Maputo — The General Secretary of Mozambique's ruling Frelimo Party, Roque Silva, told reporters on Monday he is confident that the Frelimo candidate, Amisse Cololo, will win the second round of the mayoral by-election in the northern city of Nampula, scheduled for 14 March.
Speaking after the inauguration of the Frelimo library in Maputo City, he declared “we are sure of our victory, even with the MDM supporting Renamo”.
In the first round, on 24 January, no candidate received over 50 per cent of the vote. This forced a run-off between Cololo, who won 44.51 per cent, and the second placed candidate, Paulo Vahanle, of the rebel movement Renamo, who took 40.32 per cent.
The candidate of the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), Carlos Saide, came a poor third, with 10.1 per cent. The MDM has announced that it is supporting Vahanle in the second round.
The by-election was precipitated by the assassination of the previous mayor, Mahamudo Amurane, on 4 October - a crime for which no-one has so far been arrested. Amurane was elected on the MDM ticket in 2013, but subsequently a serious rift developed between Amurane and the MDM leadership, particularly over the fight against corruption.
Several figures closely associated with Amurane have announced their support for Cololo. On Sunday several of the city councillors and heads of Nampula administrative posts appointed by Amurane were campaigning for Frelimo, knocking on doors to drum up support for Cololo.
The head of the mayor's office, Faizal Ibramugy, told voters that Cololo is the candidate who could continue the work begun by Amurane.
The library inauguration is part of a two day tour of Maputo City by Roque Silva, who said he wants to know the situation of his party in the capital.
“What matters is not internal challenges”, he said. “Frelimo exists it is a platform to solve the problems of the community”.
He said he also intended to show the public “the efforts our President (Nyusi) has been making in his contacts with the leader of Renamo (Afonso Dhlakama)”.
Silva added that he would visit the families affected by the collapse of part of the municipal rubbish dump in the neighbourhood of Hulene, in which seven houses were destroyed and 18 people killed.