A week removed from the first biannual meeting of Mozambique’s ruling Frelimo party Central Committee, party President Filipe Nyusi called out alleged intruders who “weaken and besmirch Frelimo’s name”.
Speaking on Thursday at the opening of a seminar for the party’s Verification Committee, Nyusi said that the intruders’ objective was to destroy Frelimo.
“As was in the past, our opponents mainly aim to destroy the unity and discipline of our party. Tribalism, regionalism and other forms of discrimination are some forms that some elements from within or without use or sometimes invoke to cover up their ambition for power or to satisfy personal and group interests,” he said.
Nyusi’s tirade seems to show his current mental state. Mozambique Insights understands that a group within Frelimo are agitating for the party to begin debating the issue of succession. As per the constitution, Nyusi’s second and final term ends in January 2024, by which time the country should have elected his successor.
However, there have been reports that Nyusi is open to amending the constitution to secure a third term – Frelimo has over two-thirds of parliamentary votes to approve changes to the constitution.
Not only a third term would run counter to the text of the constitution but also Frelimo’s own internal agreement: when former President Armando Guebuza was forced to step down, Frelimo decided to adopt a regional approach to holding presidential power, meaning that power would be transferred to one of the three regions of the country – if all things remain equal.
Therefore, if Guebuza and presidents before him were from southern Mozambique, and with Nyusi being from the northern region of the country, it would be the turn of someone from central Mozambique.
Hence, Nyusi’s mention of tribalism and regionalism seemed to be a direct attack against any opposition from party members from the centre who covet presidential power.
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