Breakdown Blacks Out Southern Mozambique (

A power cut at about 21.30 on Thursday night blacked out all of southern Mozambique.
According to a statement issued by the electricity company EDM, Maputo city, and Maputo, Gaza and Inhambane provinces were all deprived of electricity. EDM claimed that the power was restored by 23.00 – but in fact, in much of Maputo and Matola cities, the lights did not come back on until 00.30.
EDM said the blackout was caused by a breakdown in a power transformer at the Matola sub-station, which is part of the system which supplies electricity to all of southern Mozambique.
EDM says that, as soon as the blackout occurred, it sent specialist teams to repair the damage “which allowed the gradual re-establishment of the power supply”. Tests are under way to ascertain why the transformer broke down, and the company pledged that it will work to restore completely the normal functioning of the Matola sub-station.
But for much of the country three hours at night without electricity must seem like a pinprick. When flooding on the Licungo river in Zambezia province knocked down ten pylons carrying power from the Cahora Bassa dam on 12 January, that cut off power supplies to the entire north of the country (Nampula, Niassa and Cabo Delgado provinces, plus the northern districts of Zambezia) for four weeks.
The restoration of power to the north is not complete, and power cuts are continuing to plague Nampula city, because one of the main transformers in the local sub-station is not functioning.
The central port city of Beira, which was unaffected by the January disaster, is suffering regular cuts and oscillations in the power supply. According to the spokesperson for the Sofala provincial government, Helcio Canda, Beira should be receiving 109 megawatt, but currently the city is only being supplied with 69 megawatts. He claimed that the sub-stations supplying the city are “saturated”
To avoid power cuts Beira needs at least another 30 megawatts. Canda said EDM is working to solve this problem, and at the end of this month 57 megawatts from the Chibata sub-station should come on line. The city will be able to draw on a further 14 megawatts, from the Mavuzi sub-station in late May.
Canda said that 37.7 million meticais (about 1.15 million US dollars) are being invested in projects to improve the Beira power supply.
Maputo, 13 Mar (AIM) – The mediators in the long running dialogue between the Mozambican government and the former rebel movement Renamo want a meeting between President Filipe Nyusi and Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama to break the current impasse in the talks.
The mediators flew to the central city of Quelimane on Thursday to meet with Dhlakama, and it seems that they will now report back to Nyusi.
Cited on Friday by the independent television station STV, the spokesperson for the mediators, Lourenco do Rosario, who is Vice-Chancellor of the Polytechnic University, said they believed that a face-to-face meeting between Nyusi and Dhlakama could break the deadlock over points two and three of the agenda for the dialogue – namely defence and security and the separation of the state from political parties.
The dialogue has made no headway on the critical issue of disarming and demobilizing the Renamo militia, referred to politely as Renamo’s “residual forces”, because Renamo refuses to deliver a list of names of those it wishes to see incorporated into the armed forces (FADM) and the police.
Renamo still insists on a shareout of senior military and police positions, demanding 50 per cent of them for itself. The head of the government delegation to the dialogue, Agriculture Minister Jose Pacheco, has pointed to the contradiction of Renamo wishing to separate the state from political parties, while at the same time demanding promotions in the armed forces on an explicitly political party basis.
Some headway had been made on point three, and a fortnight ago there was optimism that a declaration of principles could be signed on the separation of political parties from the state. Then, at the last minute, Renamo threw in a new demand – it wanted to bar people who hold explicitly political posts, including the President of the Republic, from engaging in politics. The government rejected this demand as absurd.
It is not clear why the mediators believe that bringing Nyusi and Dhlakama together will solve the problem. Nobody has suggested that either Pacheco or his Renamo opposite number, Saimone Macuiana, are operating without the knowledge and consent of their top leaders.
Meanwhile, the police on Thursday detained a truck carrying materials to a Renamo military base at Mazembe, in Gorongosa district, in the central province of Sofala.
According to a report on Radio Mozambique, the truck was carrying ten sacks of maize, 140 sacks of maize flour, eight 200 litre drums of vegetable oil, six 50 kilo sacks of beans, 50 bags of cement, a television set, a parabolic antenna, rolls of wire and solar panels.
The truck driver was accompanied by an electrician, who would presumably have installed the panels, television and antenna. Both said that the material was part of the preparation for a visit by Dhlakama to the Mazembe base.
Source: Politics