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The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), a Mozambican civil society organisation, has strongly condemned threats to freedom of the press made against ‘Carta de Moçambique’ newssheet by Julião João Cumbane, the chairman of the National Company of Science and Technology Parks, on his personal Facebook account, following the publication of reports related to the military attacks in the province of Cabo Delgado.
In a post published on his Facebook account last Tuesday, Julião Cumbane urged the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Defence of Mozambique (FADM), the General Command of the Police of the Republic of Mozambique (PRM) and the State Security and Information Service (SISE) to combine “intelligence and energetic actions – even extra-judicial ones – against the pessimistic ‘news’ demoralising the Defence and Security Forces fighting the attacks by power of attorney in northern and central parts of Mozambique.”
In his post, the academic, who in May 2019 accused former president Armando Emílio de Guebuza, via the same social network, of “sponsoring” attacks Cabo Delgado, says that people who “sell information to Marcelo Mosse (editor of the newssheet) or to his newspaper, Carta de Moçambique, about what is going on in the north of Cabo Delgado, are not patriots” and that the “brincadeira [fooling around] to earn money at the expense of the suffering of a people should not be allowed or tolerated’.
“To say this is not to be against informing the people about the attacks that occur in the north or centre of this country. Far from it. I am indeed against the miserable portrait that is given to us by such people, via ‘Carta de Moçambique’. IT’S VERY BAD because it demoralises those who have the DUTY to defend the Motherland, and it glorifies the country’s attackers,” says Cumbane in his comeback to the ‘big stages’ since his appointment [to Maulane] in November 2019.
Solidarity with journalist @MarceloMosse from @CartamzOficial who has received public death threat from a state official and propagandist because he reports “negatively” on what is happening in #CaboDelgado pic.twitter.com/F8jIBrw7h9
— Eric Morier-Genoud (@emorier) February 13, 2020
According to the CDD, the government “should not continue to ignore the behaviour of a public servant who has a huge disregard for the Democratic Rule of Law” and who “shows a problematic understanding of democracy”.
In its press release, to which ‘Carta’ had access on Thursday afternoon, the organisation led by Adriano sympathises with the ‘Carta de Moçambique’ journalists, whom it encourages to continue to inform Mozambicans and the world in general about the attacks in Cabo Delgado and challenges the state agencies responsible for ensuring the independence of the media to publicly condemn threats to silence journalists through “extra-judicial” means.
“The same challenge also goes to the Defence and Security Forces, in the sense of separating themselves from any acts that violate the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens,” Nuvunga says.
In the two-page document, the CDD recalls that this is not the first time that Julião Cumbane has launched a foray against the freedoms of expression and information. In August 2018, two lawyers and members of Frelimo, Teodoro Waty and Teodato Hunguana, were victims of threats to their physical integrity by Julião Cumbane.
“The two reputable law experts were threatened simply because, in separate opinion articles, they challenged the CNE decisions that removed the candidacies of Venâncio Mondlane (for Renamo) and Samora Machel Jr. (for AJUDEM) from the municipal elections in Maputo City,” the CDD observes, emphasising that those targeted ( Waty and Hunguana) wrote to the Attorney General requesting her intervention, but to no avail.
“This behaviour increases the conviction that those responsible for the murder, abduction and torture of activists, academics and journalists have the protection of the State,” CDD Moçambique adds.
In addition to social media, Cumbane has been noticeable in public debate defending government policies and the actions of Frelimo with ‘tooth and claw’, and in a tone of hatred towards those expressing contrary opinions.
He has been PCA of the National Company of Science and Technology Parks since November last year.
Source: Carta de Moçambique
O CDD condena ameaças silenciamento de jornalistas que reportaram sobre os ataques armados em Cabo Delgado.
— CDD Moçambique (@CDD_Moz) February 13, 2020
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