Maputo — Ossufo Momade, the leader of Mozambique’s main opposition party, Renamo, sees no problem in the oldest son of his predecessor, the late Afonso Dhlakama, running for President in 2024.
Henriques Dhlakama announced last week that he would stand – but so far he has no support from any grouping within Renamo.
Interviewed by the German agency DW Africa, Momade made it clear that the current Renamo leadership will not support Dhlakama’s candidacy, but does not regard it as a threat.
Speaking on Saturday to a meeting of Renamo supporters in the northern city of Nampula, he said “We have no problem with this decision that Henriques Dhlakama has taken. This doesn’t represent any threat to the party, since he’s a citizen free to do whatever he chooses”.
“We can’t create any problems for a citizen who wants to stand in the elections”, continued Momade. “I think he is prepared, organised and is convinced of what he has to offer”.
Henriques Dhlakama has no political experience and holds no position in Renamo. Without the backing of Renamo, or of at least a sizeable faction in Renamo, he is unlikely to collect the 10,000 supporting signatures that any presidential candidate needs.
Momade took the opportunity to once again invite Mariano Nhongo, leader of the self-proclaimed “Renamo Military Junta” to stop the armed attacks he has been staging in the central provinces of Manica and Sofala, and to join the demobilisation of the Renamo miliia, and the reintegration of its members into Mozambican society.
There seems little chance that Nhongo, who has repeatedly denounced Momade as “a traitor”, will accept this appeal.
Momade has repeatedly declared that there is no reason for the Military Junta to continue fighting but all such calls appear to have fallen on deaf ears.