As protests against a 30% rise in the price of bread continue, things are getting serious. The riots are entering their second day with the government admitting four deaths while “credible sources” put the number anywhere between six and ten people dead, including two young children.
The reason for these tragic deaths? While trying to control the protesters, Mozambique police ran out of rubber bullets and began using live rounds instead. Which is obviously the right thing to do, rather than, say, stop shooting at unarmed civilians who are simply protesting because they can no longer afford even the staple of a loaf of bread.
Unity Bridge during construction
It sounds, and looks (although not in this particular picture) wonderful. The 720 metre Unity Bridge, opened last week, spans the border between Mozambique and Tanzania, crossing the Ravuma River. It’s been in the works for more than 20 years, and its opening by both Presidents Guebeza and Kikwete should herald a new era in cross-border trade between the two countries. It’s what African unity and integration should be about.
Only one problem. No one remembered to open customs and immigration facilities on either side of the border. Also, no one built vehicle-worthy roads leading to the bridge on either side of the border. So, if you happen to have a sturdy Land Rover to get there, and don’t mind illegally entering and exiting countries, the Unity Bridge is for you. If, however, you were a trader with great expectations of what opportunities the Unity Bridge could bring for you, you’ve still got a while to wait.