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When AIM contacted Azarias Chombene, the Frelimo spokesperson in Mandlakazi, he dismissed all of Mathe’s accusation as “groundless”, and merely intended to confuse citizens.
Mozambique’s main opposition party, Renamo, on Friday accused the ruling Frelimo Party of manipulating the police, the electoral bodies and the local community radio in Mandlakazi district, in the southern province of Gaza.
Speaking to AIM, the Renamo district delegate, Armando Mathe, said Renamo’s work during the current election campaign was hindered by Frelimo which sabotaged its parades and rallies.
“Whenever we are going somewhere, they run ahead and block us”, Mathe claimed. He alleged that some Frelimo members had infiltrated Renamo, and they give Frelimo information about the routes that Renamo parades will take.
“Also when we inform the police, or the community radio, they go and tell Frelimo”, he accused. “Frelimo then occupies the places where we were going to hold rallies and blocks us”.
Such behaviour was common in Mandlakazi villages, he said. Frelimo supporters “put up barriers so that Renamo members have no access to the places where we agreed to meet the voters”.
“They even blow vuvuzelas (plastic trumpets) in our ears when we are speaking with the public”, Mathe added.
Once, in the Chiguivitane area, “we were having lunch, and they threw sand in our food and then ran away”, he alleged.
When Renamo complains to the Mandlakazi police about Frelimo’s illegal behaviour, they show no interest in taking action, Mathe accused. He said that, on 5 October, Renamo had caught a group of young Frelimo supporters in the act of vandalising Renamo election posters – a crime under Mozambican election law.
Renamo submitted an official complaint to the police, “But to date there has been no reaction”, he said, accusing the police of acting as if its job was only to protect Frelimo.
He also accused Frelimo of harassing and attempting to bribe Renamo members of polling station staff, and Renamo polling station monitors.
When AIM contacted Azarias Chombene, the Frelimo spokesperson in Mandlakazi, he dismissed all of Mathe’s accusation as “groundless”, and merely intended to confuse citizens.Source: AIM
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