re posted from Club of Mozambique
Afonso Dhlakama calls on Mozambican government to refrain from acts of violence
| (2016-01-14) The leader of Mozambique’s largest opposition party on Monday called on the government not to use violent methods during the process of implementing his movement’s territorial administration, starting in March.
Afonso Dhlakama, the leader of the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo), warned that armed government resistance to the implementation of Renamo administration would risk casualties, and that Renamo would respond in like manner if the integrity of its executive was threatened. Dhlakama insisted that he wanted a “peaceful, quiet transition, with no shots fired”.
“If Frelimo tries to resist, there will be skirmishes, but that’s not what I want,” Dhlakama said, speaking by phone from Sadjundjira in the Gorongosa mountains to members of his movement at a party meeting in Chimoio, Manica, in central Mozambique.
“The best days have come for the people of Mozambique. I do not want war and do not want to hear about war, but I am not afraid of war,” warned Dhlakama, his more than half-hour speech frequently interrupted by applause. He announced that he would not for now appear publicly in person but would continue to address public meetings by phone.
Dhlakama insists that the Renamo executive structure has been finalised, and that he will shortly name the governors and district administrators who oversee the hoisting of the party flags on the dates and places they are to take office,.
He also announced that the Renamo budget will be funded through tax collection and International donations.
“Look at any government in the world. No president of any country rules with his own money. Not even Barack Obama has enough money to rule America. There are taxes, credits, loans – and Mozambique is rich,” he said.
Dhlakama added that neither lawyers nor domestic or foreign constitutionalists nor even the United Nations Security Council could accuse him of any irregularity in the establishment of the Renamo administration. He justified the process on the grounds of electoral fraud perpetrated by Frelimo, again suggesting amendments to the constitution to accommodate his project of creating six autonomous provinces in the centre and north of the country.
Afonso Dhalakama has not been seen in public since last October 9, when police special forces surrounded and raided his home in Beira, seizing 16 weapons. The operation triggered clashes in various regions, creating waves of displaced people.
In November, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi advised restraint in the compulsory disarmament of Renamo to facilitate dialogue, but the Renamo leader stayed in hiding and reiterated his determination to govern in the provinces where his party claims electoral victory from March onwards.
“Negotiate what?” the Renamo leader asks. “Negotiate just to raise the metical, to improve the image of Frelimo. Using Dhlakama as if he were a pretty girl, to keep Mozambique’s image clean is over,” he said, insisting that he will only negotiate the normalisation of relations with the government after establishing his administration.
As to his movement’s request for mediation of the political and military crisis between the government and Renamo, Dhlakama announced on Monday that it had received a positive response from South African president, Jacob Zuma, via the South African embassy in Mozambique, and also from the Catholic church.
Photo: Lusa (File) / Afonso Dhlakama