Mozambique News Agency
On 16 November the trail began of former Transport Minister Antonio Munguambe, the former chairperson of the Mozambican Airport Company (ADM), Diodino Cambaza, and three others, who are facing corruption charges involving the theft of over 54.4 million meticais ($2 million) from ADM between 2005 and 2008.
Munguambe was Minister of Transport from 2005 until he was sacked by President Armando Guebuza in the wake of serious rioting in Maputo in February 2008 sparked by rises in the fares charged by the private minibuses that provide much of the city’s transport. He is the only one of the accused who has been allowed to await trial in freedom.
The other three accused are the former financial director of ADM, Antenor Pereira, the former head of Munguambe’s office, Antonio Bulande, and Deolinda Matos, director of the Mozambican Services Company (SMS), which is owned by ADM and by Mozambique Airlines (LAM).
Prosecutor Miguel Candido accused the five of the theft of public property and funds, abuse of their functions, making false statements, and paying undue remunerations.
He told the Maputo City Court that between October 2005 and October 2008 the accused illicitly and systematically appropriated property of ADM, and used SMS as a channel for draining funds from the company.
Cambaza, he said, went so far as to alter, without the knowledge of the supervisory body, the Transport Ministry, the regulations governing the rights and privileges of members of the ADM Board of Directors. This gave them the right to acquire buildings owned by ADM.
Cambaza then acquired two houses, one valued at $1 million, and the second at $850,000. He then immediately wrote a letter to himself as chairman of the ADM board, expressing his intention of selling off the properties. Antenor Pereira gave his approval to this, although it was quite outside his powers.
The prosecution added that Cambaza lied to the registry office about the value of the buildings. In order to avoid property taxes, he claimed that the two houses cost $350,000 and $425,000.
A further crime involved the purchase of land in the district of Marracuene. The seller wanted $20,000 – but Cambaza paid him with an ADM cheque for $25,000. The seller took his $20,000 and gave $5,000 to Cambaza.
In 2007, Candido said, Cambaza transferred, from ADM funds, $30,000 to Munguambe to pay for school fees for the minister’s children. He also ordered that 2.2 million meticais of the company’s money be spent on purchasing a brand new Audi car for Munguambe.
Munguambe, the prosecutor added, knew perfectly well that he had no right to benefit from such a vehicle, but he only returned it after the case was already under investigation.
As for Bulande, the prosecution says that he was paid a total of $22,600 in wages for the fictitious post as advisor to SMS. He is also accused of covering up the thefts allegedly committed by Cambaza and Munguambe.
The judge, Dimas Marroa, reading his dispatch allowing the case to go to trial, said that the state could not allow public companies, such as ADM, to be looted. The managers of these companies are there to guard their assets, and any alienation of company property could only be done in line with the rules.
The scandal also involves the ruling Frelimo Party. Marroa noted that Cambaza, in collaboration with other members of the ADM board, had ordered about five million meticais from ADM funds to be used on rehabilitating the Frelimo Central School in the southern city of Matola. Another 400,000 meticais was supposedly donated for a Frelimo event held in the Maputo neighbourhood of Chamanculo in June 2008.
Marroa also ordered continued investigations into the other members of the ADM board, who are also suspected of involvement in the looting.
The Mozambican resident population, as counted in the national census held in August 2007, was 20,226,296. The figure was announced on 18 November by Fatima Zacarias, director of social statistics in the National Statistics Institute (INE), at a Maputo ceremony held to publish the definitive census results.
The previous census, held in 1997, found a population of 16.1 million. Thus the population has grown by 4.54 million, or by 28.2 per cent.
The census counted 9.73 million men, and 10.49 million women.
The census found 4,629.026 households, and on average each household contained 4.4 people. 69 per cent of households were headed by men and 31 per cent by women. As for households headed by children, the census counted 6,149 cases where the head of the household was aged between 12 and 14.
Urbanisation in Mozambique has not proceeded as quickly as in many other countries. The census found that 29.8 per cent of the population is urban, and 70.2 per cent live in the countryside. In 1997, the figures were not very different – then 28.6 per cent were urban and 71.4 per cent were rural.
The most populous province remains Nampula with almost four million inhabitants, followed by Zambezia, with 3.8 million. Nampula has increased its weight – from 19.1 per cent of the total population in 1997 to 19.7 per cent in 2007, while Zambezia has declined from 19.3 to 19 per cent.
Tete is now the third largest province with 1.8 million inhabitants – 8.8 per cent of the total, a considerable rise from the 1997 figure of 7.6 per cent. The central province of Manica has also seen its population grow more rapidly than the average rate. It now has 1.4 million inhabitants, or seven per cent of the total (compared with 6.5 per cent in 1997).
The slowest growth rate is in the capital. Maputo city now has 1.1 million people, or 5.4 per cent of the total. In 1997, the city held 6.1 per cent of the Mozambican population.
The population is overwhelmingly young. 46.9 per cent are less than 15 years old. 50.1 per cent are aged between 15 and 64, and only 3.1 per cent are aged 65 and above. The comparative figures for 1997 were 44.8 per cent, 52.3 per cent and 2.9 per cent.
The gross birth rate is 42.2 per 1,000 inhabitants. This is a slight decline on the birth rate found by the 1997 census, which was 44.4 per 1,000 inhabitants.
The fertility rate, however, is virtually unaltered. In 1997, the average woman had 5.9 children. Ten years later, that figure has only dropped to 5.8.
The gross death rate is 16 per 1,000 inhabitants, which is a sharp decline on the 1997 figure of 21.1 deaths per, 1,000. Probably the largest single contributor to this is the fall in infant mortality. In 1997 out of every 1,000 live births, 145.7 infants died before they reached their first birthday. By 2007, this figure had fallen to 118.3 – a decline of 19 per cent.
Infant mortality rates also have a strong impact on life expectancy. For anyone born in 2007, life expectancy was 49.4 years. But in 1997, life expectancy at birth was only 42.3 years.
The largest single cause of death remains malaria. It accounted for 28.8 per cent of deaths – but the HIV/AIDS pandemic is not far behind. HIV infection was blamed for 26.9 per cent of deaths.
The census also shows a sharp drop in illiteracy. In 1997, 60.5 per cent of the population aged 15 and above could not read or write. Ten years later, the figure had fallen to 50.4 per cent. Illiteracy is strongly gender structured – 34.6 per cent of men are illiterate, but among women the figure rises to 64.2 per cent.
A large minority of children of school age remain outside of the school system. The census found that 34.3 per cent of children aged between 6 and 17 are not attending school.
Children are supposed to enter first grade of primary school at the age of six – but many families do not send their children to school until they are seven, eight or more years old. The census found that 63.6 per cent of six year olds and 41.5 per cent of seven year olds were not at school.
The vast majority of the economically active population works in the primary sector. The primary sector – defined as agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining – employed 76 per cent of those economically active. Manufacturing industry, energy and construction only employed 5.9 per cent. The remaining 18.1 per cent were employed in transport, finance, trade, and other services.
Ten per cent of all houses visited in the 2007 census had electricity - double the 1997 figure. 54 per cent of households used paraffin or kerosene to light their homes. But 30.3 per cent used wood fuel as their sole energy source, including for lighting.
In 1997, 8.5 per cent of houses had piped water, inside or outside the house. By 2007 that figure had risen to 10.1 per cent. 10.3 per cent of the population drew their water from public standpipes, and 14.1 per cent had access to a protected well or borehole with a pump. But most of the population still obtain their water from unprotected sources. 46.9 per cent use traditional wells without any hand pumps, and 17.3 per cent simply take their water from a river or lake.
The majority of homes – 54.3 per cent – have no sanitation at all, not even a simple pit latrine. This is actually a substantial improvement on 1997, when 66 per cent of homes had no latrine.
The ownership of durable goods paints a picture of severe poverty, with almost half the population unable to afford even a radio. Just 50.1 per cent of households own a radio – but again this is much better than in 1997, when just 28.1 per cent of households owned a radio.
As for other goods, 35.7 per cent of households owned a bicycle, 1.6 per cent owned a motorbike, and two per cent owned a car. 10.1 per cent had a television set, and 1.1 per cent a computer. Only 0.8 per cent of households had a fixed phone – but 24 per cent of all adults had access to a mobile phone.
The number of people living in Mozambique’s most populous province, Nampula, has risen from 2,875,474 in 1997, to 3,985,285 in 2007. This is an increase of almost 34 per cent.
This is considerably higher than the national population growth rate, estimated by the National Statistics Institute (INE) at 2.3 per cent a year. It is also more than double the growth rate in the neighbouring province of Zambezia, the second largest province.
Between the two censuses the Zambezia population grew by 14.1 per cent (or 1.4 per cent a year). The sharp difference between the two provinces suggests substantial migration from Zambezia into Nampula (as well as into Tete province, and perhaps over the border into Malawi).
The provincial capital, Nampula city, has grown by over 50 per cent. It had a population of slightly more than 300,000 in 1997, but by 2007 this had swollen to 471,717.
Like the rest of the country, Nampula has a very young population. 47.9 per cent are under 15 years old, 49.5 per cent are aged between 15 and 64, and only 2.7 per cent are aged 65 and above.
Illiteracy remains extremely high in the province, at 62.3 per cent of all people aged 15 and above. Nonetheless, this is considerably better than the 1997 figure of 71.4 per cent. There is a sharp gender division in the illiteracy rates – while only 46.5 per cent of Nampula men cannot read or write, the figure rises to 77.4 per cent among women.
The national illiteracy rate is 50.4 per cent (34.6 per cent for men, and 64.2 per cent for women).
The majority of Nampula children are not at school. The census found that 50.8 per cent of all children aged between 5 and 17 (47.9 per cent of the boys and 53.7 per cent of the girls) were not attending school.
The gross birth rate in Nampula has fallen from 45.1 to 41.4 per thousand inhabitants between 1997 and 2007. Doubtless this is caused by a slight drop in the fertility rate. In 1997, the average Nampula woman bore 6.3 children. A decade later that figure was down to 5.8 (which is also the national average).
Life expectancy at birth in the province is 52.9 years – rather higher than the national life expectancy of 49.4 years. The main cause of death is malaria, which accounts for 30.6 per cent of Nampula deaths. HIV/AIDS caused 20.7 per cent of deaths.
Nampula is an overwhelmingly agricultural province, with 83.4 per cent of the economically active population working in the primary sector. Only four per cent work in manufacturing and construction, while the remaining 12.6 per cent work in trade, transport, banking and other services.
The great majority of the Nampula population have
neither electricity nor running water in their homes. The number of homes with electricity rose from 3.8 per cent to six per cent between the two censuses. Over the same period, the rise in the number of homes with piped water (inside or outside the house) was much smaller – from 6.6 to just 6.8 per cent.
Most Nampula houses (59.9 per cent) rely on kerosene or paraffin lamps for illumination, but the poorest 32.1 per cent rely on wood fuel for all their energy needs, including lighting.
Only 24 per cent of the province’s population draw their water from a safe source – piped water at the house or from a public standpipe, or protected wells and boreholes. 55.7 per cent use traditional wells that do not even have a hand pump, while 19.8 per cent take their water straight from rivers or lakes.
As for consumer goods, only 46.4 per cent of Nampula households own a radio set, and 35.2 per cent own a bicycle. Just four per cent have televisions, 2.4 per cent own motorbikes, 0.6 per cent have a car, and a mere 0.3 per cent own a computer. 41 per cent of Nampula households are so poor that they have none of these durable possessions at all.
This is rather worse than in Zambezia, where 38.2 per cent of households had no consumer durables, and 47.9 per cent owned bicycles.
Health Minister Ivo Garrido on 25 November inaugurated a centre for the prevention and treatment of malaria, built with the support of the Chinese government, on the premises of the psychiatric hospital in the Maputo suburb of Infulene.
During the ceremony, Garrido and Chinese Ambassador Tian Guangfeng, signed documents to hand over the centre and a donation of drugs against malaria, valued at $300,000.
The centre will be used for staff training in the use of sophisticated diagnosis equipment and in the prevention and treatment of malaria. In the first three years the centre will operate with Chinese human and technical support, but after that it will be run exclusively by Mozambican staff.
The creation of this centre was agreed between the two countries during the Beijing summit of the China-Africa cooperation forum between in November 2006.
Receiving the centre, Garrido pointed out that malaria remains the biggest challenge in public health, and is still one of the main causes of visits and admission to hospitals in the country.
Malaria contributes to high rates of morbidity and mortality, particularly among children. Garrido also noted that this disease has huge negative social and economic impacts on people's lives in the communities and on the country at large.
He said that to reduce the high rates of malaria, the government has adopted a strategy hinging on house to house spraying, the use of mosquito nets, and diagnosis and treatment.
Mozambique is the biggest beneficiary of the ProAfrica programme, a research initiative of the Brazilian government, involving scientists from various African countries.
36 per cent of projects in this programme involve Mozambican researchers, the chairperson of the ProAfrica programme committee, Renato Lessa, said in Maputo on 18 November at the closing ceremony of a two day seminar about scientific cooperation between Mozambique and Brazil.
“This project support programme includes foreign researchers, most of whom are Mozambicans. This shows that one cannot talk about ProAfrica without mentioning Mozambique” said Lessa, who is also chairperson of the Social Science Programme of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP).
One of the main steps forward in science cooperation between the two countries was the recent decision by the Brazilian mining giant Vale to pay for air tickets and other expenses so that Mozambican researchers can attend Masters and Doctorate courses in Brazil.
Since the onset of cooperation, Brazil has offered 50 scholarships a year to Mozambican researchers, but these were rarely taken up because of the lack of financing.
“ProAfrica, which Mozambique joined in 2007, has been contributing to the development of science research in Mozambique”, said Mozambican Science and Technology Minister Venancio Massingue. He said that, thanks to the funding by Vale, Mozambican researchers will now have scholarships, air tickets, accommodation and all other relevant expenditures paid.
For his part, Brazilian Ambassador Antonio de Souza e Silva said that his country's intention has always been to meet the agreed decisions, and Vale came up with the funds to complement the scientific cooperation agreement.
He hoped that in the near future he would be able to announce an even larger number of scholarships, adding that Brazil’s intention in Mozambique “is not to compete with anyone, but to give the best we have that is of interest to Mozambique’.
The Mozambican government and the publicly owned National Hydrocarbon Company (ENH) on 19 November signed two contracts under which ENH has been granted concessions to distribute and market natural gas in the northern part of Inhambane province, in Maputo city and the adjacent district of Marracuene.
The contracts were signed by Energy Minister Salvador Namburete and the chairperson of the ENH board, Nelson Ocuane.
The gas distribution network already exists in the Inhambane districts of Vilanculo, Inhassoro, and Govoru, and expansion of this network will cost an estimated $400,000. But establishing a piped gas network in Maputo is an entirely new investment, budgeted at $85 million.
The gas is extracted and treated at Temane in Inhambane, and a pipeline owned by the South African petro-chemical giant Sasol carries the gas from Temane, across the border, for use as feedstock in the Sasol plants in Secuda. From Ressano Garcia, on the border, a branch of the pipeline goes to the Mozambican industrial city of Matola, where several factories, including the Mozal aluminium smelter are already using the gas.
Under the new contract, the pipeline will be extended 15 kilometres to the Sonefe back-up power station in Maputo. From there a network of pipes will be laid to supply the gas to industrial and domestic consumers. There will be further extensions to the outlying suburb of Costa do Sol and to Marracuene.
Ocuane stressed that the natural gas will replace imported liquid fuels. Domestic use of natural gas will also replace LPG cooking gas and wood fuels, thus reducing pressure on the remaining forests around Maputo.
Namburete stressed that the natural gas “is a valuable resource, through which we are diversifying our sources of energy. It reduces our reliance on the vicissitudes of the international market”.
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