3 March 2016

Southern Africa: MP Says Renamo Recruiting Zimbabwean Youths From His Constituency

Photo: DW
Afonso Dhlakama

Nyanga — Mozambican opposition, Renamo, is reportedly recruiting hungry Zimbabwean youths who live near the border to join its military wings as tension between the ruling Frelimo and the former rebel group reach boiling point.

Renamo leader, Alfonso Dhlakama, is accusing Frelimo of rigging recent polls, claiming victory in some northern provinces such as Manica,Tete and Inhambane.

Since then, hostilities have continued with Renamo rebels ambushing some police and army camps.

Speaking during a Parliament session this week, Nyanga North legislator, Hubert Nyanhongo, said there were reports from his constituency that Renamo was recruiting some unemployed youths from the border areas as it prepares for an offensive against government forces.

"We heard that Renamo is busy recruiting some youths to join its ranks. We would like to know what the Ministry of Defence is doing to counter this move. We want government to protect our youths from joining Renamo," said Nyanhongo.

Buhera MP, Joseph Chinotimba, also asked on the state of preparedness by the army to deal with Renamo rebellion.

Chinotimba said he was concerned for the citizens who live near the borders as well as the Beira Corridor pipeline which transport oil from Beira port.

Minister of Defence, Sydney Sekeramayi, said the government was not going to fold its hands when it was certain its interests in Mozambique were under threat.

He said government was closely following events in Mozambique.

"Mozambican government should be the first to deal with Renamo rebellion. When our interests are tampered with we will definitely react and we will notify the government there," said Sekeramayi.

But Chinotimba was adamant, saying it was not wise for government to adopt a wait and see approach.

"I know what is happening in Mozambique but do we have to wait until the Beira Corridor is attacked then take action?" said Chinotimba.

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