deputy ministers. Three of them are former provincial governors. Thus Abdul Razak Noormahomed, former governor of Nampula, becomes Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources. Razak, a medical doctor by profession, was Deputy Health Minister in he 1994-1999 government. Soares Nhaca, former governor of Manica province, is the new Deputy Minister of Labour. This is an area with which he is extremely familiar, since he was once general secretary of the country's largst trade union federation, the OTM.
Alfredo Namitete, former governor of Maputo province, becomes Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade.
President Guebuza appointed Ernesto Augusto as Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications, Carmelita Namashulua as Deputy Minister of State Administration, and Catarina Kassimo as Deputy Minister of Agriculture. None of them has previous government experience.
President Guebuza appointed 26 ministers (including the Prime Minister) and 15 deputy ministers. 11 of these (27 percent) are women (seven ministers and four deputy ministers). This compares with a government of 24 ministers and 18 deputy ministers under his predecessor Joaquim Chissano, of whom eight (19 percent) were women - three ministers and five deputy ministers.
President of the Republic: Armando Emilio Guebuza
Prime Minister: Luisa Dias Diogo
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation: Alcinda Abreu
Minister of Defence: Tobias Dai
Minister of the Interior: Jose Pacheco
Minister of Finance: Manuel Chang
Minister of Development and Planning: Aiuba Cuereneia
Minister of Transport and Communications: Antonio Francisco Mungwambe
Minister of Agriculture: Tomas Mandlate
Minister of Labour: Helena Taipo
Minister of Education and Culture: Aires Bonifacio Aly
Minister of Youth and Sport: David Simango
Minister of Health: Paulo Ivo Garrido
Minister of Justice: Esperanca Alfredo Machavela
Minister of Women's Affairs and Social Welfare: Virgilia Matabele
Minister of Public Works and Housing: Felicio Zacarias
Minister for Environmental Coordination: Luciano Andre de Castro
Minister of State Administration: Lucas Chomera
Minister of Industry and Trade: Antonio Fernando
Minister of Tourism: Fernando Sumbana Junior
Minister of Fisheries: Cadmiel Muthemba
Minister of Energy: Salvador Namburete
Minister of Mineral Resources: Esperanca Bias
Minister of Science and Technology: Venancio Massingue
Minister of Veterans' Affairs: Feliciano Salomao Gundana
Ministers in the Presidency
- for Diplomatic Affairs: Francisco Caetano Madeira
- for Parliamentary Affairs: Isabel Manuel Nkavandeka
Foreign Affairs: Henrique Banze and Eduardo Baciao Koloma
Education and Culture: Luis Covane Antonia da Costa Xavier
Interior: Jose Mandra
Labour: Soares Nhaca
Transport and Communications: Ernesto Augusto
Youth and Sport: Carlos Jose Castro de Sousa
Health: Aida Libombo
State Administration: Carmelita Namashulua
Industry and Trade: Alfredo Namitete
Agriculture: Catarina Pajume Kassimo
Mineral Resources: Abdul Razak Noormahomed
Tourism: Rosario Mualeia
Fisheries: Victor Manuel Borges
President Guebuza also appointed on 11 February eleven provincial governors. This includes the provincial governor of Maputo City, a post that has remained vacant since 1998, when the elected mayor of Maputo, Eneas Comiche, took over dealing both with local authority matters and with state concerns.
Sources within the ruling Frelimo Party admit that separating state from local authority business might prove difficult, and will need to be handled delicately, to avoid conflict.
The governor of Maputo City is Rosa Manuel da Silva, formerly an official in the Finance Ministry. Next door, in Maputo province, the new governor is Telmina Pereira, formerly deputy education minister. Silva and Pereira are the first women in Mozambican history to be appointed provincial governors.
Lazaro Mathe, well known to journalists as the spokesperson of the Defence Ministry, becomes governor of the northern province of Cabo Delgado, while Arnaldo Bimbe, formerly director of culture in Maputo province, will govern Niassa.
Filipe Paunde, who was Frelimo first secretary in Sofala province, now becomes governor of Nampula, the largest of the provinces.
The new governor of Zambezia province, Carvalho Muaria, used to be a senior official in the government's Water Assets and Investment Fund (FIPAG), while the governor of Tete, Ildefonso Muanantapha, is a doctor who worked at Maputo Central Hospital.
The Frelimo first secretary in Cabo Delgado, Raimundo Diomba, becomes governor of the central province of Manica.
Alberto Vaquina, Frelimo first secretary in Nampula city, and one of those credited with the Frelimo election victory in Nampula, becomes governor of the Renamo stronghold, Sofala province.
Djalma Lourenco, formerly the director of culture in Sofala, becomes governor of Gaza province. Lourenco was also the defeated Frelimo candidate for mayor of Beira in the 2003 local elections. Finally Lazaro Vicente, a senior Finance Ministry official, becomes governor of Inhambane province.
None of the new governors is a native of the provinces they have been allocated to. This seems a deliberate option by President Guebuza, and is in line with the strong opposition to any form of ethnic or regional division that he expressed in his inauguration speech on 2 February.
The list of governors is as follows, from north to south:
Niassa: Arnaldo Vicente Bimbe
Cabo Delgado: Lazaro Mathe
Nampula: Filipe Chimoio Paunde
Zambezia: Carvalho Muaria
Tete: Ildefonso Muanantapha
Manica: Raimundo Maico Diomba
Sofala: Alberto Clementino Vaquina
Inhambane: Lazaro Vicente
Gaza: Djalma Lourenco
Maputo Province: Telmina Pereria
Maputo City: Rosa Manuel da Silva
The Assembly of the Republic met in extraordinary session on 4 February to elect its two deputy chairs, and the other members of its governing board, the Standing Commission.
The election was a formality, since all these posts are chosen by the political parties represented in the Assembly. The first deputy chairperson is chosen by the majority Frelimo Party, and the second by the opposition Renamo- Electoral Union coalition.
Frelimo proposed the re-election of Veronica Macamo who held the same post in the 1999-2004 legislature. Renamo nominated its general secretary, Viana Magalhaes, as second deputy chair. The nominations received a round of applause, and parliamentary chairman Eduardo Mulembue declared them elected unanimously.
The Standing Commission consists of the chairperson, his two deputies, and 12 others. It is appointed in proportion to the number of seats each party holds in the Assembly.
Due to its overwhelming victory in the December 2004 elections, Frelimo now has close to a two thirds majority in the Assembly - 160 seats to 90 for Renamo. This produces a Standing Commission with 10 Frelimo members and five from Renamo. The other eight Frelimo members elected to the Commission include the head and deputy head of the Frelimo parliamentary group, Manuel Tome and Margarida Talapa, who are both members of the party's Political Commission.
Frelimo also ensured the re-election of Mateus Katupha (who was the Commission's spokesperson from 1999 to 2004) and Bonifacio Gruveta. The other four Frelimo members are Isau Meneses (a prominent musician, and the only blind member of the Assembly), Ana Rita Sithole, Antonio Amelia and Braz Muchanga.
The other Renamo members elected to the Commission were the new head of the Renamo parliamentary group, Maria Moreno, two former Renamo general secretaries, Jose de Castro and Joao Alexandre, and Angelina Enoque, who has sat uninterruptedly on the Commission ever since the first multi-party elections of 1994.
New Minister of the Interior, Jose Pacheco, has promised a battle "without quarter" against corruption inside the police force. Speaking to reporters on 4 February, shortly after President Armando Guebuza had sworn him into office, Pacheco said his task was to install morale and ethics in the police. He would work to ensure a ruthless struggle to root out corruption within the force.
Although no examples of police corruption were cited, Pacheco could hardly not have been thinking of the four police officers, three of them very senior, who are facing charges of drug trafficking in the southern province of Inhambane.
Another concern must be police complicity in the two escapes by the country's most notorious assassin, Anibal dos Santos Junior "Anibalzinho", from the Maputo top security prison.
Asked if he would make changes in the top leadership of the police, Pacheco said it was "premature" to talk of such matters, "But if changes are needed we will not hesitate to make them".
As for the illegal "presidential guard" of Renamo, consisting of a couple of hundred armed men who were never demobilised and still exert a destabilising influence in the central districts of Maringue and Cheringoma, Pacheco promised to work on the issue so that it ceases to disturb the country's social, political and economic life.
For his part, the Minister for Planning and Development, Aiuba Cuereneia, pledged "we will not cheat the electorate". He told reporters that everything would be done to implement the promises in the Frelimo election manifesto. He said he thought it possible to implement the election pledges, which was why he had accepted President Guebuza's invitation to join the government at the head of a new ministry.
Prime Minister Luisa Diogo said she was encouraged with ministerial team appointed by President Guebuza, and which she must coordinate for the next five years. She insisted that the government would operate as a whole, and not as a series of disconnected units. Diogo promised to work with the media to ensure that the Mozambican public knows what the government is doing in the fight against poverty.
The time has come for "the effective implementation", rather then the mere discussion, of programmes of NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa's Development), declared Agriculture Minister, Tomas Mandlate, in Maputo on 15 February.
He was speaking at the opening of a four day meeting launching implementation of the NEPAD agriculture programme, known as CAADP (Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme), in the SADC (Southern African Development Community) region.
There was a note of impatience to the speeches, both of Mandlate, and of SADC Executive Secretary Prega Ramsamy. Both men wanted to see movement now, rather than interminable rounds of further discussion.
"We agreed to host this event, in the belief that now is the time for a qualitative advance in NEPAD development programmes", said Mandlate, "passing without further delay from the period of drawing up plans to that of carrying them out, so that agriculture may comply, as from today, with its preponderant role in the fight against absolute poverty and food insecurity".
He warned that this fight would not be successful "if we do not immediately put into practice the strategies and implementation mechanisms for the programmes already in the portfolio, which many of the experts present here drew up and know very well".
Mandlate called on participants "to have the courage to set out rapidly on concrete CAADP actions, adapting the NEPAD investment proposals to the specific situations of our countries".
He warned that fulfilling the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals "depends strictly on what we do today, and not on how many times we plan to do it tomorrow".
Ramsamy agreed. "We can't go on talking about initiative and intentions - we must implement", he said. "Otherwise we won't reach the Millennium Development Goals, and people will continue going hungry". "Our children will not be very proud of us, if we don't get things moving", he added.
Ramsamy declared that, as far as SADC is concerned, "agriculture can be a flagship to address the problems of poverty". Agriculture played a key role in the growth of the GDP of member states, in exports, in employment, and hence in poverty reduction.
Richard Mkandawire, agricultural advisor in the NEPAD Secretariat, declared that agriculture could be "the lifeline for Africa, the conduit for the elimination of poverty". Nonetheless the current reality was grim. Africa is the only part of the globe where, over the past four decades, per capita food production has declined. 200 million people on the continent are chronically malnourished, Mkandawire said, and in any given year 30 million Africans are kept alive by food aid.
But he regarded CAADP as the departure point for changing all of this. The programme intends to "extend the area under sustainable land management and reliable water control systems", improve rural infrastructure, and farmers' access to markets, increase food supply, and ensure the adoption of appropriate agricultural technologies.
Documents distributed at the meeting announced "the NEPAD goal for the sector is agriculture-led development that eliminates hunger, reduces poverty and food insecurity, opening the way for export expansion".
The NEPAD vision is that, by 2015, agricultural productivity should attain an annual average growth rate of six per cent, with farmers fully integrated into the market economy.
CAADP was formally adopted by the African Union at its summit in Maputo in mid-2003. At that time African heads of state pledged to move towards a target of devoting 10 per cent of budgetary resources to agriculture.
Mkandawire suggested that foreign donors should reward those countries who are taking this target seriously, by channelling aid preferentially to them.
Certainly a lot of aid is needed. The NEPAD document estimates the initial cost of implementing CAADP at about $22.5 million, around 90 per cent of which will have to come from foreign donors and funding agencies.
"The challenge now is to marshal more international and African support for the programme", said Mkandawire.
He stressed that it is not the NEPAD Secretariat that implements development programmes, but the national governments and regional blocs. NEPAD, Mkandawire said, would play a coordinating and advocacy role. and mobilise more resources for the programme.
Workers at the Mavalane General hospital in Maputo were surprised on 14 February when the country's new Health Minister, Ivo Garrido, turned up unannounced for an inspection visit.
For an hour, from 22.00 to 23,00, Garrido visited the main sectors of the hospital; the intensive care unit, and the emergency room.
Garrido told reporters that he intended to adopt this style of work, dropping in unannounced to check on the real situation in the country's health units. This was his way of discovering what was really happening with patients and health professionals.
Garrido, who is a surgeon by profession, did not reveal which would be the next unit to be visited, but made it clear that other visits of the same sort could be expected in the near future.
Mozambique's newly appointed Minister of Public Works, Felicio Zacarias, has called for decentralisation of the management of funds to improve access roads in rural areas, reports "Noticias" on 14 February. Zacarias noted that this would be an extremely important step taking into account that it is in the rural areas that most of the country's wealth is produced.
He said it is high time that the government paid special attention to secondary and tertiary roads, without which one cannot be serious when talking of the fight against poverty.
"My experience as provincial governor taught me that we need to concentrate more on the development of rural access roads, in areas where people are producing but are facing difficulties in taking their produce to processing and marketing centres", said Zacarias. "It is in the rural areas that we find problems and where we need to invest more to improve the quality of life of those living in misery".
He added that while people use the rural extension services to produce more food, it is the state's task to ensure that this production helps improve the people's lives. To this end, Zacarias promised to raise all the necessary funds to improve and build more roads, using gravel in the first stage.
Zacarias argued that the secondary and tertiary roads are becoming ever more important now that people are increasing their production of cash crops and need to exports them.
Commenting on the work to rehabilitate the country's main north-south highway, Zacarias said that this contract was negotiated under a different philosophy, but he believed that the state can still defend its interests in terms of ensuring good quality of the work.
He said that while it may not be easy to change the terms of the contract, the state will reinforce inspection, and is prepared to state openly when any particular work is of poor quality.
On the bridge to be built at Caia, over the Zambezi river, as a key link in the north-south highway, Zacarias said that it will be completed during the next five years. The work is already under way, with teams in the field carrying out studies and cleaning up the site to install the necessary equipment.
The Mozambican Association of Doctors in the Fight Against AIDS (MCS) warned in Maputo on 10 February that the poor quality of the diet of many HIV-positive people, who are receiving anti-retroviral drugs, is a motive for serious concern. The MCS warns that poor nutrition risks undermining anti- retroviral treatment.
At a meeting held on the premises of the National Council for the Fight against AIDS, the doctors gave World Bank officials their account of the current stage of the epidemic, and the problems faced in combating it. They pointed out that the current estimate is that 14.9 per cent of Mozambicans aged between 15 and 49 are HIV-positive.
MCS representative Momade Rafico Bagus told reporters that this meeting with the World Bank was intended to discuss jointly mechanisms to ensure nutritional assistance that can complement anti-retroviral therapy.
Rafico said that most patients diagnosed as HIV-positive in the country's health institutions face the same problem - they are unable to provide enough food for themselves, and often they belong to large households.
Rafico said that Maputo General Hospital intends to raise to 125 the number of patients treated with anti-retrovirals, but he doubted that this would do much good as long as patients are weak through malnutrition.
Rafico also claimed that, at Mavalane General Hospital, HIV-positive patients receive anti-retroviral drugs and recommendations about the lifestyle they should follow - but then do not reappear for control purposes, and usually point to lack of money as the reason.
Rafico's pessimism is not shared by one of the main NGOs assisting the Health Ministry in the anti-AIDS programme, the Rome-based Sant'Egidio Community. One of the characteristics of the Sant'Egidio programme is that it provides patients with food supplements and with water filters to ensure that they have a decent diet and clean water. Indeed the nutritional component is clear in the very title of the Sant'Egidio programme, DREAM - an acronym that stands for Drug Resource Enhancement against AIDS and Malnutrition.
As for people interrupting treatment, Sant'Egidio claims this does not happen with patients in the DREAM programme, where adherence to the treatment schedule is better than among HIV-positive patients in Italy or the United States.
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