Songo crash stories; MDM teachers transferred – Mozambique Elections 2019, edition 58


Source: 2019 General Elections – Mozambique Political Process Bulletin

Songo survivors tell how fatal crash happened

Amado Mateus, 18, is a 12th grade student at Magoe Secondary School. He is a resident of the 1st District of Daque, Magoe, about 120 km from the scene of the fatal accident on Mount Mbonga in Songo.

On Sunday morning, 22 September, Amado and dozens of other young people from his district were transported by cargo truck to Songo, where they attended the rally of Frelimo presidential candidate Filipe Nyusi. At least 7 of the truck’s occupants died on this trip. Mateus survived but with physical and psychological scars.

“The truck lost control and then overturned. Many people were injured and others died there,” says Amado Mateus. He sustained minor injuries to his arm and is already at his home in Magoe after receiving medical care at Songo Rural Hospital.

In the accident some acquaintances of Amado died, all from Magoe: “Paulo, Stelio, Tate, Elias, Senhor Vicente and Sandra”, says the survivor.

The truck is from a Magoe businessman named Aireque Saize. He transported Frelimo supporters 140 km to Songo free of charge. There they attended the popular rally of Filipe Nyusi, presidential candidate of Frelimo and current president of the Republic.

The crash happened on the way back at the end of the day. The Frelimo party confirmed in a press release the death of four people in the accident but survivors and our correspondents say there are more dead.

“The car started to shake, we got scared and the car sped up. The driver could not brake, tried to turn and failed until the car overturned and we crashed,” Banda Inacio, one of the survivors of the tragedy, told the Bulletin. “Three people died on the spot,” he recalled.

There is disparity in the death toll. People who came to the rescue of the victims speak of 10 dead but other sources claim that part of the 10 deaths were only unconscious after the accident and were revived at the hospital.

After the accident, some injured were evacuated to Songo Rural Hospital (HRS) and others were sent to Tete Provincial Hospital. At HRS, medical staff declined to speak to CIP correspondents.

Our correspondents in the district of Magoe recorded 7 confirmed deaths in the district in connection with the accident, including a brother and sister. Six have been named: Paulo Tiodoze, Sandra Juga, Tate Juga, Tinai Domingos, Vicente Pacassa, Stelio Ostani.

3 Gaza teachers transferred for backing MDM

Three teachers were transferred from the Tlavene EPC in Mabalane village, Gaza province, to other schools in remote areas, allegedly as a reprimand for being part of the MDM campaign.

The three Mabalane teachers on Saturday afternoon (21 September) received transfer orders from the Ntlavene EPC in the host village of Mabalane. Two were transferred to Mungingi EPC, which is about 70 kilometers away and one to Ndangue EPC.

“Where we are going there is a lot of insecurity, we don’t know what could happen to us,” said one of the transferred teachers in an interview with the Bulletin, who says he does not understand the motivations behind the transfer, but believes it to be a political persecution.

Meanwhile, in Homoine District, Inhambane, a 20-year-old student attending 11th grade at 25th September High School, was arrested on 21st September on charges of sticking MDM posters on the school grounds.

According to the report, the detainee was campaigning for MDM in the company of other colleagues when they decided to put up posters in class on Friday 20 September. Realizing this, the school board called the local law enforcement authorities. Without questioning the facts, they located and picked up the student the next day, our correspondents report.

The PRM commander in Homoine reported to the Bulletin yesterday that the student was released and they did not arrest his colleagues because they are minors. According to our correspondents, it is common in Homoine to see students campaigning in schools for different parties, this being the first case.

Frelimo campaign paralyzes public institutions in Inhambane

Daniel Chapo is the appointed Governor of Inhambane and he is standing to be elected as Governor as head of the Frelimo provincial assembly list. And where he goes, work stops, as Inhambane province-level civil servants leave their workplaces to participate in the Frelimo campaign. Public institutions have empty offices and students go without classes when Chapo visits.

In Jangamo district today (September 24) almost all state institutions were paralyzed to receive the candidate for governor, our correspondents report. In Zavala district Friday (20 September), officials employed at the Civil Registry Office completely quit their jobs.

More Frelimo water

In Chizipa village, Machipanda, Manica district, MDM members can only have access to water if they join Frelimo, said Vasco Horacio, MDM political delegate in the district. If hey are participating in the MDM campaing they have no access to drinking water from local government-funded handpumps for supporting the opposition. Horacio said he reported the case to the police.

Also in Manica district, Renamo accuses community leaders of having expropriated farms from opposition party supporters to hand them over to a Chinese mining company. The case took place in Muswata Village, Chitunga Town, Mavonde Administrative Post about 120 km from Manica town. Renamo Head of Information in Manica District, Bento Guirau, says his party supporters are being threatened with death by Community leaders and Chitunga Town Chief. Renamo says it has already reported the case to the local police station.

Editor: Joseph Hanlon | Publisher: Edson Cortez | News Editor: Borges Nhamire

Reporters: Aldemiro Bande, Magda Mendonça, Sheila Nhancale, Graciano Claudio, João Machassel
Published by CIP, Centro de Integridade Pública (Public Integrity Centre),
Rua Fernão Melo e Castro, no 124, Maputo.

ARTICLES MAY BE FREELY REPRINTED but please cite the source: “2019 General Elections – Mozambique Political Process Bulletin”.

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