Speculation rife ahead of Frelimo Central Committee meeting
All photos: Frelimo Moçambique
Mozambique’s ruling Frelimo Party on Friday announced the return to its ranks of Carlos Jeque, a man who had once run as an independent candidate for President of the Republic.
“A son who returns home is a motive for celebration”, Frelimo General Secretary Roque Silva told a Maputo press conference.
“Every member is a voice for the development of our country”, he said. He was sure that Jeque would make a contribution, not just in this year’s election campaign, “but also in the fight against poverty”.
Jeque told reporters he initially joined Frelimo in the year of its founding, 1962. When it was pointed out that he was only nine years old in 1962 , he said “when we heard of the foundation of the liberation movement, everybody identified with Frelimo”.
He said he became a card carrying member of Frelimo after Mozambican independence in 1975, and left the party in 2014.
In reality he left the party much earlier, since he stood against Frelimo, as an independent, in the first multi-party presidential election in 1994, in which he won 0.7 per cent of the votes. Undeterred, he tried again in the 2003 municipal elections, standing for Mayor of Maputo and winning 1.99 per cent of the votes.
Jeque also occupied prominent positions in the business world. The most significant of these was chairperson of the board of Mozambique Airlines (LAM), a post he held in 2013-2014.
In the 2014 general elections, Jeque declared his support for the main opposition party, the former rebel movement
Renamo, and its leader and presidential candidate Afonso Dhlakama.
In December 2015, he was shot in the leg by unidentified assailants on the outskirts of Maputo. Nobody has ever been arrested for this crime.
Currently Jeque is studying for a doctorate in law and security at a Lisbon university.