2016-10-18 19:08:00

Clergy pay tribute to the legacy of Samora Machel

Various representatives from several African countries have this week participated in the 30th anniversary ceremonies of the death of former Mozambican President, Samora Machel.  The commemoration ceremonies held at the Samora Machel Monument in Mbuzini, Mpumalanga, South Africa were attended by the country’s Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa. According to SABC news, the focus of the commemoration ceremonies on Wednesday shift to Mozambique.

Samora died on 19 October 1986 when he and other officials were returning from an African leaders' meeting in Lusaka, Zambia. His plane crashed into the Lebombo Mountains, an 800 km long, narrow range of mountains in Southern Africa.

Samora Machel led his country to its independence from the Portuguese in 1975.  He espoused a Marxist-Leninist approach to government.

Vatican Radio’s Portuguese programme correspondent, in Maputo, Herminio Jose, went around to talk to some of Mozambique’s clergy about Samora’s legacy. Notwithstanding Samora’s socialist approach, many still have fond memories their leader. 

Father Pinto Cuna of the Archdiocese of Maputo, said Samora Machel was a legend par excellence killed by the enemies of peace and justice.

"Samora was for peace and social justice, and because of his charisma, he was murdered barbarously.  We Mozambicans should embrace Samora’s values by putting into practice a just system in our society. That is, we must avoid the deep inequality that we see here in our country. We must avoid bloodshed and armed conflict. We can immortalise Samora by living as brothers and sisters,” said Fr. Cuna.

Another member of the clergy, Pastor John Timba of The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God said, "Samora Machel did not want his people to suffer; he wanted the collective good for his people.” Continued pastor Timba, “Mozambicans should be inspired by Samora, because only then, will the Mozambique that he [samora] always desired -a one, indivisible and democratic country- become a reality ."

At the Mpumalanga event this week, SABC news quotes the 37-year old son of Samora, Melanga Machel, calling for another inquiry into the death of his father.

(Email: engafrica@vatiradio.va)

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