Afonso Dhlakama, Mozambique's opposition leader, dies at 65
TVM / Renamo/s Ivone Soares addresses parliament
Margarida Talapa, the head of the parliamentary group of Mozambique’s ruling Frelimo Party, on Tuesday once again urged the Renamo rebels “to build peace, and to build reconciliation inside the Mozambican family”.
Speaking at the closing session of the last sitting this year of the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, Talapa stressed that dialogue, and not violence, “is the main path for solving differences. Dialogue is the main path for building consensus around the fundamental questions of our life as a country”.
She urged Renamo to “hear the voices of Mozambicans clamouring for the immediate cessation of attacks. Hear the voices calling for the free circulation of people and goods, for the normalization of the lives of families, and for the restoration of the trust of national and foreign investors”.
“Clear the messages of hatred out of your speeches”, she told the Renamo deputies. “Do something concrete to disarm the men who, under your command are continuing to create instability inside communities. Put down the guns!”
Talapa said that, as she was preparing her speech she received news of two more Renamo attacks, one in Mandimba district, in the northern province of Niassa, and one in Mossurize district, in the central province of Manica. So, just a few days from the Christmas and New Year Holidays, Renamo was continuing to attack.
“What a bizarre way of wishing Season’s Greetings!”, exclaimed Talapa. “Gunfire at Christmas? Gunfire as a way of seeking peace? What does Renamo want? Does Renamo want a democracy bathed in blood?”
Her opposite number on the Renamo benches, Ivone Soares, gave no hint as to when Renano might end its war. The first part of her speech was a breathless paean of praise to the man who is waging the war, the man who, from his hideout in Gorongosa district, orders the killings and the lootings, the Renamo leader and her uncle, Afonso Dhlakama.
She then rewrote Mozambican history claiming that Renamo was founded “by those who had no voice” when, in reality, it was the creation of the secret services of Ian Smith’s Rhodesia, and was later sponsored by South African Military Intelligence.
Soares claimed that the Mozambican government wanted to dispense with international mediators in its negotiations with Renamo, although the previous day, during his State of the Nation address, President Filipe Nyusi made it clear that the mediation will continue.
There was a proposal for a working group on decentralisation which could include specialists in the areas of constitutional law and decentralization, who would not necessarily be the current mediators. But even this mild proposal was anathema for Renamo which wants foreign mediators involved at every step of the journey.
“Mediators are necessary to restore confidence”, said Soares. “They are to assist, not to impose”.
Like Nyusi, she was confident that the talks will resume in the new year. “It’s not the end of the world, the negotiations will resume in January”, she said.
Lutero Simango, the head of the third parliamentary group, that of the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), demanded that talks on the future of the country should not be restricted to just two actors, the government and Renamo.
He called for “an inclusive national dialogue” as “a national imperative to rescue genuine peace, undertake national reconciliation, and establish a platform for a Mozambican democratic system and for decentralized governance”.
Simango called for constitutional amendments, which would allow the direct election of provincial governors (who are currently appointed by the President), and would reduce “the excessive powers of the Head of State”.
Changes to the constitution, he added, should allow “administrative and financial independence of the justice authorities”, and municipalisation throughout the country (currently 53 cities and towns enjoy municipal status.
Turning to the government guaranteed loans of over two billion dollars to the security-related companies Ematum, Proindicus and MAM. Simango said that “not a penny” of these debts should be paid, and they should not be registered in the state budget. The Assembly, he urged, should declare the government guarantees for these three loans as “null and void”.Source: AIM/TVM
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