Mozambique: Supporters protest against Ossufo Momade

Maputo – Across Mozambique, members and supporters of the main opposition party, Renamo, are protesting the re-election of Ossufo Momade as party leader, demonstrating outside Renamo offices and returning Renamo flags and T-shirts.

Around 11 a.m. on Thursday, a group of about 30 young people went to the Renamo headquarters shouting “Ossufo Momade, traitor!”, “Ossufo Momade, get out!” and “Lambebota! (Bootlicker)”.

Filmed by independent television STV, T-shirts and other items with Renamo symbols were returned to the Renamo office.

They declared themselves supporters of Venancio Mondlane, Renamo’s candidate for mayor of Maputo in last year’s municipal elections. Mondlane declared his intention to run for the position of Renamo president at the Renamo Congress, held in the central town of Alto Molocue. But Renamo’s leadership refused to allow Mondlane to attend the congress, much less run as a candidate for party president.

One of the protesters, Juvencio Ernesto, told STV: “In the Alto Molocue Congress the young people were despised. They did not listen to what the young people wanted and out of personal interests they elected Ossufo Momade. Momade was never our favorite.” “They are killing Renamo because they are bootlickers.”

Protesters believe that Mondlane, who led street demonstrations against the fraudulent results of the municipal elections, would be Renamo’s ideal candidate for the October 9 presidential election, “because he is concerned about the people.”

With Mondlane excluded from Congress, they saw no reason to continue supporting Renamo. They no longer saw any significant difference between Renamo and the ruling Frelimo Party. Those who still support Renamo “will continue to suffer, as they have been suffering since the country’s independence,” Ernesto stated.

“We are here because we no longer want to be part of Renamo. We came to return the membership cards, the t-shirts, the flags and everything we received from this party, because there is no use anymore to use,” said another of the protesters, Tucha Bernardo. ‘Let’s go where our liberator, Venancio Mondlane, goes.’

Renamo Maputo’s city delegate downplayed the importance of the demonstration, stating that the protesters had never been members of Renamo. They didn’t return the membership cards because they had never had them.

He said the protesters only returned 28 t-shirts, two flags, two caps and a dress, distributed to Renamo supporters during protests against the results of the municipal elections.