Updated: President announces signing of peace agreement with Renamo - Mozambique
Image (cropped): Sala da Paz
The opposition Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) has protested that the Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE) is excluding, on spurious grounds, people appointed by the MDM to work as staff at polling stations in Chokwe district in the southern province of Gaza.
There should be seven staff members (MMVs) at every polling station. Four of these are recruited by STAE on the basis of a public tender, while the other three are appointed by the parties with seats in parliament – the ruling Frelimo Party, the former rebel movement Renamo, and the MDM.
According to the Chokwe MDM district political delegate, Heleutério Massuanganhe, cited by the coalition of election observer organisations known as Sala da Paz (Peace Room), of the 310 names submitted by the MDM in Chokwe, STAE rejected almost 240.
“The district STAE eleiminated 168 names even before the training of the MMVs”, said Massuanganhe. A further 70 names were eliminated during the training.
Some of the 70 supposedly presented inadequate documentation. Mussuanganhe accused STAE of stealing the documents submitted in order to eliminate the MDM candidates.
“Documents of our MMVs have disappeared in STAE”, he said. “They only inform us that the documentation is insufficient when it’s too late for us to replace them”.
Some of the MDM’s candidates were rejected because the name on their identity cards or birth cerificates was not exactly the same as the name on their education diplomas. But, as STAE knows perfectly well, there are often minor misspellings of names in documents, and Mozambicans sometimes shorten long names. This does not mean that the slightly variant documents belong to different people.
Thus STAE rejected one MDM applicant whose name was given as “Percina Matola” on her ID card, but as “Percia Matola” on her diploma. A typist has simply left out an “n” in the diploma, but it was enough for STAE to disqualify the candidate.
Another candidate was “Inacio Zemio Jaime” on the ID card and “Inacio Zemio Jaime Luis” on the diploma. In a third case the name was given as “Zulmira Francisco Zita” on the ID card and just “Zulmira Francisco” on the diploma.
This seems a case of using minor discrepancies to keep MDM members out of the polling stations.
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