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Cablegate: Mozambique: Staffdel Flynn and Staffdel Chaka

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


E.O. 12958: N/A
VISIT MARCH 23 - 29, 2005



1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified. Please handle
accordingly. Not for internet distribution.

2. (U) Senate Foreign Relations Committee Minority Staff
Member Heather Flynn (March 23-28) and House International
Relations Committee Majority and Minority Staff Members Malik
Chaka and Dr. Pearl Alice Marsh (March 25-29) visited
Mozambique over the period March 23-29. During their
overlapping visits, the staffers met with government
officials, civil society members, and private sector
representatives to discuss combating corruption, progress
toward a compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation,
the economic and political difficulties in Zimbabwe, port and
coastal security issues, and the 2004 national elections. A
trip to the port city of Beira gave them a view of the
negative impact of the Zimbabwe crisis on that city. End

3. (SBU) On March 24, SFRC Staff Member Flynn, along with
Ambassador La Lime and USAID Director Jay Knott, paid a
courtesy call on Mozambique's new Minister of Justice,
Esperanca Machavela. Machavela emphasized that judicial
reform was at the center of her agenda for the Ministry, but
that reform efforts were hobbled by limited financial
resources and poorly trained officials. According to
Machavela, many prosecutors and judges in Mozambique had
insufficient training to carry out their duties effectively.
She reported that she hoped to double the number of
individuals receiving legal training during her tenure.
(Minister Machavela,s statements on trafficking in persons
issues are reported in Ref A.)

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4. (SBU) The head of the Attorney General's Anti-Corruption
Unit (ACU), Isabel Rupia, told Staff Member Flynn and the
Ambassador in a separate meeting of the difficulties the ACU
faced in prosecuting corruption cases. Rupia reported that
the ACU received 171 denunciations between March 2004 and
February 2005, of which it investigated 119. Following the
investigations, the ACU issued indictments in 17 cases.
However the courts had refused, in every instance, to
prosecute any of the 17 cases. Rupia blamed their refusal
both on shortfalls in the new anti-corruption law that
provided the judges with too much leeway and a conspicuous
lack of political will within the judiciary. She stressed
the need to pressure the judges to bring cases to trial, and
implied such pressure would have to come from the highest
levels of government. Rupia emphasized that the fight
against corruption did not start and end with the ACU,
underlining that public support and political will by the GRM
leadership were essential to successfully confront

5. (SBU) In another meeting with Staff Member Flynn, Attorney
General Joaquim Madeira made similar complaints. He blamed
the backlog of corruption cases in the courts on the fact
that judges do not give priority to these cases. Further,
most judges "take the easy way out" by sending corruption
cases back to the prosecutor's office rather than ordering
more investigation and/or bringing the case to trial.
Madeira stated he would need more full-time staff and better
investigative support from the police to enable the ACU to
expand its work and issue more indictments. He indicated
some help was on the way, with 11 law school graduates to be
placed as prosecutors in district offices and additional
staffing increases expected with the approval of the 2005
state budget currently under debate in the National Assembly.
6. (SBU) Madeira, who has been rumored to be in jeopardy of
losing his position, gave an ambiguous response when asked if
he thought he would retain his post under the new Guebuza
government, answering that he had neither been asked to
resign nor asked to remain beyond his current tenure. He
repeated at several points during the meeting that regardless
of who was the Attorney General, the institution had good
permanent prosecutors and was improving each year. (Comment:
Madeira was appointed as Attorney General by former President
Chissano in 2000. The entry into force of Mozambique,s new
constitution has left observers unsure how long Madeira,s
current term is to last. Over the last few weeks, Madeira
has been the focus of harsh criticism over his annual report
to Parliament on the State of Legality in Mozambique.
Parliamentarians from both the FRELIMO and RENAMO parties
attacked his report for being too general, stating it glossed
over key activities, particularly regarding high-profile
investigations into the murder of journalist Carlos Cardoso
and senior bank official Sima Sima. He has given similar
reports in previous years that were defended by FRELIMO
deputies, and many believe that their criticism this time is
a sign that he may be on his way out. End Comment.)

7. (U) Minister of Foreign Affairs Alcinda Abreu outlined the
GRM's five-year plan in a meeting with Staff Member Flynn on
March 24 and in a March 29 meeting with Staff Members Chaka
and Marsh. According to Abreu, the plan's objective is to
reduce levels of poverty in Mozambique by focusing on
HIV/AIDS and rural economic development. Abreu expressed
pleasure at the level of attention Mozambique has received
from the United States since the Guebuza administration came
to power less than two months ago, noting several visits
Mozambique has received from Washington since then. Abreu
recognized that programs such as the Millennium Challenge
Account (MCA) will play a key role in Mozambique's economic
development, and was pleased with the March 13-23 visit by a
Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) delegation, which she
stated had helped Mozambique better define its project
proposal. Ambassador La Lime praised the GRM for its work in
developing Mozambique's MCA concept paper and urged the
government to establish a full-time team dedicated to
refining its proposal and working with the MCC.

8. (SBU) Staffers Chaka and Marsh praised Mozambique as a
model of post-conflict transition and expressed hope that the
government would take an active role in resolving the crisis
in Zimbabwe. Minister Abreu asserted that Mozambique was
following the situation closely. She also hoped that
Mozambique could contribute to building a stable Zimbabwe,
but she stressed that her government's approach has been and
would continue to be one of dialogue rather than isolation.
Abreu said she was encouraged by the reduced level of
violence in the runup to the March 31 elections as compared
to past campaigns, and she reported that Mozambique would
send six individuals to observe the elections, including at
least two government officials.

9. (SBU) In a March 28 meeting with Staff Members Chaka and
Marsh, members of Mozambique's MCA technical team reported
that as a result of the March 13-23 visit by an MCC
delegation, the technical team had decided to refine
Mozambique,s proposal to focus on water, sanitation, roads,
technical assistance, and financing to support tourism and
agricultural processing. Technical team leader Pedro Couto
of the Ministry of Planning and Development confirmed the
government's willingness to support the MCC process, but
noted the difficulty in coming up with resources at this
point in the 2005 budget cycle to support the creation of a
full-time government MCC team. The technical team is
awaiting an aide-memoire from the MCC to summarize the
delegation,s visit and outline next steps on both sides.
Staff Members Chaka and Marsh commended the GRM for its
extensive consultations in developing its concept paper.

10. (SBU) The Staff Members discussed MCC issues on several
other occasions, including with business and civil society
representatives. In Beira, members of the Beira Business
Association told the three staffers that they had proposed
projects in Sofala province. (The current proposal is
limited to the northern part of the country and does not
include any projects in Beira.)

11. (SBU) During a March 24 visit to the Port of Maputo,
Staff Member Flynn met with Maputo Port Development Company
(MPDC) Operations Director Ken Shirley and Port Facility
Security Officer Willie Nel. Nel reported that Maputo port
was the first of Mozambique's three major ports to be fully
compliant with the International Ship and Port Security
(ISPS) Code, receiving accreditation in June of 2004. MPDC
had given a high priority to security in the first phase of
its three-year rehabilitation program, and a range of
improvements were implemented to achieve ISPS standards
before the deadline. However, according to Nel, the
Mozambican Navy, the body responsible for overall coastal
security, had not acceded to MPDC's request for support. Nel
felt that that any effort by the Navy on coastal security at
Maputo port would require additional support from MPDC, due
to the virtual absence of resources in the Navy. He noted
that the two patrol boats donated to the Navy by the French
in September 2004 (ref B) were not suitable for the port's
patrol purposes, suggesting they were too big for the harbor
area but too small for the open seas.

12. (U) On March 26, the three Staff Members, accompanied by
Charge Dudley, visited the port city of Beira, capital of
Sofala province. Beira is Mozambique's second largest city
and is an important port and rail terminus for the region.
While in Beira, the staffers met with the governor of Sofala,
the mayor of Beira, and members of their governments, toured
Beira port, met with Customs officials, visited the Belita
Textile Factory, and spoke with members of the Beira Business
Association. A central theme of the meetings was the
negative impact on the economy of the Zimbabwe crisis.
Regional Customs Sub-Director Goncalves Mandava stated that
revenue collection from duties has fallen significantly since
the Zimbabwean crisis began. Members of the Beira Business
Association (ABC) contended that local businesses and
investment had suffered extensively due to a decrease in
trade with Zimbabwe. Another issue negatively affecting
investment, according to the ABC President Zaide Aly, was
difficulty in obtaining capital. Long-term capital was not
available to most Mozambican businessmen, and those that
secured medium-term loans often paid as much as 30 percent
interest rates.

13. (U) Another key theme of the visit to Beira was the
importance of improving water-borne access to the port.
Sofala Governor Alberto Vaquina said that insufficient
dredging of the port was a barrier to increasing economic
activity in the province. This concern re-emerged in a
meeting with the city's mayor, Deviz Simango, who said that
silt removed from the channel could be profitably utilized in
a coastal development project. Officials at the Belita
Textile Factory, the only factory in Mozambique currently
exporting garments to the U.S. that receive AGOA benefits,
also cited the need for dredging in the harbor. Belita
depends on sea shipments for both the import of raw materials
and the majority of its exports. According to a port
official, there are plans to dredge the channel this year but
CFM, the state-owned entity responsible for the project, has
yet to sign a service contract with a dredging company. The
last time the port was dredged was in 1992.

14. (SBU) The Staff Members used their meetings to explain
favorable Congressional perceptions of Mozambique and discuss
issues of concern. The timing of their visits enabled them
to get a sense of the actions of the Guebuza government in
its first two months, as well as the status of Mozambique,s
MCC proposal. Their travel to Beira afforded them a
first-hand view of the impact on the city of the crisis in
Zimbabwe that complemented the previous stop in Zimbabwe by
Staffers Chaka and Marsh. They also heard from a variety of
other interlocutors concern about the situation in Zimbabwe
and an acknowledgement of its importance to Mozambique. End

15. (U) The Staff Members did not have the opportunity to
clear this message before departing Mozambique.

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