Bilateral cooperation: Mozambique and China reaffirm priorities
DW / Discussion of decentralisation at a meeting in Maputo between civil society and politicians
Civil society and opposition political parties are unanimous in stating that district administrators should be appointed by governors-elect in their respective provinces.
Some civil society organisations and politicians in Mozambique understand that decentralisation in the country should deliver independence for all local government bodies, and that both the governor and the administrator of a province should be elected, instead of being appointed by the President of the Republic and the Minister of State Administration respectively.
The political parties are inspired by a model of municipalities in which the president of a municipality [mayor] has the power to appoint councillors and heads of administrative posts.
This is the model that suits Renamo, for the 2019 general elections, according to Izequiel Gusse.
“Maputo has the status of a province. The municipality’s president appoints administrators of the urban districts. Why is it that, in the provinces of Niassa, Tete, Manica and Gaza, the governor is elected with the same legitimacy as the president of Maputo municipality, but cannot appoint the administrators?” Gusse asks.
Frelimo, for its part, notes that the country’s decentralisation process has been underway since 1998, and says there should be public consultation on the matter, Deputy Lucas Chomera making it clear that what was agreed in discussions was that there should be no changes at district level in the 2019 elections.
But the question is whether a provincial executive’s governance programme will fit that of a district which is dependent on the Ministry of State Administration.
“So our answer is that we have a practice with the municipalities, because the state representative administrator also assumes devolved functions and we think that it is not worth going to dispute this administrator because after five years this is autonomous and is elected, does not obey anyone, is not subordinate to anyone,” the Frelimo deputy says.
Controversy over appointing administrators
The Youth Parliament’s Coutinho Fernandes says that Frelimo’s position on the appointment of administrators lacks any sensible foundation, it making no sense for an administrator of a jurisdiction to report to the Minister of State Administration instead of his superior, who should be the governor.
“How can I, in my area of jurisdiction, have someone who will not be accountable to me and will answer to the minister, expect that figure to contribute to my having a fruitful governance as regards the actions and the profile that I wish to develop?” he asks.
Should district administrators be elected?
Academic Gulam Tajú defends the independence of administrators and says they must be elected.
“We are delaying over the issue of the district administrator because we are reproducing an old model where the administrator is subordinate to the governor. In future, the administrator will not be subordinate – he will be elected. Then the governors that we are going to create in 2019 have to prepare, and the law must already include an idea of what the administrator’s structures and tasks are at the district level.”
These debates on decentralisation arise from negotiations between President Filipe Nyusi and the late leader of Renamo, Afonso Dlhakama.Source: Deutsche Welle