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Two persons died and one suffered serious injuries as a result of shots fired by authorities attempting to disperse a demonstration in Zambezia protesting against a ban on using the Malawian kwacha in commercial transactions.
Protesters in Coromana, Molumbo, Zambézia, yesterday set up barricades and lit fires, jeopardising the safety of state officials.
Information in Noticias’ possession indicates that local authorities are trying to limit the use of the kwacha in trade, to the displeasure of the population and local traders.
The provincial commander of the Police of the Republic of Mozambique (PRM) confirmed the two deaths, with the seriously injured being evacuated to Milange district hospital.
Aquilasse Manda said that the corporation had to ask for reinforcements from Milange to disperse the protesters, and that there were still agents on the ground trying to restore law and order.
The demonstration took place at the administrative post of Coromana, 40 kilometres from the district headquarters village of Molumbo.
The head of the administrative post of Coromana, Caldo Ernesto, and the administrator of the district of Molumbo also confirmed the information to Radio Mozambique.
Caldo Ernesto said that the victims had been hit by stray bullets fired by agents of the border guard and PRM who had been called to restore order.
The administrator of Molumbo, Ester Malawiha, said that order and public security had been restored.
The Malawian currency is often used instead of the metical in commercial exchanges along the Zambézia-Malawi border, particularly in the districts of Molumbo, Milange, Derre and Morrumbala.
Government authorities in Molumbo are urging people to abandon the kwacha, which has become more popular than the metical for commercial transactions since the 1990s.