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Mozambique police formally accuse MDM over Nampula mayor assassination

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The Mozambican police’s criminal investigation unit (SERNIC) has accused at least 10 senior members of the MDM for involvement in the murder of Mahamudo Amurane, the mayor of Nampula who won his seat on the MDM ticket, on 4 October 2017.

Amurane had fallen out with MDM leadership, and had promised to form a new party to run again in this year’s election. There have always been suspicions that the assassination was an inside job by the party he was leaving – but his elimination probably suited all three of the main parties.

Portuguese news agency Lusa pointed out last week that police said they had a good description of the person who pulled the trigger within hours of the assassination. A month later, the justice minister said they already had six suspects. But since then nothing appears to have happened – leading the Prosecutor-General to formally extend the investigation period last week.

SERNIC spokesman Leonardo Simbine told a press conference in Maputo today that the police had not ignored the quarrel Amurane had had with his party, or threats that he had reported receiving from within the party. “It’s important to remember that when the mayor was assassinated he had party members at his side, and others from the Nampula municipal council.”

The identities of the accused would remain secret, Simbine said, because of the assumption of innocence. But their party affiliation has been revealed, just a week away from new elections in Nampula and elsewhere – timing which Simbine said was purely coincidental.

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