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Alamy (File photo) / Caravan porters delivering arms ammunition clothes and medicine to a Frelimo guerilla base
The authorities in Maravia district, in the western Mozambican province of Tete, intend to transform the old guerilla base at Kassuende into a tourist attraction.
Kassuende, near the Tete border with Zambia, was an important base of the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo) during the independence war. From Kassuende guerilla units moved to other regions of Tete, as well as across the Zambezi river towards the front in Manica and Sofala.
The Maravia district administrator, Bruno Patreque, told reporter that preparations are under way to rehabilitate the road from the Malowera administrative post to Kassuende.
“Kassuende should become a site to attract tourists, by opening and improving access roads, and by building social and tourist facilities”, he said. “Our intention is to transform Kassuende into a resort for visits by young people of the new generation who do not know or imagine how the National Liberation Struggle was fought”.
Apart from its historical value, Kassuende is also a region with high agricultural potential. But Patreque regarded the poor conditions of the roads as an Achilles’ heel, which hinders the marketing of surplus crops grown in the region.
He was sure this dream would become a reality, because it is not merely his personal initiative, but respects the will of the local people.
“The Kassuende Base deserves to be treated decently”, he said, “because its history represents our sovereignty as the Mozambican people. Locally, the public, civil society and economic agents have expressed their support so that Kassuende can be given the face it deserves”.
Patreque added that the district government recently distributed 400 bicycles to community leaders in Maravia, in order to minimize the difficulties they face in encouraging community development.
“In our philosophy of governance, the community leaders are important grass roots structures for stimulating the development policies outlines in the government’s five year programme”, he said.
The delivery of 400 bicycles was just the start, he continued. There are more than 400 community leaders in the district, and the challenge is to ensure that they all have means of transport.