Official Government Wires
Maputo, 5 Jun (AIM) - A Kenyan delegation comprising representatives of electoral institutions and political parties on Tuesday started a 3-day working visit to Mozambique to share their experiences on electoral processes.
The visit also comes in the context of the review of the electoral law currently underway in Kenya and is intended primarily to learn from Mozambique it's experiences on electoral law and practices of financing of political parties for election campaigns.
To that end, the Kenyan delegation is expected to participate in a Symposium on Financing of Political Parties in Election Campaigns to take place in Maputo on Wednesday, where they will interact with Mozambican political parties, civil society organizations and Mozambicans experts.
During the visit, the delegation will hold separate meetings with the National Elections Commission (CNE) and political parties represented Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic.
The Kenyan delegation, made up of nine members, includes the Commissioner of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Chairperson for the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution, Executive Director of the Institute for Education in Democracy and leaders of political parties.
The Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) in partnership with the Centre for Multi-party Democracy Kenya sponsored the visit to Mozambique under a programme to promote the establishment of relations for sharing experiences among partner countries.
In Mozambique, the NIMD was established 2001 is currently supporting institutional development of political parties and reform of democratic institutions.
18612E COAL PROSPECTING: GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES PUBLIC TENDER FOR MOZAMBICAN COMPANIES
Maputo, 5 Jun (AIM) - Mozambique's Mineral Resources Ministry has launched a public tender, open exclusively for Mozambican nationals, for the concession of licences for coal prospecting and geological surveys in the western province of Tete.
According to a press release from the Ministry, posted in its website, licenses will be awarded to those companies with the best proposals.
The tender, the first of its kind in Mozambique, started on 1 June and expires on 27 of the current month.
The Ministry also states that the government's decision to restrict the tender to Mozambicans is a means to "ensure the participation of Mozambicans in projects for the exploitation of natural resources".
Also, this is the first tender launched by the government after it decided to suspend the issuance of new licenses for prospecting in the mid of last year.
At the time, the National Inspector of Mines, Afonso Mabica, said that the number of licences for the coal sector in Tete has reached its limit, so the government stopped issuing new licences.
Official data show that to date the government has issued 112 licenses for 45 domestic and foreign companies to operate in the province of Tete. Most of these are still at an exploratory stage and the only companies that have begun to export coal are Vale of Brazil and Beacon Hill Resources of Britain.
Currently, the participation of Mozambicans in coal prospecting is insignificant, being in most cases through partnerships with foreign companies as provided by the country's mining legislation.
19612E TWO CHINESE NATIONALS ARRESTED FOR IVORY TRAFFICKING
Maputo, 5 Jun (AIM) - The Mozambican police have arrested two Chinese nationals found in possession of 25 kilos of ivory at the Maputo International Airport.
According to the electronic newssheet "Mediafax", the suspects, Lethi Hana (23) and Nguyon Xuan (42), spread their illegal cargo in small packages inside their luggage as an attempt to avoid detection at the checkpoints.
The police was unable to reveal the origin of the ivory, but it is believed that it is not from elephants killed in Mozambican national parks, since it was found just after the suspects landed at the Maputo International Airport from a Kenya Airways plane coming from Nairobi.
Apparently, the suspects intended to use the Mozambique as a transit point and continue their journey to other destinations.
This is the last case of a string of trafficking incidents at the Maputo Airport. Last week, the customs officers arrested a Vietnamese national, Doan Minh, in possession of seven rhino horns.
Doan Minh was arrested in the departure lounge as he prepared to board a Kenya Airways flight. At the time, he claimed that the illegal cargo belonged to his general manager.
According to the police, Doan Minh remains in custody. Currently, there is underway an investigation to find out "who are the members of the group, the suppliers, where the animals where killed, among other issues," said a police source.
16612E SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE ARREST CRYSTAL METH SMUGGLER
London, 5 Jun (AIM) - The South African police service on Monday announced that a 26 year old man named Keagen Dexter Murphy appeared at the Middelburg Magistrate Court on suspicion of handling illegal drugs.
According to the police, the arrested man was driving a white Ford Territory vehicle along the N4 en route to Gauteng from Mozambique.
He was escorted to Middelburg police station where the vehicle was searched. The police found in a welded compartment, concealed underneath the vehicle, "crystal meth" said to be worth millions of South African rands.
The court denied the suspect bail, and he is due to appear in court again on 13 June.
Crystal meth, known in South Africa as "tik", is highly addictive and has recently taken hold in cities such as Cape Town.
15612E UNICEF TO TAKE PART IN REHABILITATION OF RIBAUE WATER SUPPLY SYSTEM
Maputo, 5 Jun (AIM) - The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is to participate in the repair of the water supply system in the town of Ribaue, in the northern province of Nampula. Funding is to be provided by the Australian government aid agency AusAID, UNICEF and the Mozambican government.
Mayor Constantino Antonio said that this initiative, which is due to begin in August, is part of efforts by the Mozambican government to improve living conditions.
Constantino Antonio said that preparations are underway to launch the tender for selecting the company to build the water reservoir and install the pumps.
He added that in addition to the boreholes that the project will open up this year, there could be the construction of a dam called Mafalugo, to supply water to Namiconha.
The mayor was speaking at an event to mark the town's forty second anniversary. He stressed that work would continue to mobilise financial and human resources to repair access roads and extend the electricity network.
14612E PRESIDENT INAUGURATES BEIRA SANITATION PLANT
Beira, 5 Jun (AIM) - Mozambican President Armando Guebuza on Monday in the central city of Beira said that sanitation is a government priority in its work to improve living conditions.
The President was speaking at a dinner hosted by the National Water Board (DNA) following the inauguration of Beira's new water treatment plant.
President Guebuza said that the government is improving the country's sanitation systems in conjunction with programmes to encourage good hygiene practices, as a tool for combatting illness.
"The infrastructure we have just inaugurated will improve the city's environmental conditions and, as a result, contribute to reducing the risk of outbreaks of sicknesses such as malaria, cholera, diarrhoea and intestinal parasites", said President Guebuza, adding that these diseases have affected many Mozambicans.
The building of the new sanitation system in Beira cost 62.65 million euros, of which 52.95 million euros was donated by European Union with 9.7 million euros coming from the Mozambican government.
The old sanitation system, built in the 1960's, only had the capacity to handle the waste of 50,000 of the city's inhabitants.
The new sanitation system will handle waste from the city's 400,000 residents and will also reduce the risk of flooding.
The work included the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant, repairs to 11 pumping stations, the cleaning and inspection of 164 kilometres of pipework, the renewal of sewers and the repair or replacement of four elevation stations and six outlets to the sea.
The system can produce 140 tonnes of sludge per month which can be used as a fertiliser. The treated water can be reused to water gardens, wash cars and other non-drinking activities.
In his dinner speech, the President pointed out that government has also developed strategic plans to improve sanitation in the cities of Maputo, Matola, Dondo, Quelimane, Nampula and Pemba. He added that strategic plans are also being drawn up for Ilha de Mocambique and Mocimboa da Praia.
The construction work in Beira was carried out over a 30 month period by a consortium composed of the Italian company CMC and the Portuguese firm Conduril, with the work overseen by the consultants Louis Berger and Royal Haskoning.
13612E G-19 PLEDGES OVER 600 MILLION US DOLLARS FOR 2013
Maputo, 5 Jun (AIM) - The group of 19 donors and financing agencies who provide part of their aid to Mozambique in general budget support have pledged to disburse 606 million US dollars to support the state budget and the country's sector programmes for 2013.
The coordinator of the group, Canadian High Commissioner Alain Latulippe, on Monday explained that 344 million dollars is earmarked to support the state budget, with the balance for sector programmes.
In 2011, G-19 donors and financing agencies agreed to disburse 688.6 million dollars in 2012, of which 379.1 million was for the state budget and 309.5 million dollars for sector support.
Most partners have maintained the level of their commitments, while several have reduced their planned contributions. Among those making cuts are Austria, Denmark, the European Commission and the United Kingdom.
Some partners are yet to announce their commitments, pending ministerial or parliamentary approval. This is the case for Germany, Switzerland and Sweden.
Belgium will announce its commitments next year after the signing of a bilateral agreement, while the Netherlands is still awaiting the completion of a new bilateral agreement and the approval of its own budget by its National Assembly.
Spain, which pledged to disburse seven million dollars in 2012, will not make any contribution for next year due to the current financial crisis hitting the country.
"We are still waiting for the commitments of three partners. Therefore, it is not possible to announce today the exact amount. But their contribution will be roughly the same as last year", said Latulippe.
Latulippe stressed that the G-19 is still committed to contributing to poverty reduction and boosting inclusive economic growth in Mozambique, and that it will continue to work to strengthen its partnership with the government.
"These funds seek to support Mozambique's development through the implementation of the government's plan for poverty reduction, with a focus on agriculture, employment promotion, human and social development, improving the business environment, good governance and macroeconomic management", he said.
For his part, Mozambique's Minister for Planning and Development, Aiuba Cuereneia, said that these commitments are vital for planning and budgeting purposes, particularly for the medium term fiscal scenario for the period 2013/2015.
Cuereneia stressed that "we pledge to allocate the available resources to finance activities that will lead to increased production, increased productivity in agriculture and fishing, increased employment in both urban and rural areas, strengthened human and social development, as well as consolidation in public finance management and good governance".
The minister stressed that the government will continue to strengthen its financial management system through the consolidation of reforms already initiated, and increase tax revenues to reduce Mozambique's dependence on foreign aid.
The G-19 partners are Germany, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, European Commission, Spain, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the World Bank.
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