Mozambique: Nyusi Calls for Mass Voter Turnout

Maputo — Tete (Mozambique), 24 Sep (AIM) - Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Monday called for a massive turnout at the general and provincial elections scheduled for 15 August, as the only way to avoid "mutterings and noises" about the results.

Speaking at an election rally in the western city of Tete, he claimed that the "mutterings" about the results of last year's municipal elections were due to the low turnout.

"To avoid this, we must ensure a trouncing with a score of five-zero. Then there will be no doubt", he said.

Referring to the Frelimo election slogan "with you it will be all right", Nyusi said the pronoun should refer not just to him, but to all Mozambicans. "It's not only with me that it will be all right", he stressed. "Each one of us should feel part of governance, by guaranteeing votes for Frelimo and its candidate".

"With all these people present here voting", he told the crowd, "I am sure there will be no more murmuring after the elections".

Nyusi said the will of the electorate to vote for him and for Frelimo had been clear since he started his campaign, on 31 August, in Sofala province (regarded as a stronghold of the opposition).

In a clear reference to the campaign of the main opposition party, Renamo, he criticised those who promised to distribute tractors and to raise wages, challenging them to explain where the money would come from.

"Who is going to give a tractor to every Mozambican?", he asked, "Why do they lie like this?"

Nyusi said that the "Sustenta" programme launched by his government was a realistic way to promote agricultural mechanisation. It was an example of how he and Frelimo intend to encourage work to pull Mozambique out of its current external dependence.

"Sustenta" was launched in 2017, with World Bank funding, initially in ten districts in Nampula and Zambezia provinces. It is designed to encourage agricultural production by smallholder farmers, increasing their income and allowing them to gain access to markets. It is predicted that some of its beneficiaries will become large scale commercial farmers.

This programme was launched in Ribaue district in Nampula, and Nyusi said it has already led in that district to an increase in agricultural production from 350,000 to 900,000 tonnes a year.

"We shall facilitate investment in agriculture, supporting the mechanisation of production and agricultural marketing", he promised.

He added that, thanks to the encouragement given to agriculture, products from the fertile Tete districts of Angonia and Tsangano, such as potatoes and tomatoes, are now supplying the chains of supermarkets that operate in Mozambique.

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