President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi of Mozambique is a Soviet trained Engineer born on February 9th 1959 and also schooled in neighbouring Tanzania for both his Primary school and military training.
On Wednesday, President Nyusi took oath of the highest office in the capital Maputo to begin his second and last term as Head of State.
Who Is Filipe Jacinto Nyusi ?
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.
In 1973, he joined Frelimo at the age of fourteen and received political and military training at Nachingwea in Tanzania.
In 1990, he completed his mechanical engineering degree at Antonín Zápotocký Military Academy (VAAZ) in Brno, Czechoslovakia, nowadays University of Defence (Czech Republic). He also studied a postgraduate degree management at the Victoria University of Manchester in England.
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, and joined the company’s board of directors in 2007.
From 1993 to 2002, Nyusi 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). He received further training in management in India, South Africa, Swaziland, and the United States.
Nyusi In Politics
Nyusi took office as Minister of Defence on 27 March 2008, succeeding Tobias Joaquim Dai. 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”.
Although no official reason was given for Dai’s removal, it may have been a “delayed reaction” to the Malhazine disaster.
In September 2012, Nyusi was elected to the Central Committee of Frelimo, the ruling party, at its 10th congress.
On 1 March 2014, the Frelimo Central Committee elected Nyusi as the party’s candidate for the 2014 presidential election.
He defeated Luisa Diogo in the second round with 68% to her 31%.
Mozambique’s largest opposition party Renamo called on President Filipe Nyusi to resign after allegations in a US court that he benefited from proceeds of a $2-billion debt scandal.
The loans were acquired at a time when Nyusi was defence minister and preparing to run in presidential elections in 2014, but were not disclosed until 2016.
Between 2013 and 2014, state-owned security companies borrowed about $2-billion from Credit Suisse and Russia’s VTB Bank to buy military and fishing vessels from an Abu Dhabi based ship-building company, Prinivest.
But government only disclosed the debt in 2016 — a development that plunged the poor, donor-dependent country into its worst-ever financial crisis.
The United States also alleges that at least $200-million of the loans was spent on bribes and kickbacks to politicians and top officials.
A Lebanese businessman Jean Boustani, accused of helping coordinate the alleged fraud, is on trial in New York.
In testimony on Wednesday, he alleged that part of money went to fund the 2014 election campaign on behalf of Nyusi.
According to investigations by the FBI, a million dollars went towards the campaign. Nyusi is referred to as “NUY” in email documents produced in court.