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DW / Manuel de Araújo
The mayor of Quelimane thinks that the murders are a “strategy” of “former military” linked to Frelimo aimed at physically eliminating politicians and affecting the image of the Democratic Movement of Mozambique.
Manuel de Araújo, a member of the MDM, Mozambique’s second-largest opposition party, talked to DW Africa about the wave of murders in Mozambique. The Quelimane mayor expressed his outrage, accusing the government, parliament and even the cooperation partners of doing nothing to stop this phenomenon.
DW Africa: Do you feel threatened by the wave of assassinations of politicians?
Manuel de Araújo (MA): I am worried because the death squads have brought great safety concerns, not only for citizen Manuel de Araújo, but for anyone who loves Mozambique. And it drives away foreign investment. If you recall the kidnapping affair, in which many Mozambicans ended up taking their money out of Mozambique: this greatly affects the performance of the national economy.
And now we have this phenomenon of selective killings by death squads. What worries me is that neither the Government of Mozambique, nor the Assembly of the Republic, let alone the cooperation partners, is taking this death squad action seriously. It would be normal for them to have already moved forward with a commission of inquiry from the Government, from Parliament and a commission from the international community, because in Mozambique our constitution says that there is no death penalty. Therefore, no one has the right to take the life of another.
They want to recover the municipalities, but as they know that they will not succeed by popular means, they choose other ways, the murder of the people. This is not new. It’s Frelimo culture, since 1962. I have a list of all those who have been murdered since then, as a way of solving problems. Therefore, the strategy of using violence and murders to resolve internal conflicts within Frelimo ‘has white-beards’ since Frelimo was created. There have always been murders, up until the last day of October of this year, when Mahamudo Amurane was assassinated.
DW Africa: But are there any signs of an interest in you being killed or assaulted?
MA: If you remember, last year, a Frelimo member of the Quelimane Municipal Assembly said out loud that Manuel de Araújo deserved to be shot in the head. Not only that. On April 7 of last year a former Frelimo fighter, after I made a speech in Heroes’ Square, just outside the municipality, told me to watch my step otherwise I would get shot and that I did deserve to get shot. And after these threats, even if we did not take them seriously, when we see that a colleague of ours was barbarously murdered on the day of peace in that violent way, I think that for anyone who knows arithmetic, it’s just a matter of adding one and one together to get two.
DW Africa: Your police protection has recently been withdrawn, just as the country is experiencing massive killings of opposition politicians. How do you interpret this attitude?
MA: I interpret it just as any Mozambican or person of good would interpret it. Because the normal thing in a situation of insecurity would be to reinforce security.
DW Africa: And to protect yourself, Manuel de Araujo, are you considering finding a private solution? What are you going to do?
MA: It’s a security issue and I will not discuss the measures I’ve taken or stopped taking on the radio or in the press.Source: Deutsche Welle