Filipe Nyusi

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Filipe Nyusi
Filipe Nyusi - 2019 (cropped).jpg
Filipe Nyusi in 2019
President of Mozambique
Assumed office
15 January 2015
Prime MinisterCarlos Agostinho do Rosário
Preceded byArmando Guebuza
Minister of National Defence
In office
27 March 2008 – 14 March 2014[1]
Preceded byTobias Joaquim Dai
Succeeded byAgostinho Mondlane
Personal details
Born (1959-02-09) 9 February 1959 (age 61)
Mueda, Portuguese Mozambique
NationalityMozambican
Political partyFRELIMO
Spouse(s)Isaura Nyusi
Children4
Alma mater
ProfessionMechanical engineer
Websitewww.nyusi.org.mz

Filipe Jacinto Nyusi (Portuguese pronunciation: [fiˈlipɨ ʒɐˈsĩtu ˈɲusi], born 9 February 1959), also spelled Nyussi,[2] is a Mozambican politician serving as the fourth President of Mozambique, in office since 2015. His second term as President of Mozambique which started in 2020 was produced in rigged elections like the previous ones, although in the 2019 general elections the fraud was more obvious to the international community.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13] Nyusi previously served as Minister of Defence from 2008 to 2014. He was the candidate of the ruling party, Frelimo, in the 2014 and 2019 presidential elections.[14] He is serving as the Chairman of Southern African Development Community since August 2020.[15] Nyusi is involved in the illegal debts that sank the economy of Mozambique, although he has not been convicted yet.[16][17][18][19][20][21][17] This is because the judicial system of Mozambique is used as a tool to target political adversaries of Nyusi, while not investigating crimes committed by Nyusi or individuals close to Nyusi.[22][23][24] Armando Guebuza, President of Mozambique during the time that the illegal debts were contracted, during a hearing with attorney general Ana Sheila Marrengula on 30 September 2020 indicated that Nyusi should be arrested to better clarify the illegal debts.[25] Moreover, Nyusi was mentioned in the United States District Court of Eastern District Of New York on 20 November 2019 as having received at least 2 million Dollars in bribes in the context of these illegal debts.[16][26][27] In a document submitted to The High Court of Justice in London in the context of these illegal debts, Credit Suisse admits adding Filipe Nyusi to the lawsuit as a defendant.[19][20][21][17][28] His presidency has been marked by extensive abuse of power, assassinations of leaders of oppositions parties, journalists, and academics, and escalation of war in the central and northern regions of the country.[29][5][30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40][41] [42][43][44][45][46][4][47][48]

Early life and career[edit]

He was born in Namau in Mueda District, Cabo Delgado Province, belonging to the Makonde ethnic group. Both his parents, were veterans of the liberation movement, Frelimo. At the start of the Mozambican War of Independence, he was taken across the Ruvuma River to neighbouring Tanzania, where he was educated at Frelimo Primary School in Tunduru. He pursued his secondary education at the Frelimo school at Mariri in Cabo Delgado and at Samora Machel Secondary School in Beira.[49]

In 1973, he joined Frelimo at the age of 14 and received political and military training at Nachingwea in Tanzania.[50]

In 1990, he completed his mechanical engineering degree at Antonín Zápotocký Military Academy (VAAZ) in Brno, Czechoslovakia, nowadays University of Defence (Czech Republic).[51]

Prior to his appointment to the cabinet by President Armando Guebuza, Nyusi 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,[52][53] and joined the company's board of directors in 2007.[54]

From 1993 to 2002, Nyusi served as President of Clube Ferroviário de Nampula,[55] a top-division football club based in Nampula. He is also a lecturer at the Nampula campus of the Universidade Pedagógica,[56] a fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative,[55] and a member of the National Committee of Fighters of the National Liberation Struggle (Portuguese: Comité Nacional dos Combatentes da Luta de Libertação Nacional).[57] He received further training in management in India, South Africa, Swaziland, and the United States.[56]

Political career, 2008–14[edit]

A section of the crowd at his final campaign rally in the capital Maputo.

Nyusi took office as Minister of Defence on 27 March 2008, succeeding Tobias Joaquim Dai.[58] Nyusi'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".[59] Although no official reason was given for Dai's removal, it may have been a "delayed reaction" to the Malhazine disaster.[54]

In September 2012, Nyusi was elected to the Central Committee of Frelimo, the ruling party, at its 10th congress.[60]

2014 presidential campaign[edit]

On 1 March 2014, the Frelimo Central Committee elected Nyusi as the party's candidate for the 2014 presidential election. 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 Nyusi was regarded as relatively obscure compared to the other candidates,[60] he was the candidate most closely identified with President Guebuza. It was generally believed that the selection of Nyusi 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.[61] He is involved in illegal debts, from which he benefited for his 2014 presidential campaign; he was mentioned in United States District Court of Eastern District Of New York on 20 November 2019 as having received at least 2 million Dollars in bribes.[27][26][62]

2019 presidential campaign[edit]

Ossufo Momade showing evidence of fraud in the 2019 Mozambican general election, Island of Mozambique, Nampula, Mozambique, 15 October 2019

President Filipe Nyusi and his Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo) party have won a landslide victory in the gas-rich southern African nation in an election the opposition branded a "mega fraud".[63] The elections were marked by assassinations and significant intimidation of prominent leaders of opposition parties and election observers.[64][65][66] Local elections observers, civil society organizations, the Commonwealth Observer Group, the European Union Election Observation Mission, and several national and international entities classified the elections as rigged.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13] State resources, media, and aid for cyclone victims were extensively used in favour of the ruling party (FRELIMO) and its candidates.[7][6] Nevertheless, the incumbent president Filipe Nyusi of FRELIMO was declared re-elected with 73% of the vote. The main opposition party RENAMO as well as the other oppositions parties involved in the elections contested the results, claiming there were numerous irregularities, and accusing FRELIMO of "massive electoral fraud", including hundreds of thousands of "ghost voters".[67] As evidence for the international community, Ossufo Momade, the president of the main opposition party RENAMO, transported to Europe a box filled with vote ballots that had been marked in favor of the incumbent president Filipe Nyusi of FRELIMO before the commencement of vote.[68][69][70] The international community ignored the extensive evidence of fraud, and gradually Europeans countries started recognizing the incumbent president Filipe Nyusi of FRELIMO as the winner of the elections; France, which is involved in illegal debts involving the incumbent president Filipe Nyusi of FRELIMO, was the first western country to do so.[71]

Presidency (2015–present)[edit]

Nyusi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia, 22 August 2019
Government security forces shoot a naked and unarmed woman in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique, September 2020

The inauguration of Filipe Nyusi as the 4th President took place on 15 January 2015. He was sworn in for a second and final term on 15 January 2020.[72] His rule has been marked by increased poverty, assassinations of prominent leaders of opposition parties, academics, journalists, and leaders of civil society organizations, as well as escalation of war in the central and northern regions of the country. [29][5][30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40][41][47][48] His regime uses death squads (in Portuguese known as "esquadrões da morte") to assassinate individuals that speak or write facts that are disliked by the ruling elite.[41][73] This is despite the fact that death penalty is not permitted by the Constitution of Mozambique.[74]There are also reports of mutilation of corpses and extrajudicial assassination of civilians by government security forces (Mozambique Armed Defense Forces (FADM) and the Mozambique Rapid Intervention Police (PIR)).[75] A video, whose authenticity has been verified by Amnesty International (AI), shows extrajudicial murder of a naked and unarmed woman in Mocímboa da Praia, in the province of Cabo Delgado by government security forces.[76] The soldier who produced the evidence and participated in the murder of the woman and filmed himself at the end of the video is named Ramiro Moisés Machatine; he was a member of the government security forces, proving that the murder was committed by government security forces.[77] Ramiro Moisés Machatine has been declared dead as of 16 September 2020, and the circumstances of his death are not clear.[77] This incident is consistent with other reports of gross human rights violations and crimes under international law that take place in the country, demonstrating a repeated and relentless pattern of crimes committed by government security forces.[78][75][79][80] These assassinations and other related crimes are never investigated.[81] Under his presidency, insurgents of Cabo Delgado (northern Mozambique) were able to seize a key port of Mocímboa da Praia on 13 August 2020, and two strategic islands of Mecungo (Mocímboa) and Vamisse (Olumbe, Palma) on 8 September 2020 (while still holding Mocímboa da Praia).[82][83][84][85] Despite their Islamist agenda, the insurgents are building on decades of local frustrations about unemployment, rigged elections, corruption and violence.[4][5][86][87][88] On 23 August 2020, offices of Canal de Moçambique were petrol-bombed; Canal de Moçambique is a reputable and independent media house, which usually reports corruption involving Filipe Nyusi, his children, and elites of the ruling party Frelimo.[78][89][90][91][92] Filipe Nyusi is involved in illegal debts, from which he benefited for his 2014 presidential campaign; he was mentioned in United States District Court of Eastern District Of New York on 20 November 2019 as having received at least 2 million Dollars in bribes.[27][26][62] Armando Guebuza, President of Mozambique during the time that the illegal debts were contracted, during a hearing with attorney general Ana Sheila Marrengula on 30 September 2020 indicated that Nyusi should be arrested to better clarify the illegal debts because the money from the illegal debts that went to Ematum and MAM was intended to guarantee the defense and security of the country, and Nyusi was the Minister of Defence.[25][93][94] Moreover, in a document submitted to The High Court of Justice in London, Credit Suisse admits adding Filipe Nyusi to the lawsuit as a defendant "to answer for his irregularities".[19][20][21][17][28] The former President Armando Guebuza, to whom Nyusi served as a Minister of Defence[58] and was instrumental in ensuring the selection of Nyusi as Frelimo's candidate to enable Guebuza to retain substantial power after leaving office,[61] is listed as a defendant in The High Court of Justice in London in the context of the illegal debts.[95][96][97] Former Minister of Finance Manuel Chang, who was a colleague of Nyusi in the government of former President Armando Guebuza when Nyusi was Minister of Defence, was arrested in South Africa on 29 December 2018 on the request of U.S. prosecutors who want Chang extradited to the U.S. to face trial in connection with the illegal debts.[98][99][100][101][102] Chang has remained in jail in South Africa since then.[103]

Personal life[edit]

Nyusi is a member of the Makonde ethnic community.[104] He is married to Isaura Nyusi and has four children, Jacinto, Florindo, Claudia and Angelino.[105][106]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Armando Guebuza
President of Mozambique
2015–present
Incumbent