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A parliamentary deputy from Mozambique’s ruling Frelimo Party, Carlos Moreira Vasco, threatened that “the fury and revolt of the people of Nampula because of the assassination of their mayor” is increasing because of the “obstinacy” of the opposition Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) in planning to hold its second congress in that northern city next week.
The mayor, Mahamudo Amurane, was murdered on 4 October. Amurane had been elected mayor in 2013 on the MDM ticket, but in the months prior to his death a wide gulf had opened between Amurane and the rest of the MDM leadership.
Amurane had accused MDM president Daviz Simango of acting like “a dictator”, and other MDM figures had accused Amurane of “betrayal”. This highly public dispute led to suspicions that the MDM might have been involved in Amurane’s murder – but not a shred of hard evidence has emerged to support this hypothesis.
This lack of evidence did not prevent Moreira Vasco from accusing the MDM of “barbarically murdering the mayor because he refused to satisfy whims dictated from Beira (where Simango is mayor)”. He became the third Frelimo deputy this month who has publicly accused the MDM of murder.
Moreira Vasco claimed that the MDM in Nampula “is today divided into little groups of criminal associations, each of them looting the coffers of the municipality as much as they can before the by-election called for 24 January, which they know they will lose shamefully”.
He regarded the forthcoming MDM congress as “an affront to the conscience and honour of the residents of Nampula”.
“What the MDM is going to do in Nampula is dance on the grave of Amurane”, he accused.
Moreira Vasco cited the biblical phrase “those who sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind”, and told the MDM deputies “don’t come here tomorrow and say we didn’t warn you”.
The head of the MDM parliamentary group, Lutero Simango (brother of Daviz), regarded Moreira Vasco’s words as a threat, and said the MDM would contact the Attorney-General’s Office (PGR) about them. He told reporters the MDM wants the police and the PGR to pay attention to what might happen in Nampula following the menacing words of a Frelimo deputy.
Simango pointed out that the Congress had nothing to do with Amurane’s murder. It had first been announced in 2016, long before anyone could imagine that the mayor would be assassinated.
The Congress would take place next week, as planned (from 5 to 8 December), he said. “We are going to Nampula to discuss the future of Mozambique”, he declared.
He flatly denied the accusations of MDM involvement in the killing, and retorted that it was Frelimo that has bloodstained hands (referring specifically to Lazaro Nkavandame and Joana Simeao, figures who were accused of betraying the liberation struggle and were executed after independence).
Moreira Vasco also claimed that that the MDM is funded by “some diplomatic missions which we know very well” (but which he did not name). Simango denied this and said that the true sources of funding for the MDM congress are the fees paid by its members, and the subsidy which the MDM, as a party represented in parliament, receives from the state budget.
Simango claimed that, since its victory in the 2013 municipal elections in Nampula, the MDM had changed the face of Nampula. He denied that all the improvements in Nampula could be attributed to Amurane, since the mayor had worked as part of a team.
Amurane had followed an MDM election manifesto, he said, and the MDM slogan “Nampula for all” (a local variant on the MDM national slogan of “Mozambique for all”).Source: AIM
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