Maputo — Another official of Mozambique’s main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, has threatened that Renamo will not only boycott the municipal elections scheduled for 20 November, but will make it impossible for them to be held.
Cited in Monday’s issue of the Nampula electronic newsheet “Wamphula Fax”, the Renamo Nacala Port district delegate, Benjamin Cortes, promised that Renamo will undermine the entire electoral procedure, and that it will start by sabotaging the voter registration due to start on 25 May.
“There were never fair and transparent elections here in Nacala”, he claimed. “We have just witnessed farces in which Frelimo was the protagonist, using the electoral bodies to manipulate the result”.
Cortes seems to have forgotten that, in 2003, Renamo won the municipal elections in Nacala, and that for the next five years a Renamo mayor governed the city.
There have been three municipal elections in Nacala – Renamo boycotted the first, won the second and lost the third (the loss in 2008 was narrow, and the Renamo candidate for mayor forced Frelimo into a second round run-off).
Cortes also accused Frelimo of bussing in citizens who are not citizens of Nacala to swell the ranks of Frelimo voters. He alleged that people are transported from Nacala-a-Velha, Mossuril, Mozambique Island and Monapo to register and to vote. But Monapo and Mozambique Island are also municipalities: it would make no sense to bus people from these areas to Nacala, since on the day they will only be able to vote once – the indelible ink applied to voters’ fingers guarantees that.
The call for a boycott has divided Renamo in Nacala, where some members wanted to try and regain control of the municipality. Influential Renamo figures in Nacala are reportedly leaving the party because of the boycott policy
Cortes brushed this aside, and claimed that Renamo is stronger than ever in Nacala. He even boasted that Frelimo members are secret Renamo sympathizers. “Most of them have Frelimo cards to keep their jobs, but ideologically they’re with Renamo”, he said.