Mozambique: Frelimo Hijacks 25 September Ceremonies

In many places across the country today, Frelimo turned ceremonies for 25 September into party rallies. Today (25 September) is the anniversary of the first shot of the independence war in Chai, Cabo Delgado, in 1964, and is Armed Forces Day.

In Nampula city, Frelimo supporters flocked to Heroes' Square dressed in party t-shirts and capulanas. However, MDM supporters with posters and T-shirts from their party were banned from attending the event during a speech by Provincial Governor Victor Borges. He spoke only to Frelimo members and supporters, our correspondents report. Only after the speech were MDM supporters allowed to attend the ceremony.

But Frelimo did not dominate everywhere. In Manhica district, Maputo province, Frelimo and MDM supporters both showed up at the official ceremonies on September 25 with t-shirts from their parties. SISE (security service) district director in Manhica, Helder Guilambe, appealed to MDM's campaign director not to campaign at the site. But MDM refused and both parties remained during the ceremony.

In many other places, government officials turned the 25 September ceremonies into Frelimo rallies. In Ibo, Cabo Delgado, people were told to vote for Frelimo during the ceremonies. Several state officials were present wearing Frelimo T-shirts, our correspondents report.

The same scenario was repeated in the Nacarôa and Mecuburi districts, Nampula. Frelimo supporters went to the main square dressed in Frelimo t-shirts, and no other party was present at the ceremonies today.

In Maputo city, Frelimo militants and supporters in party shirts, caps and capulanas participated in the commemoration of 25 of September in Combatants Square next to the Xikhelene market, our correspondents reported.

In Mabalane, Gaza, most of the people who came to the square for the 25th ceremonies were also dressed in Frelimo T-shirts and capulanas. The same was true in the Homoine, Inhambane, where Frelimo supporters participated in the Armed Forces Day march with flags from their party.

In Inhassunge district, Zambezia, the first secretary of the Frelimo district committee appealed to local people to vote for Frelimo and Filipe Nyusi during the 25th of September celebrations.

'We will not surrender power'

Frelimo will continue to govern the country at all cost, said Gondola, Manica, District Administrator Moguen Candieiro. “We will not surrender power”, he told the population during the Armed Forces Day ceremony. Candieiro mocked the opposition parties and called on people to vote for Frelimo..

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