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The meeting of the Central Committee of the Liberation Front of Mozambique (Frelimo), the country’s ruling party, closed yesterday without a decision on the disciplinary proceedings against Samora Machel Junior, son of the first Mozambican President, Samora Machel.
The Frelimo Verification Committee had opened a disciplinary case against Samora Machel Junior, accusing the politician of violating the party’s statutes by trying to run for Maputo mayor in the municipal elections of October 10 last year.
On the first day of the Central Committee meeting last Friday, Frelimo spokesman Caifadine Manasse told the media that the body would issue a verdict on the “Samora Machel Junior affair” before ending. He noted that the party always takes a position in relation to the affairs of the organisation and the country.
“What we are doing is debating the report of the Verification Committee [the party’s disciplinary body], deeply understanding what happened, and in the end we will have a verdict,” said Manasse.
On Saturday, Manasse had told the media that the subject was being debated within the Frelimo “family”, and that it should not distract the party from its focus on the October 15 general election.
One Frelimo member has told Lusa that the issue will now be discussed at the first meeting of the Central Committee after the election.
Filipe Nyusi had already hinted that a ruling on the disciplinary proceedings against Samora Machel could be circumvented, saying in his opening address on Friday that the party’s focus was the general election and that Frelimo’s opponents were the opposition parties outside Frelimo.
The disciplinary proceedings against Samora Machel Junior are seen as a dilemma for Filipe Nyusi’s leadership of Frelimo, since an expulsion risks creating fractures in the party, especially given the history and influence of the Machel family, while leaving the case unresolved risks sets a precedent in a party known for exercising iron discipline over its cadres.
In an open repudiation of Samora Machel Junior’s behaviour, all Frelimo’s affiliated organisations – including the powerful Association of National Liberation Combatants (ACLIN), the veterans’ organisation – demanded the Central Committee enforce respect for Frelimo’s statutes.
Samora Machel Junior had himself proposed the Central Committee open disciplinary proceedings against Filipe Nyusi, accusing him of violating the party’s statutes, and blames him for his candidacy as Maputo’s mayor in the municipal elections of October 10 last year being blocked.
Machel Junior has the support of his stepmother, the influential Grace Machel, also a member of the Frelimo Central Committee, the party’s most important organ between congresses, who stated publicly that, as a mother, she felt obliged to support her stepson in his political demands.
Besides Graça Machel, Samora Junior still has the public support of several other top Frelimo members.