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Tuesday 29 July  

Mozambique president lashes out at 'foreign critics'

Published on 7 December 2012 - 5:09pm
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Mozambique's president has lashed out at foreign critics for sowing dissent in his country by claiming its natural resources were only benefitting some.

"We speak today of natural resources everywhere which some say only enrich the few. Some say so out of a lack of information, but others do it out of malice," said Armando Guebuza.

His comments appeared in the state-run paper, Noticias on Friday.

The 69-year-old leader did not spell out whom he was accusing of being provocateurs but said, "there are countries that, because of this type of gossip, are pitting tribe against tribe, religion against religion.

"They are here to extract resources and then come here to say that the gap between rich and poor is widening."

Guebuza's unusually outspoken criticism comes as the country prepares to reap unprecedented capital inflows from vast coal and natural gas deposits.

Brazil, Australia, the United States, Britain and India all have significant interests in the hydrocarbons sector.

Twenty years after the end of a devastating civil war, the east African country is experiencing galloping economic growth of over seven percent, one of the highest rates in the world.

However, international organisations persistently draw attention to high levels of poverty and inequality.

In its assessment of Mozambique the World Bank says the country's "impressive trajectory of growth has not been matched by a concomitant reduction in poverty... prompting questions about the need for greater inclusiveness."

The United Nations ranked the country 184 out of 187 countries on its "Human Development Index" last year.

"Many people talk and we hear that wealth does not reach everyone. It's true. But the problem that arises is that wealth is built. The potential is there, but if we do nothing, if we do not work hard, houses, power and roads will not come," said Guebuza.

Guebuza lashed out at critics for creating instability in his country. The leader of the Renamo group of former rebels, Afonso Dhlakama is currently threatening to return the country to war unless the government agrees to negotiate over the distribution of the country's wealth.

"All of this creates conflicts amongst us. It is a powerful weapon that aims to divide us and make us fight amongst ourselves while they meet us in seven star hotels," said Guebuza.

© ANP/AFP
  • Mozambique's president Armando Guebuza, seen here in August, has lashed out ...
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