Mozambique: Nyusi promises “over 60 per cent new faces” in government
On the road to Zavala. [Photo: CIP Eleições]
Frelimo blocks Daviz Simango in south
MDM presidential candidate Daviz Simango’s campaign has been blocked by Frelimo supporters in at least 7 districts since he moved south across the Save River on 27 September into the four provinces of the south.
In Gaza in Mandlakazi, Daviz Simango’s caravan was prevented from moving to the village of Mbocodane, where he planned a rally on 29 September. Frelimo supporters blocked the road that gives access to the village by placing a vehicle as a barrier and refusing to withdraw it. The car parked on the road prevented the circulation of other vehicles.
The police accompanying Daviz Simango’s caravan did nothing to get the Frelimo car removed and allow MDM members to pass. MDM was forced to intervene and began to remove the car, our correspondents report. Then the police responded to Daviz Simango’s appeal and forced Frelimo members to withdraw the car. “The police must play their part. I don’t want to resort to violence to solve the problems here in Gaza,” Simango told reporters there. He then moved on to Mbocodane and the campaign continued normally.
The next stop was Eduardo Mondlane Municipal Market in Mandlakazi Village, where Frelimo occupied the market before the MDM president arrived and Daviz could not campaign.
Similar problems had occurred in Inhambane. In Massinga, Inhambane, MDM received authorization from the City Council to have a rally on 27 September in front of the World Supermarket. But when Simango arrived, Frelimo members were occupying the space. Our correspondents report that Frelimo members only arrived shortly before Simango’s scheduled 2 pm arrival. Daviz and MDM members had to campaign elsewhere in the district.
In Homoine, Inhambane, Frelimo blocked the two roads leading to the village of Meho where Daviz Simango and MDM supporters planned to campaign on 28 September.
We reported yesterday that Daviz Simango was prevented from campaigning on 27 September in Vila Franca da Save, Inhambane.
MDM says that the police are giving information about the MDM agenda to Frelimo. “In Inharrime and Zavala where MDM did not inform the police about the campaign agenda, Daviz Simango’s campaign was never impeded,” said Jacob Chiquice, MDM spokesman in Zavala district.
Daviz yesterday (30 September) went to Chokwe, Gaza and our correspondents report Frelimo members prevented the MDM president from campaigning in the municipal market around 3 pm. According to MDM, police fired 17 shots to disperse members of the two political formations.
Attack in Mocimboa da Praia & Muidumbe
Insurgents attacked the village of Antadora, Mocimboa da Praia district, this afternoon (1 October). Between 3 and 5 pm the guerrillas burned houses and kidnapped some people. There were no deaths, our correspondents report. The village of Antadora is located on the main road giving access to the districts of Mueda, Mocimboa da Praia and Palma.
This is the tenth attack in Cabo Delgado province and the fourth in Mocimboa da Praia since the start of the election campaign.
Due to the frequent attacks, a considerable number of voters will not be able to vote on 15 October. Antadora has a polling station with 270 registered voters.
Yesterday, insurgents attacked the villages of Namatil and Samala, Chitunda administrative post, Mingeleua, Muidumbe district, burning about a dozen homes and seizing rice sacks. “At this time the villages were abandoned. People took refuge in the locality of Mingueleua-headquarters,” said our correspondents.
The attacked area is on the outskirts of the Nguri River and residents are exclusively dedicated to planting rice and maize.
Due to this attack, EPC students from Chitunda and other public and private institutions except health and defence did not work today.
Mingueleua has about 11,000 registered voters in 15 polling stations.
This was the third attack that occurredduring the campaign in Muidumbe.
$97 mn for elections from gas sale
The hole in the elections budget will be filled from capital gains tax from the sale of the gas project from Anadarko to Total. President Filipe Nyusi, on the campaign trail in Espungabera, Manica revealed previous secret details of capital gains taxes and how they are being used.
In a complex deal, the US company Anadarko which developed the part of the Cabo Delgado gas fields closest to the coast, was bought by the US company Occidental, which in turn only wanted the US part of Anadarko. So it sold the African gas and oil part of Anadarko to the French company Total. Vicki Hollob, chair of Occidental, told the press at a ceremony in Chimoio that it had been agreed that Occidental would pay $880 mn in capital gains tax to Mozambique.
Nyusi then told the crowd in Espungabera how the money would be used: $97 mn for elections costs, $355 mn for losses to the cyclones and grants to rebuild, $194 mn to pay off debts to suppliers to the government (caused when the government ran out of money when donors cut off aid after the $2 bn secret debts were revealed) and $234 mn into the state budget.
He went on to explain how the $375 mn of capital gains tax from the sale of part of the further off-shore area by ENI to Exxon Mobil was used: $205 mn to rehabilitate the main north-short road (EN1) in Inhambane and Sofala, $70 mn to repay government debts, and $100 mn for the state budget.
Transported to Nyusi rally and abandoned
In Zavala, Inhambane, Frelimo supporters were mobilised by community leaders from their districts to attend the party president’s rally on 30 September. More than a hundred supporters from Panda and Inharrime (both in Inhambane) and Mandlakazi (in Gaza) were transported in trucks to ensure that Filipe Nyusi’s rally was full.
As soon as the rally ended, Frelimo supporters from Panda and Mandlakazi were taken home. But there was no transportation for Inharrime’s supporters, and no information. The weather was cold and the supporters bedded down on local shop verandas in the hope of finding transport the next day. Finally at 21.00 a local Frelimo businessman provided a truck to take in the supporters home to Inharrime.
People continue to be transported from faraway places in unsafe conditions to fill Filipe Nyusi’s rallies, despite Nyusi assuring his audience in Chimoio that this was not done. An overloaded lorry carrying people home from a Nyusi rally in Songo Tete overturned, killing 7 people on 22 September.
Parties campaign on Facebook
In addition to marches, parades, shows, and door-to-door canvassing, parties have invested time and resources in social networks in the hunt for the vote. Facebook is the favourite platform; only one party (Frelimo) is in Twitter with just 191 followers. Our survey showed that half of the contending election parties are permanently present on Facebook. Frelimo is the most accepted party on Facebook, with over 77,000 followers on its page. In the next position is Renamo with about 16,000 followers. Nova Democracia (ND) and MDM follow with more than 11,000 followers.
However, just having followers is not enough. Parties like PODEMOS have over 3,000 followers, but with a level of interaction among followers on their page that surpasses Renamo. See the table in the attached pdf.
The remaining 6 parties, mostly extra-parliamentary, have few followers and also low interaction, that is, rarely their contents get reactions from netizens.
Of the 13 parties campaigning on Facebook, only ND and PODEMOS have their manifestos published on their page. These two parties are aimed at young people, and there is a lot of interaction on Facebook since young people are the main users of this social network.
Nyusi paralyses classes in Gaza
Filipe Nyusi today reached Gaza province and at least 18 schools were closed and students and teachers were mobilized to watch Frelimo’s presidential candidate.
In the city of Xai-xai, along with teachers and school directors, the Nyusi rally was attended by students below voting age and who did not know the purpose of the event in District 11, our correspondents report. “Our teachers made us come to the rally,” said one 5th grader.
Closed schools included Xai-Xai Secondary School (ES), Inhamissa ES, Joaquim Chissano ES, May 25 EPC, Eduardo Mondlane EPC, Tavene primary school (EP), Amilcar Cabral EP and Unit 11 EP.
Nyusi’s campaign in Xai-xai transported students and supporters from Chokwe, Macia, Limpopo and Chongoene (all districts of Gaza). All were carried unsafe conditions.
After Xai-xai, Filipe Nyusi went to Mandlakazi, where students, teachers and school board members attended the rally and at least two schools were closed.
“Our teachers told us to come to the rally. But we should only come who are over 18,” said a pupil at Josina Machel ES. Mandkakazi ES was also closed.
Filipe Nyusi went to Chibuto after the rally in Mandlakazi. Communal Center EP2 (where the rally was held), Chibuto ES, Chimundo ES, Komochambane EP, Canhavano EP and Wahamuza EP were all closed for the rally, our correspondents report.
Renamo couple still missing in Manica
The Renamo supporting couple kidnapped in the early hours of 19 September in Tambara, Manica, have not been found. On the afternoon before their disappearance, Francisco Joanqueira, 45 and Marosa Joao, 40, refused to receive the district administrator when he was campaigning door-to-door for Frelimo. (See Bulletin 55).
MDM violence in Dondo – 20 injured
An MDM entourage on 10 motorcycles hit a crowd of Renamo supporters attending a rally yesterday morning (30 September), injuring 20 people, our correspondents report. The rally, led by Renamo’s political delegate, was in the 1 de Maio neighbourhood of Mutua, Dondo, Sofala
Police escorting Renamo detained two MDM supporters involved while others fled. At the time of the incident, the MDM caravan had just left the 25 de Setembro neighbourhood for the 1 Maio neighbourhood
Also in Dondo, a group of MDM supporters went to Frelimo headquarters and threw stones at party supporters who were gathered there on Saturday morning (28 September). Police were called to restore order, our correspondents report. Two MDM supporters were arrested and released two hours later.
In Dondo, at least six cases of aggression have been reported since the campaign began, and of these, two resulted in the deaths of one Frelimo and one Renamo supporter. In addition, journalists are censored by both police and parties, in order to not report the violence.
Dondo Police Commander Assaulted by MDM Supporters
Dondo District Police Commander Joao Moiane was assaulted by young MDM supporters for allegedly campaigning for Frelimo. The attack took place at the Mafambisse Sugar Pavilion, in the 4th of October neighbourhood, on the morning of the 26 September at a rally by Florindo Nyusi, son of Frelimo presidential candidate Filipe Nyusi.
Our correspondents, who were present at the scene, report that a group of about two dozen young men dressed in MDM T-shirts arrived at the rally and approached the district police commander and began to argue, eventually assaulting and pushing him. The confusion temporarily paralyzed the rally, until the riot police (Rapid Intervention Unit, UIR), rescued the commander and took him away.
Our correspondents say that MDM had requested police protection for their campaign in Dondo but the District Police Command said no, because of insufficient staff. Hours later, MDM supporters learned that the district police commander was campaigning for Frelimo and they went to the pavilion where the rally was taking place, where they found the commander in civilian clothes and Frelimo cap. It was then the fight started andt it only ended with the commander’s removal from the scene.
Under Mozambican law, police officers are non-partisan and cannot campaign for any party. The commander confirmed that he had been at the rally run by Florindo Nyusi, but told the campaign briefing on Saturday (28 September) in Dondo “I was just there to ensure safety during the rally.”
No power for Renamo
In Manica town, residents of the April 7 neighbourhood complain that they were not covered by the expansion of electricity, allegedly for supporting the opposition. The local council of Manica has provided funds for electrification, however the neighbourhood of Raca, where Renamo sympathizers reside, has not yet had access, Renamo’s Manica Information Officer Bento Guirau said, following a meeting with residents of Raca yesterday (30 September).
Contacted by the Bulletin, EDM district delegate in Manica Pedro Bero, partially supported the Renamo claim. He blamed a lack of electrical equipment for the delay, but added that the adjoining neighbourhood had had special sponsorship by the Manica City Council.
Renamo Information Officer beaten by Frelimo supporters
Renamo’s Chief Information Officer in Moatize, Tete, Inacio Razao, was beaten by two supporters of Frelimo, forcing him to remove his party’s campaign shirt, yesterday (30 September) in Nkondezi, Zobue, Tete. “Don’t you know we don’t want Renamo here?” the Frelimo supporters said during the beating. Renamo reported the case to the Zobue police station and those involved were summoned to the police today.
Parties make accusations which are often hard to verify.
Frelimo says Renamo killed two Frelimo. In Milange, Zambezia, two Frelimo supporters, Benjamin Nicupatimba and Rodrigues Chinambua, lost their lives on September 27 and 28, victims of assault by alleged Renamo members. The assault took place on 9 September and the victims were admitted to the local hospital. Although discharged later, they died on their injuries on 27 and 28 September, according to Frelimo district secretary Ismael Noronha on the programme “The Voice of the Citizen” broadcast on Milange community radio, Zambezia.
A Frelimo party headquarters burned down last night (September 30) in Lunga, Muaualo, Mussoril district, Nampula province. Mossuril’s Frelimo chief, Evan Business, accuses Renamo supporters of setting fire to the building. “Yesterday they tried to burn a car of a Frelimo member in the Matibane area as they returned from the campaign,” said Evan Business. Business also accused Renamo supporters of campaigning door-to-door in quiet of the night (which is not illegal).
Renamo objects to new groups of police officers to Morrumbala, Zambezia, which it considers its zone of influence, and where the party maintains a military base in the locality of Sabe. On 24 September, Protection Police officers were deployed to the district. “These police have been assigned to the district to facilitate fraud so that Frelimo can win the election,” said Neves de Brito Dai, Renamo district attorney. “We had never seen a lot of police like that, and they have already started extorting residents,” he said. Morrumbala is an opposition bastion and Frelimo has never won an elections there since 1994.
By Joseph HanlonSource: 2019 General Elections - Mozambique Political Process Bulletin
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