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Opening the Democratic Movement of Mozambique’s second party congress in the city where the mayor was shot down two months ago, party leader Daviz Simango condemned resorting to arms as a way of resolving conflicts.
The meeting takes place in Nampula, northern Mozambique, the fourth largest city in the country, where the MDM-elected mayor Mahamudo Amurane was murdered at the door of his house two months ago, in a crime that remains unresolved.
Simango condemned “resorting to weapons to silence anyone”. Armed response “is not an instrument to solve a conflict. We have to safeguard human rights in all circumstances; we must not kill or tolerate killings to impose a solution,” he said.
Simangos’ speech yesterday afternoon was preceded by a minute’s silence in memory of Chico José, a founding member of MDM, and of Mahamudo Amurane.
Simango said 2018 would be “a decisive year for democracy in Mozambique”, in which the party should position itself as “a political force capable of filling the huge void in Mozambican political life”.
Local elections will be next year, and general elections are scheduled for 2019. The MDM must have “organisational capacity, strong mobilising capacity and logistics, and a clear program of action,” he said.
“We have to show how our soul and heart is equal to that of millions of citizens not represented and not defended by the actions of existing parties,” he said.
Daviz Simango expressed the hope that the ongoing political dialogue between President Filipe Nyusi and the leader of the largest opposition party, the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo), Afonso Dhlakama, would lead to a peace agreement.
“We hope that the dialogue will produce the expected results, reminding our fellow citizens that democracy will only be strong if the exercise of citizenship is strong,” he said.
But, according to Simango, “for effective peace, the revision of the Constitution and decentralisation are matters that concern all Mozambicans”.
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