Protest against JICA’s impacts on Mozambican society in relation to the ProSavana programme


No to ProSavana | 17 February 2017 | português
Open letter to the President of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency – JICA
Professor Doctor Shinichi Kitaoka
CC:  Embassy of Japan in Mozambique
Maputo, 17 February 2017
Ref:  13/JA/ 17
Subject:  Protest against JICA’s impacts on Mozambican society in relation to the ProSavana programme
This is the first letter that peasants and civil society organisations of Mozambique that are part of the “No to ProSavana Campaign” send to JICA.
All the facts and primary sources collected by the No to ProSavana Campaign confirm that JICA’s interventions are destabilising the transparent and democratic process in ProSavana, whether through financing, functionaries or consultants. These interventions have negative impacts on the human rights, the right to land and the food security of peasants and their way of life, including their culture, undermining the independence of Mozambican civil society and causing fragmentation.
The interventions violate the Guidelines for Socio-Environmental Considerations and the Compliance Policy of JICA, the United Nations Charter, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other international laws that Japan has signed, as well as the constitution of the Republic of Mozambique.
It has been a long time since the No to ProSavana Campaign requested, without success, information about ProSavana, above all on what this programme means for agriculture in Mozambique. Information about ProSavana is still kept secret. However, the No to ProSavana Campaign has gained access to allegedly confidential information that reveals reprehensible behaviour on the part of JICA, violating a number of principles, norms and values governing its activity and the peoples of the States involved in ProSavana. Such facts demonstrate that the actions and accountability of JICA have not been fair, transparent or responsible.
Through this letter we wish:
  • To present the position of the “No to ProSavana Campaign” regarding the way this programme has been carried out
  • To denounce the violation of principles and norms, including those of international cooperation that should govern JICA’s actions in Mozambique
  • To repudiate all the actions that JICA has carried out against the organisations of Mozambican civil society
  • To present the demands of the No to ProSavana Campaign
It is not true that JICA is bringing “development” or “help”, considering that their actions follow the principle of “do no harm”. JICA’s actions, as their own documents show, must create conditions that threaten fair, democratic, transparent and responsible governance of Mozambique. It is important to state that the No to ProSavana Campaign promotes and defends constitutional values, respect for the democratic state of law, a culture of peace, social justice, pluralism of expression, respect for human rights, the defence of sovereignty and other fundamental objectives as stated in Article 11 of the constitution of the Republic.
JICA Guidelines for Socio-Environmental Considerations
  • [1.1 Policy] “(…) in formulating and implementing assistance policies, Japan will take steps to assure fairness. Further, when implementing Official Development Aid (ODA), great attention will be paid factors such as environmental and social impacts on developing countries”.
  • JICA, which is responsible for ODA, plays a key role in sustainable development in developing countries. JICA must respect and implement all international instruments and the institutional framework with a view to not causing social and environmental damage [1.1; 1.4; 2.5; and 2.8].
  • In this context, with respect to human rights and the principles of democratic governance, the measures for environmental and social considerations are implemented such as to guarantee the significant participation of a broad group of interested actors and transparency in the process of decision taking, as well as working to disseminate information. The governments assume responsibility for lending accounts [1.1; 1.4; 2.1; 2.3; 2.4; 2.5; and 2.6].
Protest against the violations committed by JICA
The documents that the Campaign informally accessed reveal at least four JICA sub-projects in the sphere of the ProSavana-PD (Support Project for the Preparation of the Master Plan) for the financing, planning, implementation and initiation of the intervention in Mozambican society:
a) Definition of the communication strategy
b) Implementation of the communication strategy
c) Engagement of the interested parties
d) Review of the Master Plan
It should be emphasised that the first three projects were designed and implemented without any civil society’s knowledge.
The facts outlined below are included in the JICA documents referred to above. They reveal violations of constitutional norms, principles of international law and its own guidelines:
a) JICA’s terms of reference of JICA, which oriented the Mozambican consulting company (CV&A), clearly define a “plan of action and intervention for each interested party”. [i] Through this contract, the “ProSavana: Communication Strategy” was defined by JICA in September of 2013. [ii]
b) In the strategy, clear instructions are described for how to “discredit” and “reduce the importance” of Mozambican civil society. [iii]
c) For the implementation of this strategy, JICA signed a contract with CV&A, negotiated in an extraordinary way.
d) As the campaign against ProSavana continued, JICA contracted another consulting company (MAJOL) to investigate the “position and interests” in ProSavana and the “capacity to influence” each civil society organisation involved in the protest, as well as certain individuals. It even formed a “ProSavana advisory committee” that would be the only “platform/dialogue mechanism” between the governments and civil society [iv]. Thus, MCSC-CN was formed during MAJOL’s period of consultancy work for JICA, in February of 2016. [v]
e) The terms of reference of the contract between JICA and MAJOL clearly identify which organisations and individuals were favourable to ProSavana, as a result of previous MAJOL research, and who were invited to the preparatory meetings without any authorization from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MASA) and the ProSavana Coordination Cabinet. [vi]
f) After the creation of the MCSC-RN, the No to ProSavana Campaign obtained, once more, informal access to MAJOL reports submitted to JICA, in which it was clear that the contract included interference in Mozambican civil society, especially in the North, the creation and reinforcement of divisions within civil society and the isolation of those who opposed the program. [vii]
g) As a result, JICA was able to divide Mozambican civil society.
These facts and strong claims have been publicly denounced in press releases. [viii] But, instead of addressing them, JICA only increased its interventions within Mozambican civil society.
The hiring of representatives of Mozambican NGOs and civil society as JICA consultants reveals its continued manipulative intervention in Mozambican civil society.
  • At the end of October 2016 it was revealed that JICA directly channelled a sum of money equivalent to US$206,139.75 to hire a Mozambican NGO based in Nampula (Mozambican Solidarity) as its consultant to “give services” (See contract and Terms of Reference). [ix]
  • When confronted with the fact that this contract constituted yet another manipulative and direct intervention, JICA defended itself by saying the contract resulted from a free and fair competition to review the ProSavana Master Plan.
  • At the end of December, the No to ProSavana Campaign learned that the contract with Mozambican NGO (Solidariedade Moçambique)was signed by Mr. Antonio Mutoua, who as well as being Executive Director of the NGO occupied the post of coordinator of MCSC-CN and played an important role in collaboration with MAJOL in the formulation of MCSC-CN and in representing JICA as Vice-President of the Civil Society Provincial Platform of Nampula (PPOSC-N). [x]
  • In another document to which the Campaign gained access, as well as in MCSC-CN’s press release, it is clear that Mr. Mutoua was actively involved in the promotion of ProSavana and at the same time in a campaign to denigrate and discredit the No to ProSavana Campaign at the provincial level, in Maputo and Brazil, in collaboration with the JICA Delegation in Mozambique and MASA, before the launch of JICA’s public competition in August 2016 (see the minutes of the meeting). [xi]
  • In June of 2016, JICA provided 370,000 Yen (equivalent to US$40,000) to MCSC-CN, led by Mr Mutoua, to “map the ProSavana target districts” with the real aim of turning communities against the No to ProSavana Campaign and promoting acceptance of (“joining with a vision and objective of”) MCSC-CN in Nampula [xii] where the local peasants’ unions are strongly opposed to ProSavana and the process of creating MCSC-CN. [xiii]
  • These facts reveal an unfair and obscure use of public funds of Japanese taxpayers in the name of international cooperation, which has been repeatedly contested by civil society in the three countries (Mozambique, Japan and Brazil) in November and December of 2016. [xiv]
  • The delegation of the No to ProSavana Campaign (including the peasant leaders of Nampula Province) that visited Japan presented the protests to the representatives of JICA and MOFA at the public meeting on 28 November 2016 in Tokyo.
  • However, JICA not only showed a lack of respect to its taxpayers and other players including ourselves, but decided to promote even more divisions in civil society, transferring the first payment (20 per cent or US$41,228) of the contracted amount to Mr Mutoua/Mozambican Solidarity in November of that year.
  • The Japanese NGOs met with the Director-General of MOFA, in charge of matters related to ProSavana, and he shared the same worries about the “Communication Strategy” promoted by JICA and the contract with Mr Mutoua/Mozambican Solidarity, and explained his intention of suspending the contract in mid-December 2016.
  • Nevertheless, JICA ignored the protests and instructed its consultants to advance with the work as defined in the contract with Mr Mutoua/ Solidariedade Moçambique, continuing with the “field work” that JICA wanted to call “community consultations conducted by civil society”. Publicly, however, the relevant legislation is clear on these matters and the community consultations are not carried out in these terms.
  • The methodology proposed for the “field work” had already been presented by Mr Mutoua/Solidariedade Moçambiqueas part of its services to JICA, which is clear given that the first payment was made. However, despite the fact that JICA had promised to divulge the terms of reference and methodology of the report to the Japanese public, it changed its mind and said it would only do so at the end of March, that is, after the “community consultations”.
  • These supposed “community consultations” are slated to be carried out from 27 February to 5 March in 205 locations, at a time when the peasants (the main target of these consultations) are busy with their farming activities, and without giving an opportunity to return to the atmosphere of social harmony and cooperation that existed before the repeated intervention of JICA in Mozambican society, especially in Nampula Province.
The intervention of JICA and the Japanese government in Mozambican media
  • On 23 December, an article titled “Civil Society Organisations of Niassa, Nampula and Zambezia ‘free themselves’ of Maputo thanks to the ProSavana dollars” was published in two of the most respectable independent newspapers including @Verdade, which has been the object of analysis by the No to ProSavana Campaign. [xv] In January, @Verdade confirmed that the article referred to was written “in the context of a trip organized by the Embassy of Japan”.
  • In that article, the JICA subcontractor Mr Mutoua is repeatedly presented as the coordinator of MCSC-CN. Mutoua praises ProSavana and attacks the No to ProSavana Campaign. However, Mr Mutoua does not refer to his role as a JICA subcontractor and does not reveal how a sum of $206,000 was paid by JICA for the MSCS-CN (if he did, the newspaper decided not to publish that information).
  • The $206,000 were not for the MCSC-CN but for “remuneration” (60 percent) for Mr Mutoua/Solidariedade Moçambiquefor the consultancy services provided to JICA. These facts were not shared with the@Verdade journalists not only by Mr Mutoua but also by the JICA Japanese consultants who attended to the interview.. Thus, the propaganda that the “206,000 dollars for MSCS-CN was for ‘liberation’ from Maputo” was published by the @Verdade newspaper.
  • In both Japan and Mozambique, JICA and the Mozambican and Japanese consultants involved in this work violated the policies of the agency, causing division and mistrust within organisations of Mozambican civil society.
  • Lastly, the “media strategy” referred to and proposed in the “ProSavana Communication Strategy” to “change the course” [xvi], now using a JICA sub-contractor, is conspiring against other organisations of civil society.
The above describes how JICA intervened in our society though the financing, planning, implementation and supervision of its sub-projects in ProSavana-PD. These activities violate legal principles and JICA guidelines, the United Nations Charter, international law and our constitution, with significant negative impact on Mozambican society.
Demands of the organizations articulated in the No to ProSavana Campaign:
  • The immediate stopping of all JICA activities related to ProSavana, for the above reasons.
  • The urgent review of JICA’s activities in ProSavana, through the establishment of an independent commission, for the recognition of its errors, reparations for the damage caused to its victims and Mozambican society, in accordance with the norms and principles clearly expressed in its Compliance Policy and Guidelines.
Because of the irregularities exposed and the lamentable actions of JICA in this process, the No to ProSavana Campaign requests:
  1. The release of all documents related to JICA’s contract with Solidariedade Moçambique, especially the initial report;
  2. Setting up an independent assessment committee of that contract and the contracting process;
  3. The suspension of the contract with Solidariedade Moçambique, bearing in mind the above mentioned analysis;
  4. The cancelation of “field work” (the so-called “community consultations”);
  5. Respect for the norms and principles set out in the constitution of the Republic of Mozambique, JICA’s Guidelines and other international laws applicable to the case.
To this effect, and given the urgency of the situation, we request that this letter be answered by 24 February 2017, based on the Guidelines “1.4 Basic Principles” of the JICA document, 3) “Responsibility for Accountability”; 4) “Response of JICA to Stakeholders’ Questions”; 5) “Divulging of Information” to ensure accountability.
Finally, the No to ProSavana Campaign remains united and will continue to struggle against environmental, social, economic and political injustice and inequality and for the defence of human rights and interests related to access and control of the land, water, forests, air, the common good and cultural and historical patrimony. We still have Article 81 of the constitution of the Republic of Mozambique, which protects the right of the peoples to protest. The No to ProSavana Campaign reaffirms its opposition to the ProSavana Programme and promotes a broad mobilisation of national and international social movements, particularly those concerned with defence and protection of human rights, to resist and fight against ProSavana.
Anabela Lemos
JA! Director, representing the organisations of the No to ProSavana Campaign
Signed by:
Associação Académica para o Desenvolvimento das Comunidades Rurais – ADECRU
Comissão de Justiça e Paz da Arquidiocese de Nampula – CAJUPANA
Comissão Diocesana de Justiça e Paz de Nacala – CDJPN
Fórum Mulher – Marcha Mundial das Mulheres
Justiça Ambiental (JA!) – Amigos da Terra Moçambique
Liga Moçambicana dos Direitos Humanos – LDH
União Nacional de Camponeses – UNAC
[i] JICA primary source, TOR, p. 4. http://www.ajf.gr.jp/lang_ja/ProSAVANA/docs/102.pdf

[iii ]JICA primary source,“ProSAVANA: Estratégia de Comunicação”, p. 34 -35.

[iv]JICA primary source, Initial report,http://www.ajf.gr.jp/lang_ja/ProSAVANA/docs/123.pdf

[xii]In the same document, note11. See bottom of page 1 1.

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