Mutare – Renewed fighting between Mozambican military forces and Renamo rebels have caused widespread fears among Zimbabweans living in eastern Manicaland province, according to a report on Friday.
According to Defence Web, Chipinge South lawmaker Enock Porusingazi claimed that at least 1 000 Mozambicans had fled into Manicaland province, and were accommodated by relatives, while others erected shacks for themselves.
Porusingazi also claimed that residents at his constituency were living in fear, as they were closer to the ongoing battles at the Mozambican side of the border.
“There is a lot of fear in my constituency, given the fact that our province is on the border with Mozambique. People are panicking because this is not the first time a conflict in Mozambique has destabilised us. In the 1980s into the early 1990s, we had the same problem. The crisis was too bad then because the fighting was intense, but you never know how the current fighting will develop,” Porusingazi was quoted as saying.
Recent reports indicated that Renamo, which waged a 16-year civil war that ended in 1992, refused to accept the results of 2014 elections when it was beaten once more by the ruling Frelimo party, in power since independence 40 years ago.
Since 2013, tensions have risen and Renamo fighters have again taken up arms in a battle that it says is against a Frelimo elite who have enriched themselves at the expense of the country.
According to an earlier News24 report, the Mozambican government this week agreed to make constitutional changes that would allow the opposition National Resistance Movement (Renamo) to govern in six provinces where it won majority votes during the 2014 elections.
However, the report further indicated that at the time, the government and Renamo negotiators were signing the agreement on Wednesday, Renamo militants were still attacking civilians in rural areas of the southern Africa nation.
The media reported that six people were killed on Friday in an attack by Renamo rebels who ambushed a vehicle, firing at it until it caught fire.