Dhlakama boasts that he will seize power this month

Maputo (AIM) – Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the Mozambican revel movement Renamo, has once again claimed that Renamo will be governing six central and northern provinces by the end of this month.

Afonso Dhlakama

Afonso Dhlakama

This time Dhlakama, speaking from his hideout somewhere in Gorongosa district, in the central province of Sofala, made his boast in an interview with the German station DW Africa.

The interview took place on Monday, and the DW Africa journalist noted that, despite Dhlakama’s repeated threats to seize power in the six provinces (Manica, Sofala, Tete, Zambezia, Nampula and Niassa) as from March, there was still no sign of any Renamo parallel government.

“No, Renamo didn’t specify the date”, replied Dhlakama. “It said it would begin its governance as from March. There are still 16 days before the end of the month. We shall begin this governance gradually. We shall take over several districts in each province and establish the norms, our administrations”.

“I can guarantee that, before 31 March, you will hear that Renamo, in the provinces where it had a majority of votes, has taken so many districts”, he said. “That was what we promised, and no deadline has been missed”.

Dhlakama claimed that the government has hired North Koreans to train death squads to prevent Renamo taking power in the centre and north.

Renamo began making this allegation last month, without presenting the slightest shred of evidence. North Korea is a country under severe international sanctions, approved unanimously by the United Nations Security Council. On nothing stronger than Dhlakama’s word, we are expected to believe that Mozambique is violating those sanctions.

Dhlakama alleged that Renamo’s murderous ambushes on the main roads in Sofala and Manica is in response to the supposed activities of the “death squads”. He claimed that these ambushes were “to intercept these groups of kidnappers” – but the main victims have been civilian buses and trucks.

Dhlakama made the habitual Renamo claim that the government obliges the buses and trucks to carry soldiers, although this has been indignantly denied by the owners of these companies.

Civilians are not dying, he said, only to admit in the next breath “one or another (civilian) might fall victim to shots from one or the other side”.  “Not many civilians are dying”, he added.

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