Muxúngue — Mozambican President, Filipe Nyusi, together with Chief (Regulo) Mangunde, father of Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama, on Friday released two white doves in the village of Muxungue, Chibabava district, in the central province of Sofala.
Renamo is the main opposition party in Mozambique.
The event took place in a rally held in the administrative post of Muxúngue, about 330 kilometres from the city of Beira, on the second of Nyusi's 3-day working visit to Sofala.
Chief Mangunde handed over two white doves to the Mozambican President who released them as gesture of peace, forgiveness and reconciliation, while receiving a big round of applause from the people in attendance.
The administrative post of Muxúngue, known for its huge potential for production of pineapple and cashew nuts, was during the low level insurgency in 2016 the stage of military incursions perpetrated by the armed men of Renamo. Muxungue suffered the direct impact of the instability which caused death, displacement of thousands of people and loss of properties.
The armed incursions also forced the Mozambican authorities to introduce convoys under armed escort on the main road north-south in the 100-kilometre stretch between Save and Muxungue.
Given the need to restore peace and reconciliation, Nyusi visited the district of Chibabava, Afonso Dhlakama's homeland, where he delivered a speech stressing the need for all Mozambicans to work for the restoration of a lasting peace.
"Peace is part of the project to create the well-being of Mozambicans," said Nyusi, pointing out that peace means absolute tranquillity, where people are free to think and, above all, to believe that peace is possible in Mozambique.
The rally with the population of Chibabava, said Nyusi, was blessed since it brought back the values that had been withdrawn from the social fabric by the climate of instability.
"War created death, wounded people and created instability among us.
People were afraid to talk to each other for fear of possible reprisals.
War created fear, so when we talk about peace, we do not just talk about the silence of the guns, but also about the end of our fears, "explained the president.
According to Nyusi, peace is only possible when there is social justice otherwise it will always prevail a troubled and hostile environment where people hate each other, all because there will be missing the fundamental elements for peace.
The president took notice of the concerns raised by Muxúngue residents who asked for secondary school with pre-university level, a paved road from Muxungue to the district capital, potable water, access to electricity and funds to finance youth initiatives.
Nyusi explained that the 5-year programme started in 2015 suffered a severe setback that forced the suspension of projects that were already underway. This was caused by the world economic recession on a global scale, which led to collapse of commodity prices, coupled with the severe drought that hit the central and southern regions of Mozambique and foods in the north.
All these events combined, explained Nyusi, forced the suspension of works to pave the 44-kilometres road from Muxúngue to the capital of Chibabava, of which 12 have already been completed.
Therefore, the government had to redirect the allocation of funds that were intended for the implementation of development programs, but with the restoration of peace there are good prospects that things will come back to normal.
On Saturday Nyusi will visit the districts of Buzi and Beira.