"Military Junta" president wants to postpone elections - so that he can run
Analysts consulted by Lusa believe that the upcoming Frelimo Central Committee meeting will take place in the “shadow” of the conflict between the President of Mozambique and of the party, Filipe Nyusi, and Samora Machel Júnior, son of the first Mozambican president, Samora Machel, and a member of the CC.
The Central Committee of the Mozambican Liberation Front (Frelimo), the ruling party, meets from Friday to Sunday in the city of Matola, Maputo province, but the agenda for this meeting of the party’s main decision-making body between congresses is not yet known.
“The president of the party [Filipe Nyusi] is not going to the Central Committee without his worries. He is not unconcerned, because his authority has been severely challenged by Samora Machel Júnior,” says Juma Aiuba, a Nampula-based political analyst.
The son of the first Mozambican president accused Filipe Nyusi of violating Frelimo’s statutes, demanding that a disciplinary proceeding be instituted against the party president.
Aiuba thinks Samora Machel Júnior is the face of a strong current in the party that is challenging the direction Filipe Nyusi is leading it in and wants to call into question his positioning in the general elections this year.
“Graça Machel has already said that she is unconditionally with her son Samora Machel Junior and, like her, there are other figures with influence in Frelimo who oppose Nyusi,” he says.
Political scientist and university professor João Pereira believes that Frelimo has become a stage for wars between egos and interest groups, and is losing its vision and its project for society.
“Public disagreements between Samora Machel Junior and Filipe Nyusi are proof that Frelimo is increasingly focused on fights between party personalities and less on creating a vision and society project,” Pereira says.
Noting that the party in power was always forged in the context of disagreements since its founding in 1962, Pereira stresses that severe tensions put the party in danger of splitting.
Adriano Nuvunga, director of the Development and Society Association (ADS) and professor of Political Science at Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM), says that Filipe Nyusi arrives at the Central Committee weakened by the attacks on his authority by Samora Machel Júnior and by the difficulties that his government faces.
“The discontent of Samora Machel Júnior reflects the discontent of a very important sector of Frelimo”, Nuvunga says.
On the other hand, he continues, Filipe Nyusi’s executive faces difficulties governing, as seen in the delays in the payment of state salaries.
The ADS executive director also said that the fight against corruption, one of Nyusi’s flagship projects, is perceived unfavourably by Mozambican society because, he says, it is seen as selective and aimed at political gains.
Fernando Lima, president of the private media group Mediacoop and a political commentator, understands that, despite opposition to his authority, Filipe Nyusi retains a lot of power in Frelimo, because he managed to place loyal cadres in [party] leadership positions.
“I think Filipe Nyusi retains a lot of power in the party, be it because he put loyal figures in leadership positions or because the figures that were there became loyal to him as he consolidated control,” Lima says.
The dispute between Filipe Nyusi and Samora Machel Júnior was worsened by Frelimo’s decision to institute disciplinary proceedings against the son of the late Mozambican president Samora Machel, after the politician decided to run for president of the municipality of Maputo, countering the party’s decision to run with candidate Eneas Comiche, who won the election.