Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Monday described the county's former Prime Minister, Mario Machungo, as a professional committed to the struggle for "justice, freedom and equality, and a staunch defender of the political and economic independence of Mozambique".
Giving the eulogy at Machungo's official funeral, in Maputo City Hall, Nyusi said the government had followed closely his long fight against illness, for which he was being treated in Lisbon, but eventually, on 17 February, his life slipped away.
Nyusi recalled Machungo's "selfless commitment to his work and to the cause of the Mozambican people. His personality and grandeur of soul are lessons that will remain enrooted among us".
He recalled how, in his student days, Machungo had been not only dedicated to his studies, but also a committed clandestine militant of the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo). He had been the coordinator of Frelimo's clandestine network in Lisbon, and continued this work when he returned to Mozambique, prior to the country's independence.
Machungo's qualities, Nyusi continued, were recognised by his fellow Frelimo militants, who gave him "delicate missions" in the student movement which was then fighting against colonial rule.
He praised Machungo for his work in the post-independence governments led by Presidents Samora Machel and Joaquim Chissano, culminating in the post of Prime Minister which he held from 1986 to 1994, and for training other economists as a lecturer in Mozambican universities.
"Masters are known not only by their work", said Nyusi, "but by the image they reflect among those whom they helped to train - including pupils, colleagues, friends and all others with whom they shared experiences. Machungo left an undying civil and moral inheritance to all of them".
Joaquim Chissano told reporters that Machungo "always complied with his duty to serve the people", and his contribution sets an example to future generations.
"Physically, he has gone, but he has left us his legacy", said the former President. "He gave a great deal to the country. He was somebody who knew how to work in a collective, and he thus made a noteworthy contribution".