Villagers flee for fear of armed attacks - Mozambique
Photo: O País
The Mayor of Maputo, David Simango, on Sunday urged the municipal police to treat citizens in a friendly manner, but to use the necessary firmness to dissuade any misconduct.
He was speaking at a ceremony at which ranks were awarded to 24 municipal policemen. The ceremony coincided with the 25th anniversary of the creation of the Maputo Municipal Police.
A good police officer, Simango said, is always willing to collaborate with citizens and respect their rights. But anyone who used his power to intimidate municipal residents “is not fit to be a member of the municipal police”.
The mayor urged the police to redouble their efforts in crime prevention, and to combat all actions that violated municipal by-laws. They should act in an impartial and transparent way, “and be as polite as possible”, he said.
He noted that, when the Municipal Police was set up, in 1992, its members were recruited via public tender. 1,133 Maputo residents applied for the first municipal police course, but only 130 were accepted.
He said that the need to control informal markets (known as “Dumba-Nengues”) was one of the reasons for setting up a municipal police force. The disorganised informal trade sprawled across the city – but if this was a major reason for establishing the municipal police, then it failed, since informal markets and street sellers still disfigure much of the city, and constitute unfair competition for formal sector shops and traders.
Simango told the men given new ranks that he hoped to see from them “ever more zealous and dedicated performance, always to the benefit of an organised society which respects the municipal rules for coexistence”.Source: AIM