Thursday, October 2, 2014

Mozambique President Guebuza Urges Churches to Pray for Peaceful Campaign

President Armando Guebuza on 28 September urged the country's churches to pray that conflicts between supporters of rival political parties do not occur again during the fortnight left of the election campaign prior to the presidential and parliamentary elections of 15 October.

President Guebuza was speaking in Maputo during the consecration of Carlos Matsinhe as the new bishop of the Anglican diocese of the Libombos. Matsinhe is the successor to the recently retired bishop, Dinis Sengulane, a man who has been prominent in efforts to secure peace in Mozambique.

"We invite the Anglican church and other churches to pray for the elections to be a moment of festivity and coexistence between brothers", said President Guebuza.

Rather than violence, political parties should rely on the power of oratory to win support, he added. "Nothing justifies insults and the destruction of property".

President Guebuza recalled that the Anglican Church had played a role in the liberation of the country from colonial rule and in the dialogue between the government and opposition party Renamo which culminated on 5 September in the signing of a declaration on the cessation of military hostilities. Sengulane remains one of the national observers to the dialogue.

Serious clashes occurred in the election campaign when supporters of the ruling Frelimo Party clashed with the motorcade of Daviz Simango, the leader and presidential candidate of the opposition Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) in the southern province of Gaza on 23 and 24 September. MDM supporters attempted to retaliate in the northern city of Nampula on 25 September.

The chairperson of the National Elections Commission (CNE), Abdul Carimo, described the clashes as "disgraceful", and urged political leaders to rein in their supporters and end the violence.


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