Maputo — President Armando Guebuza on Friday encouraged Mozambicans “to transform challenges into opportunities” and criticized those ‘who spend their entire lives moaning”.
Speaking to representatives of Mozambican communities in the diaspora, Guebuza said “there are some people - fortunately not many of them - who live on whining. They are always moaning”.
These were people, he continued, “who, when they have one loaf, say ‘look, I've only got one loaf!'. If they've got two loaves, they say ‘I've only got two loaves, I ought to have more'. If they have four loaves, they say ‘the loaves they gave me are too small'. They're always moaning”.
To Guebuza, this attitude showed a lack of self-esteem and of pride. “Even faced with victories, they moan, he said. “There's no self-esteem. They don't take pride in what they do. Who else is going to value it?”
Guebuza stressed this was not the attitude of the families who suffered from the floods in January and February this year that struck parts of southern and central Mozambique. “Inspired in their capacity of transforming challenges into opportunities, our people, under the leadership of the government, set out to rebuild their lives”, he said. “They didn't moan. They wept, but then they rolled up their sleeves and got to work”.
Guebuza said that many achievements had been made this year, which meant that “today is better than yesterday, strengthening our hope that tomorrow will be still better than today, with each one of us contributing”.
Turning to the mineral resource boom in Mozambique, Guebuza warned that the discovery of minerals was not in itself development, but the promise of development to come. “This promise can be seen from the positive initial impacts that the implementation of the mega projects for exploiting these resources has generated”, he said.
But he warned “there are many people who want to drink the water before they have dug the well. Instead of picking up a hoe and a spade and digging the well because there's water there, they say: Where's the water? Where is it? They don't see the water. And they know that whenever we talk - particularly when we talk loudly - we are losing liquids, we need yet more water, but we are not working to bring the water to the surface”.
He urged Mozambicans living abroad to continue bearing the message “that the Mozambican people is peaceful and wants peace. And the Mozambican people believes that through dialogue differences are confronted. From this arises the spark which will ensure that we can advance consensually to defeat poverty, and to begin living by using the human and material resources the country possesses”.
The representatives of the Mozambican communities abroad said they are concerned about the attacks by armed gangs of the former rebel movement Renamo in the central province of Sofala which “are sowing sorrow and mourning in the Mozambican family” and put at risks “all the development the country has been experiencing”.
Natalina Afonso, speaking in the name of all the communities of Mozambican emigrants, said their decision to seek better living and working conditions abroad did not mean any break with their home country.
“The remittances we have been sending, small though they may be, are regular”, she said. “They help the family and, directly or indirectly, they irrigate the economy, assisting the development of our areas of origin, where we dream of returning”.