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Mozambique First Lady debunks presidency rumours

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Mozambican First lady Maria da Luz Guebuza has dismissed as ludicrous rumours that she would be a likely candidate in her country’s presidential election next year, the local media reported on Thursday.There have been persistent speculations that the first lady was aspiring to be president given that her husband President Guebuza is barred by the constitution from seeking a third term in office.

The first lady said apart from being a key figure within the ruling Frelimo party, she would never nurse any political ambition of becoming the president of Mozambique after her husband’s term in office ends next year.

Prior to her interview, there were widespread speculations that her husband was desperate to continue to be influential in Mozambican politics and was grooming her to succeed him in a bid to realize this end.

In a widely publicized interview which was aired by private television station, Stv and published by its sister daily publication O Pais, Maria da Luz said “this is impossible”.

“I am a senior cadre of the Frelimo Party, but it’s not possible, I have been involved in very intensive work in defense of women and children and I would continue to contribute my quota to national development but not as president of the country. Frelimo and Mozambique have many cadres and there are many people who can take on this job” she was heard saying.

Meanwhile, President Guebuza, an independence veteran turned businessman who was re-elected to a second five-year term in 2009, is one of Mozambique’s richest men.

Although the national constitution bars him from a third term, Frelimo has not designated a likely successor.

Guebuza is criticised by opponents for using his position to expand his family business which ranges from ports and logistics to construction, tourism and publishing thus earning himself the nickname “Guebusiness”.

A 2009 U.S. embassy cable quoted a former foreign minister Leonardo Simao as saying Guebuza “runs the party like the mafia”.

The Guebuza family’s commercial clout stretches to the president’s youngest daughter Valentina, a civil engineer in her early 30s.

She was elected to Frelimo’s Central Committee last year and featured in a 2012 Forbes Africa magazine article as Mozambique’s “Millionaire Princess”.

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