Mozambique: Are there manoeuvres to reduce opposition in parliament?
Pemba. Photo courtesy: Unicef Mozambique
In the first week of registration, Cabo Delgado had the highest turnout, with 22% of potential voters registering in a single week. Now registration has largely stopped after the province was hit by Cyclone Kenneth on Thursday night (25 April). High winds and torrential rain destroyed roads, houses, schools and electricity lines and are causing flooding.
Many registration posts in Cabo Delgado and coastal Nampula closed on Thursday afternoon and registration equipment was moved to safer places. Many posts have not reopened, but where they have few people want to register as food and housing are the priority. The experience of cyclone Idai in Sofala is that it will take several weeks to resume registration in the worst hit areas. Below are reports from our correspondents in the area, some of whom are themselves affected by the cyclone. Some of our correspondents in Macomia, Nangade Quissanga and Ibo still cannot be reached by telephone.
Pemba city was not badly hit by the winds, but torrential rain caused flooding, and parts of hte city are still flooded. Sunday night there was a landslide at the municipal dump which buried dozens of houses and killed at least five people.
Monday morning some registration posts reopened, notably in Cariaco, Gingoni, Ingonani, and Mahate, but no one came to register.
No registration in some districts
In Muidumbe district, there is no electricity and thousands of houses are destroyed or seriously damaged, because of the heavy rain, notably in Mambula and Muatide administrative posts. In Muatide our correspondent reports that his family had to flee this house when the walls collapsed in heavy rain Saturday night. They are now staying with friends. “The rain has not stopped, there is no electricity, roads are impassable, and the market is closed,” he said. Low temperatures compound the problems.
As of Monday, no registration posts were open in the district. Two schools with registration posts, EPC de Mambula and Escola Secundaria Ziwaka Sabini, were badly damaged with the roofs blown off, our correspondent reports. Registration equipment had been removed to a safe place on Thursday. EPC de Muatide was totally destroyed; registration equipment had been moved to the house of the head of the administrative post.
In Mambula and Muatide there is irregular mobile telephone service and people are trying to charge their phones where neighbours have solar panels – which have little power because of the heavy cloud cover.
In Macomia district where cyclone Kenneth made landfall, and Mocimboa da Praia district just to the north, damage to houses, schools, health facilities, roads and electricity is extensive. No registration posts are open in either district, and it will be some time before they can open. Schools which had been used for registration and which what not seriously damaged, such as 30 de Junho and Januario Pedro, are being used as emergency accommodation centres so cannot be used for registration.
Palma district, at the far north of Cabo Delgado and Mozambique, was not hit by the cyclone itself but has been severely affected by the subsequent torrential rains. Authorities hope to resume registration today (Tuesday 30 April), but some schools including EPC Boa Viagem and Escola Sede 16 de Junho are being used as emergency accommodation centres for people who have lost their houses.
To the south of the province, Montepuez district escaped the strong winds of Kenneth but was hit by the heavy rains. By Monday, some registration posts had reopened, but those at EPC de Namihuro, bairro 07 de Abril in Metuge, and EPC de Taratara had no one registering.
The province of Nampula has been affected by the heavy rains and many registration posts closed on Thursday and some have not reopened, especially in Malama, Monguicual, and Meconta districts, report our correspondents. In Nacala Porto registration has not resumed at EPC Miramar, EPC da Cidade Alta, and EPC de Micajune.
On Ilha de Mocambique, registration resumed yesterday (Monday), but of 15 registration posts, 8 are in flooded zones and few people are coming to be registered.
Armed man in registration post frightens voters
A heavily armed man in a black t-shirt and khaki trousers with a Kalashnikov over his shoulder frightened local people who came to register on Sunday 28 April. Only later did they discover that he was the policeman guarding the registration post. It turned out he had only one uniform and it was being washed that day. “It is hard to wear the same uniform for 45 days without washing it,” he told our correspondent.
Low temperatures slow registration
Outside the cyclone areas, it was rain and low temperatures on Sundayin Zambezia, Tete and Manica provinces that slowed registration. In some places it was lack of voters in the poor weather, while in others the problem was that solar panels were not working without sun.
By Joseph Hanlon
Source: Mozambique Political Process Bulletin
/ 30 April 2019