Dhlakama Boasts That Renamo Will Rule Niassa (

Afonso Dhlakama, leader of Mozambique’s main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, on Thursday boasted that Renamo will take control of the northernmost province of Renamo – even though this is one of the provinces which was won by the ruling Frelimo Party in the general election held last October.
Speaking in the district of Mecanhelas, on the final day of his tour of Niassa, Dhlakama promised that he would include the province in his plan to set up “autonomous regions”.
At the rally, filmed by the independent television station STV, Dhlakama was faced by a woman claiming to represent Renamo supporters in the district, who declared “we strongly reject the Frelimo government.Mecanhelas belongs to Renamo”.
She is right in the sense that Mecanhelas did vote heavily in support of Renamo and of Dhlakama in the October elections. But the province as a whole did not. In the Presidential election the Frelimo candidate, Filipe Nyusi, beat Dhlakama by 48.5 to 44.4 per cent (with the remaining 7.1 per cent of the vote going to the third candidate, Daviz Simango of the Mozambique Democratic Movment, MDM). In the parliamentary election, Frelimo won 50.7 per cent in Niassa, and Renamo only 40.7 per cent.
Nonetheless, Dhlakama insisted that Renamo will rule all of Niassa. “We shall govern Niassa! We shall govern Mecanhelas!”, he told the crowd.
“Frelimo is not a party”, he claimed. “It’s a group of bandits, a group of assassins!”
He said he was referring not only to the murder of constitutional lawyer Gilles Cistac in Maputo on Tuesday, but “many others have been killed”. He mentioned in particular the murder of economist Antonio Siba-Siba Macuacua in 2001, and of investigative journalist Carlos Cardoso in 2000.
While it is true that nobody has ever been arrested for the Siba-Siba murder, Dhlakama seems to have forgotten that three member death squad that killed Cardoso, and the three business figures who ordered the assassination were arrested, and sentenced to long prison terms in a highly publicized trial in late 2002 and early 2003.
“I am not intimidated”, Dhlakama declared, promising to see though his plan for “autonomous regions”.
A Renamo bill setting up “autonomous provinces” is supposed to be debated at the next sitting of the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic. It has not yet been deposited with the Assembly, and so far nobody knows exactly what it contains.
Source: Business