Maputo — Mozambican president Filipe Nyusi on Sunday announced the launch of a movement to decorate all veterans of the national liberation struggle to free Mozambique from the Portuguese colonial rule.
Nyusi was speaking at the Monument to the Mozambican heroes in Maputo, at a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Eduardo Mondlane, the founder and first president of the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo), who is regarded as the creator of Mozambican nationalism, and the architect of national unity.
Nyusi said that the veterans will be awarded the medal "Veteran of the National Liberation Struggle" in what he called "a phased and careful manner."
He explained that this shows the commitment of the Mozambican people to render immortal the legacy of Eduardo Mondlane, and to value and honour the achievements of those who fought for independence.
"This medal has been won by each veteran" said Nyusi. "In launching this movement we are aware that this tribute symbolizes collective recognition by Mozambicans of their fellow countrymen who turned their blood and their sweat into indelible ink with which they wrote an historical landmark in our country."
"We know that we shall never compensate them for their efforts", he continued. "But we can be good followers of their ideas, we can listen to and use their advice, we can, through their example, develop the culture of hard work, we can and we should consolidate national unity and build values of patriotism and of peace."
"The conquest of national independence was a historic and heroic act of the people, which resulted from daring, courage, persistence and sacrifice including the loss of lives", declared the President. "We recognize and honour profoundly our fellow countrymen who, overcoming adverse situations and all manner of vicissitudes, gave all they could to restore our human dignity and our sovereignty".
Nyusi stressed that Mondlane had been a man of peace, who only embarked on armed struggle when the Portuguese colonial fascist government refused to negotiate Mozambican independence. Mondlane had always prioritized dialogue, said Nyusi, and he pledged that today his government will continue working for definitive peace and for the development of the country.