Maputo — The administrator of the central Mozambican district of Gorongosa, Paulo Majacunene, has dismissed as groundless claims by Manuel Bissopo, general secretary of the main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, that the government intends to sabotage a cell phone mast in the district.
Last week, at a press conference in Beira, Bissopo alleged that the government planned to send in security forces to knock down a mast belonging to the cell phone operator Movitel in the Vunduzi administrative post.
The Renamo base at Satunjira, where Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama is currently living, is in Vanduzi. The mast would be destroyed, Bissopo claimed, to deprive Dhlakama of his ability to communicate, and thus isolate him.
Cited in the Beira daily paper “Diario de Mocambique”, Majacunene said it would make no sense for the government to destroy a facility that was serving the entire population of Vanduzi and other parts of Gorongosa.
Furthermore, the mast, located in an area called Mucosa, is still only operating experimentally. Majacunene said the reason it is not yet fully operational is the presence of armed Renamo men in the vicinity, who have scared off construction workers.
“If this equipment is still at the experimental stage, the fault lies with the presence of Renamo's armed men. They have ensured that the company hired by Movitel is not going out there, because it fears it will come under attack”, he said.
Majacunene could not understand why the government should wish to sabotage the mast, when Renamo itself was preventing it from operating to the full.
“Because of the activities of the armed men, the assembling of the mast was interrupted several times”, he said. “We persuaded the company to resume its activities and that allowed the Mucosa mast to enter its experimental phase”.
“Situations of this sort are hindering the development of Vanduzi, of Gorongosa and of Sofala province”, declared Majacunene.