|Minister of National Defence|
March 27, 2008
|Preceded by||Tobias Joaquim Dai|
Filipe Jacinto Nyussi (born 9 February 1959) is a Mozambican politician who has served in the government of Mozambique as Minister of Defense since 2008. He is the candidate of the ruling party, Frelimo, in the 2014 presidential election.
Born in Namau in Mueda District, Cabo Delgado Province, Nyussi studied mechanical engineering in Czechoslovakia and management at the University of Manchester in England. He received further training in management in India, South Africa, Swaziland, and the United States.
Prior to his appointment to the cabinet by President Armando Guebuza, Nyussi worked for the state-owned Mozambique Ports and Railways authority (CFM). He became executive director of CFM-Norte, the northern division of the company, in 1995, and joined the company's board of directors in 2007.
From 1993 to 2002, Nyussi served as President of Clube Ferroviário de Nampula, a top-division football club based in Nampula. He is also a lecturer at the Nampula campus of the Universidade Pedagógica, a fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative, and a member of the National Committee of Fighters of the National Liberation Struggle (Portuguese: Comité Nacional dos Combatentes da Luta de Libertação Nacional).
Nyussi took office as Minister of Defense on March 27, 2008, succeeding Tobias Joaquim Dai. Nyussi's appointment came almost exactly one year after a fire and resulting explosions of munitions at the Malhazine armoury in Maputo killed more than 100 people and destroyed 14,000 homes. A government-appointed investigative commission concluded that negligence played a role in the disaster, and Dai "was blamed by many for failing to act on time to prevent the loss of life". Although no official reason was given for Dai's removal, it may have been a "delayed reaction" to the Malhazine disaster.
In September 2012, Nyussi was elected to the Central Committee of Frelimo, the ruling party, at its 10th congress.
On 1 March 2014, the Frelimo Central Committee elected Nyussi as the party's candidate for the presidential election scheduled to be held in October 2014. In the first round of voting, he received 46% of the vote—well ahead of the second place candidate, Luisa Diogo, but short of the majority needed to win outright. He defeated Diogo in the second round with 68% to her 31%. Although Nyussi was regarded as relatively obscure compared to the other candidates, he was the candidate most closely identified with President Guebuza. It was generally believed that the selection of Nyussi as Frelimo's candidate would enable Guebuza, who was required to step down due to term limits, to retain substantial power after leaving office. Diogo, the defeated candidate, was associated with opposition to Guebuza within the party.
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