The health of Manuel Bissopo, the Mozambique National Resistance (Renamo) secretary general and MP shot on 20 January in Beira by unidentified shooters “is stable” but requires “much care,” Renamo spokesman Antonio Muchanga told @Verdade. The Mozambican Human Rights League (LDH) suspects that the attack had “political motives” caused by the deterioration of a series of political events that not only dragged the country to the current military tension but also widen the gap between the government and Renamo further.
Asked whether Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama, who insists on establishing his government from March in six provinces where he claims a victory in the last general election, has commented on the shooting, Muchanga said no.
Daniel Macuacua, spokesman for the Mozambican National Police (PRM) Provincial Command ! in Sofala, told our reporters that there is no information yet to explain Bissopo’s shooting and the death of his bodyguard, let alone the whereabouts of the perpetrators. “We are working.”
The Mozambican police, in its different ramifications and institutions that strive for legality, has an extensive list of shooting and/or assassination in the streets and has not been able to resolve cases of this nature.
The “we are working” has become a mere catchphrase that never translates into actions that tell the people what, for example, led to the deaths of Gilles Cistac, Paulo Machava, and Dinis Silica, who killed them, and who ordered the killings, among other questions.
The LDH said in a communique sent to this newspaper that “it is with deep concern and indignation that we learned of the shooting of Renamo’s secretary general and the death of his bodyguard.”
In the LDH’s opinion, “the attempt on Bissopo’s life raises suspicion” that there are “politic! al motives” caused by the turbulent politico-military situation, the hardening of positions between the government and Renamo, the end of the political dialogue, the siege on Dhlakama’s residence in Beira on 9 October 2014, his return to Santungira, and the declaration that his party will be disarmed by force.
The LDH also says that perhaps there are bellicose factions with the Defense and Security Forces (FDS), allergic to peace, but added it is up to President Filipe Nyusi, who is the Armed Forces commander in chief, to take effective control (of its men) to disprove the idea that “Filipe Nyusi does not have real power over the country and his party, the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo).”
“Nyusi’s governance is still being tested, a year after his ascension to power, so he must from now show sufficient will and courage to eliminate all the hubs of turmoil hampering efforts to obtain lasting pace in the country,” reads the communique that adds that “the LDH calls for the president of the republic’s commitment to peace, going ! beyond a populist narrative that it is enough to say it for it to be done. It does not make sense for the president who uttered multiple slogans about the need for dialogue, to then insist on maintaining a climate of force.”
For its turn, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) sent another communique in which it says that it fears that Bissopo’s shooting will widen the gap between the government and Renamo “at a time when better paths for dialogue are sought” and that the political tension in the country will be prolonged.
The criminal investigation authorities should allocate “all the best and largest resources to the investigation of this case so that it is immediately clarified, because outside of all the public debate that the case might generate, the Mozambican penal law treats differently an attempt on the life of secretary generals of parties represented in parliament.”
Renamo Chief Whip Ivone Soares told Lusa that Bissopo’s shooting follows on! from other attacks on Dhlakama’s convoy thus it describes this act as “state terrorism.” In fact, she accused Frelimo of repeated attempts to assassinate Renamo leaders.
Also speaking to Lusa, ruling Frelimo spokesman Damiao Jose denied Soares’ accusations and described them as misplaced and an effort to justify Renamo’s political failure.