Mozambique has recently redrafted its penal code to remove offensive articles that remained from the original Portuguese code written in 1886. Although the code had been in force for the past 128 years, the articles, including one which allows men to avoid prosecution for rape upon marrying their victim, have not been enforced by the Mozambican government. However, rather than continuing to ignore parts of the outdated penal code, Mozambique has opted for the first full overhaul to modernize and update the official code.
The move to redraft the Penal Code and remove the offences against women’s rights has been due, in large part, to the efforts of Amnesty International. There are now new articles specifically concerning women’s rights, domestic abuse, definitions of rape, and psychological violence. In addition, all references to the illegality of homosexuality have been eliminated. However, there has been ongoing disagreement concerning the age of responsibility, which is now set at the age of 10. Many are advocating for the age to be raised to at least 16, but as of now, this has not been changed.
Original Article: http://allafrica.com/stories/201404080228.html?viewall=1
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Mozambican President Armando Guebeza has inaugurated the Sampene Water Distribution Centre in the province of Zambezia as a new piece in the water supply system for Quelimane, Zambezia’s capital. The Centre is both a reservoir and a pumping station with the capacity to hold up to 2,500 cubic metres of water.
Funding for the Centre was provided through a joint effort between the World Bank and the Mozambican government, costing approximately $2.1 million dollars. The construction project created 100 new jobs.
Original Source: http://allafrica.com/stories/201404090476.html
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Mozambique has recently ratified the Nagoyo Protocol, a protocol concerning access to and sharing of genetic resources and information. The protocol addresses the legal framework surrounding the complicated issue of genetic resources and is intended to serve as a transparency boost for the already existing United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. The language of the protocol focuses on equitable sharing of information and resources, and addresses issues such as indigenous and local communities granting access to genetic resources, as well as traditional knowledge associated with genetic information and materials.
Mozambique will be the thirtieth nation to ratify the Nagoyo Protocol, but fifty nations are needed before it can enter into force. Notably absent from the list of ratified countries is the United States, a key player in the field of genetics.
The Nagoyo Protocol also aims to promote conservation and environmentalist efforts, increasing the amount of land per nation promised to be made into protected regions. The attempt towards stronger conservation policies and protection of biodiversity is supported by the Mozambique Government, which recognizes the importance of biodiversity and genetic resources.
The government in Maputo, Mozambique, has promised to enforce bans on cell phones for students in the classroom. Citing distraction and cheating as main reasons, the city of Maputo has promised to enforce these bans, only allowing students to enter classrooms if their phones are turned off and safely stowed away.
Maputo’s commitment to education has been reaffirmed by their promises to address additional problems inside schools as well, including complaints about alcohol use by students and issues of sexual harassment. Some pupils present at the meeting about these issues suggested that all informal bars or places to obtain alcohol should be moved away from schools, and Maputo’s governor encouraged all those affected by sexual harassment to speak up, lest they should be considered complacent. Officials also urged students to look after their schools, discouraging graffiti or other damage to school facilities, stating that “school is our second home.”
Image Source: http://www.presseurop.eu/files/images/article/school-mozambique.jpg?1274190966
After 2013’s year of violent clashes between the Mozambique National Resistance Party (RENAMO) and the ruling Frelimo Party, resulting in dozens dead and hundreds displaced, RENAMO has agreed to negotiate for the amendment of Mozambique’s electoral parliament. The parliament, called the Assembly of the Republic, currently consists of thirteen seats, but RENAMO’s amendment calls for seventeen seats in order to more properly represent the three major Mozambican parties: RENAMO, Frelimo, and the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM). This agreement comes just after pleas from both sides for RENAMO and the Mozambican Armed Forces (FADM) to stop the aggression and negotiate peacefully. Transport Minister Gabriel Muthisse spoke about the violence, urging President Guebeza to intervene in the FADM’s retaliatory actions in order to ensure peace and stability in the region. However, Muthisse also expressed support for the actions of the FADM, claiming that they have only been carried out in order to protect the population from ongoing RENAMO attacks.
This new agreement between RENAMO and the ruling party is a key step in the democratic process, showing the capabilities of both sides to engage in dialogue without resorting to violent means. A stable government and peaceful solutions for disagreements are especially important, as Mozambique continues to tackle issues such as the disarmament of existing land mines, which may be completed this year if the political parties can put their grievances aside for the greater good of all Mozambicans.
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Picture Source: http://www.bdlive.co.za/africa/africannews/2013/10/29/mozambique-troops-swoop-on-second-renamo-military-base
At a recent conference, Mozambique’s Minister of State Administration, Carmelita Namashalua spoke on eliminating foreign financial support for multiparty elections. Since 1996, the UN has been the main funder for Mozambique’s elections, but now the government aims to maximize its legitimacy by being able to support its own elections.
The article can be found here.
President Guebuza said in his acceptance speech on Wednesday that he is committed to working toward the “dream of all Mozambicans… the dream of well-being and happiness.”
Mozambique’s ruling Frelimo party upturned the country’s traditional politics on Wednesday when it chose to re-elect current President Armando Guebuza as its head, setting off an array of questions regarding where the party is headed for the 2014 elections. In the past, the party’s leader has automatically assumed nomination as its presidential candidate, but this cannot be the case with President Guebuza. The president is currently serving his second 5-year term in office, which is the presidential term limit set by the country’s constitution. Though President Guebuza has declared his intent to adhere to the constitution’s term limit, one can only wonder what sort of nominee will arise from this unique situation.
This turn of events has occurred just days after the US embassy announced the renewal of its annual 1.4 million USD funding for Mozambican organisations pursuing projects to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
US Ambassador to Mozambique Douglas Griffiths
“To save more lives, we have to continue to work together,” US Ambassador Douglas Griffiths said in his speech on Monday preceding the signing of the funding agreement. “You, our partners, are essential for achieving our target of a generation free from AIDS in Mozambique.”