Speaking to reporters as he left the station, Guebuza said “I hope that all Mozambicans with the right to vote will do so”.
Asked about the municipalities in central Mozambique, he said “my expectation for the centre is that we will guarantee that everyone votes – in Gorongosa, Nhamatanda, Beira and elsewhere. The government has taken preparations to guarantee the security of citizens and of the elections”.
Gorongosa, Nhamatanda and Beira are all municipalities in Sofala province, where there have been repeated clashes between the security forces and gunmen of the former rebel movement Renamo. Gorongosa is thought to be the municipality most at risk of disturbances, since it is closest to Satunjira, the Renamo bush headquarters that the armed forces (FADM) occupied on 21 October.
Guebuza said it was “an exaggeration” to speak of central Mozambique as if it was all riven with conflict. The term “the centre”, he pointed out “covers four provinces with more than five million inhabitants. We have had bad experiences with Renamo in a few well identified places. It’s not the entire centre of the country”.
As for the possibility of Renamo disruption, Guebuza noted that Renamo had also promised it would not allow the voter registration exercise of May to July to go ahead – yet around 85 per cent of the estimated potential electorate had registered.
“So my expectation is that we will continue to benefit from the confidence of the public, who will take part in the voting”, concluded Guebuza.
Voting is reported to have started promptly at 07.00 across the country. Radio Mozambique correspondents stationed in large cities and small towns said long queues had built up before 07.00.
According to the meteorology services, the weather will be fine throughout the country with temperatures of between 30 and 36 degrees centigrade. There is not expected to be any rain, except possibly in Maputo in the evening.Post published in: Africa News