Maputo — An election campaign brigade from Mozambique's main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, headed by the president of the Renamo Women's League, Francisca Sabao, on Friday visited the bridge over the Revobue river in Tete province, seriously damaged by floods in March, and attacked the government for its failure to rebuild the bridge.
The bridge is on a main road from Tete city to the town of Moatize. The March floods made it dangerous to use the bridge, and so the Tete provincial government banned all traffic from the bridge. Pedestrians can still use the bridge, and so people going from Tete to Moatize take a minibus to the Tete side of the bridge, walk across, and catch another minibus on the other side.
"Does this make sense?", asked Sabao. "Since the bridge was damaged by the floods its rehabilitation hasn't been finished. Aren't the people here suffering? We came here to tell you: open your eyes! Vote for Renamo, so that our candidate, Ricardo Tomas, governs Tete province, and our leader Ossufo Momade becomes President of this country".
She thought it was lamentable that six months had passed since the floods and there was still no normal circulation of people and goods across the bridge. "Vote for Renamo", she urged, "since Renamo has a policy for governance which favours Mozambicans. When we win, we shall build infrastructures resilient to natural disasters, so that the people do not suffer, as is happening here in Tete".
Rehabilitation work on the bridge is under way, and the authorities hope that, by the end of September light vehicles at least will be able to use the bridge.
The candidate for Tete governor of the second opposition party, the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), Carlos Chataica, speaking to voters in the Josina Machel neighbourhood of Tete city, promised that, if the MDM wins the election, farmers will no longer have to depend on short-handled hoes. They will be replaced by tractors, he promised, since the MDM would bank on mechanised agriculture, to increase the area under cultivation and agricultural productivity.
"Every year we talk about hunger, but the MDM wants to eliminate this through agricultural mechanisation", he said. "If you bank on the MDM, you will see everything change for the better".
He accused the current government of not creating the conditions to promote agriculture. "Peasants always complain that their crops rot in barns for lack of buyers", said Chataica, "and the few people who do intervene in agricultural marketing complain of the degraded state of the access roads".
"The MDM will solve these problems", he promised. "Don't forget the MDM on 15 October. Hang on to your voter cards so that you don't lose the possibility of voting for the MDM, for good governance in the country.