Zitamar Daily Briefing, 4 May 2018
Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 4 May, 2018.
- Today: Body of Afonso Dhlakama arrives in Beira
- Today: Private business association CTA signs an MoU with Sasol over helping local companies win contracts on Sasol’s projects
The latest from Zitamar News:
Mozambique’s iconic rebel leader Afonso Dhlakama dead at 65
The Renamo leader died while preparing to fly to South Africa to receive medical treatment – leaving his party and his country in deep uncertainty.
The best of the rest:
Filipe Nyusi full of regret over Dhlakama death (TVM, VoA, DW, Notícias, Savana)
President Filipe Nyusi told state television yesterday that he wasn’t told of the seriousness of Afonso Dhlakama’s ill health in time to evacuate him to receive the treatment he needed. “I’m very depressed, profoundly shocked, because they didn’t give me time to act,” he said. He called Dhlakama a “brother”, and a “citizen who worked for Mozambique, and that’s it.” Nobody should try and take advantage of his passing, Nyusi said.
Nyusi’s mourning is surely genuine – he has devoted the first term of his presidency to trying to build a lasting peace, built on a personal relationship and understanding between him and Dhlakama.
Dhlakama death leaves Renamo rudderless (Savana)
Savana editor Fernando Gonçalves writes in a four-page supplement today that Dhlakama “leaves a Renamo where the question of succession was always treated as taboo,” so his death leaves “an absence of clarity over the future of the party.” Dhlakama’s leadership style, Gonçalves says, “never made clear the existence of anyone inside the party who could be considered close to the leader and capable of assuming with authority all the pending issues.”
It is notable that the most charismatic opposition figures that remain are in the MDM – in particular its leader Daviz Simango, and Quelimane mayor Manuel de Araujo, both former Renamo men. Dhlakama’s habit of forcing out anyone who could have been a threat to him has left his party without any obvious replacement.
Personalities mourn Dhlakama (O País)
Daviz Simango, the mayor of Beira who left Renamo to form the MDM after falling out with Dhlakama in 2008, said there is no doubt that Dhlakama is a “national hero”, whose death is a tragedy. The President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, called Dhlakama a “privileged interlocutor in the ways of dialogue, peace, and agreement.” Dom Cláudio Dalla Zuanna, Archbishop of Beira, said Dhlakama was an “indispensable figure” but said Renamo would continue without him.
Rahil Khan takes vacant Renamo spot on the Council of State (MediaFax, Rádio Moçambique)
The Council of State, an advisory body to the president made up of members of parliament, will now include Renamo MP Rahil Khan who fills the seat of Jeremias Pondeca who was murdered in Maputo in November 2016. At the time of his death, Pondeca was one of Renamo’s peace negotiators.
Six-year-old child killed by soldier’s stray bullet (O País)
A six-year-old child called Joaquim Flate Mangwazi was killed by a stray bullet flying out of an army barracks in the neighbourhood of Sidlhwava, Maputo province. Locals say stray bullets are a regular occurrence and the authorities have done nothing to stop the phenomenon despite residents’ protests.
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