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If Samora Machel were still alive, he would be turning 83 today.
Samora Machel was born September 29, 1933, in Chilembene, Chokwe district, in Gaza province, and met his death on 19 October 1986 in an air crash in the hills of Mbuzini, in South Africa, while returning from Mbala, Zambia, on another mission in the search for peace in Mozambique and Africa.
On the 30th anniversary of the Mbuzini tragedy, the Mozambican government launches a nationwide programme of political and cultural events intended to commemorate the life and teachings of the founder of the Mozambican state.
Journalists in Beira interviewed by Noticias consider it imperative that Mozambique rediscovers Machel’s ideals, which are completely up to date as regards corruption, equal rights, the moral integrity of society and solidarity between people.
Artur Ricardo, editorial director of Diario de Moçambique, says that Mozambican society must restructure so as to meet the ethical and moral standards that it supposedly aspires to, using the ideals of the country’s first president.
Ricardo says that the ideals that Machel fought for – social justice, the fight against corruption, respect for others and the moral integrity of society, are pillars of good living in any time.
Ricardo says that moral values are on the slide today, and some add wistfully that Samora Machel would not sit easily with things as they are now.
“What worries me right now is that we were not able to take the ideals of Samora Machel and use them. If we look at Mozambique today, we see society falling apart,” the journalist said, citing crime, corruption and lack of solidarity.
Ricardo says society has to wake up, organise itself and not simply blame everything on the government. According to him, problems like crime are not the sole responsibility of the authorities.
“We, as part of society, have an important role to play in combating these evils. Society must wake up, because we are heading towards the abyss. The lack of respect and crime we are seeing is a reflection that something is wrong, and it needs to be identified and resolved. Samora Machel should not be remembered only on the eve of the 19th October,” the journalist, who remembers covering rallies and other events attended by Samora Machel in the 80s, said.
He conveyed the spirit of sharing – Celeste MacArthur, photojournalist
Diario de Mozambique photojournalist Celeste MacArthur said that Samora was able to bring together on an equal footing all Mozambicans regardless of education, health and service.
“Samora managed to take the children of humble families to study abroad and train as engineers, doctors and teachers. The achievements that we have today are thanks to this great man. For me, his ideals should always be followed.”
MacArthur who worked for Noticias da Beira and today is at Diario de Moçambique, met Samora Machel and describes him as a demanding man with a great sense of humor.
“He was a leader. If you invite young people to listen and to read his speeches, they will realise that they are up to date. He spoke as if he was living this moment we now live. He denounced neglect and corruption, but also managed to demonstrate to Mozambicans that, despite their differences, we can have a peaceful coexistence. I do not want to say that he had no flaws – he had a human side, but, for a better country, Samora is a figure that everyone can follow.”
MacArthur says that, at the time she worked with Machel, the first president was concerned about the social status of journalists.
“He always asked if journalists were well-housed, had eaten anything. He asked if his support groups were treated well. They were good times that current leaders should follow: be concerned with everything, so that everything goes well.”Source: Noticias
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