Isaias Samakuva, who was speaking at the opening of the 13th ordinary congress of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), which kicked off this Thursday in Luanda, until Saturday, with 1150 delegates, said that the meeting should also serve to "build, consolidate the unity and internal cohesion of the party, without leaving anyone out".
The congress's highest point is the election of the party's president, a position for which only Adalberto Costa Júnior is running, elected UNITA leader in 2019, however, removed by imposition of the Constitutional Court, which annulled the congress.
The opening was attended by representatives of political parties, the diplomatic corps, including the ambassador of the European Union, Jeanette Seppen and members of civil society.
"It is not an easy exercise in the situation we are in, it requires courage, humility, patriotism and a sense of mission", said Samakuva in the opening speech.
"Courage to look each other in the eye and talk candidly. Humility to set aside our egos, control our emotions and ambitions. Patriotism to place the collective interest of legitimate group aspirations and strategies and a sense of mission to accept the the fact that we've only come this far because along our journey we managed to get around and overcome together the obstacles that appeared in front of us," he added.
Isaias Samakuva stressed that the party can "lose everything" what it won if it acts "in a selfish, revengeful and immediate way."
"We all have to reinvent ourselves, to find graceful solutions that avoid the kidnapping of collective heritage, that allow us to honor and dignify the memory of all who, like Dr. Jonas Malheiro Savimbi, our symbol of the unity and internal cohesion of the party, they did their best for UNITA to get where it is today," he said.
The outgoing party leader warned that "in this fight whoever seeks to attack the pillars of UNITA's unity and identity will not succeed".
"We have to reinvent ourselves to find ways, walk together, let's all reach our common goal", he said, recalling that the common goal is not "power for power and much less achieving material wealth or privileges", but rather "the construction of democracy in Angola, the affirmation of the social and legal State to serve Angola, the elevation of citizenship, the development of a new political culture".
Regarding external interference, Isaías Samakuva said that the surrounding forces have used different strategies and tactics "to overcome their adversary".
"In the same way that, in the military field, the advancement of science and technology determined the use of new instruments in communications, counter-intelligence, penetration tactics, combat techniques, also in political struggle, the force that holds 46 years ago, state control began to use state organs and resources without limits to execute its party strategies", he stressed.
The UNITA president considered it imperative to identify the opponent's forces on the ground, but it is also necessary to know "very well" the position of their forces.
"Don't let a maneuver simulating our opponent lead us to attack our own forces, confused with those of the opponent. Politically, we need to check our opponent well so that we don't open cracks in our own lines, as it happens , our unity and the internal cohesion of our party are affected", he stressed.
UNITA's leadership suspended three members of the Political Commission, including José Pedro Katchiungo, who disputed the party's leadership in the congress held in 2019, which elected Adalberto da Costa Júnior, which has since been annulled by the Constitutional Court.
The decision was taken at the statutory meeting that precedes the 13th Congress of the party of the 'Black Rooster', the main opposition political force, now led by Isaías Samakuva, who was at the head of UNITA for 16 years and returned following Adalberto's departure from Costa Júnior under the Constitutional Court ruling that annulled the 2019 congress.
"After analyzing and discussing various information presented on the performance of some members of the Political Commission outside the Party's disciplinary proceedings, the Political Commission decided, by secret ballot, with 150 votes in favor (85 percent), 20 votes against (11 per cent) and 6 abstentions (4 per cent), preventively suspend, under the terms of number 1 of article 21 of the Party Statutes, the members Estêvão José Pedro Katchiungo, José Eduardo and Altino Kapango.
Katchiungo competed in the electoral race for UNITA leadership that Adalberto da Costa Júnior won in 2019, being the least voted among the remaining candidates (Adalberto Costa Júnior, Alcides Sakala, Abilio Kamalata Numa, Raul Danda), with only 10 votes.
On Tuesday, UNITA had already decided to preventively suspend seven other militants who appealed to the Constitutional Court (TC) to make the date of the congress, which takes place between this Thursday and Saturday, unfeasible.
At issue is an initiative of a group of militants who asked for the congress to be challenged with the leadership of the 'Black Rooster' party and filed an injunction with the TC, alleging that the appointment of the conclave was carried out in a climate of intimidation, which UNITA rejects.