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Acting Renamo head Ossufo Momade has moved to the late leader Afonso Dhlakama’s base on the Gorongosa mountain, because he feels better and safer there. “Now that I am the coordinator of the Political Commission of Renamo … I do not feel safe in the city. Therefore I prefer to live with my colleagues. Here I feel protected,” he told Canal de Mocambique (6 June).
But he stressed “this is not a threat to anyone. I have not gone to Gorongosa to take up arms. I have not gone to Gorongosa to make war or to pressure anyone.”
Comment: Renamo is divided between an older military generation and a younger urban generation linked to electoral politics. General Momade is part of that old guard and by leading from Gorongosa rather than Maputo has opted for his old comrades.
Renamo has two urgent tasks: negotiating a peace deal and doing well in 10 October municipal elections. Dhlakama had become a more effective politician and was building links with political leaders in his own party and the MDM, so was able to move on both fronts.
Momade aligning himself with the military wing could make it easier to carry them with him in any military settlement, which surely must include serious posts in the military and security services for Renamo generals, as Dhlakama had demanded. Thus opting for Gorongosa probably might make a peace deal more likely. But Alfredo Maumisse, spokesperson for the Renamo Political Commission, told Canalmoz (5 June) that a month after Dhlakama’s death, President Filipe Nyusi had still not spoken to Momade.
Although he is a member of parliament, Momade is not a dynamic campaigner or political leader. Will his move to the bush leave more space for parliamentary bench leader Ivone Soares and various MDM returnees to build a dynamic campaign machine, or will the traditional Renamo rigid hierarchy and deference to the leader limit what the politicians can do?
By Joseph HanlonSource: News reports & clippings