Mozambique’s social activist Graça Machel has decried the state of affairs within the ruling Frelimo party, including the “capture of the party’s administrative machine by a criminal fraction of members, responsible for the erosion and distortion of Frelimo’s rationale and raison d’être.”
Machel argued that Frelimo has become confused with the administrative machine infiltrated by a handful of members whose commitments are contrary to the party’s statutes and programme, adding that not all members had betrayed Frelimo.
She added that it was important and urgent for the party to move past the debacle and restore Frelimo’s true identity, history, traditions and practices.
Machel also said that she added her voice to the chorus clamouring for a Frelimo national meeting of cadres in order to reflect on the life of the party, and find new ways to win back people’s confidence, credibility and respect.
Meanwhile, she said that Frelimo should acknowledge its mistakes, apologise and distance itself from the faction that took over the party, and “recognise and accept victories where we won honestly, and to recognise and honestly accept defeats where we lost.”
President Filipe Nyusi and the Makonde group’s room for manoeuvre is getting smaller. Criticised on all political, economic, social, military and security spheres, Nyusi is the epitome of inefficiency and incapacity to govern.
Meanwhile, the group is struggling with the dilemma of knowing who handed power over to the opposition in Maputo and Matola, Frelimo’s bastions of power, despite the levels of precariousness and poverty, contrasting only with the scandalous levels of corruption of the municipal elites (especially in Matola, in collusion with the political elites and the Frelimo oligarchical families).
The internal criticism rises in tone with arguments focusing more on Frelimo’s electoral defeat than on the monumental fraud to cover up the embarrassing electoral loss. The tone is the same: “hand over the municipalities where we lost”.
In the face of Nyusi and the group’s silence, there is nothing left to do but demand the meeting of cadres that used to precede the sessions of the Central Committee, where anything could happen, from appointing Nyusi’s successor to asking for the heads of Secretary-general Roque Silva and Celso Correia (expulsion is not ruled out) – Frelimo has not held a meeting of cadres since Nyusi became president.
In fact Nyusi and Roque have altered Frelimo’s political functions and events and molded the party according to their own will.
Given the situation, Nyusi’s impeachment in the party could be considered to allow the party to reorganise itself before the 2024 general elections without his or the Makonde group interference.
The Association of the National Liberation Struggle Veterans (ACCLIN) has already met and demanded the holding of an extraordinary Central Committee meeting to discuss the elections and to deal with the issue of succession. ACCLIN’s Secretary-General, Fernando Faustino, fancies himself as a candidate to succeed Nyusi, as it is argued that “after him, anyone could do.”
Even if talking about it is avoided, the internal crisis is palpably visible. The group has bet on Correia to prevent electoral defeats in the municipalities, and now it hopes that Chief Justice Lúcia Ribeiro and her peers will ratify the fraudulent wins – 64 out of 65 municipalities and Renamo being wiped out of the local government political arena.
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