Sunday, February 28, 2021

Influential mayor of Mozambique metropolis dies of COVID-19

Simango was elected mayor of Beira, broadly thought of Mozambique’s second metropolis and a middle of opposition assist, in 2003 and remained its chief till his demise.

He was widespread and recognized for working an efficient municipal authorities. Educated as an engineer, he supported constructing a system of flood channels to assist the low-lying Indian Ocean port of 500,000 individuals address flooding from annual cyclones.

When Cyclone Idai devastated Beira in 2019, Simango was usually out within the streets, serving to to ascertain feeding facilities and emergency well being clinics. He was additionally an outspoken campaigner towards international warming, which he blamed for the rising sea ranges affecting Beira.

Simango was first elected Beira’s mayor in an electoral coalition with Renamo, Mozambique’s major opposition celebration. 5 years later, nonetheless, Renamo chief Afonso Dhlakama refused to let him run for re-election. So he ran and gained as an impartial, after which established the Mozambique Democratic Motion. His brother, Lutero Simango, is the celebration’s vice chairman and its chief within the nationwide parliament.

Simango ran for president of Mozambique in 2009, 2014 and 2019, coming third every time after candidates from the ruling Frelimo celebration and Renamo. His finest end result was in 2009, when he gained 8.59% of the vote.

His celebration, the MDM, at one level ruled 4 cities — together with the most important metropolis within the north of the nation, Nampula, in addition to Quelimane, the capital of Zambezia province, and the smaller metropolis of Gurue. By the point of his demise, nonetheless, Beira was the celebration’s solely electoral possession.

Simango was born in what’s now Tanzania, the son of Uria Simango, the exiled deputy head of the Entrance for the Liberation of Mozambique, often called Frelimo, the motion that fought towards Portuguese colonial rule. Nonetheless, his father finally turned estranged from the celebration.

Frelimo got here to energy when Mozambique gained independence from Portugal in 1975 and Simango’s father was a critic of the ruling celebration.

AP journalist Tom Bowker in Uzes, France, contributed.

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