A synopsis of Consul General Happy Jonathan Saka’s first five months in Tete
The first five months of Consul General Happy Jonathan Saka in the Consulate General of Malawi in Tete have been focused on bringing more visibility to the Consulate to the general populace in Tete as well as Malawians that pass through the province when plying their business in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and the Republic of South Africa. Mr. Saka joined the Consulate General on 8th September, 2022, a time when impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on delivery of services had significantly reduced. As such his role has been to make the Consulate General more pro-active as opposed to being reactive.
Consul General pays courtesy Calls to Political Leadership in Tete
First and foremost, Mr. Saka targeted the political leadership of the Province.
His first Courtesy call targeted the Secretary of State for Tete Province, Her Excellency Elisa Zacharias on 3rd November, 2022. Their meeting reaffirmed the strong bilateral relations existing between the Republic of Malawi and the Republic of Mozambique. The recent frequent state and official visits of the leadership of the two brotherly Countries, His Excellency President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera and His Excellency Felipe Jacinto Nyusi were cited as testimony of the brotherhood of Malawians and Mozambicans. Both reiterated the fact that the borders are artificial and a making of the former colonial masters.
The Courtesy call with His Excellency Domingo Viola on 4th November, 2022 had a similar tone. The Governor warmly welcomed the Consul General and promised a continued open-door policy.
Consul General Saka Visits Cahora Bassa
The Consul General took it upon himself to visit Cahora Bassa Hydro-Electric Power Station where he met with Mr Abbraao Rafael, Executive Director, owing to the fact that Government of Malawi is in the process of tapping electricity from Mozambique through the Matambo Sub-station to Phombeya in Malawi. Consul General and his delegation were taken around the place and had discussions with the officials. Cahora Bassa, besides offering business opportunities, is also a tourist attraction for the Tete Province.
Courtesy call to Ms. Eva Flavia Maziquimba, Provincial Director for Immigration
Bearing in mind that Tete has been registering high numbers of Malawian illegal immigrants, the Consul General had a courtesy call with Ms. Eva Flavia Maziquimba, the Provincial Director for Immigration. While appreciating the cordial relations that the two countries have enjoyed over time, the Mozambican delegation was puzzled with the phenomenon of many Malawians taking the risk and trekking through Mozambique going to the Republic of South Africa without proper travel documents and in the worst case scenario, travelling without travel document at all. Many are deported upon entering the borders when caught. Deportation is the purview of Immigration. Even many more are arrested and due process is followed through the Ministry of Public Affairs where the Office of the Attorney General is instrumental.
Meeting with Mrs Herminia Xavier da Barca Gustavo, the Provincial Attorney General
The Consul General had the occasion to meet with the Attorney General for the province. This is because her office is key in prosecuting Malawians that find themselves on the wrong side of the law. This office is custodian of key data on information on the Malawians in prisons in Tete This meeting was very successful with resultant agreement that the office would assign two desk officers to the Consulate General of Malawi, who will be able to share information with the officials from the consulate in situations of need. Also explored was the possibility of having Malawians in prison to finish their sentences at home. This is an issue that remains on the table for further discussions.
Visit with the Ms Ania Jagaje, Commander of Police
Another critical office that was visited was the Commander of Police and her chiefs responsible for public order, road blocks and road traffic. Clearly, it was a good idea to create a good rapport with these officers as they are instrumental in assisting Malawians in different types of destitute situations. Many Malawians use the Tete route when going to do business. Truck drivers going to and coming from Beira Port also use the Tete route passing through so many road blocks.
Business Forum of Malawi Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe
As the major agenda for the Tete Consulate is Trade and Investment, Business Forums present one of the popular routes for actualizing the exchanges between the actors in question. In the first week of December, the Consulate in collaboration with CTA, organized a Business Forum involving Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
For Malawi this presented an opportunity to follow up on issues that started in earlier Business Forums including one held in Nampula Province and one at the Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe Malawi. Clearly, the business forums attract the interest of many entrepreneurs. The manufacturing industry in Malawi has a small customer base and as such, it looks out to neighbours like Mozambique for quick and ready markets.
If markets are opened across the border in Mozambique and other neighboring countries, Malawi would stand to gain. Mzuzu zoffee, Rab processors, Kwithu Kitchen, Nali Farms, and Mgomera Investments just to mention a few are some of the Businesses that have been promoted by the Consulate General In Tete.
Professor Jack Wirima’s Mwaiwathu Hospital has also been supported by the Consulate to popularize its services in Tete. As the sky is the limit, possibilities of opening a clinic locally cannot be ruled out.
As the consulate moves into the future, the focus will be to create rapport with Zambezia and quickly move into implementation of various programs and projects that would be beneficial to Malawi and Mozambique. Building on the rapport already created need not be overemphasized.