Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Monday urged all citizens to reflect on the causes of the alarmingly high number of traffic accidents on Mozambican roads, which are taking a serious toll on lives and property.
He was speaking to reporters in Maputo immediately after laying a wreath at the Monument to the Mozambican Heroes, in a ceremony marking the 53rd anniversary of the launch of the armed struggle for Mozambique's independence from Portuguese colonial rule on 25 September 1964.
Lethal accidents, often involving passenger vehicles and heavy trucks, are becoming commonplace. This past weekend two major accidents occurred in Maputo and Tete provinces, causing the deaths of 25 people and injuring dozens of others.
"The vehicles belong to us, we are the drivers, we are the passengers, and we are the ones who cross the roads", stressed Nyusi. He could not see any justification for the current levels of carnage on the roads.
The situation demanded an attitude of greater responsibility. "We cannot continue watching citizens lose their lives, their property, parts of their bodies, because some Mozambicans are irresponsible", said Nyusi. "We call on people to denounce those who do not respect the lives of Mozambicans".
As if to ram home Nyusi's point about irresponsibility, at much the same time as he was speaking the police arrested a motorist in central Maputo who had just rammed his car into three parked vehicles on Patrice Lumumba Avenue, causing serious damage, but fortunately no loss of life. The man was drunk and admitted to falling asleep at the wheel.
Turning to military issues, Nyusi repeated what he had said the previous day, at a ceremony where military medals were awarded at the General Staff Headquarters. The current dynamics of the country, he insisted, required greater flexibility and adaptation from the Mozambican Armed Forces (FADM).
In the same way that the military adapt to the theatre of operations, he said, "it is time to adapt with the same flexibility to the changes which are taking place inside the national territory. We are continuing to hold a dialogue with the various forces of civil society, and with the largest opposition party (Renamo) in order to achieve effective peace".