Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has met the mayor of the central city of Beira, Daviz Simango, who is also leader of the opposition Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), during a visit to the province on Friday.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Simango said they discussed questions concerning the attraction of investment to the country, and the politico-military situation, in the context of the working teams set up by the government and the rebel movement Renamo to secure an effective peace.

After telephone conversations with Nyusi, Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama declared a truce which took effect on Dec 27, 2016, and has now been extended until early May.

So far the truce is holding. No further Renamo ambush on the roads, or clash between the Renamo militia and government forces has been reported since the truce was declared. Two working groups have been set up, one dealing with decentralization and the other with military questions.

Simango said Nyusi had informed him that these groups “are now working on terms of reference, in a collective effort to ensure that peace will be effective”.

Simango insisted that the peace talks could not be left solely in the hands of the government and Renamo. The MDM, and other forces in Mozambican society, should be involved, he urged, and the whole process must culminate in the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, which will need to give its approval to the final deal.

Simango said he had also discussed public transportation with Nyusi, and the acquisition of new buses, both for Maputo and for Beira.

The government recently dissolved the publicly-owned Beira Bus Company (TPB), and is dividing its assets between the municipalities of Beira and the nearby town of Dondo.

Simango said Beira must have a sustainable municipal transport company that can be run at a profit. Such a company would need at least 50 buses, operating routes not only within the city, but also to destinations outside of Beira.