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Paulo Vahanle. Photo: DW
The Renamo mayor of Nampula, Paulo Vahanle, is being criticised for having appointed the son of the leader of the party councilman in one of the most important positions on the municipal council.
The appointment of relatives of Renamo leaders to Nampula Municipal Council continues apace. Osvaldo Ossufo Momade, one of the children of the leader of the main opposition party in the country, is now Councillor for Economic Promotion, a vital fundraising function.
Some citizens consider that the appointments have to do with party ties, since, according to them, there are many other young people [fit for the job] in civil society, arguing that, if the mayor chose one of them, he would be embracing inclusion in both the spirit and the letter.
André José is one of those, and tells DW Africa that “in the past they criticised Frelimo for placing family members in the administration”. “Now with the takeover of Renamo in this city, we are seeing the same problem. This is no longer acceptable. There are many other people who are interested in aiding the development of Nampula,” he complains.
Several criticisms of Vahanle
Paulo Vahanle, mayor of Nampula, has already heard a number of criticisms, but downplayed them to DW-Africa, saying that the appointment of the young councilman has nothing to do with the fact that his father is the leader of the party of which he is a member, and justifies it on the grounds of the young man’s competence, saying he was not new to the management of public affairs.
“He [Osvaldo Ossufo Momade] was a municipal official before his father was elected president of the party [since the mayor won the midterm elections last year]. He is a graduate and has various competencies, so I appointed him councilman for Markets and Fairs [Economic Promotion],” Vahanle said.
The mayor believes that the criticisms are aimed at discouraging the work of his municipal government and took the opportunity to criticise the children of leaders of other parties, especially Frelimo, who, according to him, enrich themselves night and day without ever having worked.
“We, at Renamo, teach our children to work, to sweat to earn bread. What is sad and incomprehensible is to be the son of a ruler, to buy luxurious buildings abroad without having worked in life … That is what the great problem is,” he said.
Son-in-law appointed as councilman
In addition to the case of Osvaldo Ossufo Momade, Vahanle is also criticised for appointing his son-in-law councilman for Institutional Development and Cooperation, and one of his sons head of sector. Vahanle, however, denies this.
Some analysts think that Osvaldo Momade’s appointment is not about nepotism and they are convinced of his competence even since becoming Director of Markets and Trade.
“In this short time [of Renamo’s governance, after the midterm elections] he showed competence. Now, when he again wins elections and forms his government, naming Ossufo Momade’s son a councilman, he is again criticised. Are all councillors children of leaders? I think not. They are indeed Renamo members who showed competence. This is even a good thing, because we are stopping seeing children of leaders become millionaires without even working for the state,” analyst Arlindo Murririua told DW Africa.
Before joining the city council after Paulo Vahanle’s inauguration on in April 2018, Osvaldo Momade was a senior member of Renamo with more than 25 years of activism behind him, having held various functions within the party and in the Renamo Youth Wing in Nampula.Source: Deutsche Welle