Tuesday, February 3, 2015

President Nyusse not imposes conditions to Dhlakama

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi declared in Maputo on Tuesday that he is willing to speak with Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the former rebel movement Renamo, following the latter’s threats to set up a separatist “Republic of Central and Northern Mozambique”.Nyusi was speaking to reporters after laying a wreath at the Monument to the Mozambican Heroes, in honour of Heroes’ Day, which commemorates the assassination on 3 February 1969 of Eduardo Mondlane, the founder and first president of the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO), generally regarded as the architect of Mozambican national identity. Dhlakama has made a string of inflammatory speeches promising to carve out “within days” a separate republic in six northern and central provinces, of which he would be president. Nyusi said that the only weapon the government would use against these belligerent declarations is dialogue. “I am ready, right now I am prepared”, he said, “because the people must be certain that we are going to live in peace. I have given a sign of my willingness to talk – right now, if possible. Only by talking are we going to reach an understanding”.“Through conversation, through dialogue, we can reach conclusion about what we think is useful for Mozambicans”, he added. “This is the great weapon we are going to use, dialogue and speaking among Mozambicans”.Nyusi declared that he would respect the Constitution, since he had sworn to defend the Constitution when he took the oath of office in January.As he had first stressed in his inauguration speech, he insisted that his governance would be one of inclusion, by which he meant giving opportunities to all Mozambicans to participate in the creation and distribution of wealth.Nyusi called on all Mozambicans to value the legacy of Eduardo Mondlane and all the other heroes who had sacrificed their lives for an independent and sovereign Mozambique. “I would like to take advantage of this moment to call for peace, this peace which makes us live and develop Mozambique”, he said. “Our country belongs to all Mozambicans and so, in this moment of reflection, it is very important that we find each other and be together”. Nyusi’s predecessor, Armando Guebuza, did not mince his words when reporters asked him what he thought of Dhlakama’s promises of a “Republic of the Centre and North” – he described them as “disastrous”. “When the entire people is speaking about construction, when the people are trying to solve the problems of those who are suffering because of natural disasters, he (Dhlakama) is persisting with a destructive discourse”, said Guebuza. “He doesn’t want to make a contribution for our country to live in peace”.

In contrast to Dhlakama’s call for separatism, Guebuza stressed that Mozambique is “one and indivisible”, with no place for speeches that encourage violence and instability.The chairperson of the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, Veronica Macamo, told reporters that despite the Renamo boycott ordered by Dhlakama, the Assembly was functioning.The deputies elected from Frelimo and from the second opposition party, the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), had taken their seats and so there was no problem of meeting the quorum of half the elected deputies plus one (126).“The Assembly has the majority necessary to function”, said Macamo. “We must just urge our colleagues from Renamo to take their seats. They made promises to the Mozambican people and they can only keep those promises if they are inside the Assembly”. Members of Frelimo and of the MDM attended the ceremony and paid tribute to Mondlane and other fallen heroes, but, as usual with commemorative dates, Renamo boycotted the event.

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