Cablegate: Mozambique: Biodata On New Guebuza Cabinet (Part Ii)

Published: Tue 15 Feb 2005 12:19 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958: N/A
(B) MAPUTO 161
1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified. Please handle accordingly.
Not for internet distribution.
2. (U) This message reports biographical data for key ministers
recently appointed by President Guebuza. The message follows
biodata presented in reftel A. Biodata on additional cabinet
members will be provided in septel. Sources include official
ministerial biographies, local media reports, and information
obtained from Embassy contacts.
Table of Contents
-- Manuel Chang, Minister of Finance
-- Helena Taipo, Minister of Labor
-- Lucas Chomera, Minister of State Administration
-- Francisco Madeira, Minister in the Presidency for Diplomatic
-- Fernando Sumbana, Minister of Tourism
-- Aires Bonifacio Aly, Minister of Education and Culture
-- Luciano de Castro, Minister of Coordination and Environmental
-- Virgilia Matabele, Minister of Women and Social Action
Manuel Chang, Minister of Finance
3. (U) Manuel Chang replaces Luisa Diogo as Minister of Finance.
Diogo was Finance Minister in Chissano's 2000-2005 government and
also Prime Minister for the last year of Chissano's government
and is now exclusively Prime Minister (ref A). Chang had served
since 2000 as Vice Minister of Planning and Finance (Note: The
mandate of this ministry in the Guebuza administration has been
reduced in scope from both planning and finance to just finance;
planning is now done by another ministry. End Note.) Chang
received a degree in Economics from Eduardo Mondlane University
in 1985 and a Master's in Economics from the University of London
in 1992. Chang began his public service career with the Ministry
of Planning and Finance in 1975. He gradually rose through the
ranks, serving as Section Chief [19771988], Head of the Treasury
Department [19891993], and National Director of Budget [1993
2000]. Until his appointment to the cabinet in 2000, he also
served as President of the Auditing Council of the Bank of
Mozambique and was a member of the Management Council of the
Mozambique-Zimbabwe Pipeline (CPMZ).
4. (U) Manuel Chang was born in Gaza province in 1955. He is the
son of a Chinese farmer and Mozambican housewife.
Helena Taipo, Minister of Labor
5. (U) Helena Taipo replaces Mario Sevene as Minister of Labor.
She holds a degree in Psychology and Pedagogy from Maputo's
Pedagogical University. Prior to her cabinet appointment, she
served as Provincial Director of Labor for Nampula province.
6. (SBU) Taipo, perhaps the least known member of the cabinet, is
one of four cabinet members from Nampula province, the most
populous province in the country. Her appointment is viewed by
some as a reward for playing an active role in supporting
FRELIMO's electoral campaign in Nampula. She is reported to be a
dynamic and committed leader.
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Lucas Chomera, Minister of State Administration
--------------------------------------------- --
7. (U) Lucas Chomera replaces Jose Chichava as Minister of State
Adminstration. Until his appointment on February 5, Chomera
served as governor of Zambezia province, the second most populous
province in the country. Prior to assuming that role in 2000,
Chomera was a senior official with the Ministry of Health. He is
one of 7 provincial governors who have risen to the rank of
Minister under Guebuza.
8. (U) As governor of Zambezia, which is considered a RENAMO
stronghold, Chomera was given the task of implementing government
programs in a potentially hostile political environment.
9. (SBU) Making bureaucracy more efficient is one of the
priorities of Guebuza government, and Chomera is expected to use
a large part of his resources on public sector reform. On his
first day as Minister, Chomera announced he would prioritize
implementing public reform laws, which to date have not been put
into practice, including the law 8/2003 that delegates more power
from the central government to provincial governors.
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Francisco Madeira, Minister in the Presidency for Diplomatic
--------------------------------------------- ---------------
10. (U) Francisco Madeira becomes one of two Ministers in the
Presidency, though his portfolio has narrowed to solely
Diplomatic Affairs. Madeira studied at Maputo's Eduardo Mondlane
University from 1975 to 1997, at which time he also trained with
the Customs Service. Madeira joined the civil service shortly
thereafter, working as Chief of the Finance Minister's Office
[19771978] before opting for a career with the diplomatic
service. Upon graduating in International Relations from the
Foreign Affairs Center in Dar-es-Salaam in 1979, he became
Minister Plenipotentiary. He obtained a law degree from Eduardo
Mondlane University in 1982 and in 1983 was appointed Ambassador
to Tanzania [1983-1986] and Ambassador to Zimbabwe [1986-1989].
President Chissano appointed him as his Diplomatic Advisor in
1989. Between 1990 and 1992, he played a key role as a FRELIMO
negotiator in the Rome peace talks between the government and
RENAMO. More recently, Madeira served as President Chissano's
envoy to the Burundi peace negotiations and took part in the
Comoros peace process.
11. (SBU) Many believe Guebuza has retained Madeira, who was
Minister of Parliamentary and Diplomatic Affairs from 1994, due
to their close collaboration in the Burundi peace process.
Madeira has recently been given the additional responsibility of
working internally with political parties on government-related
issues, which means that he will have less time to devote to
foreign affairs.
12. (U) Madeira, born in Sofala province in 1954, is from the
Ndau ethic group, the same as RENAMO leader Afonso Dhlakama.
Fernando Sumbana, Minister of Tourism
13. (U) Fernando Sumbana remains in his post as Minister of
Tourism, to which he was appointed in January 2000. He earned a
degree in Economics from Maputo's Eduardo Mondlane University in
1981 and also holds a Master's in International Management from
Thunderbird, The Garvin School of International Management
[1989]. Immediately prior to his appointment as Minister in
2000, Sumbana served simultaneously as President of the National
Tourism Fund and Director of the Investment Promotion Center.
14. (SBU) Early in his tenure, Sumbana worked successfully to
drop Mozambique's "visa in advance" requirement in an effort to
facilitate tourism in Mozambique. Unfortunately, internal power
struggles and organizational constraints kept him from being more
effective in developing Mozambique's tourism potential. His
staying on under Guebuza was expected, not necessarily due to his
competency but owing more to his family's strong ties to Guebuza.
The Sumbana family is said to have helped hide the young Guebuza
when the Portuguese secret police learned that he had attempted
to flee to Tanzania to join FRELIMO. Sumbana comes from a strong
business background and he, himself, has numerous business
interests in Mozambique, though he is known as one public
official who separates quite well his personal business interests
from his government role.
15. (U) Sumbana was born in 1954 in Manhia, Maputo.
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Aires Bonifacio Aly, Minister of Education and Culture
--------------------------------------------- ---------
16. (U) Aires Bonifacio Aly has been appointed Minister in the
newly merged Ministry of Education and Culture. An educator by
profession, Aly began his career as a secondary school teacher in
1976. In 1997, Aly was named Provincial Director of the Ministry
of Education and served in this capacity until 1986, when he
assumed the position of Educational Advisor to the Ministry of
Education. During that time, Aly continued his post-graduate
studies at Maputo's Pedagogical University [19861991]. From
1989 to 1993, Aly held various positions within the Ministry,
including Chief of Staff and National Director. Aly was elected
to the National Assembly on the FRELIMO ticket in the 1994
multiparty elections, but resigned a few months later when he was
appointed governor of Niassa province. In 2000, he was appointed
governor of Inhambane province, a post he leaves to assume his
cabinet position.
17. (SBU) Aly is described as a hard worker, factors likely
contributing to his appointment as governor of two of
Mozambique's poorest provinces. As governor of Niassa, Aly
initiated a project aimed at reducing extreme poverty through
partnerships between Mozambican and South African farmers.
Unfortunately the project failed for lack of financing; he is
seen as a productive leader despite this setback. Aly leaves his
post in Inhambane having led the province in establishing its
first institute of higher education, the Eduardo Mondlane
University Faculty of Tourism.
18. (U) Aly is a published author and holds two Diplomas of Honor
from the Ministry of Education [1983 and 1986]. He was born
December 6, 1955 in the northern province of Niassa.
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Luciano de Castro, Minister of Coordination of Environmental
--------------------------------------------- ----------------
19. (U) Luciano de Castro replaces John Kachamila as Minister of
Coordination of Environmental Action. Immediately prior to his
appointment as Minister, Castro served as Vice Minister of Woman
and Social Action. Castro holds a degree in Biology from the
Technical University of Gustrow in Germany [1987]. Early in his
career Castro taught in his home province of Nampula. In 1990,
Castro was nominated as FRELIMO Provincial Secretary for Nampula
province. In 1999, he was elected to the National Assembly and
named a member of the Permanent Committee, positions he held
until his appointment as Vice Minister of Women and Social Action
in 2000.
20. (SBU) Luciano de Castro was born in Nampula province in 1955.
He is recognized for his gentle manner and instructive/inclusive
approach to managing.
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Virglia Matabele, Minister of Women and Social Action
--------------------------------------------- ---------
21. (U) Virgilia Matabele retains her post as Minister of Women
and Social Action to which she was appointed in 2000 under
Chissano. Matabele holds degrees in Modern Literature [1977] and
Linguistics [1991] from Maputo's prestigious Eduardo Mondlane
University. She began her career as a Portuguese teacher at
Maputo's Commercial Institute [19771983]. Before being elected
to the National Assembly in 1994, Matabele served as Head of the
International Relations Department in the Ministry of Tourism and
Director of Human Resources at the Ministry of Trade. While
serving in the National Assembly Matabele was named Deputy Chair
of the FRELIMO bench. She was elected to a second term in the
National Assembly in 1999, but resigned upon her appointment as
Minister. In June 2002, Matabele became part of the powerful
FRELIMO 15-member Political Commission.
22. (U) Matabele is described as open and approachable. Matabele
was born in 1952 in Zambezia province.
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