THE HAGUE, Mozambican citizens residing in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg expressed satisfaction at the progress made in the dialogue to achieve peace in their home country.

In a message presented to President Filipe Nyusi on the final day of his official visit to Holland, the Mozambicans living in the three European Union member states praised Nyusi himself for his tireless commitment to the search for peace.

They expressed hope that the current truce declared by Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the Renamo rebels, will lead to a final agreement on cessation of hostilities so that our economy may be definitively re-launched.

The message, read out by Anifa Pereira, at a meeting between Nyusi and the Mozambicans in the Hague, encouraged the President and Dhlakama to continue cultivating the trust they have been building, transmitting, to all levels, the values of national unity, tolerance, reconciliation and the need for all Mozambicans to value what most unites us so as to eliminate differences for the benefit of the common good.

The diaspora also feels the pain of our relatives and of our fellow citizens in general who are facing one of the greatest economic and financial crises of recent times, she continued. Galloping inflation, extremely high interest rates, and the consequent loss of purchasing power are situations that affect aLl Mozambicans to a greater or lesser extent.

Turning to the scandal of the loans of over two billion US dollars to the security-related companies, Ematum (Mozambican Tuna Company), Proindicus and MAM (Mozambique Assets Management), that were illegally guaranteed by the previous government, under Nyusi’s predecessor, Armando Guebuza, the message attacked the mismanagement of financial resources and the violation of the Constitution and of the laws approved by democratically established institutions.

The Mozambicans resident in the Benelux countries said that the Ematum, Proindicus and MAM debts had shaken trust in the country’s democratic institutions and in the management of public affairs. They hoped that the audit of the three companies undertaken by the company Kroll Associates, generally recognised as one of the foremost forensic audit companies in the world, will lead to measures to strengthen confidence in Mozambican institutions, but above all to improve the mechanisms to plan, manage and monitor the economy.

They took the opportunity to protest at the customs barriers they face when they try to send goods back to Mozambique. They called on the government to encourage the diaspora to invest in Mozambique through measures to facilitate the obtaining of documents and licences, and tax exemptions on equipment sent for economic and humanitarian undertakings.

They also called for the installation of an office to issue Mozambican passports in at least one of the country’s European embassies.

These Mozambicans also wanted the right to vote. They suggested that in the next general elections a polling station be set up at the Mozambican embassy in Brussels. Currently the only European countries where Mozambican communities are deemed large enough to make it worthwhile to set up polling stations are Portugal and Germany.

Reacting to this message, Nyusi said that the main concern is to guarantee that Mozambicans live in peace, so that they can produce, since it makes no sense to continue living on the basis of foreign aid, when Mozambique has everything it needs to produce for its own self-sufficiency and to export a surplus.

He said that the armed conflict, natural disasters such as drought and floods, the world economic and financial crisis, and the low prices for some of Mozambique’s exports all had a direct impact on reducing the country’s rate of economic growth.

Giving his view of the hidden debts and the hiring of an independent auditor, Nyusi said we are waiting for the summary of the Kroll report, which will be public.

As for Renamo’s demand that it should govern the provinces where it won the largest number of votes in the 2014 general elections, Nyusi said that the matters under discussion between the government and Renamo will be submitted to the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic for a decision.

Decentralisation has already been happening, and it’s a continual process, preceded by rules which should be established before the game, and not during or after it, he said, adding that under no circumstances should the country be divided.

The current truce, he said, results from the fact that it makes no sense to negotiate peace, while people are still being killed. We must live in peace, and eliminate the word ‘war’ from our lives, Nyusi declared.