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Friday, May 7, 2021

Mozambique opposition leader Daviz Simango dies

The leader of Mozambique second-largest opposition party, Daviz Simango, has died in neighbouring South Africa, following coronavirus complications.

Mr Simango had been evacuated to South Africa on 13 February.

A few days earlier, his wife tested positive for coronavirus, but when Mr Simango himself was tested, the result came back negative.

Mozambique opposition leader Daviz Simango diesHis brother Lutero Simango told journalists at the time that his brother was having trouble breathing and so it was thought advisable to send him to South Africa for further treatment.

He had been feeling ill for about a week at that point.

Mr Simango was the mayor of Beira on the coast, north of the capital Maputo.

He was an extremely popular figure in Beira where he had been elected mayor four times.

In 2003, he ran as a candidate for the main opposition party, Renamo, but the then Renamo leader, Afonso Dhlakama, refused to run Mr Simango for a second term.

So in the 2008 municipal elections Mr Simango ran as an independent, and easily defeated his opponents both from Renamo and from the ruling Frelimo Party.

In 2009, he founded the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), and it was as the MDM candidate that he won the Beira municipal elections in 2013 and again in 2018.

He was the MDM candidate in the presidential elections of 2009, 2014 and 2019, coming third on all three occasions.

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