Mozambique: EU deploys election observers - AIM report
Last day: queues over 100 in centre and north, but not in south
Queues started forming at 3 am and by opening more than 100 people were waiting to register in Cahora Bassa, Tete, at EPC (primary school) de Canchenga, today on the final day of registration for 15 October national elections.
Police shot into the air to control the unruly crowd waiting to register at EPC Josina Machel in Nacala-a-Velha, Nampula. Many were workers at local companies who had been given the day off to register.
In Zambézia in Inhassunge at EPC Eduardo Mondlane, EPC de Marrandanha and EPC de Mussama there were more than 200 people in the queues this morning. Brigade members reserved the morning to register those who queued Wednesday but could not register.
Long queues of over 100 people were reported across the centre and north in zones that did not have registration last year for municipal elections, notably in Tete, Zambézia, Manica, and Cabo Delgado. But the opposite was true in the south and in Sofala and Niassa. The longest queue reported by our correspondents in Inhambane, Gaza and Maputo was only 10 people.
Although this was the last day of registration, our correspondents also reported closed registration posts, especially in Nampula due to equipment problems and in Cabo Delgado due to attacks.
Queues of more than 100 were reported today by our correspondents in:
In Nampula in Nacala Porto Escola Secundaria de Nacala Porto.
In Zambézia in Morrumbala at EPC de Cumbapo and in Molumbomais at Mamanja and Macolocoto.
In Manica in Mussorize at Mupengo, Muzite, Goi-Goi sede, Mave, Gunhe, Dacata, and Mabudo.
In Tete province, in Tete city at EPC 3 de Janeiro there were more than 100 people and 50-100 at other posts. In Macanga district at post 207 there were more than 100 in the queue at 10 am.
Although turnout has been lower in Sofala, it has been high in suburban Beira, including EPC Tchonja (70 in queue), Escola Secundária de Nhangau (50) and EPC de Njalane (90).
Many posts not open on last day in Nampula
Registration in Nampula province has been below average and many people were trying to register yesterday. But our correspondents reported that dozens of registration posts were closed on Thursday.
In Monapo, registration was paralysed today in four posts because of printer problems or lack of toner, at EPC de Mulutine, EPC Monapo-Rio, EPC Nova-Cuamba, and EPC de Nachicuva.
In Nampula city, the registration computer (known as the mobile ID) at EPC Parque Popular would not accept new registrations and would only print cards of people who had already registered. At EPC de Mutauanha people could register, but cards could not be printed. At Namutequeliua, Belenenses, Muegane, Serra da Mesa, Mutomote and Campo dos Makondes primary schools there was no registration today because the mobile ID was not working. At EPC de Muatala the printer has not been working since Sunday.
At EPC da Barragem the registration brigade told would-be voters that they could not register new voters, but there was anger when the waiting people discovered that they were registering teachers and students from the Instituto de Formação de Professores de Nampula (IFPN) but not people in the queue.
In Nacala a Velha, a mobile brigade was installed in Muamula but it could not register people because the equipment did not work.
In Nacala Porto the post at EPC da Cidade-Alta had not worked for two weeks, but was repaired overnight and registration opened this morning. But at 14.00 the equipment stopped working, leaving 150 people in the queue unregistered. The post at EPC Maiaia has not worked for three days.
In Mogincual the post in Namiripiline has not worked for the past three days.
Mobile brigades did not reach Zambézia villages
Mobile registration brigades were supposed to reach small and remote communities, but this has not happened in some areas of Zambézia. Brigades never reached the village of Yongone in Inhassunge.
In Chire in Morrumbala district posts at Nombo and EPC de Bene never opened because of equipment malfunctions and because roads were impassable.
Frequent attacks obstruct Cabo Delgado registration
Attacks by armed groups in Cabo Delgado delayed the opening of registration in Macomia and Mocimboa da Praia districts, and forced the temporary closure of registration posts in Meluco, Palma, and Nangade Districts. At least five registration posts never opened.
Cyclone Kenneth on 25 April with torrential rains disrupted both registration and attacks, which resumed when the weather improved. Our correspondents report 13 attacks in May with 25 deaths, dozens of injuries, hundreds of houses burned, and many villages abandoned. The reported attacks have been:
3 May, Nacate village, Macomia, 6 killed and burned dozens of houses.
4 May, Ntapuala and Banga-Velha villages, Macomia, killing 7. Also on 4 May insurgents invaded Iba and Ipho in Meluco district, burning houses. There were no injuries because local people had already fled into the bush. Registration was halted in theses villages for several days.
5 May, Minhanha village, Meluco district, killing 3 and burning 100 houses. Registration in 5 posts was halted temporarily.
10 Maio, insurgents attacked the main road from Pemba to Palma, at Olumbi between Mocímboa da Praia and Palma. The attack was on a mini-bus, killing two people, and a lorry.,
11 May, Mangoma village, 10 km from Mocímboa da Praia town. Two people decapitated. One person tortured and then released and told to tell nearby villages the people must leave their villages.
13 May, Pequeue village, one person killed in a field..
14 May, two young women fishing were kidnapped in Quitarejo.
15 May, Ngalonga, Nangade. No deaths because the people had already fled to the bush for the night. No registration for several days’
16 May, Bagala, Palma. One dead and 70 houses burned. Population fled.
18 May, Ngalonga, early evening before people went to the bush for the night. One dead, two kidnapped, houses burned.
21 May, another attack on Iba, Meluco. No victims and registration resumed the next day.
22 May, 8 am attack on a funeral procession in Pundanhar, Palma. 2 dead, 4 motorcycles burned. Police on the road looking for food intervened.
Macomia is the district most affected by the attacks. In Macomia posts at EPC de Pequeue, EP1 de Unidade,and EPC de Milamba never opened. Similarly EP1 de Nagulue and EPC de Olumboa in Mucojo never opened. Mainly this was because people abandoned their villages and so there was no one there to register.
Opposition demands registration extension
Renamo and MDM have demanded that registration be extended. “Programmed malfunctions of mobile IDs, premeditated reduction of brigades, criminal promotion of double registration of civil servants and elaboration of ghost lists in electoral rolls are problems intentionally created by the electoral management bodies to prevent the registration of voters in the zones of influence of Renamo”, Renamo President Ossufo Momade told a teleconference yesterday.
MDM cited both the cyclones and fraud. Manuel Domingos, MDM secretary-general, also complained that MDM members of district elections commissions were not allowed to monitor the process, allegedly due to lack of fuel.
But Frelimo disagrees. “Looking at the data provided to us by the electoral bodies, we think that with all the challenges the country is facing at the moment, the registration was positive,” Caifadine Manasse, spokesperson for Frelimo told the Bulletin.
Boycott in Dororo, Manica
In Dororo, Chitunga, Manica, 83 families refused to register as a protest against non-payment for purchasing crops. The company Ferro-Ferragem bought 52 tonnes of beans worth 100,000 meticais ($1500) but when they paid the head of the association, Amone Macufa, the cheque bounced (a crime in Mozambique). Local farmers complained to the authorities, who they say did nothing. At a meeting Saturday (25 May) they decided to boycott registration. The mobile brigade which arrived at EPC de Ganhira did not register anyone.
By Joseph Hanlon