Mozambique: All conditions in place for Frelimo victory - Nyusi
Vehicle belonging to the Ministry of Education in Inhaminga transporting people to a Frelimo rally in Nhamatanda. [Picture: Sala da Paz]
On the third day of the election campaign our correspondents report some cases of misconduct involving competing political parties. Another traffic death, minor violence, destruction of posters, use of state cars, and coercive demands on teachers are some of the problems.
A Frelimo campaign vehicle leaving Male village for Namacurra, Zambezia Sunday night (1 September), hit a group of 7 children, killing one of them. The others were taken to hospital. This was the fifth person who has died in a traffic incident in the Frelimo campaign.
On the first day of the campaign, Saturday, in Munhava, Beira, MDM and Frelimo supporters trying to put up posters in the same place became involved in a brawl. Two Frelimo supporters were admitted to Beira Central Hospital. The most seriously injured, Mateus Antônio Alfredo, suffered head injuries that required 12 stitches. One MDM member is detained at the Munhava police 4th Squadron, allegedly for involvement in the case.
In Sussundenga, Manica, MDM delegate Alberto Bonzo said he had made a criminal complaint about Frelimo supporters targeting MDM supporters. Some Frelimo supporters went to MDM headquarters, pulled down the party flag and put up Frelimo posters. MDM members are targets of persecution and threats in the 3 de Fevereiro and Samora Machel neighbourhoods, Bonzo says.
Use of state vehicles
Frelimo is continuing to use state vehicles in the election campaign. The practice is illegal and the penalty is up to a year in jail, but Frelimo members are never charged despite the repeated reports.
In the Macomia, Cabo Delgado, Frelimo used the Macomia District Government vehicle during the campaign in Chai administrative post. It is a Ford Ranger double cabin car, registration AIJ 371 MC.
In Mutarara, Tete, Frelimo made use of the District Administrator’s protocol car.
Pressure on teachers
Frelimo is often accused of using the education system to support campaigns, with money, work, and people to enlarge the size of rallies. In Quelimane school directors are required to contribute 1000 Meticais ($16) to the Frelimo campaign and teachers 750 MT ($12). The district of Morrumbala, Zambezia only costs half as much – 500 MT for directors and teachers giving whatever they can afford – but to be paid within 5 days.
In Barue, Manica, teachers at Nhampassa primary school have been told to work together to rearrange the teaching schedule to ensure that some teachers are always released to be involved in the Frelimo campaign, one teacher told this Bulletin.
Cabo Delgado campaign continues with no attacks
Campaigning continues in Cabo Delgado but without much popular response in the districts that have suffered attacks. In Ibo district only Frelimo was campaigning in Matema and Quirimba, but with limited participation of party members and supporters.
In Mocimboa da Praia, no party was on the street today, Monday. The three main parties has a few people in their offices.
In Nangade, Frelimo paraded in the villages of Nyanga and Chikuiya Nova. MDM only campaigned in the district headquarters. Renamo did not take to the streets.
In the Quissanga district, the Frelimo and Renamo parades were escorted by the police as promised by Commander General Bernardino Rafael.
Battle of posters
Although it is illegal, party activists inevitably try to tear down posters from other parties. In Manica, in Chimoio a citizen was arrested for vandalizing Frelimo electioneering material. But Renamo complains that in Vanduzi district, its posters were destroyed by Frelimo supporters and the case was reported to the police, but no action was taken.
In Marracuene, Maputo province, Renamo accused Frelimo of tearing down its posters on street light poles and replacing them with its own.
Gaza continues tense
Gaza province is a Frelimo bastion and Frelimo supporters have always been hostile to opposition parties and try to prevent them campaigning and putting up posters. Police and election officials tend to not be friendly to observers and opposition parties.
In Chigubo, Gaza, MDM and Frelimo members were involved in a punch up because MDM was alleged to be removing Frelimo posters. One MDM member was arrested.
In Chibuto, Frelimo supporters stoned Renamo members as they campaigned. In Macia, Bilene, Renamo and Frelimo parades met and exchanged insults. In both cases, police were called in to restore order.
In Bilene and Macia, Renamo accuses Frelimo of putting its posters on top of Renamo ones.
Fake News: Real attack in Gorongosa but false pictures
“Nhongo ambushes a Frelimo party brigade campaigning in the Mutindire region of Sofala province causing much damage and death” was the message of a Facebook post which was widely spread on social media over the weekend, along with pictures of burning cars.
Gorongosa’s mayor confirmed to the bulletin that the was an attack a week before the start of the official campaign. Supposed Renamo dissidents attacked an ambulance carrying Frelimo members traveling from Gorongosa to Maringue. The Gorongosa Mayor would not give details of injuries or deaths. But the pictures of burning cars were not from that attack.
By Joseph HanlonSource: 2019 General Elections - Mozambique Political Process Bulletin