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Mozambique’s former finance minister detained in South Africa 

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- Mozambique’s former finance minister Manuel Chang was detained at the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on Saturday while heading for Dubai, local newspaper Carta de Mozambique reported on Sunday.

The newspaper said the detention was confirmed by the Mozambican ambassador to South Africa and that the detention was based on an international arrest warrant.

“There is evidence that Chang has a large fortune in Swiss accounts, making up more than the value of Mozambique’s hidden debt,” the newspaper said, adding that the detention has nothing to do with the hidden debt process.

The newspaper said the United States demanded Chang’s extradition for alleged money laundering, wire fraud and securities fraud.



Mozambique loses 30,000 hectares of crops due to drought

MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) -- Mozambique lost more than 30,000 hectares of crops in its Maputo province due to high temperature and low precipitation, officials said Thursday.

“It is a scenario that the meteorology institute predicted for the first period of the rainy season between October-December the rains were below normal and the most compromised products are maize, beans and groundnuts,” the provincial department of agriculture and food security told Xinhua.

The lost hectares are in different districts of Maputo province and the district of Boane is the most affected.

Agriculture authorities said they are adopting a series of measures to mitigate the impact for affected farmers, one of which is to allocate seeds of crops with resistance to intensive heat.

Authorities said they have 20 tons of seeds available to support farmers that lost crops in the first season of the agriculture campaign, in the hope that the situation will be improved in the second season between January and March.

“We are also promoting the use of the hothouse, there are currently 63 hothouses distributed for controlled production and during the whole period of precipitation,” the provincial director of agriculture and food security, Leonor Neves, told reporters.


Railway service in western Mozambique suspended
due to heavy rains in eastern Zambia 

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- Transportation on a railway line linking Zambia to neighboring Malawi and Mozambique has been temporarily suspended due to damage caused to the line following heavy rains, state-run railway firm said on Friday.

Zambia Railways said it has decided to temporarily suspend operations on the Chipata-Mchinji railway line which runs from eastern Zambia’s Chipata town to Mchinji town in Malawi following damages caused by heavy rains.

“Zambia Railways and the government have dispatched engineers to Chipata to assess the extent of the damage and to determine remedial works necessary to restore the line,” Sombe Ngonga, the rail firm’s spokesperson said in a release.

Initial reports indicate that there are serious washaways on the Chipata-Mchinji line which has also affected movement of trains on the Nacala Corridor in general, she added.

The railway line is jointly operated by Zambia Railways Limited which runs a stretch of 24 kilometers on the Zambian side and connects with CEAR Railways in Malawi and CDN Railways of Mozambique up to the Port of Nacala.


1,498 pardoned inmates released on Christmas Eve in Mozambique

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- A total of 1,498 inmates in Mozambique pardoned by President Filipe Nyusi were released on Monday in different provinces of the country.

The move followed the announcement made by the president during his state-of-nation speech last Wednesday, when he said the decision came from a spirit of clemency and inclusive governance, saying that those who need care and assistance because of age or health issues can receive necessary treatment.

Minister of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs Joaquim Virissimo asked the released to distance themselves from illegal and immoral acts.

This is the second time the president uses his Constitutional power to pardon prisoners, a move welcomed by church leaders and society.



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