Mozambique elections key to country’s peace and stability

Mozambique elections key to country’s peace and stability

MAPUTO, Mozambique
Mozambique’s elections on Tuesday are almost certain to be won by the ruling party, Frelimo, and President Filipe Nyusi — but it is unclear if the results will establish badly-needed stability and economic growth.
Mozambique, with a population of nearly 30 million people, has a strategic place in southern Africa with a 2,470 kilometer (1,500 mile) Indian Ocean coastline and substantial deposits of natural gas. Pummeled by twin hurricanes earlier this year, it has also been troubled by sporadic violence from opposition rebels and a new spate of attacks by suspected Islamic extremists.
Frelimo has never lost a national election since 1975 when it overthrew Portuguese colonial rule, though its leaders have never clung to power beyond the maximum two terms.
Although the main opposition party, Renamo, is unlikely to win the national elections, the party’s new leader, Ossufo Momade, has been unexpectedly effective.
Momade “has been a big, big surprise on the campaign,” said Fernando Lima, veteran journalist and head of independent media house Mediacoop. “He speaks in very straightforward language — very populistic — and he benefits from Renamo’s popularity, particularly in the countryside.”
This is also the view of Alex Vines, head of the Africa Program at British think tank Chatham House and a veteran Mozambique-watcher.
“Momade’s magic is that he is drawing a large following in Nampula and Zambezia provinces,” said Vines, who is in Mozambique as part of the Commonwealth election observation mission.
Renamo is doing well enough to worry Frelimo, said Vines — particularly after last year’s municipal elections saw an increase in turnout but a decline in the Frelimo vote.
“That is an indicator for a worse performance in the national elections,” Vines said. “Frelimo knows this and has less resources to splash this time — and this is why this looks to be an ill-tempered and nasty election.”
There have been killings — most notably of Anastacio Matavel, who headed a consortium of local election observers in Gaza province, a Frelimo stronghold where a suspiciously high number of voters were registered. Matavel was gunned down by a gang of five assassins, police said, admitting that four were members of the police’s own elite rapid reaction force.
There have also been confrontations between the main parties up and down the country, with the opposition frequently complaining of being prevented from campaigning by Frelimo dirty tricks — ranging from physically blocking roads in the country’s largest city, Matola, to booking out the municipal square for the whole campaign period, in the ruby mining town of Montepuez, in northern Cabo Delgado province.
Nyusi’s first term in office has been dominated by an economic crisis caused by a $2 billion corruption scandal known as the hidden debts.
Companies set up by the country’s secret services and the Ministry of Defense borrowed $2 billion in secret, with the help of then finance minister Manuel Chang, to set up maritime projects that never materialized, but which allegedly enriched a range of local and foreign players. Chang is currently jailed in South Africa resisting extradition to face trial in New York in connection with the scandal.
Mozambique is now trying to legally disavow part of the debt and restructure another part which the country will be repaying for years to come. The debts have triggered economic problems felt by ordinary voters.
The deals were cooked up before Nyusi became president — but while he was defense minister, meaning questions of his involvement have never gone away and remain an electoral liability.
“Frelimo will be tested electorally as never before,” says Vines. “An angry electorate frustrated at widespread delivery failings and the undisclosed loans scandal have resulted in significant numbers of voters wanting change.”
Nyusi’s supporters point to his success in signing a peace deal with Renamo, but the longed-for “definitive peace” still seems elusive. A group of Renamo rebels who reject Momade’s leadership threaten violence in Mozambique’s center. Since the peace deal was signed in August, there have been a number of attacks believed to be by the self-styled Renamo Military Junta, although it has not claimed responsibility.
Nyusi can also claim credit for the $25 billion Mozambique Liquid Natural Gas project controlled by France’s Total. But a bloody insurgency in Cabo Delgado, the northern province where the gas is located, overshadows any optimism there and has contributed to a delay in a final decision on a nearby larger gas project by ExxonMobil.
In recent days, the government has stepped up its offensive against the insurgents, who began attacking Cabo Delgado coastal communities in October 2017. Little is known about the rebels, who are blamed for killing more than 400 civilians and military, including many beheadings. Recently the Daesh group has claimed alignment with the rebels.
This elections will also see provincial governors elected for the first time — a key Renamo demand which will allow the opposition to administer provinces where it wins a majority. Previously all governors were appointed by the ruling party.
However, Frelimo has established a new management layer, a provincial Secretary of State, which will be appointed by the president and will take on many of the powers that governors have had up to now.
The provincial elections will be hard-fought. Renamo’s Momade is expected to become governor of Nampula province — his home province and the country’s most populous — but it is harder to predict the outcome in neighboring Zambezia province, the second-most populous and another opposition stronghold.
“Frelimo seem to be working hard in Zambezia — but in private their strategists are pessimistic about Nampula and Zambezia,” Lima says. “Clearly the Renamo campaign is much more vibrant in Zambezia than Frelimo.”
In its traditional heartlands in Mozambique’s center, however, Renamo could find the going tougher. “Splits in Renamo may punish the party in Manica and Sofala provinces — and I worry that Renamo is saying that it will win impressively across the country, and that’s unlikely,” Vines says.
Electoral results far below the expectations of opposition supporters could create a volatile post-election atmosphere — but Lima says the solution is largely in the hands of the ruling party.
“In the environment that we have, with the problems in Cabo Delgado, and in central Mozambique, and the strong sense of suspicion within Renamo, if Frelimo plays all the fraud tricks it has done in the past this will be a very poisonous recipe for trouble,” concluded Lima. “So, Frelimo should try to play clean, by the book.”
Why i study the most dangerous animal on earth!

Why i study the most dangerous animal on earth!

Find out why Fredros Okumu catches and studies these disease-carrying insects for a living

Is Ethiopia taking control of the River Nile?

Look at Egypt on Google Earth and you will see a green line snaking through a sand-colored landscape, fanning out into a triangle in the north.

This emerald ribbon is the vegetation that grows on either side of the Nile River and around its delta. It is Egypt’s only fertile land — and testament to the country’s reliance on this fabled waterway.
Peace and Security in the Postwar South Sudan

Peace and Security in the Postwar South Sudan

By Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey

The Kenyan protest on 12 October 2018, commits the Republic of Kenya to the peace deal, Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS), of 12 September 2018. Behind the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has been Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Sudan. There is, therefore, no surprise to see Kenyan asking, in a peaceful demonstration, their government to take appropriate measures against anti-peace politicians living in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, Central Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo to go home and rebuild from the wreckage left of their country.

Three issues came up in the demonstration, (a) R-ARCSS must be supported and fully implemented (b) Accountability of those accused to have committed crimes of murder and against humanity and (c) Politicians, Military Generals and citizens accused of money laundering and corruption. These issues, if implemented in isolation from the spirit of peace-security, reconciliation, and healing, peace will not be successfully restored as people want.

In my opinion, steps taken by President Salva Kiir Mayardit in issuing general amnesty to those who rebelled against the state from 2013 to 2018, is the correct approach to permanent peace and security. This precedence is becoming an African customary approach to a successful settlement of political conflicts. It was the peace approach in South Africa in dismantling the apartheid, in Sudan and South Sudan to secede, Ethiopia and Eritrea, Zimbabwe and the racist Ian Smith, and all throughout Africa. Meaning that reconciliation and forgiveness are the only blues for ending wars.

It is time to turn to the national dialogue, reconciliation, healing, apologies and confession, and national forgiveness. The proposal by protesters to bring politicians who have signed the R-ARCSS accountable and face justice shall be negative and could jeopardize peace and security. Let’s forgive and not forget in the benefit of peace and security in our country.

This should be pushed to the National Dialogue and Reconciliation Committee and the Church leaders in all the Denominations.

Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey is a Former Government Minister at Sudan and South Sudan and works for Member of Parliament (1967-2018,Ex-Government Minister and several ministerial position at Sudan, South Sudan and Kenya currentl and Chief Administrative Officer at The Nile Explorer – The Mirror of Africa


In recent news, we have been hearing more and more cases of love gone bad with brutal endings, some leading to physical abuse, or even loss of lives. Stress levels have escalated to couples taking their issues out on each other. It’s become a more and more disturbing issue that i felt it would be important to know  if your in an abusive relationship. Speaking to someone in a professional counseling position will guide in making better decisions and perhaps even secure your life and even those of your dependents. What people don’t know is before physical abuse ever shows its face, there was some form of emotional abuse. From there, one can pick up a trait.

Abuse is genderless

One survey revealed that the majority of people view abuse committed by women as less serious than if a male were the emotional or physical abuser in a relationship. Basically, cultural norms tell us men are always the aggressors – not females – but the reality isn’t always so. Abuse comes in all different forms and can happen to anyone.

Signs of emotional abuse

If you feel there’s something not right about your relationship but aren’t sure what, here are telltale signs of emotional abuse that may be at the root of your romantic struggles.

#1 Hypercriticism. Who doesn’t love a little sarcasm in a relationship? This wry humor can add fire and spunk to any relationship, but be wary when innocent ball-busting turns into humiliation. If your partner is hypercritical about everything you do and makes a habit out of putting you down, it’s time for a change.

#2 Disregarding your opinions. Do you feel like your partner is constantly disregarding your opinions? A relationship consists of two people with differing thoughts and opinions. That’s what makes them interesting!

You don’t want to date a clone of yourself, do you? If your mate does not consider your thoughts and feelings about something, and downright disregards your beliefs, kick them to the curb.

#3 Lack of empathy or compassion. A lack of compassion for you, your friends and family, and your problems is a definite sign that your mate is a total a**hole who needs some therapy. This lack of empathy shows that they do not respect your life and the things going on within it. This is a form of emotional abuse. [Read: Reasons empathy is important in relationships]

#4 Constant affairs. Abusers are selfish in nature, and what is more selfish than infidelity? Affairs or threats of affairs are done with a disregard for your feelings and desires.

Affairs also show a level of power from your abuser and may even be done specifically to hurt you. While not all cheaters are abusers, cheating is by definition a form of emotional abuse to a faithful partner. In case no one has said this to you recently, you deserve way more than a two-timer.

#5 They control finances. Control is a large part of psychological abuse, and one way they can physically control you is by being the only one with access to your finances. This ensures you literally can’t survive without them.

Bills, groceries, car payments – all of them are done by your abuser. This is one way in which you will be treated like a child who they feel like they can control.

#6 Family and friends alienation. One of the major emotional abuse signs is isolating their victims. An abuser wants their victim to feel alienated from friends and family so that all they have to rely on is their partner.

Take note: there’s a huge difference between your boyfriend being bored at your grandma’s annual turkey dinner and him telling you, in no uncertain terms, that you will not be hanging out with your mom tonight. If he doesn’t have a good reason for you not to see your friends or family, it may be a sign of emotional abuse.

This is where subtlety can come in. Phrases like, “Why don’t you stay here and hang out with me, instead? I miss you when you’re gone,” seem sweet at first, but this may be a subtle tactic to draw you away from your loved ones.

#7 Threats of suicide. One tactic of emotional abusers is to threaten suicide if you leave. This is a major scare tactic and an outright form of manipulation. If you feel like their threats have merit behind them, then inform their close family or friends, but don’t stay in this relationship.

#8. Guilt trips. Car won’t start? She’s unhappy with her life? Hasn’t rained in a while? Must be your fault. Emotional abusers are going to blame you for basically everything they can, even when it doesn’t make sense.

What’s more, if you constantly feel guilty when you are around your partner, that’s a sign it’s time to call it quits.

#9 Unrelenting jealousy. A healthy jealousy is normal in most relationships. This is a simple sign that you are attached to your partner and don’t appreciate when the hot waitress hits on your man.

That being said, when jealousy goes from an annoyed eye roll to your partner outright blaming you for the outside attention you receive, emotional abuse is definitely cropping up.

#10 They withhold sex for control. If your mate is looking to hurt you on an emotional and physical level, they may try and use sex as a weapon. Withholding sex is a powerful way to get your partner’s attention. This is also a passive-aggressive way to hurt you or express anger.

Withholding other forms of physical contact and affection is another way abusers try and control you. Their lack of affection can create a spiral of self-doubt in their victim that can degrade their self-worth.

#11 Constant calling and texting. Even though your partner is painting you as worthless, you’d best believe they’ll be blowing up your phone the minute you spend a night away from them. Texting your partner when they’re gone is usually a cute sign that you miss each other.

But emotional abusers are going to take it that extra mile. Either they will force you to be in a constant conversation with them via text, or they will try to pick a fight with you/guilt you, and try to get you to come home.

Raiding Safaricom: Will mobile money interoperability kill M-Pesa?

Raiding Safaricom: Will mobile money interoperability kill M-Pesa?

by Njenga Hakeenah
Mobile money penetration exceeds 70% of the population and the country has emerged as a blueprint for financial inclusion

Effective October 4, 2018, M-Pesa and T-kash customers will seamlessly send and receive money directly to and from their mobile wallets.

This comes almost a year after the first phase of the mobile money interoperability began with Safaricom and Airtel.

Kenya has been hailed as a global giant in the financial inclusion space as a result of its vibrant mobile money scene.

Mobile money penetration in Kenya exceeds 70% of the population and the country has emerged as a blueprint for financial inclusion.

With the country embarking on mobile money interoperability, the second decade of the country’s mobile money scene is expected to change heralding a new era for the sector.

Mobile money interoperability was launched in March 2018 by Kenya’s main mobile service operators, Safaricom, Telkom and Airtel.

The three telcos came together to integrate the mobile money ecosystem through mobile money transfer interoperability.

This initiative greatly enhances the customer experience by bridging the different platforms and presenting a seamless experience for sending and receiving money from other from one server to another.

The convenience of wallet to wallet transfer enables customers to receive money sent from another operator directly into their own.

Previously, customers would receive a voucher indicating that a different number from a different operator had sent them money.

As a result of the interoperability, the customer no longer has to struggle with having to cash the voucher within seven days, or consequently have the funds reversed to the sender.

The three providers have committed to maintain the p2p pricing between on net and off net transactions.

This implies that there will be no difference when sending money to another network.

With the advent of interoperability, customers can send and receive money from customers on a different network. The money received from a different network is directly added to the customer’s account balance the same way it would have been sent from the same network.

The benefits of this that the customer can use the money to pay bills, make purchases or make withdrawals from their own network agent.

To enjoy interoperability, the customer must be registered for my Airtel money or M-Pesa.

Those not registered on any mobile money will continue to receive a voucher code.

The first phase of the interoperability began with Airtel and Safaricom and Telkom becomes the second operator to integrate its mobile money platform T-kash to M-Pesa.

To avail a complete ecosystem, the last leg of the mobile money interoperability between Airtel and Telkom will be launched later.

Source – The Exchange