Zambia: President Edgar Lungu visits Mozambique
File photo: Lusa
The struggle for control over Mozambique’s main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, in the central province of Sofala, burst into the open again on Tuesday.
Although this was the anniversary of Mozambican independence, and hence a public holiday, ten members of Renamo went to the home of the party’s former Sofala provincial delegate, Albano Balaunde, in the Beira neighbourhood of Ponta-Gea, in an attempt to evict him.
According to a report on the independent television station STV, Balaunde was not at home when the self-appointed bailiffs showed up, but his four children resisted the eviction attempt. Perhaps because of the presence of reporters, the Renamo group eventually abandoned its attempts to seize Balaunde’s flat.
One of the many criticisms made by Renamo dissidents against the party’s leader, Ossufo Momade, is that he is imposing new provincial delegates, rather then allow the party’s members to elect their own local leaders.
Balaunde had been Sofala delegate from 2010 to 2018, and is also a Renamo deputy in the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic. In late March, he received an eviction notice, giving him seven days to leave the flat, which Renamo wanted to give to the new Sofala delegate.
Balaunde refused to leave, and a new ultimatum was given – he must leave by noon on Monday, 24 June. When this too was ignored, the Renamo group attempted, unsuccessfully, to remove Balaunde’s family by force.
Balaunde’s daughter, Catia, told STV “We know why they want to evict us. My father supported Elias Dhlakama in the election for President of Renamo at the Congress earlier this year”.
In that election, held on 17 January, Elias Dhlakama, younger brother of the previous Renamo leader, Afonso Dhlakama, who died in May 2018, was Ossufo Momade’s main opponent. Momade won easily with 410 votes against 238 for Dhlakama.
Since the Congress, claimed Catia Balaunde, her father had suffered harassment. She said that “dozens of Renamo members” were occupying houses belonging to the party, some of them for ten years or more, without holding any Party position. Some were parliamentary deputies, “just like my father”.
A senior Renamo member in Sofala, Alberto Fone, denied there was any political motivation behind he attempted eviction – Renamo just wanted to house the new provincial delegate.
He assured STV that “Albano Balaunde is our member. He’s part of the Renamo family”. With the cameras filming them, Fone and his group left the building with Balaunde’s family still in occupation of the flat.Source: AIM