Mozambique:Police Admits Responsibility in killing of social activist

By Arnaldo Cuamba

The Mozambican police confirmed on Tuesday that members of
the corporation murdered a social activist Anastácio Matavel, a member of the
“Sala da Paz”, an organisation that is preparing to observe independently the
general elections scheduled for next week.

Matavel, a key figure from Mozambique’s election observation
community and focal point of “Sala da Paz” in Gaza province, south of
Mozambique, was murdered on the morning of 7 October upon leaving a training
session for national observers.

According to police spokesperson, Orlando Mudumane, 4 of the
5 main suspects responsible for the murder are corporate agents in the Special
Operations Group of the Rapid Intervention Unit.

As a result, the General Police Commander, Bernardino
Rafael, ordered the suspension of two commanders from the units where the
murdering police officers were assigned. On the other hand, a commission of
inquiry was created to present a detailed report on what actually happened
within 15 days.

On Monday, the “Sala da Paz” called on the press to
repudiate and condemn the death, asking those entitled to clarify the crime
quickly and to punish the perpetrators.

“The Sala da Paz understands that these acts are
against human rights and freedom of expression enshrined in the Constitution of
the Republic of Mozambique,” said Dercio Alfazema, spokesman for the
organization “Thus, it calls on the competent authorities, for a thorough
investigation to find the perpetrators of this heinous crime and in an
exemplary way be punished,” he said.

The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM)
strongly condemned the attack and also called on the competent national
authorities to investigate this violent act and ensure the perpetrators are
held to account for their criminal actions.

“Domestic observation is an essential component of a
credible electoral process” EU EOM said in a press release published on
Tuesday. “Any act that affects or limits the capacity of national
observers to perform their essential role is an unacceptable obstacle to the
transparency of elections and the respect for the participation of citizens in
the country’s political life” they added.

The general elections are scheduled for 15 October in
Mozambique, with an election campaign marked by turbulence. Violent clashes
between sympathizers of the different political parties have continued
throughout the electoral campaign period without a strong, clear and persistent
condemnation from political leaders and competent authorities.


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