Former Renamo deputy accused of conspiracy
File photo: DW
Some members of Renamo, including António Chichone, have started to let off some steam, and think that party leader Ossufo Momade is the reason for tha party’s internal fragmentation.
The discontent in the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo, Mozambique’s largest opposition party) is already in the public domain, and there are those who fearlessly acknowledge weaknesses in the political force.
António Chichone is one of those. In an interview with DW Africa, the prominent Renamo diaspora member says Ossufo Momade “was a casting mistake” and is not guiding the party to “a safe harbour”. Chichone even goes so far as to suspect that the party leader acted in a subordinate manner towards ruling party the Liberation Front of Mozambique (Frelimo) in the October 15 elections.
He therefore calls on the Renamo National Council to take urgent action to solve the party’s internal problems.
DW Africa: Is it a fact that Renamo is fragmented?
António Chichone (AC): I have a profound feeling that there has to be courage within the party to say that. I myself have no problem stating that it is really fragmented.
DW Africa: Can you point out the reasons for this fragmentation?
AC: First, that was after the congress [in January 2019]. It was perceived that it was intended to persecute and create divisions within the party. Another issue is Beira. There was that confusion, that so-called internal disorder, which in fact was not disorder, and could have been solved in another way. And we saw the results of this in the October 15 elections. [They minimised] this problem and went to the elections in this way. They thought that by going to the elections and forgetting Beira, they would win simply in Nampula and Zambezia [provinces].
DW Africa: Are you able to say who is at the root of the party’s conflicts?
AC: We have to name names, and ask for the head of the party president. And the people who surround the president should [also] be held accountable for all that has happened, because they can’t be allowed to do such things and move on, keeping very quiet, as if nothing had happened.
So this has a lot to do with the persecution that, in my view, is being carried out by the party leadership. First, after the congress, we had a new president-elect, that’s true. [But] in my opinion, the president should have waited a while before making radical changes. It implies that the party president is trying to erase the legacy of President Dhlakama, but he will not succeed, because President Dhlakama was President Dhlakama, and he had charisma. And he was commander-in-chief of Renamo’s residual forces and president of Renamo, something the party president is unable to accomplish at the moment – bringing the wings together. How will people respect him and what will President Dhlakama’s legacy be if he [Momade] is using division in order to reign?
DW Africa: Do you think Ossufo Momade is incapable of being the leader of Renamo?
AC: I categorically state that it was a casting mistake by Renamo members and congressional delegates to elect the current party president. It was a tremendous mistake and it is being paid for dearly. And I’ll still more. I feel that, [in relation to] the [electoral] fraud that has occurred, in its open, shameless form, it even seems that there is a collaboration on the part of the party leader. There was a passivity. His reaction implies that we have a president who is subordinate to Frelimo, which is inadmissible.
DW Africa: So, to you, is the Renamo leader a kind of traitor?
AC: I don’t want to go any further with these ‘traitor’ words, because I have no evidence making that clear to me. But his passivity and his way of solving the party’s problems leads me to believe …. And the way [he despises] the members of the institution itself. That is unacceptable. Renamo members should not accept this joke. It is time to call people to reason. I appeal at this time to the party’s National Council to take urgent action, because if not, we will have to hold all members of the National Council accountable for all these failures.
DW Africa: Do you think Renamo’s days are numbered?
AC: I am very sorry to say that, but, from my perspective, one has to be very careful, because times are different.Source: Deutsche Welle
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