Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Wednesday urged young people not to be deceived by false promises of jobs from individuals whose real purpose is to recruit youths into the ranks of the armed groups fighting against government forces in parts of northern and central Mozambique.
Since October 2017, an insurgency inspired by Islamic fundamentalism has been murdering and beheading civilians and destroying villages in the northern province of Cabo Delgado. More recently, gunmen believed to be from the "Renamo Military Junta", a breakaway from the main opposition party, Renamo, have been ambushing vehicles on the roads in the central provinces of Manica and Sofala.
Nyusi was reacting to the announcement by the police a week ago that they had arrested six supporters of the Junta, who claimed to be have been recruiting youngsters in Zambezia province.
Speaking in the Zambezia town of Alto Molocue, where he had inaugurated a new water system, Nyusi advised young people to keep their distance from armed groups, and to dedicate themselves to honest work.
There are individuals, Nyusi said, "who deceive young people, saying 'let's go, I'll give you a job'. But real jobs aren't agreed in the bush, at night. People who really have jobs to offer announce them publicly".
He issued the same warning earlier in the day, in Maganja da Costa district. "You are being deceived", Nyusi said, "and if you accept these proposals, you will be spending the rest of your lives in the bush".
The new water system in Maganja da Costa provides drinking water for 35,000 people, and should put an end to chronic water shortages in this municipality. The old system in the town suffered a catastrophic breakdown in 1991. Since then most of the population has depended ion unprotected, traditional wells.
Nyusi urged the residents of Maganja da Costa to be vigilant against anyone who attempted to sabotage the new system (by stealing sections of the piping, for instance).
He added that the system could be expanded to increase its capacity. "As the population increases, if more water is needed, large reservoirs can be built, to increase the storage capacity".
In Alto Molocue, before Wednesday's inauguration, only 7,000 people, out of the 62,000 inhabitants of the town had access to clean drinking water. The new system brings water to a further 13,000 people.
Prior to Nyusi switching on the new system, many of the residents of Alto Molocue depended on the Molocue river for their water.
Taken together, the Maganja da Costa and Alto Molocue systems cost the Mozambican state and its partners more than 300 million meticais (about 4.8 million US dollars).