Mozambique: MDM Accuses Frelimo of Sabotage

Mayor of Beira Daviz Simango (file photo)

Maputo — The leader of the opposition Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) and mayor of Beira, Daviz Simango, has accused the ruling Frelimo Party of sabotaging the MDM's political work.

Interviewed by the German agency DW Africa, Simango said Frelimo has effectively banned the MDM from holding meetings in the southern city of Inhambane.

The MDM had wanted to hold a meeting in Inhambane on 20 September (last Saturday), but none of the hotels or other places with meeting rooms agreed to hire their premises out to the MDM. In one case, the MDM even paid the room hire, but then the owners of the establishment cancelled the event, telling the MDM they had been threatened "by the ruling political elite".

"I was shocked by this disgrace in Inhambane," said Simango. "I didn't understand how a political party which claims to be governing the country could coerce a business into not allowing the MDM to meet, even after it had received the money, using the allegation that it had been threatened".

One room did become available for the MDM, Simango added, but the price was inflated to seven times more than the normal charge for hiring a room.

Simango recalled that during the campaign for the 2019 general elections, MDM motorcades were obstructed on several occasions by Frelimo members and supporters. There can be no doubt about this, since the illegal behaviour of the Frelimo supporters was witnessed by reporters, including AIM.

The situation in Inhambane, said Simango, shows that "political intolerance" is continuing in Mozambique.

Simango was also concerned at the attacks in the central provinces of Manica and Sofala waged by the self-styled "Renamo Military Junta". He asked the government to begin negotiations with the Junta, and "to sit at the same table so that the fighters can feel integrated".

But the government has already negotiated a peace agreement with Renamo, signed in August 2019 by President Filipe Nyusi and Renamo leader Ossufo Momade. It can hardly be expected to tear that agreement up just because some ex-Renamo fighters call Momade "a traitor" and refuse to surrender their weapons.

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