Mozambique: Bill On New Districts Passes Final Reading

A government bill on the creation of three new districts in the southern Mozambican province of Gaza passed its second and final reading in the country’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, on Monday.

The new district of Mapai results from splitting in two the enormous but sparsely populated district of Chicualacuala. Limpopo district has been carved out of the existing district of Xai-Xai, while Chonguene district consists of areas taken from the current districts of Xai-Xai and Mandlakazi.

The government justification for the new districts is that they will “strengthen the presence of the State in the territory, and make government action more effective”, and “bring the services of the public administration closer to the citizens, by improving access”.

The ruling Frelimo Party and the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) supported the bill, while the main opposition party, the rebel movement Renamo, voted against it.

Frelimo deputy Goncalves Maceda called the bill “laudable and opportune”, and described the Renamo opposition as “incomprehensible”, merely showing that Renamo “lacks any sense of state”,

For Renamo, Freitas Tiquila took up two diametrically opposed positions on Gaza in the same speech. First, he claimed “the people of Gaza vote for Renamo, but we don’t know where their votes go to”, but a few seconds later he declared “the people of Gaza are manipulated and are forced to vote for Frelimo”.

In fact, Gaza has always been a Frelimo stronghold. In all five parliamentary elections held since 1994, Renamo has never won a single seat in Gaza. Currently Frelimo holds all 14 Gaza seats.

The bill passed with 151 Frelimo and MDM votes to 78 Renamo votes.

Source: All Africa