‘Fight against terrorism top of priorities’ President Nyusi

MAPUTO. — The fight against terrorism in all its forms should be at the top of the list of priorities of the newly appointed provincial secretaries of state, declared President Filipe Nyusi.

The President was speaking at a ceremony where he swore into office as Secretaries of State Jaime Neto (Nampula), Judite Mussacula Faria (Maputo province); Lina Portugal (Niassa); Stefan Dick Kassotche Mphiri (Manica) and Cristina Mafumo (Zambezia).

Islamist terrorists have been active in the northern province of Cabo Delgado since October 2017. These raids have displaced over a million people from their homes, provoking a humanitarian crisis. Terrorism has spilt over the provincial boundaries, with occasional attacks in Niassa and Nampula.

“We urge the secretaries of state to put at the top of their agenda the prevention and fight against terrorism, including humanitarian assistance to our fellow countrymen who have been displaced”, said President Nyusi.

“No province should be regarded as exempt from terrorism, he stressed, and the secretaries of state should take the defence of national sovereignty very seriously. One of the main responsibilities of the secretaries of state is to defend the sovereignty and the gains made by our people.

“Terrorism, whether in the form of attacks, recruitment or financing can occur in any part of our national territory. No province should feel completely immune to this scourge, which puts security and peace at risk, attacks human rights, and is a major obstacle to the development of our country.” President Nyusi urged the secretaries of state to avoid struggles for power with the provincial governors. Such disputes have been frequent, and President Nyusi regarded them as completely unnecessary since the governors and secretaries of state have different areas of responsibility.

“These are different championships, and so you can’t say that so-and-so is number one”, he stressed. “The secretary of state should be intelligent and should stand out through qualities of leadership and humility. He should be “a point of balance” between the various legitimate powers installed in the province.”

President Nyusi added that the secretaries of state should have a deep knowledge of all the legislation on decentralisation, particularly the law on the organisation and operation of the bodies that represent the state in the province. (The Secretary of State himself is supposed to be the topmost representative of the state in the province). — AIM

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