President condemns escalation in Renamo attacks

Espungabera (Mozambique), (AIM) – Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Friday condemned the escalation of armed attacks in some parts of the centre of the country by gunmen belonging to the opposition party Renamo.

Source: President condemns escalation in Renamo attacks – The Zimbabwean 14.08.2016

The President was speaking in Espungabera, in Mossurize district, on the first day of a working visit to the central province of Manica.

President Nyusi stated that the attacks were making it impossible to improve the living conditions of the nation’s citizens. He warned that there are people who are prepared to do whatever is necessary, whatever the cost, to take power.

The President was clearly speaking of Renamo’s violent campaign to seize power in the parts of the country where it claims to have won the 2014 elections. Mozambique has eleven provinces, and Renamo wants to govern in the central and northern provinces of Manica, Sofala, Tete, Zambezia, Nampula, and Niassa.

The President condemned an ambush that took place on Friday morning in Chiuala, in Barue district in the north of Manica province. The victims of the attack were a team of journalist travelling to Macossa to cover the President’s forthcoming visit to the district. According to reports, cars belonging to Radio Mozambique and TVM were fired upon, resulting in one occupant receiving a light injury.

Renamo gunmen on Friday also attacked the town of Morrumbala in the central province of Zambezia. During the attack, the town’s health centre was vandalised and set on fire after the gang had stolen medicines and other material. The home of the district administrator was also damaged in the assault. According to the administrator, Pedro Sapange, the men also set fire to a police vehicle and freed prisoners from the police cells.

President Nyusi stressed that these attacks, and the many other assaults, were the polar opposite to the efforts of the government’s search for peace.

He lamented the fact that there are Mozambicans who are obliged to abandon their houses out of fear of those “when we speak of peace, they hear the opposite”. He added, “someone wants to show that he is bigger and stronger than the people”. However, “the acts of these individuals are disturbing the lives of all citizens”.

The President stated that “we sympathise with our brothers who, day after day, are affected by these men that who are trying to take power by force”.

In his speech, the President stressed that Mozambicans want schools, hospitals, piped water, electricity and food. He added that the people cannot be held to ransom by warmongers.

The President announced the government’s intention to bring electricity to the town “even if others oppose such initiatives”.

Speaking about the agricultural potential of the province, President Nyusi argued that Manica could feed the entire country if it only had a climate of peace and security.

The President invited those attending the rally to present to him their concerns. Some called for a permanent police presence in the area to offer protection against assaults by Renamo. Local resident Helena Joao Gogoio said, “these individuals from Renamo have intensified their attacks because they know that there are no police or soldiers in the area”.

Another resident suggested that a tea processing factory be set up in the area.

During his time in Espungabera, the President visited an agricultural fair and inaugurated a water supply system which will provide drinking water to 11,000 people.

On Saturday, the President will visit the district of Macossa, followed by Vanduzi and Macate.

Accompanying the President on his tour of the province are the Minister of the Interior, Jaime Monteiro; Minister of State Administration, Carmelita Namashalua; Minister of Education, Jorge Ferrao; the governors of Manica and Inhambane, Alberto Mondlane and Daniel Chapo; and staff from the President’s office.