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Journalists from the Morrumbene community radio station in Inhambane province say they have received death threats from the district police commander and are now in hiding. MISA-Mozambique is monitoring the case.
The threats began after community radio Milenio FM reported on robberies carried out by a gang of which a PRM officer in the district command was allegedly a member. .
The group operated in Maxixe and Morrumbene, where it robbed residences and state institutions. Last week, one of the members of the gang was caught in possession of several appliances stolen in Maxixe, and was revealed to be a member of the police.
The stolen goods were being kept at the home of a PRM member in Morrumbene, it was revealed.
Radio reports of the development angered PRM’s commander Rachel Jr., prompting journalists to leave the station and their homes for fear of reprisals, anonymous sources contacted by DW Africa have said.
The journalists are currently in hiding at secret locations.
“Commander is not worthy of office”
The case is being monitored by the Southern African Social Communication Institute in Mozambique (MISA-Mozambique). “This commander is not worthy of the position he is occupying. He does not have the standing to be a commander,” MISA-Mozambique’s Lázaro Mabunda says. “She is protecting certain people involved in this type of case.”
Ernesto Saul, a representative of the National Community Radio Forum, says that the PRM commander declined to give out a clarification after the news was published, as required by the press law.
“We had assurances last Sunday, including from the district commander herself, that this case would have been investigated by her,” Saul says. “And in case of the death threats, the district command itself was open to assisting in investigations into authors of these threats.”
Good relations between government and radio
Morrumbene district administrator Elsa da Barca told DW Africa that the relationship between local government and community radio is good. “The radio is ours, the government’s, and we have no conflicts with it because it is through the radio that we publicise the work we do. There is no conflict, and there will be none,” she said.
Inhambane provincial command spokesman Juma Aly Dauto declined to comment on the matter. DW Africa also tried, unsuccessfully, to speak to the radio coordinator and the journalists.Source: Deutsche Welle
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