NAMARROI, MOZAMBIQUE– Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi hopes to conclude the peace negotiations between the government and the Renamo rebels before the municipal elections scheduled for Oct 10 this year.

Speaking at a meeting in Namarroi district Tuesday with hundreds of young people from across the central province of Zambezia, Nyusi said: We hope any obstacle will be overcome, because we cannot continue spending a long time talking. Also, the people with whom I am engaged in a dialogue must be available at any time.”

Nyusi agreed with those members of his audience who told him they wanted all aspects of the decentralisation package and the demobilisation of the Renamo militia concluded before the local elections so that the right to vote can be exercised without any fear.

Nyusi said the discussions he had held with the late Renamo leader, Afonso Dhlakama, prior to the latter’s death on May 3, were very advanced” and he thought the matter could be closed by the end of this month.

He was now in a phase of what he called contexualisation with the new leadership of Renamo, headed by the party’s interim co-ordinator, Ossufo Momade.

He said decentralisation, which involves the election of provincial governors and district administrators, goes hand in hand with disarming the Renamo militia and integrating its members back into society. You can’t advance just with decentralisation. The goal of Mozambicans is not just to govern a province, a district or a municipality. It is for us to live in peace, an effective peace, he added.

For Nyusi, decentralisation would make no sense, if Renamo’s forces were still armed. I am fully in agreement that efforts should be made to secure tranquillity, so that we can build the democracy we want,” he declared.

The meeting with the youths was part of a four day working visit which Nyusi is making to Zambezia Province.