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The mayor of the central Mozambican city of Quelimane, Manuel de Araujo, who is also candidate of the main opposition party, Renamo, for governor of Zambezia province in the forthcoming general and provincial elections, on Saturday once again accused the ruling Frelimo Party of responsibility for the fire that swept through his mother’s house last Monday.
The fire severely damaged the house, in the Quelimane neighbourhood of Coalane. Araujo’s mother, Ines Alculete, was not at home when the fire was started. According to the security guard, who was overpowered by the arsonists, five armed and masked men set the house on fire.
Speaking at a Renamo press conference in Quelimane, Araujo declared “it’s not a secret for anyone that the only force that ordered this crime is the Frelimo Party, which is intolerant towards the opposition, and particularly towards Renamo”.
He added that one of his brothers was assaulted in Inhassunge district, shortly after Araujo had been campaigning there. This time there are suspects, and Araujo said they have confessed, but the case has not yet been heard by a court, despite its urgent nature.
Araujo also noted that local and municipal authorities in Zambezia have illegally banned Renamo from using public spaces for its campaign. This, he said, had happened in the districts of Nicoadala, Milange, Maganja da Costa, Alto-Molocue, Gurue, and Mocuba.
Araujo denounced the allegedly partisan behaviour of the Zambezia police and claimed that the electricity supply was “systematically cut off” in places where Renamo was holding its rallies. (However, many of these rallies, addressed by Ossufo Momade have been televised by the independent station STV, and the electricity was clearly working).
Despite these incidents, Araujo drew a positive balance of the Renamo campaign in Zambezia so far, which encouraged the party to press ahead to score “victorious results on polling day”.
“Even in the midst of many difficulties, we are encouraged to continue in this struggle to place Ossufo Momade in the Presidency of the Republic, and myself as Governor of Zambezia”, Araujo said. “The huge crowds that follow us are an unequivocal expression of the popular will to impose the necessary change to deepen democracy”.
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