Mozambique: Frelimo Calls for Prosecution of Renamo and Dhlakama

Parliamentary deputies of Mozambique’s ruling Frelimo Party on Wednesday called on Attorney-General Beatriz Buchili to take action against the main opposition party, the rebel movement Renamo, and even to outlaw it.

During the debate on Buchili’s annual report on the state of justice to the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, Lucilia Nota Hama, who is a member of the Frelimo Political Commission, declared that Buchili’s office must take measures to hold Renamo criminally responsible for the death and destruction caused by the actions of its illegal militia.

The Mozambican constitution, she pointed out, forbids political parties from using force to change the political order. “Renamo is in gross violation of both the Constitution and the law on political parties”, she said. “The Attorney-General must take action against the crimes committed by Renamo and its leader (Afonso Dhlakama)”.

Hama urged Renamo to “take the path of peace and reconciliation”, by accepting unconditionally President Filipe Nyusi’s offer of face-to-face talks with Dhlakama.

Patricio M’pangai went further and called for Renamo to be banned. “Renamo is deliberately killing citizens, looting the goods of the population, and destroying social and economic infrastructures”, he said. “Renamo prevents schools from functioning in several parts of the centre of the country in a clear demonstration that it wants to plunge our country into pain and poverty”.

Renamo “is a criminal organization”, M’pangai declared. “It is permanently degrading human values such as love for one’s neighbor, solidarity, compassion and mutual respect”.

Because of its behaviour, “there is no more room for it to enjoy the rights of a political party”, and Buchili should remove “its apparent impunity”.

He was seconded by Jose Coffe, who said Renamo should be declared an illegal organization, and Dhlakama held responsible for the crimes committed by his militia.

“For how long must we have a Renamo acting as a chameleon, with men in parliament in suits and ties, speaking in the name of the people, while others, under the command of the Renamo leader, take the lives of Mozambicans?”, he asked.

Renamo deputy Antonio Muchanga accused Frelimo of responsibility for two attempts on Dhlakama’s life in September and threatened that Renamo “will open fire on the places where Frelimo leaders live”.

Mario Ali attacked what he called “the colonialist Frelimo regime”, repeatedly calling Frelimo both “colonialist” and “communist”.

This was too much for the spokesperson of the Frelimo parliamentary group, Edmundo Galiza-Maros Junior, who pointed out “it was Frelimo that expelled the colonialist regime from Mozambique”.

As for Renamo’s deliberate conflation of Frelimo with the army and the police, Galiza-Matos retorted that Frelimo is a political party that has no weapons, while the defence and security forces contains “people who come from Renamo and quite possible from the MDM (Mozambique Democratic Movement) and other parties”.

The Mozambican armed forces (FADM) were created in 1994 out of a merger of volunteers’ from the old government army, the FAM/FPLM, and from Renamo and several Renamo officers remain in senior positions in the FADM. People who join the defence forces today are not asked which political party they support.

The army and police, Galiza-Matos told the Renamo benches, “are defending the people against what you are doing”. The latest Renamo attack had come at 02.00 on Wednesday morning in Mossurize district, in the central province of Manica, when a local Frelimo secretary had been murdered.

The MDM concentrated its fire on the failure by prosecutors to act against those involved in the government guaranteed loan of 850 million US dollars to the Mozambique Tuna Company (EMATUM). Thanks to an MDM intervention in the Assembly a year ago, Buchili’s office opened a case file on EMATUM. But since then nothing much has happened and the case remains at the stage of “preliminary investigation”.

MDM deputy Jose Manuel de Sousa described the EMATUM loan as “the greatest financial scandal in Mozambican history”. Yet a year after the case had been opened, it had fallen into “complete stagnation”.

Indeed, the fact that a case file was open in Buchili’s office had led the Assembly to reject a proposal for a parliamentary commission of inquiry into EMATUM on the grounds that the matter was sub judice.

A second MDM deputy, Geraldo Carvalho, declared “the Attorney-General’s Office must not be an obstacle to justice. We want a genuinely independent and operational prosecution service”.

Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique