Mozambican social activist Graça Machel on Tuesday urged Mozambicans to “dismantle fear.”
Speaking at a public event, Machel told participants that instead “it is those who oppress us who must fear us.”
She reminded those present that at his first investiture as Mozambique’s president, Filipe Nyusi said that the people were his employer, and as such, Mozambicans had to remind “those who oppress us, those who are superseding what a state should be, a servant state, and oppressing people, we must remind them that we’re the employer.”
This is done and should be done in an organised manner, in an orderly manner, in a manner respectful of the institutions, but we must dismantle fear in the country.
Graça Machel was until September 2022 a member of the ruling Frelimo’s Central Committee, but she decided not to seek a further five-year term. Speculations were rife at the time as to the motive she decided against seeking another term, but it must have been a strategically calculated step as evinced by her diatribe.
As a Central Committee member, she was bound to only speak within the plenary of the Central Committee. However, now she has much leeway to speak her mind, especially now that the country seems to have taken an authoritarian turn.
Since the police brutal crackdown of defenceless and peaceful civilians marching on 18 March to honour the late rapper Edson da Luz, better known by his stage name Azagaia, that the regime has instilled a climate of fear in the country.
Furthermore, police deliberately misinterpreted a warning of an impending constitutional coup made by the weekly newspaper Evidências to mean there was an attempt coup d’état afoot, and consequently deploy troops at every 20 to 30 metres of the Office of the President and arms barracks.
At state gatherings, police are out in full riot gear and with unmuzzled dogs.
It is against this climate of fear that Graça Machel, one voice with moral authority, urges Mozambicans to dismantle the climate of fear. Now, it remains to be seen whether other decent members of Frelimo will stand up and be counted.
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