Mozambique : politician admits to being a dictator


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Mozambique : politician admits to being a dictator

Afonso Dhlakama, leader of Mozambique’s main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, has admitted that he is “a dictator” within his party, but claimed that he was forced to act autocratically “to save democracy”. Speaking in the central city of Quelimane, at the opening of a session of the Renamo National Council, he had no hesitation, in front of Mozambican television crews, to declare “Yes, I’m a dictator, but it’s necessary in order to preserve democracy”. Dhlakama alleged that he is the only person standing between Mozambique and a slide back to war. He warned that “If I wake up in a bad mood one morning, that’s it, there’ll be no more peace”. The meeting is discussing Renamo strategy for the municipal elections scheduled for 19 November. Dhlakama called for victory – but was careful not to set his sights too high. For Dhlakama “victory” would mean holding on to the five municipalities Renamo already runs “and win some more”. He did not put a figure to how many more municipalities (out of the 43 that now exist) he expected Renamo to win.

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