Will Dhlakama’s trusted man, Ossufo Momade be the successor?
Escrito por Adérito Caldeira  em 18 Maio 2018

Foto de Adrien BarbierThe unanimity of Renamo’s National Commission in the election of Ossufo Momade to temporarily lead the largest opposition party in Mozambique seems to indicate that this veteran soldier and politician, a Muslim hailing from the largest constituency in Mozambique, could be the successor to Afonso Dhlakama, whose confidence he had.

Born in Mozambique’s largest constituency on January 30, 1961 on the island that was the country’s first capital, Ossufo Momade was elected last Friday night (May 4th) to coordinate the work of the National Political Committee of the party until the National Council or Congress elects the successor to the president who died on Thursday, May 3rd.

While still an adolescent, he joined the then Liberation Front of Mozambique, becoming a soldier and political commissar. He was captured by the National Resistance of Mozambique in December 1978 in the border district of Mavinde, Maputo province, while commanding a battalion of the then independent Mozambique Army, and eventually entered the ranks of the movement then led by Dhlakama.

Of the various combat fronts opened by Renamo between 1979 and 1984, Ossufo Momade commanded the guerrillas who led the civil war in the province of Nampula in 1982, rising to the rank of lieutenant general, currently in the reserve.

After the Rome Peace Accord, and unlike the remaining military leaders of the guerrillas who became part of the Defence Armed Forces of Mozambique, Momade became a politician, first in the National Political Commission and later on the Renamo benches in the Assembly of the Republic, as head of Nampula electoral circle list.

In 2006, he took over as Secretary General of the party just as former guerrilla positions were being reactivated, becoming head of the Department of Defence in 2012, before the outbreak of the second civil war.

After 2014 general elections and the attacks on Afonso Dhlakama – particularly the assault on his residence in Beira in 2015 – he defended the possession of arms which Renamo party still held under the General Peace Agreement. “Did President Chissano during his mandate request them? Guebuza ceased operations in 2015 and did not collect them. Why is it that only President Nyusi has this boldness?” he asked.

While Dhlakama was “whereabouts unknown”, Momade seemed to be busy with other missions, apparently political, but which several sources believe are linked to his military standing, second only to the deceased leader.

Although lacking Dhlakama’s charisma, his origins and religion could be the catalyst for the resurgence of the Renamo party in the local political scene, which began with victory in the mid-term election of the city of Nampula.

His first words, after being unanimously elected, were a promise to follow in Afonso Dhlakama’s footsteps.

Tradução do Club Of Mozambique


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