Mozambique: Parliament fills vacancy at National Election Commission
The parliamentary benches of Frelimo, the ruling party in Mozambique, and Renamo, the main opposition force, blamed each other for the increasing instability in the country in Parliament yesterday.
At the opening session of the third ordinary session of Parliament, the parliamentary leader of Frelimo (Mozambique Liberation Front) called for negotiations and her colleague from Renamo (Mozambique National Resistance) said that her party is prepared to talk, but questioned the good faith of the other party.
“As for the negotiations or dialogue for peace, Renamo is ready,” said Ivone Soares, while adding that agreements signed in the past have not been implemented and questioning guarantees that “future commitments will be honoured in the spirit and in the letter”.
Expressing their willingness to review the constitution, the head of the main opposition parliamentary group said the party was willing to discuss “serious things” to bring peace and democracy to Mozambique, so it would not be “a country plagued by the roar of guns and BTRs [tanks]”.
Meanwhile, the parliamentary leader of Frelimo said that “nothing justifies the greed for power of some, which jeopardizes the quietness, coexistence and harmony of millions of Mozambicans”.
According to Margarida Talapa, Frelimo is encouraging the government to continue its readiness for a dialogue based on “common sense and reason and not on political blackmail,” and urged the opposition leader, Afonso Dhlakama, to accept “without preconditions” the invitation that has been repeatedly addressed to him by the head of state.
Despite their oft-expressed availability for dialogue, the speeches of the two deputies were marked by mutual accusations about creating instability in Mozambique.
“The country is experiencing a climate of tension created by Renamo, endangering development,” said Talapa, who expressed regret over the “incendiary and totally irresponsible speeches” being delivered in parliament, and for incitements to “civil disobedience, divisiveness, tribalism and war as means of coming to power”.
The Renamo parliamentary group spokesperson meanwhile stated that Mozambique is enduring a “silent war” before the “silence of the Maputo government” and denied that her party is attacking civilians.
“But this is not the truth. The people who actually created the situation of refugees, the catastrophic situation of Mozambicans in Malawi, are Frelimo. I propose a parliamentary commission of inquiry be created immediately to go find out the facts on the ground,” said Ivone Soares.
Insisting that her party does not want war, Ivone Soares accused the defense and security forces of attacking Renamo men who were waiting for integration into the army and police and of breach of the Cessation of Military Hostilities Agreement signed on September 5, 2014.
“The scenario that exists in the country is unacceptable. People are attacked, kidnapped and killed only because they are Renamo supporters and nobody here cares at all. Doesn’t that mean that, to Frelimo, the Save River is the border?” she asked, referring to the river that separates the south from central Mozambique.
The MDM (Democratic Movement of Mozambique), the third-largest parliamentary force, also addressed the political and military crisis, arguing that “Mozambicans do not deserve another war” nor more violations of human rights and an autocratic state.
“This endemic violence must stop and give way to constructive dialogue”, Lutero Simango, parliamentary leader of the MDM, said, adding that “peace is not a matter of a party or two,” but “a national imperative” that must be everyone’s agenda.
Mozambique has been experiencing political instability for several months, with the leader of Renamo threatening to take power in six northern and central provinces of the country, where his movement claims victory in the 2014 general elections.