Ver Angola

Society

Thousands marched in Luanda shouting “out, MPLA” and defending deposed UNITA leader

Thousands of people demonstrated last Friday in Luanda, in defense of the democratic state, shouting “out” to the MPLA, the party in power since Angola's independence, almost half a century ago, and defending the deposed leader of UNITA, Adalberto of Costa Júnior.

: Ampe Rogério/Lusa
Ampe Rogério/Lusa  

The demonstration brought together militants from the main opposition party UNITA, the PRA JA Servir Angola movement and the Democratic Bloc, now united in the United Patriotic Front, an 'ad hoc' platform that aims to defeat the MPLA in elections scheduled for 2022, and movement activists social and civil society members.

At around 12pm, at the Santa Ana cemetery, the place marked for the gathering before the start of the march, which then headed towards Largo 1.º de Maio, the number of people was still scarce, with just over a hundred young people. to congregate in the place, where the atmosphere was already festive due to the hip hop music coming from the car speakers where the organizers of the protest followed.

There, as they organized for the parade, supporters of Adalberto da Costa Júnior (ACJ), the UNITA leader elected at the 13th Congress and ousted last week under a Constitutional Court decision that annulled the act, shouted "Samakuva out", alluding to the former president, who has now regained his seat after ACJ's removal from the leadership of the Black Rooster party.

Ginga Savimbi, one of the daughters of the party's founder, Jonas Savimbi, was one of the participants, claiming to be there "to support young people and in defense of ACJ", guaranteeing that this will be his choice even if more candidates appear to run for the presidency at the next congress, still to be scheduled.

About the TC's decision, she considered that this "is another of the organs of the State that works for a political party that does not have fair laws".

Activist Hitler Samussuku, who also participated in the protest "in the name of the democratic State and of law", lamented that João Lourenço, the President, "is capturing the TC to detonate its political opponents", claiming to be also in solidarity with the United Patriotic Front.

He stressed that more than supporting UNITA, "what is at stake is the national interest" and, therefore, civil society organizations and party sympathizers decided to "embrace this fight", regretting that "TC judges are judges MPLA" who decided to create a political judgment.

UNITA militant Carlos Jacinto, who said he participated as a citizen in this protest, considered that "the MPLA is only demonstrating that it wants to establish a monarchy in Angola" and wanted to alert Angolans "to the great danger of the MPLA" in the country, also expressing support the AJC.

With improvised posters, which read sayings such as "MPLA, we no longer want" and "João leaves the ACJ in peace", the young people were also shouting "Adalberto Presidente", in a protest marked more by political content, motivated by the approximation of general elections and for the removal of Costa Júnior, than for the social demands.

Around the place, zungueiras and street vendors also circulated in an attempt to do business, selling food and water to young people.

The march, which left on time at 1pm, towards 1.º de Maio, thickened as the parade advanced towards the city, carefully guarded by the police, careful to control the young people, in a demonstration that took place in a peaceful manner, despite some incidents and attempts at provocation by protesters more excited than the organizers of the march, from the car that accompanied the parade they also tried to calm down.

The demonstrators took about an hour to make their way to Largo 1.º de Maio, chanting slogans such as "MPLA, out" and "Adalberto, friend, the people are with you", animatedly following them to the final stop, too. known as Largo da Independência and home to a monumental statue of the first Angolan president, Agostinho Neto.

There, the protesters were distributed in the square that was surrounded by police to prevent the most excited young people from continuing the protest outside the marked place.

In Largo, the 24-year-old Bento, who claimed to have no party affiliation, declared himself "too boring with the MPLA", the party "of witches and sorcerers", complaining about the lack of jobs for young people and the high cost of food.

"What country is this? We are Angolans! This country does not belong to the MPLA, it belongs to the Angolan people, who are suffering. Our brothers are collecting food from dumps and containers. João Lourenço out!"

Tá Nice Neutro, another of the young people who attended the march, turned his protest into intervention music.

"Next year, MPLA in opposition and UNITA in power/in 2022 will like/The victory of another party/because no one believes in the MPLA anymore/there's only a bandit man/since 1975 they steal all the wealth of a humble people/many Angolans died for speaking the truth/xee, xee, xee, MPLA fell", he shot in a 'rapper' tone, heavily applauded by the young people around him.

In the square, the protest gave way to a rally, followed by interventions by the organizers of the march, in a peaceful setting despite the appeal of some more rebellious young people to continue the march towards the Presidential Palace.