Former Mozambican President Armando Guebuza confirmed over the weekend at a cultural event in locality of Ndhítxi, Matalana, in the district of Marracuene, in Maputo, that the ruling Frelimo party is going through a crisis.
According to Guebuza, the crisis extends to the national level. “Yes, we’ve critical moments, but such critical moments must not and should not discourage Mozambicans,” he said.
“That’s why I’d like to add my voice to the chorus of Mozambicans saying that this is not the time to be discouraged. This is the time to say that we’ve to come out (of the crisis) stronger as a country, as a nation and as a society,” he added.
Guebuza urged Mozambicans to learn from the crisis so that future generations should not have to experience such crisis again, and as such “we must learn from them (crisis) so that we don’t repeat them.”
The issue of a crisis in Frelimo and in Mozambique is a recurring theme. Apparently, the source of the crisis lies in President Filipe Nyusi’s unusual management of Frelimo, mixing signs of authoritarianism and inertia, resulting in the abandonment of the characteristic dynamics of the governing party.
Furthermore, some internal circles claim that Frelimo has been infiltrated by “foreign elements who have captured the party.”
Government delusion, waning grassroots support, and an electoral debacle (despite a much-vaunted rigged victory) all point out to a malaise within Frelimo, which has spawned a strong movement contesting the leadership of Filipe Nyusi and Roque Silva, the party’s secretary-general, who like an ostrich are burying their heads in the sand, rejecting the crisis and painting a rosy scenario.
Meanwhile, the chorus of protesting voices is growing louder all the time: first it was Mulueli Rebelo, the son of Jorge Rebelo, a former Information and Propaganda minister, followed by Samora Machel Jr, the son of the late President Samora Machel, the politician and social activist Graça Machel, Eduardo Nihia, a war veteran, and now Armando Guebuza.
Presenta the cultural event were three would-be presidents, namely former Agriculture and subsequently Interior minister, José Pacheco, former prime minister Alberto Vaquina, and another former prime minister, Luísa Diogo.
Frelimo is going through a critical moment in its history, but given its experience in managing internal conflicts, it is expected that it will be able to achieve unity after an eventual “purification of ranks” at the end of this turbulent period.
Analysts think that the party should unite around José Pacheco, an option that seems to be more consensual, especially given that he is from the central region of the country, and if Frelimo were to follow its own “gentlemen’s agreement” that presidency should follow a two-term revolving door policy, it should be the turn of the centre to hold the reins of power.
Pacheco might have the necessary balance needed for the country and party to detox from Nyusi’s two terms of office, which have become increasingly tenebrous and need to come to an end with as little damage to the country and party as possible.
The other would-be presidents should be accommodated to capitalise on their abilities in the party and state. Instead of acting like a dead-weight or a political nuisance to the incumbent. “Frelimo will need many hands and heads to overcome this crisis,” an analyst told Mozambique Insights.
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