Mercia Viriato Lica; the Brave Mind

Mercia Viriato Lica, a lawyer and disability advocate, is the youngest elected MP in Mozambique. 2019 saw Hon. Lica graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in Law from the Pedagogical University of Maputo.

When she took the oath of office alongside 249 other legislators on January 13, 2020, she turned 23 and became the youngest member of parliament in the history of the Republic of Mozambique. Lica is currently serving a five-year term in the FRELIMO-majority parliament (Front for the Liberation of Mozambique).

She lacks any upper limbs due to a congenital abnormality. She uses her feet to perform a variety of hand- and arm-dependent tasks, including typing on a phone, writing on paper, drinking water, using a computer, and many more.

As she pursued her objectives, Lica did face a number of difficulties.

Her mother brought her up in the region of Inhambane after being deserted by her father when she was a little child. When Lica started primary school in 2003, her mother was urged to enroll her in a specialist facility; but, because she lacked the funds to do so, Lica was forced to attend a conventional school.

The teenage activist had written to the president of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, via his Facebook page the year before, urging him to improve living circumstances for the nation’s disabled citizens. Her statements impacted the president, who eventually encouraged her to run for office in the legislative elections. She even had an unexpected visit from Nyusi at her house.

Mércia Viriato Lica, who was born without arms, was elected to the Mozambican parliament at age 23. She is not only an excellent role model to those who have disabilities but to all young folks with aspirations of achievement. Many people were thrilled when she and other legislators took the oath of office in January 2020, including activist Benilde Mourana.

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