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The forthcoming meeting of the central committee of Mozambique’s ruling Frelimo Party, scheduled for 22-24 March, will not discuss disciplinary measures against Samora Machel Junior (“Samito”), son of the country’s first President. Samora Machel, according to a report in Thursday’s issue of the independent news sheet, “Carta de Moçambique”.
Machel Junior broke with Frelimo discipline last year when he attempted to run for Mayor of Maputo in the 10th October Municipal elections.
He argued that the internal Frelimo elections were rigged so that he would be unable to stand as the Frelimo Mayor candidate. Instead Frelimo opted to run 79 year old, former finance Minister, Eneas Comiche, for the position.
Machel accepted an invitation from a civil society organisation, AJUDEM (Youth Association for the Development of Mozambique) to be its candidate for Mayor. In the event, AJUDEM’s name did not appear on the ballot paper, since the National Elections Commission (CNE) used technicalities to exclude it.
Machel was clearly in breach of the Frelimo statutes, under which all party members are expected to support Frelimo candidates in the elections, and there have been repeated suggestions that he might not only lose his place on the Central Committee but could be thrown out of the party.
However, that now seems impossible. According to “Carta de Moçambique”, a two member commission set up by the Frelimo Political Commission to deal with the disciplinary case met with Machel on Monday. This was the first time he had been given an opportunity to defend himself.
The two members of the commission, Filipe Sitoe, and Francisco Cabo, informed Machel of the case against him and at the end of the hearing gave him a deadline of 15 days to respond. In other words, he must respond by 26h March. Since the Central Committee meeting is scheduled to end 24 March, there is no way it can take a decision on the matter.
Machel Junior flew to London on business matters on Wednesday, but he will return in time to participate in the Central Committee.
Any attempt to expel the son of the man who led Frelimo to victory against the colonial army could have serious consequences, particularly as no disciplinary measures have yet been taken against party members involved in major financial scandals.
It would create severe problems for Frelimo, if Samito were to be expelled but former Finance Minister, Manuel Chang, for example, accused of conspiracy to commit money laundering, wire fraud and securities fraud, were allowed to remain a member in good standing.
The 15 day period given by the commission allows the whole matter to be put on ice until a meeting of the Central Committee later in the year, nearer the general elections scheduled for 15 October.Source: AIM