Mozambique: Low level of use could lead to temporary closure of Beira-Zimbabwe pipeline

9 November 2007

Maputo, Mozambique, 8 Nov – The pipeline that transports liquid fuel from Beira port to Zimbabwe could be temporarily closed due to the economic crisis in the country, Mozambique’s transport and communications minister said Thursday.

António Munguambe,, cited by online newspaper Correio da Manha, said that the likely closure of the pipeline was due to its reduced level of use.

Due to the crisis in Zimbabwe, the pipeline is being used less and less, “a situation that could, unfortunately culminate in temporary closure,” Munguambe said.

Figures provided by the minister, showed that in first half of the year, the pipeline posted a decrease of use of around 55.8 percent year on year.

The policies adopted by Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, including the controversial agrarian reform begun seven years ago (removing land from mainly white English-descendent farmers), have led to an economic crisis without precedent, a fact which has led, for example, to inflation of around 8,000 percent.

Munguambe said that the problems with Zimbabwe were also having repercussions on international cargo traffic, on the Limpopo and Machipanda railroads.

As an example, he said that in the first half of the year, cargo transport on those lines saw an estimated fall of 3.6 percent against the same period of last year. (macauhub)