CATANDICA, MOZAMBIQUE– Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has called on Mozambicans to honour the heroes of the Barue Revolt, which broke out exactly a century ago, in March 1917, for the courage, unity, determination and daring they had shown.

The revolt, sparked off by the Portuguese colonial regime’s demand for forced labour, erupted on March 27, 1917. Centred on what is now Barue district, in the central province of Manica, the rebels attacked Portuguese positions throughout the Zambezi Valley, and united several ethnic groups against the colonial occupying force. It took the Portuguese until 1920 to extinguish the flames of the revolt.

Nyusi on Tuesday inaugurated a monument in the Barue district capital, Catandica, to the Makombe, the most prominent of the traditional ruling families who led the revolt.

“Just like the people of Barue, we should revolt against everything that brings us disunity, against everything which prevents us from progressing economically and socially, and we should take control of the reins of our history. Let us be the masters of our own destiny,” said Nyusi.

He praised the heroes of the Barue Revolt for daring to fight against a much better equipped army, and never vacillating in their struggle.

“We are here to do justice to our own history. The dream of our ancestors was to see us all free. June 25, 1975 (the date of Mozambican independence) was the result of our wanting to be free and independent, an ideal that began right from the early days of the attempts to implant the Portuguese colonial system in Mozambique,” he said.

Thus the date of Mozambican independence was also “the day of the victory of the Barue Revolt”, he added.