Nampula police commander suspended but campaign goes on – Mozambique Elections 2019, edition 49-50


Source: 2019 General Elections – Mozambique Political Process Bulletin

Police commander suspended, but the campaign goes on

Ten people were crushed or trampled to death and 98 people were injured yesterday afternoon as people rushed through a single gate to leave a rally for President, and Frelimo presidential candidate, Filipe Nyusi at 25 June stadium in Nampula.

Nampula provincial police commander Joaquim Sive has been suspended; he was only appointed earlier this year. Nyusi maintained his campaign schedule in Nampula province today, travelling to Mogovolas and Mossuril districts for rallies.

No explanation for the disaster has been given, but the Nampula on-line journal Ikweli reported that part of a bench near the main gate of the stadium collapsed and triggered a panic as spectators rushed to get out.

Commander Sive was suspended by Interior Minister Basilio Monteiro; a commission of inquiry has been set up, consisting of four senior police officers, and it must report within two weeks.

Frelimo took initial control of security at Nampula Central Hospital and the announcements of the deaths. Frelimo was also in control of the security at the meeting and a police commander has been suspended, so any inquiry must consider if Frelimo or the police might be culpable. Basilio Monteiro who appointed the commission, is the head of Frelimo’s campaign team in neighbouring Zambezia province. It will be difficult for him to convince the public that such an investigation can be free of police and political pressure.

Nampula Central Hospital director Cachimo Molina told a press conference today that 10 people died (6 women and 4 men) and 98 injured were admitted; all but 14 have been released. Eight were seriously enough injured to require intensive care, he said.

New Democracy list head detained in Gaza

The head of list (and thus candidate for governor) of the New Democracy (ND) was arrested in Chokwe, Gaza, allegedly for aggression against Frelimo campaigners. But witnesses say it was list head Felix Silva, better known as the musician Refiller Boy, who was attacked.

After the arrest yesterday, dozens of people marched toward the district police command to demand his release. Police intervened to prevent fights between ND and Frelimo supporters. Silva was released this morning, Thursday 12 September.

The charge sheet, shown to this Bulletin, says Silva attacked the local secretary of the Frelimo youth group, OJM. Silva tells exactly the reverse story. An ND parade in Xilembene, Chibuto, led by Felix Silva, was attacked by Frelimo supporters. Seven ND member were hurt and two cars damaged with bottles, sticks and rocks.

In Mapulaguene, Magude district, Gaza, MDM accuses Frelimo young people of stoning their campaigners, injuring some people and damaging cars. MDM says the problem is so serious it has suspended street campaigning.

Blocking the way in Boane

Renamo presidential candidate Ossufo Momade was on his to a rally at the municipal market in Boane, Maputo province, yesterday (11 Sept) when his convoy was stopped by barricades on the road. With the police watching, Renamo members removed the barricades and Momade continued to the meeting. Renamo candidate for governor of the province, Antonio Muchanga, accused the Frelimo mayor of Boane, Jacinto Loureiro, of organising the blockade.

Frelimo collecting voters numbers

Reports continue from our correspondents of Frelimo members making lists of names and voters card numbers, particularly in schools. In Gondola, Manica, our correspondent was shown a formal list with a Frelimo logo, and the names and card numbers of a dozen students at Mazicuer Secondary School. In Nhamatanda Secondary School, Sofala, teacher Guido Morgado Feijao was collecting voter numbers of 9th class students. The purpose of the lists is not clear.

Fake News

Alleged Renamo instruction to use donor money to bribe STAE

Every multiparty election in Mozambique has had fake documents, usually on official looking party letterhead giving instructions as to how to commit fraud. The latest circulating widely on social media is supposedly a Renamo document “Instructions for Gaza Province” dated 5 September, setting out how to counter Frelimo ballot box stuffing and how Renamo could do its own in Gaza.

The document includes some sensible proposals, for example about finding accommodation for Renamo party delegates at polling stations. And it says that Renamo General Secretary Andre Majibire, would be in Xai-Xai, Gaza, on 9 de September, which was true.

But mixed in are several ridiculous and exaggerated proposals:

+ bring armed guerrillas from the Renamo base in Funhalouro, Inhambane, to Xai-Xai, Gaza, to threaten Frelimo members into not voting..

+ use 5 million meticais ($80,000) allegedly given to Renamo by embassies to bribe STAE officials to disrupt the election.

+ Bring into Gaza party delegates from Sofala, Tete, Manica e Zambezia and use the bribes to allow them to vote in Gaza..

Nacional Renamo spokesperson Jose Manteigas said he had not seen the document and denied it was Renamo’s. Arnaldo Manhique, Renamo spokesman in Gaza, said the party was receiving no reinforcements from Sofala, Tete, Manica e Zambezia.

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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