Maputo, Mozambique – 2014 is the year of the general elections in Mozambique. On 15 October, Mozambican voters will elect not only the new President of the Republic, but also new Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of the Provincial Assemblies for a five-year mandate. As a firm supporter of the democratic process in Mozambique since 1992, AWEPA has been intensively working over the past months with the political parties which have a seat in the National Assembly, assisting them in preparing their candidates to the upcoming elections and with a focus on the amendments recently introduced to the existing electoral law.
In partnership with the Center for Public Integrity (CIP), AWEPA has also organised training seminars for journalists and local correspondents. With the electoral campaigns already running, most of the AWEPA Mozambique programme activities have been implemented and a number of them are yet to come.
In October 2014, parliamentary staff will participate in a workshop on natural resource management and, more particularly, on the recently approved Law on Petroleum and Minerals. With this workshop, the parliamentary staff will gain knowledge which they can apply as they advise and inform MPs on matters related to natural resources.
Also in October, a public consultation meeting gathering municipal authorities and civil society organisations will take place in the municipalities of Pemba and Montepuez, in Cabo Delgado province. The aim of the meeting is to share information and trigger constructive debate over the duties and responsibilities of municipal authorities in terms of extraction of natural resources and its benefits.
During August, a public hearing took place in the province of Tete bringing together MPs, the Provincial Assembly of Tete and a number of civil society organizations. In that framework, MPs had the opportunity of interacting directly with their constituency and receive input in relation to the new Law on Petroleum and Mines. In addition, parliamentary staff was informed on the main concepts and the situation in Mozambique concerning natural resources.
Moreover, two Introductory workshops were organised for the Municipalities of Maganja da Costa on 5-7 August 2014 and Nyamayabwe on 20-22 August 2014, which are part of the ten new municipalities targeted for the 2013-2017mandate. In the framework of these seminars, several issues related to the functioning of the municipalities and the importance of coordination among different organs of the State at the local level were introduced the newly elected officials.
At the Provincial Assemblies level, a staff training on legal and administrative procedures was conducted in Cabo Delgado province. With this activity, AWEPA contributed to the capacity building of the three main functions of the Provincial Assemblies, namely oversight, legislation and representation. In addition, the training provided the staff with monitoring and evaluation skills, as well as knowledge on administrative procedures and communications with other institutions.
Political party members were also prepared for the upcoming general elections, using a Training of Trainers (ToT) methodology activity, focused on the new electoral law. Issues related to conflict prevention and resolution were also addressed during the seminar considering the current political tensions in the country.
Lastly, three training seminars for journalists and local correspondents were organised in August, respectively in Nampula on 25-26; Quelimane on 27-28 and Beira on 29-30, 2014. These activities were organised in partnership with CIP and trained journalists in all 128 Mozambican districts to report on all processes related to the elections which will feed into the Mozambique Political Process Bulletin.