Mozambique Political Process Bulletin 73: Peaceful end; No observer credentials; Party funding


Source: 2019 General Elections – Mozambique Political Process Bulletin

Campaign ends peacefully across the country

The last day of the election campaign was quiet across the country. Filipe Nyusi started the day in Nampula and ended in Matola where his closing rally was attended by thousands of people. Ossufo Momade was in four important districts of Nampula. He started the day in Angoche, then went to a very crowded rally in the city of Nampula, moved to his homeland, Ilha de Mocambique, and by nightfall was making another rally in Nacala Porto with thousands of people. Daviz Simango rallied to thousands in Beira, his bastion.

There were no reports of major incidents on the last day.

The campaign ended today at 9 pm. In the coming two days – Sunday and Monday – it is forbidden to campaign.

Bloody campaign: 44 deaths, 271 injured and 59 detained

In the 43-day election campaign, 44 people were killed in the election-related incidents – 7 murdered and the rest in vehicular accidents. In addition, 271 were injured by assault and car crashes, and at least 59 people were arrested. This is the preliminary balance according to the records of our correspondents.

In the last week of the election campaign there were 6 deaths, 42 injured and 10 detained.

United Opposition Against Fraud

For the first time, six major opposition parties competing in Tuesday’s elections have signed a cooperation pact to prevent electoral fraud that favours Frelimo. These are Renamo, MDM, New Democracy, AMUSI, Podemos, and the Ecologists.

The parties have united because they are “deeply distressed by the violence and bloody wave that characterized the election campaign; concerned about the silence of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the electoral administration regarding manipulation of census data; and mindful of the strategy of mega fraud being orchestrated by Frelimo,” they said in a press release.

No credentials today for EISA

No credentials were issued today to observer groups coordinated by EISA, which are the biggest independent civil society observation. EISA groups are missing 3756 observer credentials. Sala da Paz is missing more than 300. But late today there may finally be movement in one problem province, Zambezia. With the election only two days away and many observers far away from provincial capitals, it increasingly looks like a conscious attempt to prevent independent national observation in areas where fraud is possible.

“In Tete we are on duty at the provincial STAE until they issue credentials. They said material was all used up and they have already ordered more. We spoke to the Director and said he would give us attention but it depends on supplies of material in Maputo. I asked for A4 paper credentials and he said it can’t be done because national STAE didn’t approve this format and it has no legitimacy to do so. Someone just came in from the Red Cross with a bunch of applications; some don’t even have a photo. They’re there taking pictures and making credentials. I asked the person if the Red Cross would observe; they said no, they will only provide first aid. So there is clearly material for making badges. But we are kept waiting,” said the representative of the three civil society groups linked to EISA which are hoping to observe in Tete: CDD, Joint and the Catholic church. EISA has applied for 1156 observer credentials in Tete, only 337 (29%) have been issued.

The same groups are also observing in Zambezia, which appears finally to responding to heavy pressure from Maputo, and to be printing some credentials, although none has been handed over. In Zambezia 1227 EISA credentials are outstanding. Observers say: “In Zambezia we are at STAE on duty. No one is here to attend to us. We called the president of the CPE but he did not answer. We asked the guard who said they are in a meeting. The secretary said she would call the communications department but they did not reply.”

In Sofala: “We have been at STAE since morning. No credentials yet. After waiting so long and unsuccessfully, we found the chief of operations. He said Monday.”

CESC in Gaza said “the STAE Director informed me that the Provincial Commission has received about 800 accreditation requests and that because they are using a single machine it takes a long time to accredit. But he said that STAE Technicians will accredit all observers”. Sociedade aberta is also having problems in Maputo province.

Sala da Paz in Zambezia has been told that 174 of 285 credentials is ready and all will be ready shortly. But in Nampula requests for more than 200 observers have been turned down. And Sala da Paz is also having problems in Sofala.

After 6 months (not 5 days) all CIP correspondents are accredited

Credentials for our correspondent observers in Zambezia were requested by CIP (Public Integrity Centre), publishers of this bulletin, in April 2019 to observe the electoral process, beginning with the voter registration. But we only received the credentials yersteday, the penultimate day of the election campaign, thanks to the intervention of the National Election Commission (CNE) at central level. The Zambezia Provincial Election Commission (CPE) has not yet responded to our request, even though the law requires a response within 5 days.

All of our 486 correspondents now have credentials.

US Embassy issues violence warning for Nampula

The US embassy yesterday (11 Oct) issued a security alert for Nampula city (“credible threats”), Xai-Xai (“recent violence against civil society groups”) and Cabo Delgado north of Pemba” It points to “a recent increase in tensions, including some political violence” but also says it “expects the elections to be relatively calm throughout most of the country.

In particular it warns that “US citizens should avoid polling stations and government buildings on election day,” although it appears that this will be ignored by US election observers.

Gondola flight after armed attacks

Fearing attacks by gunmen, dozens of families living in Pindanganga, Gondola, Manica have left their homes to seek shelter in Gondola town, where they are temporarily staying in Moatize neighbourhood, our correspondents report. In 45 days, at least 10 people have been wounded and one killed in attacks.

Pindanganga’s families left the village following an attack on Monday (8 October). Armed men went to the village and assaulted the local secretary. At the same time, the attackers set fire to the district administrator Moguen Candeeiro’s vehicle, who was campaigning in the village. At least four police officers were injured.

“We have come here because the situation is becoming difficult there. There are no people left,” a displaced person told the Bulletin. Displaced families are terrified and some refused to talk in fear that something might happen to them, our correspondents report. A displaced woman told the Bulletin Friday that families are in unsafe conditions and many of them have nowhere to sleep.

“When he learned that they were Renamo men, Pindanganga’s leader did his best to help, but the situation was getting worse,” said one displaced person. “They come into our houses, and steal chickens and goats,” he lamented.

At this moment, a contingent of the Defense and Security Forces is in the locality. The population fears the worst and is slowly leaving, and Pindanganga is deserted, our correspondents report.

The village has 3,000 registered voters, and fears of attacks by gunmen could jeopardize their vote on 15 October.

A resident of Pindanganga now in Gondola said the people would like to vote on 15 October. “We are asking the Government to bring our polling station here for the people of Pindanganga to vote,” he said.

This was the third attack in Gondola district and the first in Pindanganga village since the start of the election campaign. On Friday police arrested three men who allegedly carried out armed attacks in Gondola distinct and elsewhere in the central province of Manica. Manica Provincial Police Command spokesman Mario Arnanca said the police made the arrests “at about 14.00 in a remote area of Gondola”, and the three admitted responsibility for attacks against trucks on the road from Beira to Chimoio, for the destruction of the car belonging to the Gondola district administrator last Tuesday, and for the murder of the Frelimo secretary in Pungwe, Mossurize. “There is strong evidence that these are Renamo men,” Arnaca told reporters in Manica. “The detainees include a lieutenant, major and driver of the late Renamo leader Afonso Dlhakama,” he added.

Also in Manica, another case of population displacement was reported yesterday (11 October) in Nhabanga, Sussundenga. Dozens of families are leaving the village for fear of attacks by gunmen. Recently, the Bulletin reported the murder of the Frelimo secretary by gunmen in the Paunde region, in the same locality.

In the campaign

There is no campaign violence but only opposition victimization, Frelimo national spokesman Caifadine Manasse told a campaign press conference yesterday. “The opposition wants to show that there are problems just to gain sympathy because it does not have a governance program, it has no messages to convey.” The Bulletin cited cases of aggression involving Frelimo supporters across the country during the election campaign, but Manasse distanced himself. “Any citizen who is involved in vandalism does not follow Frelimo’s agenda.”

Anastacio Matavel “was a member of the Frelimo Central Committee ten years ago and was a member of Frelimo to this day. The people who are dying are members of Frelimo. It is a concern for us to see our members being killed,” Manasse said.

Military contingents and police special forces agents are being sent to provinces and districts from various quarters in the country, and local people fear that there may be a source of violence on Election Day. In Zambezia province, a contingents of military and police have arrived in Morrumbala and Mopeia. These are areas of Renamo influence.

A Renamo sympathizer was shot in the knee by police during a brawl between Renamo and Frelimo in Chidzoio, Ngandali, Macanga, Tete on Tuesday (8 October 8), which occurred when party caravans met.

Frelimo is intimidating villagers in Mucorodzi and Bica, Gondola district, Manica, our correspondents report. They argue that if Frelimo loses in the 15 October elections, many will lose their lives and will no longer receive donations for the victims of cyclone Idai that devastated the region. Renamo also claims that the regulo (traditional chief) of of Bica threatened that supporters of Renamo will be killed.

A Renamo traditional healer was detained in Namialo, Menconta, Nampula after he went to the home of a Frelimo sympathizer to try to remove a buried traditional curse that would block Renamo’s victory. Nothing was found but an argument with the householder followed and the healer was eventually arrested.

CNE gave money to parties in an illegal way

Distribution of money to parties by the CNE violated the law. We were wrong in Bulletin 60 (25 September) when we called that claim fake news.

The CNE distributed funds in such a way that each candidate standing for the single seat in Africa received 345,000 MT ($5587), while each candidate for one of the 45 seats in Nampula received only 5,000 MT ($81).

The law (art 39 of law 2/2019) says that “distribution of state funds must take into account the proportion of candidates presented with respect to the seats to be filled”. The implication is that each candidate for parliament should received the same amount of state funds, but the CNE did not do this.

There are three elections – President, national parliament (AR), and provincial assemblies (APs)  – and there is 60 million meticais ($972,000) in government money for parties for each election. The obvious decision would be to simply divide 60 mn MT between the 4 presidential candidates, 60 mn MT between the 5232 parliamentary candidates, and 60 mn MT between the 2863 AP candidates. That would give 15 mn MT ($242,915) to each presidential candidate, 11,468 MT ($186) to each AR candidate, and 20,957 MT ($339) to each AP candidate.

But the CNE instead decided that for AR and AP elections, money should first be divided equally between constituencies – for AR there are 13 constituencies (11 provinces plus Africa and Europe) and for AP just 10 constituencies (the provinces except Maputo city which already has an elected municipal assembly). But Nampula has 45 AR seats and Zambezia 41, while Africa and Europe have 1 each, which means a huge variation in the amount of money for each candidate – not proportional as the law specifies.

The gainers are the three big parties, Frelimo, Renamo, and MDM, which gain 855,000 MT ($14,000 each), while nine small parties lose more than 450,000 MT ($39,000) each. MONARUMO loses one quarter of the money it would have received if the CNE had followed the law.

Monday is paid in three tranches, half to start, then one quarter when the first tranche has been accounted for, and then a final quarter. Claudio Langa, STAE spokesperson, said Thursday that the first and second tranches of the money – 75% – had been distributed to all parties.

We apologise again for our own fake fake news in bulletin 60, which we correct here. The distribution of funds is still secret, but CNE and STAE have confirmed the odd (and illegal) division first between constituencies. A full excel spreadsheet of our calculations is on A table with a summary of our calculations is in the attached pdf version of this bulletin,

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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