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Alfonso Dhlakama Dies Aged 65

Collins Ndlovu:

Maputo: Mozambique main opposition leader Alfonso Dhlakama has died on Thursday after a battle with Diabetes, he has been an opponent of the ruling party Frelimo for nearly 40 years.

Alfonso Dhlakama’s death on Thursday has been confirmed by close associates, sources in Mozambique’s two main opposition parties and South African government have acknowledged his passing.

Dhlakama died at about 06:00 on Thursday, three hours before the evacuation helicopter arrived to rush him to the hospital in Beira.

This is a statement issued by South African constitutional law professor Andre  Thomashausen, who is a close associate and former adviser to Dhlakama.

However, veteran  Mozambique Journalist  Paul Fauvet said Dhlakama had died in the helicopter on route to the hospital.

His sudden departure from Mozambique ’s political stage, on which he played such a prominent role for so long, has created uncertainty about the future of his Renamo party and that of the country.

This is especially as he and the country’s  President Filipe Nyusi seemed to be on the verge of concluding negotiations to end Renamo ’s resumption of low-level military warfare over the past years.

The results of his death would “probably be instability within Renamo as there is no clear successor”, said an official in South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Co-operation.

“But no serious impact on the general stability of the country and probably the end of Renamo ’s threat to Frelimo”.

Faubert further stated that “ Dhlakama  exercised  iron control over Renamo, and there is  no obvious successor, nobody  who can  negotiate with Nyusi with  the same authority.”

The communication about his burial has not yet been released and some analysts argue that his party which had signs of falling apart may also perish.

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