Thursday, July 9, 2015


Mozambique’s main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo on Tuesday denied that it has anything to do with guns seized by the police last week in Cheringoma district, in the central province of Sofala. 
Resultado de imagem para pedro cossaOn 23 June, the spokesperson for the General Command of the Mozambican police, Pedro Cossa, had told reporters that 46 AK-47 assault rifles were seized from a man named only as Carlitos, and believed to be a Renamo member. The guns were found at his house in Cheringoma. Carlitos told the police the guns had been given to him to sell on the black market at the price of 5,000 meticais (about 126 US dollars) each. He did not say who had given him the guns. Carlitos is now being held in police custody.  At a Maputo press conference on Tuesday, Renamo spokesperson Antonio Muchanga categorically denied that Carlitos had anything to do with Renamo. “This person said he wanted to sell the guns, and Renamo’s guns are not for sale”, declared Muchanga. “We don’t have anyone with these guns”, he said. “We don’t have these guns, and this citizen needs to say what he intended to do with the guns and where he found them”. Muchanga also announced that a national ceremony commemorating the 35th anniversary of the foundation of the Renamo Women’s Detachment would be held on 5 July, in Sussundenga district, in the central province of Manica. He said that the ceremony would be chaired “at the highest level” within Renamo – presumably by the party’s leader, Afonso Dhlakama.  Muchanga’s chronology would put the foundation of the Renamo Women’s Detachment, a body that could charitably described as shadowy, in July 1980. This was, in fact, a low point in Renamo’s history – it had been driven out of several of its major bases in Sofala and Manica and a few months earlier, its first commander, Andre Matsangaissa, had died in an abortive attack against the town of Gorongosa. Renamo had also lost its rear bases in what had been Rhodesia, thanks to the Lancaster House agreement leading to Zimbabwean independence in April 1980, and was busy being reorganized in the Transvaal by its new paymasters in South African Military Intelligence.

A previous AIM report read as follows:

"A Mozambican citizen identified only as Carlitos arrested in Cheringoma district, Sofala province, in possession of 46 AK47 machine guns, claimed that they belong to Renamo, the main Mozambique opposition party, which still has residual armed forces. Speaking during yesterday’s regular Mozambican Police (PRM) weekly press conference, spokesperson Pedro Cossa explained that the man was trying to sell the AK47s for five thousand meticais (around US$130.00) each. “According to the detainee, the weapons belong to Renamo, and he intended selling them for five thousand meticais each,” the spokesman said, without elaborating further."

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