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Commemorating Mozambique's Founding Father, Samora Machel

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

@abcuna: Heros die but their works remain. RIP Samora Moises Machel first President of independent Mozambique
Mozambicans commemorate President Samora Machel. Image from lockerz.com

Mozambicans commemorate President Samora Machel. Image from lockerz.com

@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

@BenjamimNhumaio: Samora Machel was the President and not “a president” of Mozambique

@AlexMarime: A ToDo psoal da TwitterLandia feliz dia alusivo ao Marechal Samora Machel pai da Republica Mocambicana e defensor da Soberania. Samora VIVE!

@AlexMarime: To EveryBody in Twitterland happy day commemorating General Samora Machel father of the Mozambican Republic and defender of sovereignty. Samora LIVES!

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

@SuperCjr: Samora Machel was the man. #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

@cydia_buster: RIP SAMORA MACHEL. Your people need you today

@CelsoDomingos: “A qualidade do moçambicano não se define pela cor. Não há minorias, há povo moçambicano”. Samora Machel 6

@CelsoDomingos: ”The quality of a Mozambican is not determined by color. There are no minorities, there is the Mozambican people”. Samora Machel

Some observed that his ideals have been overshadowed today

@WOLKER_MOZ: Samora, samora, samora ideais de samora WTF

Samora, samora, samora ideals of 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……

@Cle0_Princess: My momz is telling us stuff about Samora's time. Cracking up……

The new statue

New Samora Machel statue, Maputo. Image from yfrog.

New Samora Machel statue, Maputo. Image from yfrog.

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

@DonCherinda: The Statue of Samora Moises Machel is LEGEND YO!!!

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

@andradedundas: They want to blindfold us,they know very well who killed him #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.

@IrioP: You will only know who killed Samora, when all those involved are dead, or not. In other words, stop annoying us with this talk.

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

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