Maputo — Mozambique's First Lady, Maria da Luz Guebuza, on Saturday, in a clear reference to the main opposition party, Renamo, warned against those who threaten a return to war, and to divide the country and the people.
Speaking at a rally in the northern city of Nampula, she said that, after having accepted so many sacrifices to achieve their independence, Mozambicans could not accept any further destruction.
“We do not want the division of the country, much less a war”, she said. “We want to live in peace and harmony, and to produce freely, so that we can develop our country without any kind of disturbance”.
She was pleased to note rising levels of agricultural production in Nampula, but noted that the levels achieved are still not sufficient to meet all the needs. “So that we can produce enough to feed the entire country, we must remain at peace”, she stressed.
At the rally, Guebuza once again condemned the premature marriages that are common in Nampula. People who are 16, or even 20 years old should be studying, not getting married, she declared.
She urged parents to attend literacy programmes, and not to encourage their children to embark on premature marriages.
Such early marriages, she said, weaken women and worsen poverty.
“In Mozambique there are still high levels of illiteracy, particularly among women”, Guebuza added, “but the government is establishing conditions for people to study. Let's respond to those initiatives by participating in literacy and adult education programmes”.
That appeal, she said, extended to community leaders and to members of AMETRAMO (Association of Mozambican Traditional Doctors) because only if they know how to read and write will they fully understand the projects they approve as members of the local consultative councils.
“There is no reason why any young person should be illiterate in Mozambique after all the efforts the government has made to eradicate illiteracy since independence in 1975”, she declared.
But at the rally literacy workers in Nampula complained that they have not been paid their allowances for the last six months. The First Lady found the same complaint from literacy workers when she visited Mozambique Island, on the Nampula coast, last week.