Maputo - Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has dismissed long-serving Foreign Minister, Oldemiro Baloi, replacing him with the previous Agriculture Minister Jose Pacheco.
Baloi had served in government under Nyusi’s two predecessors, Joaquim Chissano, and Armando Guebuza. It was Guebuza who appointed him Foreign Minister in 2008, a post to which Nyusi reappointed him when he formed his government in January 2015.
Pacheco has been in central or provincial government continually since 1990. Under Guebuza he was Minister of the Interior from 2005 to 2010, and then Minister of Agriculture. Guebuza also put him in charge of negotiations with the rebel movement Renamo in 2014, which failed in their declared goal of disarming and dismantling the Renamo militia.
His star inside the ruling Frelimo Party was apparently waning, since in September he failed in his bid for-re-election to Frelimo’s most powerful body, the Political Commission. He also lost his post as chair of the Frelimo disciplinary body, the Verification Commission.
But these setbacks have clearly not disqualified him from a senior role in government, with Nyusi now appointing him to head one of the most high profile ministries.
The new Minister of Agriculture is agronomist Higino Marrule, who has never held any government position before.
Max Tonela, previously Minister of Industry and Trade, becomes the new Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy. He replaces Leticia Klemens, who was only appointed to the job in October 2016.
Tonela has relevant experience in that his previous posts include financial director of the publicly owned electricity company, EDM, and member of the Board of Directors of Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB), the company that operates the Cahora Bassa dam on the Zambezi river.
Nyusi has not yet appointed a new Minister of Industry and Trade.
Independent Foreign Service