Mozambique: Quelimane Mayor Claims Frelimo Wants to Start a New War

Maputo — The mayor of the central Mozambican city of Quelimane, Manuel de Araujo, on Wednesday accused the ruling Frelimo Party of “poisoning the country’ in order to start a new war.

On his return to Quelimane after trips abroad, Araujo was given a rapturous welcome by an enormous crowd that filled the streets of the city.

He suggested that Frelimo wants war because Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi “stole, and because he stole, he has to be judged in trials in New York and in London’.

Araujo was referring to trials arising out of the scandal of Mozambique’s “hidden debts’. But in fact Nyusi has not been charged with anything in either New York or London.

The person facing trial in New York is Manuel Chang, who was Finance Minister under Nyusi’s predecessor as President, Armando Guebuza. Chang was one of the senior Mozambican officials bribed by the Abu Dhabi-based group, Privinvest.

In London, it is Privinvest that is in the dock, and its attempts to drag Nyusi into the trial have come to nothing. A London High Court judge, Robin Knowles accepted that, as a sitting head of state, Nyusi enjoys immunity from prosecution.

Araujo claimed, without offering evidence, that “Frelimo uses our ambassadors abroad to lie and to protect Nyusi. Ambassadors of other countries who are here in Mozambique do not send information about what is happening here and because, as opposition parties, we do not hve diplomatic representations, we are at a disadvantage’.

He attacked the governments of Portugal, Italy and France for their silence in the face of the 11 October municipal election results, widely regarded as fraudulent. These governments, he claimed, are more interested in exploiting the natural gas reserves off the coast of the northern province of Cabo Delgado.

Nonetheless, Araujo was convinced that “the international community today knows that the Frelimo government consists of Mafiosi and thieves, and does not defend democracy’.

He claimed that the government “has been captured by drug traffickers, and so it does not obey the law, and does not respect the Constitution, much less the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’.

Araujo said he had information that death squads have been sent to Quelimane to assassinate him and the Renamo musician Joel Amaral, whose song “Trufafa’, has become a major hit among young supporters of the opposition.

Araujo declared that future struggles will be fought, not in the Mozambican bush, but in the cities, because “we know where they work and where they live and, if necessary, each of us will go to their houses or their workplaces to seek justice and the restoration of the votes cast for Renamo’.

The mayor still hopes that the Constitutional Council, the country’s highest body in matters of constitutional and electoral law, will accept Renamo’s appeals against the election results – but, if it does not, “the party should immediately call an emergency session of the Renamo National Council (a much larger body than the Political Commission) to discuss the next steps that Renamo should take’. Decisions taken by the National Council should be binding on all Renamo members throughout the country.

Araujo also called for the sacking of the chairperson of the National Elections Commission (CNE), Anglican Bishop Carlos Matsinhe, both from the CNE and from his bishopric, “because he has no ethics, no values and does not fear God’.

“The same man cannot serve God by day and the Devil by night’, Araujo declared.