Mocumbi encourages citizens to denounce racism

Durban- South Africa (PANA) -- Mozambican Prime Minister Pascoal Mocumbi has encouraged fellow citizens to come forward and denounce any acts of racism and discrimination they may suffer based on the colour of their skin.
Mocumbi was talking to the Mozambican press on Sunday in the South African city of Durban where he was attending the UN conference on racism, moments before he returned to Maputo.
"Every Mozambican who suffers discrimination based on his race, whether it be in restaurants, public places or clubs, excluding members-only clubs, must identify who discriminated against him so that we can trigger the legal mechanisms for measures to be taken in accordance with the law", he said.
Mocumbi indicated that he had no time for any restaurant owners that refused to serve blacks on account of their skin, but served those of their own colour.
This was simply racism, he said.
There have been reports of blacks being frowned upon and not served in up-market restaurants along Julius Nyerere Avenue in Maputo.
The Government would also take a hard line on banks that refused to give credit to Mozambicans while they readily dished out money to foreigners, he stressed.
However, Mocumbi was quick to add that it should not be construed as racism when a bank refused to give loans to clients because they could provide no guarantee that the bank would recoup its money.
"If you go to a bank seeking a loan by using your land tenure title, the bank will certainly refuse you because all property in land is vested in the state", he said.
But if one sought credit against an investment made on the land, perhaps the financial institution would grant it, added Mocumbi.
It would be a foolish bank that granted credits to people who offered no guarantees, he stressed.
Meanwhile, asked about the parallel between the murder of journalist Carlos Cardoso in November and that of the chairman of the board of directors of the Austral Bank, Antonio Siba-Siba Macuacua, last month, Mocumbi said that he could not comment on whether there had been an element of racism in the differing response to these deaths.
There have been claims of racism based on the fact that when Cardoso, a white man, was murdered, there was a strong reaction from the public which culminated with the holding of a large demonstration.
However, when a few months later Macuacua was found dead inside the headquarters of the bank nothing similar was organised.
Mocumbi thought this had more to do with whoever had mobilised the demonstration for Cardoso.
That demonstration was, in fact, called by Cardoso's colleagues in the Mozambican Journalists Union, the SNJ.

03 september 2001 23:27:00

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