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Uria Simango

Uria Simango




Uria Timoteo Simango, a revered Mozambican Presbyterian minister, and a prominent figure in the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO), played a pivotal role in the struggle against Portuguese colonial rule. Born on March 15, 1926, his legacy is marked by steadfast resistance and leadership, though his life was tragically cut short by extrajudicial execution, the precise date of which remains unknown, sometime around October 1979. This brutal act, orchestrated by the post-independence government under Samora Machel, also claimed the lives of several other FRELIMO dissidents, including his wife, Celina.

Simango's journey within FRELIMO began at its inception in 1962, where he served as Vice-President until the assassination of the organization's first leader, Eduardo Mondlane, in February 1969. Following Mondlane's death, a power struggle ensued, leading to Simango's ascendancy to the presidency. However, his leadership faced challenges, ultimately resulting in his expulsion from the Central Committee in November 1969. Subsequently, control of FRELIMO fell into the hands of Samora Machel and Marcelino dos Santos, marking the end of Simango's tenure.

In April 1970, disillusioned by the direction of FRELIMO, Simango ventured to Egypt, aligning himself with other dissidents to lead COREMO, a smaller liberation movement. The tide turned in 1974 with the Portuguese Carnation Revolution, prompting Simango's return to Mozambique. Here, he established the National Coalition Party (PCN), aiming to contest elections and challenge FRELIMO's monopoly on power.

However, FRELIMO's opposition to multi-party elections thwarted Simango's political ambitions. With Mozambique gaining independence in June 1975, Machel and dos Santos assumed leadership positions, while Simango faced arrest and coercion. Forced to make a public confession recanting his beliefs, Simango's integrity remained steadfast, despite the manipulation and coercion he endured.

Tragically, Simango and other PCN leaders never regained their freedom. Executed in secrecy between 1977 and 1980, their deaths remain shrouded in mystery, with the circumstances and dates undisclosed by authorities. Scholar Phillip Rothwell suggests Simango's demise occurred in October 1979, possibly to prevent him from becoming a rallying figure for rebel groups like RENAMO.

The absence of a judicial process leaves unanswered questions regarding the treason charges brought against Simango. His tentative negotiations with settler parties upon returning to Mozambique in 1974, aimed at fostering multi-party democracy, were deemed treasonous by FRELIMO hardliners, further complicating his legacy.


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Date of Birth: March 15, 1926

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