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    11 April, 2011
Mozambique needs peace and friendship to overcome poverty
Mucatine (Mozambique), 11 Apr (AIM) – President Armando Guebuza on Sunday urged people to preserve peace, consolidate national unity and live in an environment of friendship as a means to win the fight against poverty. According President Guebuza these are key elements for Mozambique’s development.

President Guebuza was speaking during a rally in the town of Mucatine, Massingir district, in the southern province of Gaza, as part of his working visit to the province in the context of his “open and inclusive presidency” which started on Friday.

During his speech, President Guebuza explained that some of these factors, such as national unity, were crucial to defeat colonialism. He called for Mozambicans to once again unite “to win the fight against the new enemy, poverty”.

“We must preserve peace and avoid violence. There are people amongst us who only sleep when they think on blood. The blood of others. They want to destroy the country. Destroy our achievements”, said President Guebuza, stressing that “we want peace and friendship among Mozambicans because that is what will help us in the fight against poverty”.

President Guebuza said people should be proud to be Mozambicans, adding that there are individuals who do not want to progress in life nor let others move forward

As in previous rallies, President Guebuza invited 10 local residents to present problems faced by their community and to propose possible solutions.

The residents raised a number of issues ranging from conflict with wild animals, crime (especially the theft of livestock), and the poor state of access roads.

They also denounced what they perceive as the poor performance of the both the district court and police in Massingir. “Money is what really matters in the court and the police. Those who have no money are unfairly treated”.

These complaints were similar to those made on Friday by residents of the administrative post of Chissano, Bilene district, in Gaza.

The population of Mucatine and Massingir also asked for the construction of a bridge over the Elephant River (the main tributary of the Limpopo River), a new secondary school and a mobile phone signal.

Massingir is located in a region with a huge potentially for agricultural production. Therefore the residents proposed that the allocation of the District Development Fund, colloquially known as “the seven million”, should focus on the agriculture sector. According to the residents, most of the beneficiaries are from the trade sector to the detriment of agriculture.

This fund was established by the government in 2006 to finance income and employment generation projects in rural areas.

As in most regions in Mozambique, repayment of the fund is still a problem. In Mucatine the government disbursed 1,537,000 meticais in 2010, of which only about 76,200 meticais has been repaid (there are about 31 meticais to the US dollar at the current exchange rate).

On Monday President Guebuza is expected to visit the administrative post of Nguzene, in Mandlakazi district, which is the last leg of his working visit to Gaza province.
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