Maputo — Daviz Simango, leader of the opposition Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), on Sunday appointed Jose Domingos Manuel as the party's new general secretary.
He was appointed general secretary during a meeting in Beira of the MDM National Council. He is a founder member of the MDM and is Councillor for the Environment on Beira Municipal Council.
He replaces Luis Boavida, who had held the job since 2011. Boavida told reporters he left the post with a sense of “mission accomplished”. He had not volunteered for a further term of office because of “tiredness”.
“The MDM has many cadres”, he said. “It's a large party, and so it's justified that new people enter the secretariat and take up the challenge. So my departure was consensual”.
In his first speech after his appointment, Domingos said the major challenge the MDM must face is the forthcoming elections, starting with the municipal elections scheduled for 10 October.
“We are in an electoral period, and as you all know, in democracy we have to work”, he stressed. “We shall work in order to advance and to win in as many municipalities as possible and perhaps win the national government next year”.
A new MDM Political Commission emerged from the meeting. Of the 11 members, only four were also members of the outgoing Commission. Among the new members of the Political Commission are Boavida and Carlos Saide, the MDM candidate for mayor of the northern city of Nampula who lost in the recent by-election.
In his speech closing the meeting, Simango declared that the MDM “as a party of the centre-right, in the Mozambican context must be the key to democracy and to development”.
In the municipalities where it governed, the MDM, he continued, “has shown that it is a strong and sustainable political party with the capacity to represent citizens and to offer political choices which demonstrate its capacity to govern for the public good”.
The MDM “should promote transparency and responsibility”, urged Simango. It should work for “balance in the relations between the executive, legislative and judicial powers, making them more professional, responsible, open and at the service of our citizens”.
He stressed that the MDM must mobilise funds to face the challenges ahead, and must commit itself to party discipline and to consolidating the party's administration.
“We must have firm convictions”, urged Simango. “Only thus will the MDM continue to be a promising party, and the hope of the Mozambican people. We must educate and guide all party members so that they keep in mind the party's principles, and raise the motivation of our militants”.
Simango warned that the information received from the MDM's Central Elections Office indicated that the current national voter registration, which lasts until 17 May, is going far too slowly. There was thus a risk that many eligible citizens would thus fail to register before the deadline and would be unable to vote in October.
The MDM's party machine, he said, “must hold voter education campaigns and must organise programmes to monitor the elections”,