Monday, April 22, 2013


 The resumption of dialogue between the Mozambican government and the main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, has been postponed by a week to accommodate Renamo demands over the date and venue.       Last week, the government announced that the dialogue, interrupted in December when the Renamo delegation refused to attend any further meetings, would resume on 22 April.But the Renamo national spokesperson, Fernando Mazanga, cited in Monday’s issue of the independent newssheet “Mediafax”, said the government had not discussed this date with Renamo. “We have told the government that this Monday we will not be available because of prior engagements”, he said. The Renamo counter-proposal was to hold the talks this Thursday, 25 April, but this date was not convenient for the government delegation, headed by Agriculture Minister Jose Pacheco.        The new government proposal is for next Monday, 29 April. According to “Mediafax”, Renamo has not yet replied to this proposal (although the daily paper “Noticias” announces this date as a certainty).Renamo also objected to the venue. The three rounds of dialogue in December were held in the Indy Village hotel, in the plush central Maputo neighbourhood of Sommerschield. Nobody objected, and the government had every intention of continuing to use the services of this hotel, which was regarded as a neutral space. But Mazanga told “Mediafax” that Renamo has rejected this venue, or any other hotel. “There are no conditions for holding serious negotiations in a hotel”, he said. “A state character must be given to the dialogue and you can’t do this round a restaurant table”. No doubt the government will be pleasantly surprised by this demand, since it will be much cheaper to hold the talks in a government building instead of hiring a hotel room. “Mediafax” believes the dialogue will most likely be held in the Ministry of Agriculture.As for the agenda, the matters that concern Renamo are the same as in December – the electoral legislation, alleged discrimination against Renamo in the armed forces, the supposed domination of the state by the ruling Frelimo Party, and equality in economic opportunities.     Since the start of the dialogue in December, the new electoral laws have been passed in the country’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, with Frelimo and the second opposition force, the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) voting in favour, and Renamo voting against.Renamo has consistently called for the formation of a National Elections Commission (CNE), with a majority of members appointed by opposition parties. It is now threatening not only to boycott the municipal elections scheduled for 20 November, but to prevent other Mozambicans from voting, or even registering as voters.


Former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano has declared that the spectre of war is remote in Mozambique, even though physical and psychological violence persist within Mozambican society. Speaking at the Pan-African Forum on the Culture of Peace, held in Luanda, Chissano said that although some Mozambican politicians occasionally make inflammatory speeches threatening a return to war, the public is in favour of maintaining the climate of peace from which it has benefitted. Cited in Monday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”, Chissano added that the peaceful environment in Mozambique has made it possible to draw up paths for the country’s economic and social development .  “With the levels of economic growth that the country is registering and with the boom in the discovery of natural resources, we have been encouraged to multiply our efforts to transform the current difficulties into challenges that can be overcome in an environment of peace, expanding the space for all social strata to participate in development”, he added. Chissano said that the steps taken to transform a scenario of war into a scenario of peace included promoting the spirit of reconciliation, tolerance and respect for differences among citizens.The free circulation of people and goods, he said, is cementing the principles of freedom, social justice and democracy, as well as respect for human rights. Chissano believed this meant that the culture of dialogue is now rooted in Mozambican society.Among the factors which had contributed to the current prevailing climate of peace and dialogue, he said, was Frelimo’s opposition to divisions based on race or ethnicity. Chissano pointed out that, during the war for independence from Portugal, Frelimo brought together men and women from a variety of ethnic groups, regions and races. Initially, there were difficulties and acts of discrimination which degenerated into conflicts and violence within Frelimo, sometimes due to the intervention of agents of colonialism. “Aware of this, we acted under the banner of national unity”, said Chissano. “Culture was a fundamental instrument to create group cohesion and to staunch a wave of violence within our organisation”.He stressed that Frelimo had deliberately thrown together people from different regions and ethnic groups, and had promoted dialogue.“Politically we created spaces of dialogue to maximize our oral tradition”, he continued. “During the national liberation struggle, we used the figure of political commissars who, among other things, undertook profound political work about our struggle through dialogue with the population”. Chissano said that the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, is an example of the culture of debate, dialogue and reconciliation.This exercise, he added, had been replicated in the provincial and municipal assemblies where there is a true democratic exercise of dialogue between representatives elected by the population, and between them and members of the government at various levels.  Chissano also regarded the “open presidencies” held by his successor, Amando Guebuza, in which the head of state tours the country regularly, as “a form of accountability through an open and frank dialogue between those who govern and those who are governed”.


The Mozambican police detained the leader of brickmakers in Cateme, in the western province of Tete, who last week blocked the movement of coal from the mine owned by the Brazilian mining giant, Vale, but released him on Sunday after a demonstration in front of the police station.
The brickmakers were resettled in Cateme in order to make way for the Vale mine. They claim that Vale has reneged on its promises of compensation. According to the protestors Vale was to pay each of them 120,000 meticais (about 3,950 US dollars). But Vale says the true figure is 60,000 meticais which was paid in full.
Last week several hundred brickmakers blocked the entrance to the Vale mine, briefly halting the transport of coal by rail. When the police arrested the leader of the protestors, 43 year old Refo Agostinho, his supporters claimed this was an attempt to intimidate them so that there would be no further blockades. They claimed that the police seized Agostinho even though they had no arrest warrant. 
According to a report in Monday’s issue of the independent daily “O Pais”, on Sunday the brickmakers gathered outside the Moatize District Police command, demanding the release of their leader. “We’re not leaving without Refo”, said Maria Faria, one of the protestors. “He didn’t kill anybody. We’re just demanding our rights. Let them pay what they owe us. 60,000 meticais is a derisory sum. We’ve had enough of Vale messing us around”.
At about midday, the lawyer for the brickmakers, Herminio Nhantumbo, told the crowd “this arrest is illegal. The police cannot continue to act in this way. This just shows that they are abusing the authority of the state”. 
However, the District Attorney’s Office was now involved, and clearly agreed with Nhantumbo. At around 13.00, Nhantumbo appeared again, this time accompanied by a representative of the District Attorney, with a warrant for the release of Agostinho.
Outside the police station, Refo Agostinho declared “what the police are doing is unjust. They came to arrest me at night. Am I a thief?”
“I shall continue to fight for our rights”, he promised. “There will be a major demonstration. If we don’t get a positive answer, you’ll see what we shall do. We’ve had enough”.
Activities inside the Vale open cast mine have returned to normal, but the trains have not resumed the transport of coal to the port of Beira, for fear of renewed incidents. A Vale source, cited by “O Pais”, said that the company intends to meet with government representatives in order to study how to overcome the dispute with the brickmakers.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Afonso Dhlakama, leader of Mozambique’s main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, on Wednesday insisted he did not want to return to war – but took responsibility for the murderous Renamo attack against a police post in Muxungue, in the central province of Sofala, last week.A week ago the police moved to disperse a large group of Renamo members and supporters who had gathered at the Renamo Muxungue office, apparently to organize the promised disruption of the forthcoming voter registration. The police detained 15 people.On Thursday, a Renamo unit attacked the Muxungue police post in an attempt to free the detainees. In the clash, four members of the riot police, and one Renamo fighter died. On Saturday, a group of six armed men, believed to be from Renamo ambushed four vehicles on the main north-south highway, about 20 kilometres from Muxungue. Three people died in these attacks.In a press conference held on Wednesday in Gorongosa district, where he has been living since November, Dhlakama regretted the deaths, and sent condolences to the families of those his men had killed.“There is never going to be any more war”, he pledged. “But I am not satisfied with the situation, and the pending problems need to be resolved rapidly”.He claimed that the current problems arise from the failure to comply with clauses in the 1992 peace agreement between the government and Renamo – notably the failure to form a new, unified army of 30,000 men, half from the old government army, the FAM/FPLM, and half from Renamo.He claimed that the government had limited the size of the new armed forces, the FADM, for budgetary reasons. Either Dhlakama’s memory is very faulty, or he is deliberately deceiving those Mozambicans too young to remember what happened in the wake of the peace accord. The agreement stipulated that all the initial members of the FADM were to be volunteers, and there simply were not enough volunteers to form an army of 30,000 men.Attempts to pressgang men into the FADM led to riots. In mid-1994, mutinies spread throughout the assembly points for government troops and for Renamo forces. Both armies dissolved chaotically, as the soldiers demanded their immediate demobilization.This was why the FADM was formed of less than 12,000 men, the majority of whom were officers. In the end about two thirds of the volunteers came from the FAM/FPLM and one third from Renamo. Renamo accepted this arrangement, since it was impossible to recruit anybody else. Budgetary restrictions had nothing to do with it.Dhlakama took full responsibility for the attack on the Muxungue police post. “I was aware of it and I authorized it”, he said.He added that he was responding to demands from former Renamo guerrillas who wanted to retaliate for the police raid against the Renamo Muxungue office. “I can’t hide it. I t
old them ‘you waged the war, you know where to get the guns, defend yourselves’, and on the following day, they responded”, he said. The Saturday attacks on vehicles, however, he described as “accidents”, without stating clearly who was responsible for them.Dhlakama claimed that he was under pressure from his men, who had accused him of treachery, and demanded that he resign, on the grounds that he was protecting the interests of the ruling Frelimo Party. He claimed that his men had even threatened to kill him, unless he authorized the Muxungue attack.This is a habitual tactic of Dhlakama, painting himself as a moderate under pressure from extremists within his own ranks. He also claimed that three days prior to the press conference, President Armando Guebuza had contacted him and sent him a list of five points to be negotiated in order to maintain peace. One of these points was a demand for an immediate end to attacks against security forces and civilians, such as had happened in Muxungue. Dhlakama said he had responded positively to Guebuza’s initiative – but so far there has been no word from Guebuza’s office as to whether such an exchange of correspondence really took place. He claimed that the go-between in this exchange was the respected academic Lourenco do Rosario, Vice-Chancellor of the Polytechnic University,In his response to Guebuza, Dhlakama had laid down pre-conditions for the resumption of dialogue between Renamo and the government. These included the immediate and unconditional release of the Renamo members detained in Muxungue, and the withdrawal of security forces from the vicinity of his base at Satunjira, in Gorongosa, and from the Renamo offices in Muxungue and the northern.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Partisan headquarters vandalized

Elements considered to be linked to other partisan affiliation vandalized, firing the district delegation of the Democratic Movement of Mozambique, MDM, the district headquarters of Macia, located in District 5, in Gaza province, on the night of 4 to 5 current APR. The political delegate district MDM in Macia, Jamisse Miguel, said he noticed the presence of some strange five individuals in the delegation of the party, who were carrying a flatbed that, after his attempt, they took to flight, did not allow that neither they nor their vehicle were identified. Using a crowbar, arrobaram the door of the delegation, introduced five tires, some bars and a bottle of cooking gas and fired. All furniture composed of three sofas, a table and other materials were calcined. Jamisse says this is not the first time something similar happens. "Individuals have been unknown for us, caught up in the dead of night to take our flag." Jamisse adds that these citizens say so proud that nothing will happen to them because both the police and the courts are under your control. In fact, cases that took him to court "died" anyway. No one was convicted. Says Jamisse already complained many times to the police about the persecution c MDM. The Head of Operations of the District Command of PRM, Simeon Cambaco, said his corporation became aware of the occurrence of arson delegation MDM. The police are very concerned to identify the perpetrators of this crime because the officer was not able to give us any name of a single suspect, said Cambaco. Later this year, the delegation was destroyed MDM in the district of Chokwe, burned delegations cock in Chibuto and Mandlakazi and Xai-Xai, frustrated by the march of MDM occasion of its day, 7 March

Thursday, April 4, 2013

It's a lie - PRM says. Do not attack the police - says Renamo

An attack conducted by officers of the Rapid Intervention Force (FIR) to the Renamo headquarters in the administrative post of Muxungue, Chibabava district in Sofala, is degenerating into armed conflict. Since the early hours of yesterday (Wednesday) that the FIR attacked the headquarters of Renamo where it is alleged that dozens of people had gathered, life in Muxungue no longer normal. A report from Cmoz parked in Muxungue describes the reality on the ground which is characterized by fear, rumors and lack of official information from the authorities. Authorities did not speak. For example, at the local hospital where they are being assisted police officers injured this morning of Thursday the team was Cmoz that was recommended to contact the district administrator for any information you want apurar.Sem official information, only if there was that include local people, who are still in the village, since most already abandoned their homes to seek refuge in safe places. There is also not conformed version of the police were killed and wounded gunshot victims the corporation itself, but so far it is all assumptions. The true costs ascertain because Muxungue is currently under siege. Walking through the small town is imminent danger of being hit by gunfire. What people said to have happened is that agents of the Rapid Intervention Force attacked in the early morning hours of Wednesday at the headquarters of Renamo Mutongoti neighborhood where they found themselves party members. The FIR came to shoot to kill for no apparent reason and even killed a woman who was not a member of Renamo but that was nearby. About eight people contracted serious injuries and part of them was transferred to the Central Hospital of Beira in Sofala Capital. According to reports more than a dozen members of Renamo detained by police. Everyone who spoke to Canalmoz are convinced that "it was an attack of the FIR civilian men who always worked at the headquarters of Renamo. The population is said that the FIR which began with violence. According Canalmoz sources told the other day that the FIR came Muxungue and "is to sow fear and terror." "People are violently beaten by lack of identity cards. Up to pluck money and property of the people "told us a young man working in one of the many stands of small but bustling town located along the National Highway Number 1 (N1). After the attack the FIR settled a true environment of the combat zone in the village of Muxungue. The villagers are desperately fleeing to leave their property Chibabava, the district headquarters. Throughout the day yesterday, Wednesday, there was no power supply and mobile phone networks were constantly interrupted in Muxungue. The communications were restored overnight yesterday. Muxungue irreconhecí is stable. Truck drivers do not park in the village because of fear of being alvejados.A Canalmoz the report is on the ground and witnessed the almost sudden transformation of the bustling village of Muxungue a ghost town. Almost all nightspots closed overnight. Until BP pumps that work there had to close early. "People are afraid of FIR" an official told us that BP was shutting down the pumps to refuse supply viaturas.O Canalmoz talked to a professor at the School Primary Complete Mucolocoche study where over 600 students and confirmed to us that no one went to school on Wednesday. People are terrified of the action of the FIR that seconds count - we have the violent response of Renamo.
At dawn on Thursday returned to hear gunshots in the small town. From 3:40 a.m. minutes could hear gunfire war, heavy and light. The shots stopped about 4 hours.The story of Canalmoz shifted to a local hospital where it was found to have been entered hospital officials four dead and 13 wounded, all agents of the FIR. Images captured by the local show in Canalmoz wounded being treated in the unit sanitária.Ninguém know how the cops have been shot. Nobody talks Renamo attack, but the truth is that there are these dead and wounded. Policemen injured in treatment Contacted said the police inspector and spokesman for the General Command of Police Pedro Cossa said that there was no attack on Muxungue. "That's a lie. These are your colleagues who Muxungue are lying, "said Pedro Cossa. Even after informing him that Canalmoz features pictures depicting the situation, Pedro Cossa insisted it is "all mentitra." "If you phoned me to know the truth, say that's a lie," he said and hung up the phone . Contacted General Renamo who is in Maputo, Herminio Morais, said part of his party no orders to attack the police, not to fight back the onslaught of FIR. It is unknown how the policemen are dead and others wounded. A truck loaded with gas pumps stayed overnight in BP's Muxungue is given as imminent danger. Your driver told Canalmoz that in case of being hit by a shot from a firearm, the charge can explode and burn everything around within a radius of 5 kilometers. However, traffic until 7 pm today, Thursday continued on the N1 in Muxungue in both directions north and south, but any time can be cut given the fear that lives in the small village. (F.Veloso and L.Conceição, Muxungue)