Mozambique commemorates on October 19, 2011, the 25th anniversary of the loss of its founding father and President Samora Machel, who was killed in a plane crash in Mbuzini, South Africa on October 19, 1986. The government declared 2011 the “Year of Samora Machel”.
The week started with a ceremony on Monday 17 October near the crash site in South Africa, attended by numerous presidents, including Zuma of South Africa and Rousseff of Brazil.
Today, on the anniversary of his death, which has been declared a public holiday in Mozambique, tributes to him on Twitter have been flowing from Mozambique, South Africa, Brazil and beyond.
@abcuna: Os herois morrem mas as suas obras ficam R.I.P Samora Moises Machel primeiro presidente de Moçambique independente
@possesful: On this day 1986 Samora Moisés Machel 1st President of Mozambique died in a plane crash, but as mama makeba said “a luta continua” (the struggle continues) [Miriam Makeba sang a song with this line]
@BenjamimNhumaio: Samora Machel foi o presidente e nao um presidente de Mocambique
@AlexMarime: A ToDo psoal da TwitterLandia feliz dia alusivo ao Marechal Samora Machel pai da Republica Mocambicana e defensor da Soberania. Samora VIVE!
Twitter user @SuperCjr used Brazilian slang (perhaps alluding to Obama's similar comment about former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva):
@SuperCjr: Samora Machel era o cara. #SamoraMachel
Others were nostalgic for Machel: his politics, his charisma and what he represented.
@cydia_buster: R..I..P SAMORA MACHEL. O teu povo hoje precisa de ti
@CelsoDomingos: “A qualidade do moçambicano não se define pela cor. Não há minorias, há povo moçambicano”. Samora Machel 6
Some observed that his ideals have been overshadowed today
@WOLKER_MOZ: Samora, samora, samora ideais de samora WTF
Some young people who never lived through socialism are hearing the older generation reminisce:
@Cle0_Princess: Minha momz ta contar cenas do tempo de Samora. a rir pakas……
The new statue
The statue inaugurated today in front of capital Maputo's City Hall is a massive bronze monument, made in North Korea. Many people have been commenting about it. The first Mozambican participant in African Big Brother @DJWizardMZ, tweeted this photo from the ceremony (see right).
@DonCherinda: Estatua D Samora Moises Machel e LEGEND
Mystery shrouding Machel's death
Others were concerned with the cause of the plane crash that killed Machel, which is still shrouded in mystery. It is commonly believed in Mozambique that Machel's death was not merely due to pilot error, as was found by the South African-sponsored investigation at the time. Conspiracy theories abound, but none were pronounced on Twitter.
@cyrep: Who killed mozambique president Samora Machel 25 yrs ago? I feel former SA gov owes mozambique ppl answers.
@andradedundas: Querem nos tapar a vista,sabem bem quem matou #SAMORA
@IrioP: Só saberão quem matou Samora, quando todos os intervenientes estiverem mortos, ou não. Ou seja, parem de encher o saco com esse papo.
South African radio announced that even Machel's widow Graça is not satisfied:
@amliveonsafm: Graca Machel calls on government to re-open the investigation into the death of Samora Machel