Renamo Leader Dhlakama Rejects VP Position

Maputo – Leader of the opposition Mozambique National Resistance (Renamo) Alfonso Dhlakama has rebuffed a proposal to offer him the position of a deputy president.

If accepted, the proposal advanced by the international mediators would have culminated into the formation of a coalition government.

But Dhlakama vehemently rejected the proposal, saying he did not want the ruling party to swallow or weaken his party. 

According to the Renamo leader, it was also not possible for the ruling Frelimo and opposition Renamo to form a coalition government because the two parties have different political ideologies.

“Our ideological differences are huge and wide, which makes it impossible to work together. Frelimo is still Marxist. To be vice president for Mozambique means being Frelimo again. That is unacceptable to me,” he told a local paper, Savanna.

But Dhlakama still wants Renamo to be governing in provinces in which it claims to have won the majority votes during the 2014 elections.

More attacks

Meanwhile Human Rights Watch (HRW) has bemoaned Renamo’s recent waves of attacks which are targeting hospitals and clinics in rural areas.

Renamo militants have raided and looted medical supplies at two hospitals and two health clinics over the past month. 

 “Renamo’s attacks on hospitals and health clinics are threatening the health of thousands of people in Mozambique,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. 

He urged Renamo leadership to call off the attacks on health facilities immediately.

 “Renamo’s raids on medical facilities seem part of a repugnant strategy to damage health facilities and loot medicines…. What they are succeeding in doing is to deny crucial health services to Mozambicans who need them,” he said.

Besides the health facilities, Renamo has also been attacking civilians, trains and vehicles, forcing government to resort to armed escorts of trucks. 

Some analysts believe the current crisis is a result of government’s failure to integrate some Renamo fighters into the army and civilian life after the 1992 peace agreement that ended Mozambique’s 16-year civil war.

But the government blames Renamo for refusing to hand over a list of its militia to be integrated into the security forces saying it wants to use them as leverage for political negotiations.