Mozambique elections: CC refuses to consider Chokwe arrests - CIP Eleições
Renowned Mozambican musician Refiler Boy is the head of list for Gaza province for New Democracy. [File photo: Nova Democracia]
The new Mozambican political party “Nova Democracia” (ND – New Democracy) has accused the ruling Frelimo Party of using the police to intimidate its members.
The musician Refiler Boy, who heads the ND list of parliamentary candidates for the southern province of Gaza, claimed, in a phone call to the election observation coalition, the “Sala da Paz” (Peace Room), “Frelimo can’t attract many people to its parades, because they’ve all gone over to us. So now they’re using the police”.
He said that on Monday, in the town of Chokwe, the local police commander “ordered us to finish our campaign at 18.00, allegedly because it wasn’t safe, and then escorted me to my house”.
Refiler Boy said he had decided not to inform the police of the ND’s programmed activities on Monday because, on the first day of the campaign, Saturday, the commander had passed the information on to Frelimo which then mounted its own stage in the place where the ND had intended to hold a rally. Boy thought this was only possible because the police had told Frelimo where ND intended to work.
ND was set up by Salomao Muchanga, formerly the head of the Youth Parliament, one of the most active bodies in Mozambican civil society. Since it was only formed a few months ago, the level of electoral support it enjoys is unknown.
Sala de Paz reports that in Changara, in the western province of Tete, the house of the district political delegate of the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), John Mugamba, was burnt down at about 03.00 on Tuesday morning.
The home of MDM member Anselmo Lapson in Tambara district, in the central province of Manica, was also burnt down on Sunday, at about 22.00. Lapson is a member of the Tambara District Elections Commission, appointed by the MDM.
According to MDM spokesperson, Sande Carmona, nether of the two were harmed in the fires, but they lost almost all their possessions.
The MDM also claims that a Frelimo member named as Jose Luis Tembe assaulted an MDM member who was posting election propaganda on Sunday. The MDM has taken the case to the police.
Frelimo has been accused of using state premises for campaign activities in Derre district in Zambezia province.
“Sala da Paz” says a party meeting was held at about 10.00 on Monday in a local secondary school. A tractor belonging to the Derre district government was used to carry participants to the meeting.
The “Mozambique Political Process Bulletin”, published by the anti-corruption NGO, the Centre for Public Integrity, reported Frelimo using state vehicles in Macomia district, in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, and in Mutarara district, in Tete.
The electoral law bans the use of state assets during election campaigns, and anyone found guilty of this offence could be a sentenced to a year’s imprisonment. Several of the reports of this abuse carry photos of the vehicles, or mention their number plates.
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