Introduction

Linklaters’ African election insights is a series of country specific bulletins, produced by the Linklaters Africa Group in collaboration with our network of best friend firms, that consider elections in Africa and their potential effect on foreign investment and key economic sectors. This bulletin looks at the upcoming elections in Mozambique and the possible policy changes affecting sectors such as infrastructure, energy and investment into public-private partnerships.

Election Overview

On 15 October 2019, Mozambique will hold presidential, legislative and provincial elections. The main competing parties and presidential candidates are: 

  • > the Mozambique Liberation Front (“FRELIMO”) led by current president, Filipe Nyusi;
  • > the Mozambican National Resistance (“RENAMO”) with Ossufo Momade as party leader; and
  • the Democratic Movement of Mozambique (“MDM”), led by Daviz Simango.

Key Policy Proposals

FRELIMO

Economic Development and Investment

As the incumbent ruling party, FRELIMO’s priority objective is to consolidate existing tax and monetary policies to promote Mozambique’s economic stability and development. Some initiatives in this regard include: 

  • strengthening public sector transparency, national financial systems and account management; 
  • simplifying business procedures to attract and boost investment confidence; 
  • ensuring diversification and overall competitiveness of the economy by promoting investment into sectors such as agro-processing, manufacturing, telecommunications, financial services and tourism; and 
  • leveraging taxation revenue from priority sectors, i.e. gas exploration and mineral resources, to promote community and sustainable development. 

Infrastructure and Energy

FRELIMO’s infrastructural development proposals include the construction and improvement of public transportation infrastructure and networks to improve connectivity between the ports, major economic hubs and provincial areas. There are also proposals to encourage the construction and increased supply of modernised water systems and public sanitation services to rural and remote communities. 

In the energy sector, the focus is on the increased implementation of the National Strategy for Electrification (“NES”). The NES’ overarching aim is to achieve universal electrification in Mozambique by 2030 and to increase the availability and supply of alternative sources of electricity, i.e. hydroelectric power plants, gas and biomass powered plants. 

As the incumbent ruling party, FRELIMO’s priority objective is to consolidate existing tax and monetary policies to promote Mozambique’s economic stability and development.

RENAMO’s objectives emphasise the improvement in social welfare and economic development of smallscale farmers and rural communities.

RENAMO

Economic Development and Investment

RENAMO’s objectives emphasise the improvement in social welfare and economic development of smallscale farmers and rural communities. RENAMO’s economic policies include: 

  • the creation of a medium and long term ‘National Development Agenda’ to reflect the vision and participation of all areas of society; 
  • transparent privatisation of ‘non-strategic’ companies, such that the State will only own or participate in companies strategic to state security (as determined by reference to the National Development Agenda); 
  • promotion of sustainable public debt management by imposing annual limits on government debt levels; 
  • investment in the modernisation of schools and vocation centres to increase human development levels; and 
  • improvement in the standard of public health delivery by increasing investment into the National Health Service and primary health care providers. 

Infrastructure and Energy

As part of a larger public infrastructure policy, RENAMO has indicated plans to improve Mozambique’s system of public sanitation, drainage and sewage management. These plans encompass initiatives to increase water supply and the construction of water collection and distribution systems in remote areas. RENAMO plans to overhaul Mozambique’s energy industry by liberalising the import, distribution and pricing of fossil fuels, encouraging the participation of small and medium enterprises in the transmission and distribution of energy and, accelerating the electrification of rural areas. 

MDM 

Economic Development and Investment

MDM’s key driver for economic development is to utilise Mozambique’s young entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises to foster job opportunities and sustainable development. MDM’s express initiatives include: 

  • to create tax benefits and incentives to stimulate national production and local entrepreneurship;
  • to provide subsidised credits, international joint venture opportunities and priority access for government tenders to domestic producers; 
  • interest rate cuts to encourage credit access for small and medium enterprises; and
  • comprehensive assessment of the social impact of ‘mega-project’ infrastructure developments to minimise negative impacts on the local community. 

Infrastructure and Energy

As with the other major political parties, MDM’s proposals aim to rehabilitate all vital infrastructure and expand the country’s transportation network to support cross-country commercial activity. In the energy sector, MDM plans to create a backup system and expand existing power infrastructure to curtail power outages during breakdowns or maintenance works.

MDM’s key driver for economic development is to utilise Mozambique’s young entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises to foster job opportunities and sustainable development.

Key Proposed Legislative Changes

RENAMO 

Among RENAMO’s proposed initiatives are plans to review the Constitution. It aims to limit the legislative power of parliament and restructure the current system of courts and general attorneys.

MDM

With extensive proposals for constitutional reform, MDM has announced plans to implement some of the following legislative changes if successful in the upcoming elections: 

  • to review the constitutional powers of the President; 
  • to transform the Constitutional Council into the Constitutional Court; 
  • to implement constitutional reforms on the status of a judge and the judicial system; 
  • to draft a law to govern a ‘Civil Protection System’ and establish a ‘Civil Protection National Authority’;
  • to draft a law to provide tax incentives to encourage promotion of Mozambican culture; and 
  • to propose overarching legislative amendments to encourage compliance with the law and the greater recognition of women’s rights in Mozambique.