For now, Nyussi's leading supporters fear that Bashir's association with his campaign will undermine his efforts to establish himself as a credible reformer with the voters ahead of the presidential elections on 15 October (AC Vol 55 No 19, Frelimo turns the screws). Nyussi was meant to have been the main attraction at the CTA banquet. Although he has become better known and liked in recent months, he lacks the political stature or experience of his predecessors.
Also at the top table at the banquet, along with Nyussi and Bashir, were several other guests of honour including Frelimo's First Secretary Hermenegildo Mateus Infante and businessmanAdriano Weng. Also in attendance was Alvaro Massingue, another wealthy businessman and Frelimo financier. For the astonishing price of just over 2 million meticals (US$65,000) he purchased the pen with which Nyussi will sign the official documents if he becomes president. The pen purchase seems to have become a symbolic gesture of support, accompanied by a hefty party donation. When Guebuza was candidate, it was Bashir who purchased the presidential pen for a similarly inflated sum.