Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Sunday said that although he still wished to talk with Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the former rebel movement Renamo, he was finding it difficult to contact him.
Speaking to a delegation of Roman Catholic bishops, Nyusi said “I am making an effort to speak with Dhlakama, but it’s not proving possible”.
The Catholic delegation, led by the Archbishop of Maputo, Francisco Chimoio, asked the President to continue to encourage dialogue in order to solve any pending problems and maintain political stability.
Nyusi assured his visitors that he is attempting to ensure stability, and urged the bishops to present solutions for peace in Mozambique as well as simply outlining the problems.
The President insisted that dialogue should be between Mozambicans and did not need the involvement of any other countries. “I think this is a matter that can be solved at home”, he declared. “I see no reason for choosing another country to solve this. I am doing all I can to ensure a dialogue”.
“I would like you to help us do this”, he told the bishops, “not merely by pointing to the problems, but also indicating solutions. I think everyone can point to problems”.
“So what can I do to make this country stable?”, he asked.
In answer to his own question, Nyusi argued that the root cause of instability was poverty and not merely a misunderstanding between two individuals. For if it really was all a disagreement between two people “then it would just be a case of one of them leaving and the other coming in. But that’s not going to solve anything”.
“While there are people who don’t have food, people who don’t have health care, people who don’t have education, then there will be a lack of stability”, the President added.
As for the depreciation of the national currency, the metical against the US dollar, one of the problems raised by Archbishop Chimoio, Nyusi reiterated that he had no regrets “about starting a new cycle of governance with a lesser availability of foreign currency, which also results from a reduction in the level of foreign aid to our country”.
He added “we are a country that lives on foreign grants, and we consume what we do not produce. As long as we do not produce, we will not be able to have stability”.