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Many more registration brigades in Frelimo areas, showing ‘registration manipulation’ – EISA
In the Frelimo heartland of Gaza, each registration brigade must register only 792 voters, but in the Renamo heartland of Nampula, each brigade must register double that number, 1598 voters. This is shown in a report published Monday by EISA, the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa.
In Inhambane, another strong Frelimo province, each brigade must register only 686 voters, while in opposition Zambezia each brigade must register 1001 voters – and the brigades have received fewer solar panels (see below).
Compared to 2014 elections, the number of brigades in Gaza has been increased by 34%, while in Nampula the increase was half that, 17%, and in Zambezia only 8%, notes report author Domingos do Rosårio.
The study also found significant differences between districts, and it concludes that “this is the mechanism used by STAE to register more voters in regions with the strong dominance of the party that controls the state, to the detriment of regions under the control of the opposition, which has significantly contributed to the manipulation of the 2019 voter registration.”
The report (in Portuguese) is on http://bit.ly/ElGer-EISA-4
Crisis continues in Zambezia
Gaza with its extra registration brigades had registered 55% of its target a week ago, while Zambezia with fewer teams and more problems had registered only 35%. And in the past week the problems have continued.
In Molumbo and Alto Molocue districts the lack of registration teams is shown by long queues, for example of 50-100 at Matapanha and Kulikui, Molumbo. In Alto Molocue, posts at EPC de Nariloni and Nivava are each registering 100-150 people per day.
An estimated 100 of the 1144 registration posts in the province have never opened, mainly because they have never been given a power supply – solar panel or generator.
Manuel de Araujo, Renamo mayor of Quelimane, said there was no registration for people living just outside the city boundary. He also pointed to the lack of equipment. “For the 2019 municipal elections there were batteries, solar panels and transformers, and generators. Where did that material go?”
In his recent meeting with CNE president Abdul Carimo, Renamo spokesperson Jose Manteigas, accused the CNE of trying to register fewer voters in Zambezia and other areas of Renamo influence.
Zambezia also blocking observation
The Provincial Elections Commission (Comissao Provincial de Eleicoes, CPE) in Zambezia is also preventing civil society observation of the registration process. This bulletin, part of the Public Integrity Centre (Centro de Integridade Publica, CIP), applied for its observer credentials more than two weeks ago. After a long delay, the CPE responded by demanding documents required for candidates but not observers, including a voters card and a no criminal record certificate, as well as a curriculum vitae for each observer, which is not mentioned in the law even for Presidential candidates.
It appears that this is a unilateral action by Zambezia CPE to prevent independent observation of what has become the most problematic province for registration. By contract, credentials were emitted for correspondents of this bulletin in Manica and Inhambane in less than a week with no problems.
This Bulletin has appealed to the CNE to intervene to allow civil society observation, as specified in the electoral law.
Aid and campaign
In Espungabera, a cyclone affected area in Manica on the border with Zimbabwe, community leaders met with the local population on 5 May to encourage them to register – and then to vote for Frelimo. The meeting took place next to a food aid distribution post and gave the impression that the food was only for Frelimo supporters.
Meanwhile in Macate, Manica, neighbourhood secretaries are under instruction from Frelimo to have people write their information, including their voters card number, on an official Frelimo list. No reason is given. Some fear that the lists will be included with lists of signatures required for the presidential candidate, Filipe Nyusi.
Problems even in Maputo
Community leaders in Maputo city met with CNE member (and spokesperson) Paulo Cuinica to complain about registration problems. Julio Fremo said some posts in Albazine “are improvised and do not have the minimum conditions”, and registration must stop when it rains.
Dionisio Carlos, deputy director of the municipal district of Kamaxaquene election commission, admitted that the solar panels were weak and took too long to charge the computer batteries. “Voters arrive and are told to come back when the batteries are charged.”.
STAE provincial director Pascoal Zunguze said that the temporary structures had been used to reduce the distance that people had to walk to register. He added that in schools with electricity, brigades were finally being given cards to use in prepay Credelec electricity metres.
Better than 2014, says Cuinica
Paulo Cuinica, CNE spokesperson, said that despite problems, registration in 2019 has been better than in 2014, when registration got off to a very bad start.
Mobile brigades with no mobility
In low density areas, registration brigades are mobile, moving from one location to another. Except that this is proving difficult in Inhambane
. In Homoine the brigade was supposed to move to Phunguene on 8 May, but has not been able to go because there is no fuel. “The 2000 litres of fuel planned for this has already been used,” said the Homoine STAE representative.
In Govuro the brigade was supposed to move from Doane to Matasse but this has not happened, because of lack of fuel and forms, according to the district STAE representative.
In Mabote, Inhambane our correspondent arrived Saturday afternoon at post 153 and as usual asked how registration was going. Brigade members refused to say anything. After much discussion, the brigade head phoned a supervisor who confirmed that the team could not talk to observers. “We don’t want problems so we won’t reveal our secrets,” she told our correspondent.
200 kwacha to register
Brigade members at EPC de Ponderane, Milange, Zambezia, will register Malawians with no Mozambican documents, for a fee of 200 Malawian Kwacha (28 US cents).Source: 2019 General Elections - Mozambique Political Process Bulletin