Mozambique: Nyusi Denounces ‘Total Lack of Collaboration’

Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Thursday accused the self-styled “Renamo Military Junta” of displaying “a total lack of collaboration”.

He was speaking to representatives of the bodies of the administration of justice on “Legality Day”, celebrated on 5 November every year. The day recalls a landmark rally addressed by the country’s first President, Samora Machel, in 1981, when he demanded that the police, the military and the security services must respect the rule of law and human rights.

The Junta does not recognise the peace agreement that Nyusi signed with Renamo leader Ossufo Momade in August 2019, and has repeatedly denounced Momade as “a traitor”. For over a year the Junta has staged attacks against civilian targets in the central provinces of Manica and Sofala, mainly ambushes against buses and trucks.

On 24 October, Nyusi announced a seven day unilateral truce in the war against the Junta, and promised that, during that period, the defence and security forces will not pursue Junta fighters.

But there was no positive response from the Junta, and its attacks continued. Thus, on 26 October, Nyusi said, a bus came under fire in the Zove area, in Chibabava district, in Sofala. There were no casualties.

On 29 October, a bus belonging to the company Nagi Investments was attacked at the boundary between Chibabava and Muchanga districts, and one passenger was seriously wounded. On the same day, in the Matenga area of Nhamatanda district, also in Sofala, another Nagi Investment bus was fired on.

On Tuesday of this week, Nyusi continued, a truck belonging to the JJR building company was attacked on the main north-south highway (EN1) in the Gove area. There were casualties but Nyusi did not give details.

“As you can see, there is a total lack of collaboration to achieve peace”, said the President. Nonetheless, he had not yet countermanded his order for the defence and security forces not to pursue members of the Junta.

But there are limits to this tolerance. “We would not like to embark upon force”, Nyusi said, “but, if necessary, we will comply with what the law demands. We will defend Mozambicans, their sovereignty and their resources”.

“We cannot carry on just watching”, he warned. “We cannot continue to pamper murderers”.

Nyusi urged the various bodies involved in the administration of justice to work in coordination when faced with threats to state sovereignty. Respect for the principle of the separation of powers did not mean that each institution should undertake its activities in isolation, he said.

Rather, there should be strong institutional coordination “in defence of the highest interests of the Mozambican people”.

Nyusi said that “gaps in the justice system” had allowed some mentors of the terrorist attacks in the northern province of Cabo Delgado to walk free. He was presumably referring to trials of alleged terrorists in early 2019 before the provincial court, in the city of Pemba, in which, of the 189 accused, the court acquitted 113 of them because the police did not produce enough evidence to ensure convictions.

The President also stressed that the entire justice system should be guided by defending the rights of citizens. Those in charge of legality should ensure that citizens know the laws, and must answer concerns in a reasonable time and in language that ordinary people understand.

“Often what damages the image of the justice institutions are not the decisions taken”, said Nyusi. “What concerns citizens is their lack of knowledge of the law, the time taken to make decisions, the language used and the mechanisms whereby interested parties are informed of decisions”.

Speaking to reporters after he had laid a wreath at Maputo’s Monument to the Mozambican Heroes, as part of the Legality Day celebrations, Interior Minister Amade Miquidade said the terrorism in Cabo Delgado and the Renamo Military Junta’s attacks in Manica and Sofala constituted “brutish” attacks against freedom and legality.

“For us, Legality Day is a day of reflection, in that the State has guided the institutions of justice to take responsibility for guaranteeing justice, legality and the rights of citizenship for everyone “. Miquidade declared.

Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique