Maputo — Morrumbala (Mozambique), 10 Sep (AIM) - Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Monday urged fighters of the former rebel movement Renamo in the central province of Zambezia to join the demobilisation and disarmament of the Renamo militia that he agreed with Renamo leader Ossufo Momade in the peace agreement signed on 6 August.
Speaking in Morrumbala district, where Renamo has its main military base in Zambezia, Nyusi said there is no reason for any further delay in demobilising what are referred to as Renamo's "residual forces" and integrating them into Mozambican society.
"Come on!", the President exclaimed at an election rally. "Don't waste time, and join in this process".
Morrumbala is known as an area where there is strong Renamo support, and Nyusi clearly thought it likely that some of the Renamo "residual forces" might be attending the rally. (Indeed, some of those at the rally pointed to people believed to be former Renamo fighters, but who were now wearing Frelimo election T-shirts).
Nyusi said that, by handing in their names for demobilisation, the Renamo guerrillas would open up the possibility for improving their lives. He stressed that there is neutral supervision of the demobilisation which will ensure full compliance with the agreement he signed with Momade.
Furthermore, the amnesty law recently passed by the country's parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, guaranteed that nobody will be prosecuted for crimes committed during the Renamo insurrection.
He urged the Renamo fighters "not to be deceived by others who are enjoying life at the cost of your suffering in the bush".
Nyusi guaranteed that he is working with "our brothers in Renamo" to ensure the success of the demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration, stressing that "this is a peaceful process".
He also urged his listeners to vote massively for him and for the ruling Frelimo Party, so that they could complete the tasks begun over the previous five years. "We had war, and so we didn't do all we wanted", he said, "So we are asking you to vote for us, in order not to hold up the development of Morrumbala".
Frelimo's goal, he said, was to transform Morrumbala town into a municipality and later into a city.
"Open your eyes", he urged, "because the people of Morrumbala have often been deceived. Let's vote en masse for Frelimo, so that the laws are approved and so that Pio Matos (the Frelimo candidate) becomes governor of Zambezia province".
Later in the day, Nyusi addressed a rally in Milange district. Here too he asked the electorate to give him the opportunity to complete he had begun when he took office in January 2015.
His first five year term, he said, had been one of "house cleaning" and of "preparing the ground" for the challenges of governance.
"Right at the start we had problems", he continued. "We faced the financial crisis and the cyclones. We said we were banking on peace, and we achieved it".
Although peace remained a priority, if he won the presidential election he would concentrate in the next five years on work and employment, including fiscal incentives for companies providing young Mozambicans with their first jobs.
He told the voters of Milange that, if they repeat the "mistake" they committed in the 2014 general elections, when they mostly did not vote for Frelimo, they should not complain later that they did not have roads, or lacked investment.