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Lusa (File photo) / Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, prime minister of Mozambique
Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario on Sunday urged the Mozambican community in the diaspora to support the efforts undertaken by the government to secure an effective and lasting peace.
Speaking in Addis Ababa, at a dinner with the Mozambican community resident in Ethiopia, Rosario said the dialogue under way between President Filipe Nyusi and the leader of the Renamo rebels, Afonso Dhlakama, needs the support of all Mozambicans.
The talks between Nyusi and Dhlakama had resulted in a truce, which has now held for more than six months. But what was needed was to move from a truce to full peace. “We want Mozambicans to feel there is no need to use violence to solve their problems”, said Rosario.
As a result of the dialogue, two commissions have been set up between the government and Renamo, one dealing with decentralisation, and the other with military questions. This, Rosario said, concerned such matters as the disarming of Renamo and the integration of members of the Renamo militia into the Mozambican defence and security forces.
As for decentralisation, Rosario said his had begun many years ago with the establishment of municipalities. The debate now is over provincial governments, with Renamo calling for the election of provincial governors, rather than the current system whereby the President of the Republic appoints the governors.
Various models were possible, said the Prime Minister, and Mozambicans are called upon to contribute with their ideas.
The commission on decentralisation, he added, “is drawing up a proposal on the matter which should be presented at the end of this month or early next month, so that we will have a legal package for the forthcoming elections, and which will end distrust in the elections”,
On the economic situation, Rosario pointed to the country’s enormous mineral wealth – including proven reserves of 150 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, as well as vast deposits of coal. But exploiting these resources will require enormous investments.
Rosario said the country’s economic difficulties had been worsened by the decline in the world market prices of some of its key exports, and by the decision of Mozambique’s main cooperation partners to suspend their direct support for the Mozambican state budget. This decision was taken after the discovery of over 1.1 billion US dollars worth of undisclosed, government-guaranteed loans, which pushed Mozambique’s debt to unsustainable levels.
It became necessary, Rosario said, to bring expenditure into line with the country’s capacity to generate revenue, and at the same time expand the tax base, while the Bank of Mozambique adopted tough monetary policies.
All this was done without any external support, Rosario said, and now there were clear signs that Mozambique is recovering the trust of investors, as best shown by the advances made in the multi-billion dollar projects to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the Rovuma Basin, off the coast of the northern province of Cabo Delgado.Source: AIM