The suspension of the Beira STAE district director was confirmed in a communique on Thursday (18 May), and by the CNE spokesperson on Friday (19 May) last week. But he remains at work, because he has not yet been formally suspended.
This is because CNE chair Bishop Carlos Matsinhe, signed a decision different from the decision issued by consensus by the members of the CNE. This bulletin has had access to the two resolutions.
The first one is unsigned, supposedly because it was by consensus. According to some members of the CNE, the first resolution decided “by consensus” was to “suspend preventatively, with immediate effect, Mr Nelson Carlos do Rosário, from his duties as Director of the Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat of Beira district” and gave responsibility “to the Director-General of the Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (Loló Correia) to implement this resolution, and to carry out the subsequent legal measures”. The resolution should “take immediate effect”.
However, another decision was produced which was not discussed in the CNE plenary. And it was this resolution that was signed by CNE chairperson, Bishop Carlos Matsinhe, but some members of the CNE are not in agreement with its content.
The first resolution charges Loló Correia with setting up a commission of inquiry to ascertain, within seven days, the veracity of the facts alleged against the Beira STAE district director and recommends that the STAE Director General “proceed with the preventive suspension of the STAE Beira district director, Nelson Carlos dos Santos”.
This is all part of an intense political struggle between the opposition and Frelimo, for control over the electoral administration and management bodies, and to influence their decisions.
How did this begin?
On Wednesday, 17 May, the CNE discussed in plenary the case of the STAE Beira district director, Nelson Carlos de Rosário, who was accused of setting up a WhatsApp group named “Supervisores Beira” to put electoral crimes into operation. From the discussion, two divergent suggestions arose. One of the CNE members appointed by the opposition suggested the preventive suspension with immediate effect of Nelson Carlos de Rosário. The second suggestion was that he should not be suspended while there were no legal facts to justify the decision. This position was presented by Carlos Cauio, former chairperson of the Bar Association, and supported by Rodrigues Timba, António Mauvilo and Lourenço Chiluvane.
Lourenço Chiluvane is currently deputy director of STAE-Central, appointed by Frelimo in March, to replace Agostinho Levieque. He was appointed to serve as a counterweight to Loló Correia, put in his post by members of the opposition, supported by some malcontents from Frelimo who disobeyed their party.
At the meeting, Eugénia Fafetine Chimpene and Mário Ernesto had “reasonable positions”. Paulo Cuinica and Daud Ibramogy were absent and this left the representatives of Frelimo without a quorum to maintain the discussion and decision.
After the decision, the coordinator of the Commission on Legal and Ethical Matters (CALD), Rodrigues Timba, should have produced the written resolution, as agreed in plenary, which did not happen. He only wrote the resolution which determined the extension of the working hours of the registration posts. The following day he travelled to Nampula. Loló Correia made the suspension of the director conditional on the existence of a written resolution that would support the decision. That is, it was left up to Rodrigues Timba, a member of the CNE chosen by Frelimo, to produce the written decision that would allow the Director-General of STAE, Loló Correia, to suspend preventatively the Beira STAE district director.
Days later the resolution was produced but with a content different from that approved in plenary. The resolution allows the director of STAE to win more time before suspending the current STAE district director in Beira.
The commission of inquiry should have already completed its work.