Mozambique: Observers call for extension to voter registration - AIM report
A group of dissident gunmen from Mozambique’s main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, have threatened to murder the party leader, Ossufo Momade.
They held a press conference in the bush of the central district of Gorongosa, where they demanded that Momade resign – and said they would kill him, if he refused to do so.
The press conference certainly took place, and a video of it is circulating on the internet. The video shows a man claiming to be a Renamo “general”, Mariano Nhungue Chissinga, surrounded by men in civilian clothes, holding AK-47 assault rifles, who were allegedly Renamo guerrillas.
If the press conference really was held in Gorongosa, then it was not far from the Renamo military headquarters where Momade is currently living.
The dissidents accused Momade of executing two brigadiers of the Renamo general staff. He named one of them as Brigadier Josefa – who is doubtless the same man as Josefa Isaias de Sousa, who was executed on 3 June, according to an anonymous leaflet also circulating on the Internet (although this document gave his rank as Colonel).
Chissinga claimed that Momade is working for the Mozambican government’s Security and Intelligence Service, SISE. He had removed Renamo provincial and district delegates on the instructions of SISE.
It is certainly true that Momade replaced the Sofala provincial and Beira city Renamo delegates in February.
This led to a struggle for control of the Beira Renamo office, and the appearance of two parallel Renamo structures in Beira.
Chissinga said that to occupy leadership positions in the defence and security forces, Momade had given the government a list of his own relatives and friends, to the detriment of officers currently serving in the Renamo militia.
Certainly the government objected to the list Renamo provided to fill ten senior positions in the police, and in mid-May President Filipe Nyusi went public with his concerns. He said the Renamo list contained people who had already been demobilised and already served in the armed forces (FADM) and were now reservists.
But the agreement he had reached with Momade’s predecessor, Afonso Dhlakama, was to incorporate current Renamo officers, still living in the bush, into the army and police, and not to recruit people who had already served once in the army.
Chissinga said the Renamo militia will choose a new leader in early July. No Renamo guerrilla will lay down his weapons or accept demobilisation, while Momade is still president of the party, he threatened.
He claimed that Momade had “ruined” Renamo, and “if he doesn’t want to leave, we shall kill him”.
“We don’t have a president – but don’t provoke us”, he warned. “We are armed and we have forces”.
Momade’s wing of Renamo denied that anything untoward is happening. Cited by the Portuguese news agency, Lusa, Renamo spokesperson Jose Manteigas said “I have no knowledge of any kind of agitation. I spoke with General Ossufo Momade today (Wednesday) about matters in the day-to-day life of the matter, and he was calm and tranquil”.
He would not answer questions about the dissident who threatened Momade, and would not even confirm whether he was a member of Renamo.Source: AIM / Miramar
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