via Dhlakama again threatens to overthrow government – The Zimbabwean 27 February 2015
Afonso Dhlakama, leader of Mozambique’s former rebel movement Renamo, has once again threatened to overthrow the government, if the country’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, does not pass a Renamo bill establishing “autonomous regions”.
Speaking on Thursday at a rally in Montepuez, in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, Dhlakama said “if the project for autonomous regions is not approved in the Assembly, there will be no governance in the country”.
He suggested it might be a good thing if the ruling Frelimo Party used its parliamentary majority to throw out the Renamo bill. Cited by the independent television station STV, Dhlakama said “if Frelimo does not approve the project, that will even be good, because we shall remove it from power by force. It will lose everything, and we are able to do that”.
Nobody yet knows what is in the Renamo bill, but Dhlakama told the rally Renamo already possesses the programmatic lines that would guide the autonomous regions. He did not explain what these lines are, but merely promised that the Renamo style of governance would be better than that practiced by Frelimo.
“We intend to demonstrate fair and transparent governance where nobody will be humiliated or suffer injustice”, he said. He promised health care, education, investment and jobs, but did not explain how a Renamo government would achieve these desirable goals.
He boasted “we shall govern in Sofala, Manica, Tete, Zambezia and Nampula provinces”. These are the five provinces where Dhlakama won the October 2015 presidential election. But in only two of them (Sofala and Zambezia) did Renamo win the parliamentary vote.
Dhlakama has tacitly dropped Niassa, in the far north, from the list of provinces he claims. He was speaking in Cabo Delgado, a province which even Renamo admits was won by Frelimo.
Few democracies would allow a politician to call repeatedly for the break-up of the country and the overthrow of the government without suffering any consequences, and the Mozambican Bar Association (OAM) has urged the Attorney-General’s Office to investigate Dhlakama’s speeches.
Deputy Attorney General Alberto Paulo, cited in Friday’s issue of the independent newsheet “Mediafax”, said that his office is indeed attentive to Dhlakama’s speeches. He promised that, in due time, the Attorney-General’s Office will draw its own conclusions about whether or not there is anything criminal in Dhlakama’s statements.
But he seemed doubtful as to whether it would be possible to haul Dhlakama before the courts. To justify this skepticism, Paulo invented a distinction between “political declarations” and “criminal declarations”.