Mozambique’s Renamo to elect leader in January

MAPUTO. – Mozambique’s main opposition party Renamo will elect its leader at a congress next January, anofficial confirmed.

The Voice of America quoted the party’s spokesman, José Manteigas, saying the decision was made on Friday after the Renamo meeting in Gorongosa in central Mozambique.

“Renamo’s National Congress has deliberated on the creation of an electoral office to receive candidates,” VOA Radio quoted Mr Manteigas as saying.

The Renamo National Congress, would be held between January 15-17 next year, Manteigas further said.

Renamo’s founder Afonso Dhlakama died aged 65 last May 3, with his party saying he succumbed to an unconfirmed heart attack.

For 39 years, Dhlakama led Renamo, which fought a 16-year war against the ruling Frelimo party until 1992 and then emerged as an opposition party that still retained armed fighters.

Dhlakama had since 2013 been in hiding in the remote Gorongosa mountains, as sporadic conflict again erupted in Mozambique.

But he later held meetings with President Felipe Nyusi, and he was seen as playing a key role in the country’s developing peace process.

President Nyusi and Dhlakama met in February in Gorongosa to discuss disarmament and reintegration, after earlier agreeing on constitutional reforms that would decentralise power.

Last month, the Renamo parliamentary group leader, Ms Ivone Soares, told the STV channel that the determination of her party’s leader was urgent as Mozambique would hold a presidential election in 2019.

Ossufo Momade took over the Renamo leadership on an interim basis following Dhlakama’s death.

Though no official candidates’ list has been unveiled, the VOA Radio reliably learnt that Momade, Manuel Bissopo and Elias Dhlakama were in the run.

Elias Dhlakama is the late rebel leader’s. – The East African/HR