Africa-Press – Mozambique. A freedom march organized by the Nova Democracia party went through the center of Maputo on Saurday without incident, in contrast to the police violence that repressed a similar initiative three months ago, causing several injuries.
Yesterday’s street action- announced during the week, on the pretext of the celebrations of the 48th anniversary of independence, which are celebrated on Sunday – was the first to include words of political and social protest after years of systematic police repression of the right to demonstrate in Mozambique.
At an intersection on Avenida Eduardo Mondlane, there was applause “for democracy” when the march for freedom crossed paths with another, going in the opposite direction, organised by the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo), the main opposition party, the second parliamentary group after the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo), in power since independence.
In the middle of the ‘marching traffic’, the police were present, in a light way, without tear gas or armoured vehicles, and accompanied the participants who sang the same “Povo no Poder” by Azagaia, the rapper they had been unable to honour on March 18, a few days after the musician had died of an illness.
“People in power, yes, we are not afraid, no”, read the lyrics.
“Thieves out, corrupt out, murderers out” were other verses with which Azagaia contested political power .Yesterday, between 100 to 200 people were singing these verses freely and at the top of their lungs, along Eduardo Mondlane Avenue..
At first, around 08:00, there was still fear about what could happen and some participants showed that they were prepared with face masks in their pockets, in case there was tear gas in the air again.
Then, with time and the start of the march, cheers could even be heard from the police: “Police are also citizens”, intoned the master of ceremonies, from the top of the goods vehicle that headed the action with a sound system.
People on the streets also chanted the slogans as the group passed – from the balconies of apartments, the market area and even the windows of a courthouse, there were those who waved in support.
The march for freedom was promoted by Nova Democracia, a party without parliamentary representation, and according to its leader, Salomão Muchanga, “it is about freeing society from fear”.
“Never again will Mozambique be afraid to demonstrate. The profound meaning of this day is that we are managing to march, demonstrate, we are freeing citizens from fear”, he said, placing the initiative at a supra-party level, because it welcomed activists and participants, regardless of political sympathies.
Questioned by journalists about what was different for the action not to be repressed, Salomão Muchanga said he had explained to the President of the Republic, Filpe Nyusi, “that demonstrating, marching, is not a favour, it is a right”.
“The police have revisited their ideals” after the repression they imposed on March 18, under alleged superior orders, generating opposition from various organizations inside and outside the country, added Armando Mahumane, spokesman for the party and the organization.
The march went through the heart of the capital, from the statue of Eduardo Mondlane to that of Samora Machel, in front of the Maputo municipal council, always enlivened by songs by Azagaia – sung by all the participants – and by a master of ceremonies who recalled: “If we don’t fight for freedom and dignity, nobody will.”