Renamo: Mozambicans flood into Manicaland

Source: Renamo: Mozambicans flood into Manicaland- NewZimbabwe 29/6/2016

MORE than 500 Mozambican families have reportedly crossed into Zimbabwe, escaping renewed violence between the Maputo government and the armed wing of the opposition Renamo party.

Clashes have intensified between the rival groups, reviving the spectre of a civil war that ended more than 20 years ago.

Frelimo and Renamo fought a bloody civil war between 1976 and 1992 that claimed 1-million lives.

Since 2013, tensions have risen and Renamo fighters have again taken up arms in a battle that it says is against a Frelimo elite that has enriched itself at the expense of the country.

Starting with a low-level insurgency, attacks escalated from late in 2015, forcing thousands to flee to neighbouring countries.

Manicaland provincial Minister Mandy Chimene confirmed that hundreds Mozambicans have lately crossed the border into Zimbabwe to escape the violence.

“Yes, as government we acknowledge the presence of Mozambican nationals in this province who are running away from political instability in Mozambique.

“As government, we are giving necessary support to those arriving in Zimbabwe as the numbers are expected to increase,” Chimene said.

Most of the refugees have moved into Chipinge South constituency State officials and non-governmental organisations are helping temporary shelter, food and other basics.

Renamo bandits have also reportedly been causing havoc in areas like Chikombedzi in Chiredzi, allegedly targeting cattle and cross border traders who are robbed at gunpoint.

Malawi has since advised transporters and bus operators to use the alternative Zimbabwe route to bypass Mozambique due to insecurity brought by continued Renamo attacks on truck drivers.

Transport Minister Malison Ndau issued the directive following a recent meeting with his counterparts from the ministries of foreign affairs, trade and industry and home affairs.

Although the Zimbabwean route was reportedly 300km longer than the traditional route through Mozambique, Ndau claimed that the alternate route was safe.

Ndau also said that the Mozambican authorities had started military escorts for trucks and other motor vehicles to and from Mozambique.