Police Commander Bernardino Rafael on Friday dismissed accusations of attempted killings of two opposition candidates for mayors with an explicitly partisan response. He said the opposition was making unfounded claims of attempted killings in Nampula and Quelimane only because they had no policies to campaign on.
Four years ago, Anastancio Matavele, the head of civil society observation of national elections in Gaza, was gunned down by a police hit squad. They were so incompetent that all were identified; two were killed in car crash immediately after and one was allowed to get away. Matavele was killed in broad daylight in Xai-Xai on 7 October 2019.
Ten years ago celebrating the victory of Manuel de Arujo as Quelimane mayor, police officer Manuel Jose shot into the crowd and killed musician Max Love (Jaime Paulo Caminho) on 21 November 2013. Jose was helped to escape and disappear. Police shot at Araujo’s car in February 2020, so he has reason to be concerned. A week ago Araujo presented two police that he claimed had been caught trying to kill him to a rally in Quelimane.
The police have for several years imposed a total ban on marches by civil society and opposition parties. The official local election campaign, where parties and citizens lists have special rights to hold marches and rallies, begins on 26 September. Will the police cooperate? Precedents are not good. Even though it was authorized by Frelimo mayor Eneas Comiche, police attacked the funeral cortege of the rapper Azagaia in Maputo on 14 March.
Meanwhile polling station staff are supposed to be neutral, but a Frelimo leader in Gaza told a meeting of education officials that polling station heads they had to “guarantee” a Frelimo victory. The only way to do that is to fraudulently manipulate the process, especially the vote count. The instruction was given at an education meeting because many polling station heads are teachers, and Frelimo control of education is tight and is used in elections. So the undertone of the message was that if Frelimo does not win, you may lose your job.
And the Frelimo pressure to manipulate the electoral process has been much higher this year. Registration brigades gave priority to lists of Frelimo members and known opposition supporters were stopped from registering. More than 230,000 ghost voters were registered. And this is just the beginning. (https://bit.ly/Moz-El-132)