Mozambique: Nyusi Swears New Justice Minister Into Office

Maputo – Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Monday urged the new Minister of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Matters, Isaque Chande, to “promote respect for and observance of human rights, together with civil society and with the National Human Rights Commission, with whom you should interact”.

Swearing Chande into office, just three days after sacking his predecessor Abdurremane Lino de Almeida, Nyusi also insisted that he should “guarantee the exercise of religious freedoms and promote the effective involvement of religious bodies in promoting the culture of peace and of moral values”.

Nyusi added that the new minister should “ensure that all Mozambican citizens, particular the poor, enjoy the necessary legal aid”.

Chande should also advise the President and the Government on whether their acts were in accordance with the constitution, and ensure that the relation between the government and the country’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, “takes place within the legal limits, respecting the principle of the separation and interdependence of state powers”.

The Justice Ministry is in charge of the country’s prisons, and so Chande, Nyusi said, should check compliance with court sentences. This has become a serious issue because recent visits to prisons by the ombudsman, Jose Abudo, have exposed scandals of prisoners not being released even after they have served their full sentences.

Chande, the President urged, should also ensure that prison programmes “guarantee the rehabilitation and later social reintegration of the prisoners”.

Nyusi also swore into office Maria Isaltina Lucas as Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance, and Bernardo Lidimba as head of state protocol.

The President said he had chosen all three of them in the belief that he was betting on “the right people for the right place at the right time”.

His greatest hope, said Nyusi, was “that you will create spaces so that your collaborators will feel part of your leadership”.

“The Ministry is not the Minister or the Deputy Minister”, he added. “The Ministry is the series of all the people who work there. Most of them are the staff you will find there and who will remain there after you have completed your mission”.

If their mission was to be successful, “you must opt for participatory governance”, said Nyusi, “exploring the skills of each of your collaborators, and involving all relevant stakeholders in defining priorities and in building results”.

Source: All Africa