(2016-01-14) President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique marks his first full year in power on Friday with the country in a situation of uncertainty which threatens to drag on throughout this year, especially in the political field, according to political analysts interviewed by Lusa in Maputo.
João Pereira, professor of Political Science at Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM), believes that in 2016 Nyusi is to struggle with the threats of Renamo (Mozambique National Resistance) to seize power in the six provinces of the centre and north of the country where it claimed victory in the general elections of 2014.
“The situation is uncertain. We are all are waiting to see whether opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama will or will not be able to do as he says, and how the state will react to if he does,” he said.
The ongoing uncertainty will continue to affect investors and the action of state institutions, he added,
“I don’t think the question only pertains to President Nyusi, but to how Frelimo as a whole will help the process of political stabilization. How will interest groups resistant to acceptance and reconciliation within the Mozambican family act?” he asks.
Referring to the extraordinary session of the Frelimo Central Committee scheduled for February and seen by some as the meeting for the consolidation of Filipe Nyusi’s power in the party, Pereira said he hoped that the meeting would serve to address the specific issues affecting the country.
“I hope that the extraordinary Central Committee meeting will debate concrete issues and solve the major problems that the country is facing – the economic crisis and the political issue. But the most important thing now, in my opinion, is the issue of social exclusion, the large number of people living in extreme poverty,” he said.
In an interview with Lusa in December, the Mozambican analyst and professor of Political Science José Jaime Macuane said that in 2016 the president will be faced with a choice between the economic crisis and the military crisis, arguing that he would hardly be able to manage both at the same time.
Macuane says that 2016 will be “a year with a high level of uncertainty” given the external shock the economy is facing and Dhlakama’s threat to seize power in six provinces.
“As a strategic decision, the head of state must see which crisis he can manage in the short term,” said the analyst, adding that Mozambique has little control over external factors, which, coupled with structural problems in the economy, does not offer much hope in the near future.
“The most obvious strategy would be to focus on the military issue,” notes the academic, because this would make it easier to then manage the economic crisis.
In face of the “reckoning” promised by Dhlakama, Macuane recognizes that “the possibility of a military confrontation is higher,” even though the president called a halt to the compulsory disarmament of the opposition.
Lawyer and political analyst Alexandre Chivale predicts that Filipe Nyusi will follow an approach that avoids renewed military conflict, focusing on a call for dialogue with the leader of Renamo.
“The President has adopted a conciliatory tone that has prevented the country sliding into war and I hope he keeps up this line of tolerance.”
Regarding the extraordinary session of the Frelimo Central Committee, Chivale said it was “understandable” that the president of the ruling party intends to put people he trusts in charge of the organization, but says that this does not imply the total elimination of Armando Guebuza’s political heritage.
“All leaders want a party suited to their needs, but they recognize the value of the heritage that has been handed down by their predecessors. Armando Guebuza left several achievements to the current administration, particularly in the field of infrastructure,” Chivale argues.
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