Official Government Wires

Maputo, 26 Jun (AIM) - The Mozambican government on Monday formally accepted delivery of three boats to improve operations in the port of Beira, in the central province of Sofala.

The two barges and a tugboat are part of a project budgeted at 38.2 million euros to ensure that the port's channel remains unblocked by sand and silt.

The project includes the construction of a trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) with a capacity to hold 2,500 cubic metres of silt, repairs to the tug boat "Buzi" and the pilot vessel, along with technical assistance and training.

Financing for the project comes from the Danish government through its development agency DANIDA, which donated twenty per cent of the budget, with the remaining 80 per cent coming in the form of a loan to the Mozambican government.

The work is being carried out by the Danish consortium JGH/RN (Johs. GRM-Hanssen and Rohde Nielsen), which won the contract in January 2011 from Mozambique's public owned ports and rail company, CFM. The project began in July 2011 and will run until 2013.

After the acceptance ceremony, Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Eusebio Saide said that the port of Beira has improved its system for dredging the access channel and has recently opened a new coal terminal.

Saide pointed out that work is also taking place to improve the Sena and Machipanda rail lines to increase their capacity and improve their safety.

He added that this is all part of a national strategy for integrated transport development, which includes the construction of coal terminals at the port of Nacala a Velha in Nampula province and the port of Macuse in Zambezia province. Both of these will require new railway lines.

The governor of Sofala province, Carvalho Muaria, stressed that Beira port is a major economic driver of the city, Sofala province, Mozambique and the southern African region.

Emergency dredging at the port was completed in July 2011 at a cost 43 million euros (61.3 million US dollars) of which 23 million euros came from the Mozambican government through a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB), 10 million euros from CFM, and a further 10 million euros from the Dutch government.

The dredging of the access channel began in July 2010 and covered 22 kilometres, with two Japanese dredgers working non-stop to deepen the channel. The dredging removed 9.32 million cubic metres of silt and sand and enabled the port to receive ships up to Panamax size at any time of day.


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Maputo, 26 Jun (AIM) - Mozambican police on Tuesday confirmed the arrest of a citizen who killed, decapitated and cut off the genitals of his own son to sell to a trafficker of human organs for 500,000 meticais (about 18,000 US dollars at current exchange rate).

The crime occurred in the district of Manhica in the southern province of Maputo. The murderer then took the body parts to the town of Chokwe, in the neighbouring province of Gaza, where he intended to deliver the body parts to the buyer.

Speaking to reporters during his weekly meeting with the press, the national spokesperson for the Mozambican police, Pedro Cossa, explained that the buyer failed to show up at the previously agreed meeting point, so the killer decided to visit his own father who also lives in the region.

"His father was already aware of what had happened in Manhica and noticed that his son was distraught. Asked about the problem, the perpetrator confessed the crime to his father, who reported the case to the police", explained Cossa.

According to police, the criminal decided to kill his own son when he was unable to identify a child with the same features as demanded by the buyer.

The rest of the body was later found in the village of Taninga, in the district of Manhica.

In recent years Mozambican authorities have expressed their concern with the increasing number of cases of trafficking of human organs. In most cases the organs are used by witchdoctors to produce "lucky charms" or perform other superstitious rituals in the belief that their clients will become rich or succeed in life.

Last week the police also arrested two individuals in the western province of Tete in possession of a human ear. The police believe that the suspects, residents in the administrative post of Domue, in the neighbouring province of Sofala, where on their way to sell the severed ear.

In an unrelated incident, a mob from Milange district, in the province of Zambezia, vandalised the home a 49 old woman for her alleged involvement in human organ trafficking.

However, the police argue that these allegations are unfounded and they arise because she is a successful woman and neighbours were unable to explain the source of her income.

"Misinformed residents broke into her house and vandalised her property, claiming she is dealing with human organs", said the spokesperson.

Cossa added that she has just returned from Portugal where she lived for some time.

According to Cossa, five people have been arrested, believed to be the mob leaders.


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Maputo, 26 Jun (AIM) - Twenty nine people died on Mozambique's roads over the last week as a result of forty accidents.

According to the Mozambican police there were 97 injuries, of which 41 were serious.

The accidents were caused by speeding, overtaking, and pedestrians walking out into the road.

During the week the police stopped 24,900 vehicles and fined 5,083 drivers for various irregularities.


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Maputo, 26 Jun (AIM) - Scientists are seeking the best location for the second site in Mozambique for the world's largest and most powerful telescope, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

In May, the British based organisation SKA decided to build the telescope in southern Africa and Australasia.

In southern Africa it will be centred in the Karoo desert, with three thousand antennas spread out across Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia.

In Mozambique, it has been decided to host a site at the Science and Technology Park in Maluana, Maputo province, with 24 fifteen metre wide dishes.

A second site is planned to be located in the administrative post of Dombe, in the central province of Manica.

However, a visit to the site on Friday by the Minister of Science and Technology, Venancio Massingue, has left doubts about the location set aside for the site, which is 35 kilometres away from Dombe and uninhabited.

According to the local authority, the proposed area is occasionally flooded by the River Lucite. As a result, the head of the administrative post has suggested that the site be moved closer to Dombe.

Massingue stressed that the decision needs to be taken by the experts, but welcomed efforts to find an alternative.

He pointed out that locating part of the SKA telescope in Mozambique is an honour and "part of the dream of establishing a Mozambican Space Agency".

The SKA telescope will be fifty times more sensitive than the most powerful telescope in existence today, picking up electromagnetic radiation and cosmic rays emitted by extremely distant celestial objects (such as stars and galaxies).

It will be able to interpret the data it receives ten thousand times faster than any previous telescope. This will require processing power equal to several million computers to sift through the same amount of data each day as two days' worth of global internet traffic.

The cost of the project is likely to be more than the budgeted 1.5 billion euros because SKA failed to decide whether to locate the telescope in southern Africa or Australasia. Instead, it decided to split the project between the two lead partners.

The SKA telescope will look at fundamental questions that we have not yet answered about the universe, including what happened moments after the big bang, why the universe is expanding at an accelerating speed, the role of magnetism and the nature of gravity.

The project is due to be completed in 2024.


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Maputo, 26 Jun (AIM) - On the eve of the official opening of the new grain processing factory in the town of Ulongue, in the western Mozambican province of Tete, farmers have expressed satisfaction at the price offered to them for their maize.

The Mozambican state has invested 6.8 million US dollars in building the factory, which will be able to mill a hundred tonnes of grain per day.

The state owns 90 per cent of the shares in the Ulongue factory, which is in Angonia district. The other ten per cent are divided equally between the National Social Security Institute (INSS), the state insurance company EMOSE, and the publicly owned electricity and telecommunications companies, EDM and TDM.

The factory has already begun buying maize at a price of six meticais a kilo, which is an improvement on the four meticais offered by independent buyers.

According to the town's mayor, Armando Julio, "our district has great potential for agricultural production. Maize production has normally been sold for four meticais per kilo, but the grain processing factory has brought in a new price structure.

The mayor pointed out that the factory will also process wheat, soya, beans and groundnuts.

In a recent interview with the newspaper "Diario de Mocambique", the provincial director of agriculture, Americo de Conceicao, said "the district of Angonia is a large producer of grains, which were processed outside the province in Manica province or in Malawi. The factory will add value because it will cut out the transport costs of a 1,400 kilometre round trip".

A local farmer, Antonio Bernardo, expressed his satisfaction at "the good government initiative", stating "I have two and a half hectares. I mainly grow maize and when I need money I sell part of my harvest. But it is the buyers who determine the price, although it is the peasants who suffer day and night with hoe in hand".

There are signs that the factory will stimulate more production. Fatima Eliseu said "it is good news for local farmers. With the new price, I think that next year I will increase the area under cultivation".

The factory will need to encourage production, not only in Angonia but in in other districts in the province, so that it does not run out of raw materials.

The daily output of 100 tonnes of maize will produce 86 tonnes of flour and 14 tonnes of bran.

The production of animal feed will also reduce the dependence of Tete livestock farmers on imported feed.


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