MAPUTO– The Mozambican government has granted Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the main opposition party, Renamo, an official funeral, says Government Spokesperson and the Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Ana Comoana.

The decision emerged from an extraordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers (Cabinet) held on Friday night, says Ana Comoana, who gave no detailsof the plans for the funeral, but adds that a government commission, headed by Justice Minister Isaque Chande, has been appointed to discuss all necessary support with the Dhlakama family and with Renamo, the country’s main opposition party.

The official funeral is not a favour, but is covered by the 2014 law on the rights and duties of the leader of the opposition which grants the person the right to an official funeral, with state honours.

Comoana also announced here over the weekend that in order to deal with the consequences of Dhlakama’s death, President Filipe Nyusi has postponed his planned State visits to Norway and Finland.

Media reports meanwhile say the Dhlakama family has announced that the funeral will take place Wednesday in Dhlakama’s birthplace, Mangunde in Chibabava district, in the central province of Sofala. Dhlakama’s father is the regulo (traditional chief) of Mangunde.

Renamo has so far said nothing about who will succeed Dhlakama as president of the party. The implications which Dhlakama’s death might have for the peace talks that he was holding with Nyusi are also currently unclear.

The Renamo Political Commission met in Beira on Friday and issued a call for calm and courage to Renamo members and to the public at large.

Dhlakama’s body was transported over land from the military base in Gorongosa district, where the Renamo leader had been living since late 2015, and arrived in Beira before dawn on Friday morning. The body is currently in the morgue at Beira Central Hospital.

The funeral ceremonies for Afonso Dhlakama, leader of Mozambique’s main opposition party, the rebel movement Renamo, who died on Thursday, will take place over two days, in the central city of Beira, and in his birthplace of Mangunde, in Chibabava district, according to Ossufo Momade, a former general secretary of Renamo.

He told the media in Beira on Saturday that the ceremonies would begin on Wednesday, when Dhlakama’s body will lie in state in Beira. The following day, the body will be taken to Mangunde, where Dhlakama will be buried. The Beira meeting chose Momade, who held the rank of general in the Renamo’s army, as co-ordinator of the party’s political commission until the next meeting of the Renamo national council, or until Renamo holds a congress.