Simango was elected mayor of Beira, broadly thought of Mozambique’s second metropolis and a middle of opposition assist, in 2003 and remained its chief till his dying.
He was common and recognized for working an efficient municipal authorities. Educated as an engineer, he supported constructing a system of flood channels to assist the low-lying Indian Ocean port of 500,000 individuals deal with flooding from annual cyclones.
When Cyclone Idai devastated Beira in 2019, Simango was typically out within the streets, serving to to ascertain feeding facilities and emergency well being clinics. He was additionally an outspoken campaigner in opposition to world warming, which he blamed for the rising sea ranges affecting Beira.
Simango was first elected Beira’s mayor in an electoral coalition with Renamo, Mozambique’s fundamental opposition get together. 5 years later, nevertheless, Renamo chief Afonso Dhlakama refused to let him run for re-election. So he ran and gained as an impartial, after which established the Mozambique Democratic Motion. His brother, Lutero Simango, is the get together’s vp and its chief within the nationwide parliament.
Simango ran for president of Mozambique in 2009, 2014 and 2019, coming third every time after candidates from the ruling Frelimo get together and Renamo. His greatest consequence was in 2009, when he gained 8.59% of the vote.
His get together, the MDM, at one level ruled 4 cities — together with the largest metropolis within the north of the nation, Nampula, in addition to Quelimane, the capital of Zambezia province, and the smaller metropolis of Gurue. By the point of his dying, nevertheless, Beira was the get together’s solely electoral possession.
Simango was born in what’s now Tanzania, the son of Uria Simango, the exiled deputy head of the Entrance for the Liberation of Mozambique, generally known as Frelimo, the motion that fought in opposition to Portuguese colonial rule. Nevertheless, his father ultimately turned estranged from the get together.
Frelimo got here to energy when Mozambique gained independence from Portugal in 1975 and Simango’s father was a critic of the ruling get together.
AP journalist Tom Bowker in Uzes, France, contributed.
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