Maputo — The leader and presidential candidate of Mozambique’s main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, Ossufo Momade, returned from a trip abroad on Monday morning, and immediately launched his election campaign, with a motorcade through the streets of Maputo and the adjacent city of Matola.
Hundreds of Renamo members and supporters greeted Momade at Maputo International Airport, and joined him in chanting the slogan “A Vitoria e’ certa!” (“Victory is certain” – a slogan that was first used in southern Africa decades ago, by the Angolan liberation movement, the MPLA).
Throughout the motorcade’s slow journey through the two cities, Momade stopped to address the crowds, and to promise improved living conditions, if Renamo won the general elections scheduled for 15 October.
Among the promises he made were the provision of decent jobs and housing for young Mozambicans, free education up to tenth grade, and doing away with corruption.
“I want to work for the development of Mozambicans”, declared Momade. “Only Renamo will improve your situation. We’re going to change the education system. Fourth grade pupils must be able to read and write”.
“We want Mozambicans to be treated with dignity when they go to a hospital”, he continued. “We want medicines in the hospitals. We are promising well-being for all Mozambicans”.
Asked if he was not overshadowed by the image of his predecessor, the late Afonso Dhlakama, Momade said “President Dhlakama was a charismatic leader, and I will never be Afonso Dhlakama. I am continuing the goals of my president”.
When he had toured the three northern provinces of Nampula, Cabo Delgado and Niassa, shortly before the official start of the election campaign, “the public continued to flock to my rallies, which shows that they are with Renamo”, Momade declared.
Renamo dissidents, calling themselves the “Renamo Military Junta”, claim to have overthrown Momade, replacing him as President of Renamo with their own leader, Mariano Nhongo. They have threatened to disrupt the election campaign, but in the first three days of the campaign there has been no sign at all of the “Military Junta”.