The title of Randall Robinson's op-ed column -- "Dole and Helms Have It Backward on Mozambique" {Aug. 10} -- is almost correct. But what are Bob Dole's and Jesse Helms' names doing there? The right title would read: "Reagan and Robinson Have It Backward on Mozambique (Again)."

Robinson begins his assessment of the Mozambican National Resistance, or Renamo, by referring to the "massacre at Homoine." He gives graphic detail of the atrocities committed by hundreds of armed troops, quoting the Los Angeles Times as his source.

Very interesting. Very interesting especially because no independent confirmation has backed up the Frelimo government's claims either that the incident took place on the scale it claims or that Renamo had anything to do with it. Even our own State Department publicly admitted last week that no confirmation has been received backing up any of the details of the Frelimo government claim.

There is more than ample reason to suspect the government claims. For six days the Frelimo regime would not allow foreign reporters to the site, although three top ministers of the government traveled there. When foreign journalists did reach Homoine, they were taken to see 40 (not 400) "graves," but no bodies.

Frelimo claims that "uniformed Renamo soldiers" ran through the streets of Homoine. This is absurd, as anyone who is familiar with the Mozambican National Resistance should immediately recognize: Renamo has no uniforms -- members of the resistance are dressed in whatever rags they can find. This fact is amply supported by every film made showing Renamo's supporters.

It is remarkable that the American press, which prides itself on its insistence on independent verification of facts and distrust of official sources, should so casually accept a government account, especially one that is so obviously self-serving. Within a week of the Frelimo government's releasing its claims of what occurred at Homoine, President Joaquim Chissano was on his way to Moscow to plead for increased Soviet aid. Within another week of his return to Maputo, Chissano made the same request at a summit of the Front Line states. The incredible coincidence of dates is far too beneficial to Chissano to be taken at face value.

The more timely question of the nomination of Melissa Wells as ambassador to Mozambique, and the opposition to it presented by 28 senators (Republicans and Democrats), is misunderstood by Robinson. Wells has made her support of State Department policy toward Mozambique more than clear in Foreign Relations Committee hearings and in written responses to questions from Helms. She has stated categorically that she will not accept the role of mediator between the Mozambique resistance and the government in hope of negotiating an end to the devastating civil war.

It remains unclear to me, as it does to Helms, Dole et al., how it is that the secretary of state is willing to meet with the leader of a known terrorist organization (the African National Congress), while the State Department refuses to meet with a popular democratic resistance in the interests of peace. This policy, which Wells fully endorses, is at the heart of bipartisan opposition to the appointment.

Robinson would do well to remember the Frelimo government's response to the findings of the international committee investigating the Machel air crash, a committee that included former astronaut Frank Borman. Chissano's government dismissed the conclusion that President Samora Machel's death was an accident and joined with the Soviet Union in denouncing the committee (including Borman) as an agent of South Africa.

It is time Robinson and others reexamined the value they place upon the claims of a government that has demonstrated its determination to disregard truth when it thinks calculated deceit to its advantage, as Frelimo has done. -- Daniel Flynn The writer is executive director of Free the Eagle.