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Linette Olofsson has told 'Magazine Independente 'in an interview that she wrote letters resigning both from the MDM's International Relations Department, and from the MDM itself. [File photo: Social Media]
Ismael Nhacucue, the former head of the group of the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) in the Maputo Municipal Assembly, has returned to the MDM after spending about a year in the ranks of the larger opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo.
Back in June 2018 Nhacucue, and dozens of other MDM members in the capital followed Venancio Mondlane, the MDM’s candidate for mayor of Maputo in 2013, out of that party and into Renamo. They appeared at a press conference wearing T-shirts emblazoned with a portrait of Mondlane and the Renamo emblem.
But on Tuesday Nhacucue headed a group of about 40 Renamo members who publicly declared that they were returning to the MDM. He told the independent television station STV that he had left the MDM in 2018 because he was a supporter of Mondlane. But he had soon been disillusioned, because he found Renamo “completely disorganised”, and so he had decided “to come home”.
The head of the MDM parliamentary group, Lutero Simango, told AIM that about 300 Renamo members have switched to the MDM in Maputo city in recent weeks.
Two Renamo parliamentary deputies have also defected to the MDM. They are Albano Balaunde, the former Renamo political delegate in Sofala province, and Sandura Ambrosio, the party’s former Beira city delegate.
Linette Olofsson returns to Renamo
This traffic in members between the two main opposition parties goes in both directions. The latest edition of the weekly paper “Magazine Independente” announced that Linette Olofsson, head of the MDM’s International Affairs Department, has returned to Renamo.
Olofsson was a Renamo member of the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, from 1999 to 2004.
She joined the MDM when it was founded in 2009, and stood unsuccessfully as an MDM candidate in the 2014 parliamentary election.
She has represented the MDM in various international events, most recently at a Pan-African Women’s Conference in Accra earlier this month.
According to her interview with “Magazine Independente”, on 25 July she wrote letters resigning both from the International Relations Department, and from the MDM itself. The paper said she is now a Renamo candidate for the parliamentary elections scheduled for 15 October. Olofsson’s Facebook page still says she is a member of the MDM.
Her change of allegiance brought forth a virulent attack on her integrity on Facebook from a pro-Frelimo commentator, Egidio Vaz, who called her “a traitor” and “a coward” – even though Vaz himself has made an equally spectacular switch from being a severe critic of Frelimo to an ardent supporter of the ruling party.
Vaz complained that Olofsson enjoys dual Mozambican and Swedish nationality and is a member, not only of Mozambican political parties, but also of the Swedish Social Democratic Party. Even if this were true, there is nothing illegal about it under Mozambican law, although it is certainly rather odd (since the sister party of the Swedish SDP in Mozambique is neither the MDM nor Renamo, but Frelimo).
Vaz claimed that Olofsson “sponsored the destruction of Mozambique during the civil war” – which would have been rather difficult since she did not return to Mozambique until 1998.
Olofsson has responded to the insults thrown at her by threatening to sue Vaz for libel.Source: AIM