Mozambican parliament adopts law on operationalizing new districts

nsnbc : The Mozambican parliament, earlier this week on Wednesday, adopted a law on operationalizing 16 new districts with a budget of 892 million meticais (EUR 12.4 million ).  The law was adopted with the votes from the ruling Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo), and of the Movimento Democrático de Moçambique (MDM). Renamo, the third-largest party voted against.

Mozambique's North South Road (archives)

Mozambique’s North South Road (archives)

The law stipulates the creation of new  localidades (sub-districts) and administrative posts within the three new districts approved in 2016 as well as in thirteen districts created in 2013. The Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo) voted against the law saying it increases public spending while it doesn’t respond to the wishes of the population for more infrastructure and services. Renamo also stressed that the population never decided the appointment of a head of local or administrative posts.

Carmelita Namashulu, Minister of State Administration and Public Administration and Frelimo member, said the aim is to adjust Mozambique’s territorial organization to the current economic, social and cultural development of the country and to complement and operationalize the new districts. She added that the law aims to “make government action more effective, bring public administration services closer to citizens, increase their access, and encourage citizens’ initiative and participation in identifying and seeking solutions to the problems of the respective local communities”.

Mozambique is composed of 11 provinces, which in turn are divided into districts, administrative posts, localities and settlements as in distritos, postos administrativos, localidades e povoações. Renamo has repeatedly and consistently called for the reorganization of districts so as to give local / district governors a greater say. Most external and independent analysts would note that such initiatives and the decentralization of power in the country, would be easier to adopt and to implement if the country would not also have to cope with Renamo’s military wing and its insurgency.

CH/L – nsnbc 29.04.2017

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