A source close to the matter told O País that the former government official lost his life at home in Maputo after a battle with bone cancer that had left him very fragile.
Felício Zacarias entered government under Joaquim Chissano as Governor of Manica province and later as Governor of Sofala (2000-2005).
During Armando Guebuza’s first term as President of the Republic, Zacarias was appointed Minister of Public Works and Housing.
While in government, he was a staunch advocate of transparency and good governance, leading anti-corruption efforts personally. In Sofala, Zacarias brought down networks that had infiltrated the government and set up schemes for over-invoicing in public works, and refused to inaugurate several infrastructure projects on the grounds of their dubious quality.
He was a staunch adversary of illegal logging and police corruption.
In his tenure as governor of Sofala province, the education sector was without a provincial director for several months because Felício Zacarias refused to swear into office a centrally appointed director without having been consulted, as required by law, a situation which caused some discomfort between himself and the Minister of Education at the time.
He repeatedly directed criticism at the Guebeza government for interfering with his anti-corruption actions.
Felício Zacarias was also known for his informality. He often dismissed protocol and security to visit restaurants, where he was affectionately known as ‘Mano Zaca’.