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Photo: Folha de Maputo
The most important task facing Mozambique’s ruling Frelimo Party is to win the general elections scheduled for 15 October, declared President Filipe Nyusi on Sunday.
Speaking in his capacity as President of Frelimo, at the close of a three day meeting of the party’s Central Committee, held in the southern city of Matola, Nyusi declared “Our most important project is to win the elections. And that’s what we shall do”.
The history of Frelimo, he said, “has taught us that victory is organised, victory is prepared. In this meeting we defined the strategies that will govern the grass roots work that will lead Frelimo to another term of office in the Presidency of the Republic, to an increased number of seats in the Assembly of the Republic (parliament) and in the Provincial Assemblies, and to governance in all the provinces”.
Nyusi added that Frelimo always has in mind that its victory in elections is “an imperative leading to the development and economic and social well-being of Mozambique”.
The meeting was ending “with the sensation of mission accomplished”, he claimed. “The members of the Central Committee should transmit to the party members the decisions taken by the Central Committee, which are fundamental instruments for winning the elections”.
The Central Committee reaffirmed the decision taken by the Frelimo 11th Congress, held in 2017, that Nyusi will be the Party’s presidential candidate. Statements made at the start of the meeting by the Frelimo youth, women’s and veterans’ organisations stressed their unconditional loyalty to Nyusi.
“When we began the meeting, there were voices that said it was a test of our cohesion”, said Nyusi. “As Frelimo, we never doubted that this would be a session of open, frank and honest debate. A session in which all were free to express their ideas and opinions”.
Now, at the end of the meeting, Frelimo was “more united and cohesive, and better prepared and motivated to face the agenda of consolidating the ideals of the party”.
Frelimo’s “march towards victory” had already begun, he said, with the establishment of election preparation offices in all the provinces.
Nyusi added that Frelimo should now step up the political and ideological training of its members. “Among all our members, we need to deepen knowledge about the genesis of the principles of Frelimo”, he said. “Ideological training allows us to strengthen the values of discipline”.
One reason for the apparent unity in the ranks of the Central Committee is that a potentially divisive disciplinary matter was not discussed. This was the question of Samora Machel Junior (“Samito”), son of the country’s first President, Samora Machel, who had broken ranks with Frelimo when he tried to run as an independent for the post of Mayor of Maputo in the 2018 municipal elections.
Machel believed that he had the support of the Maputo party membership and should have been the Frelimo candidate, but that his name was undemocratically thrust aside in favour of that of former finance minister Eneas Comiche.
Machel then accepted the offer from a civil society organisation, AJUDEM (Youth Association for the Development of Mozambique), to become its mayoral candidate, heading its list for the Maputo Municipal Assembly. But the National Elections Commission (CNE) disqualified AJUDEM, on the grounds that it did not have enough people on its list to fill all the seats on the Assembly.
Internal Frelimo disciplinary proceedings began, which could, in theory, lead to the expulsion of Machel Junior from the Party. Far from backing down, Machel wrote a response to the charges against him, saying it was Nyusi who should be suspended from Party membership.
The Frelimo disciplinary body, the Verification Commission gave a report on the proceedings against Machel – and then asked for more time to consider the matter. The Central Committee postponed any decision until its next meeting, which will not take place until after the elections.Source: AIM