23 January 2013

Mozambique: MDM Office Attacked in Chokwe

Maputo — A mob attacked the offices of the opposition Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) in the southern municipality of Chokwe, as they were being inaugurated on Saturday.

The inauguration ceremony was led by Manuel de Araujo, mayor of the central city of Quelimane. Interviewed by the newsheet “Canalmoz”, Araujo said the MDM delegation was attacked with sticks and stones.

He claimed that the mob included members of the ruling Frelimo Party, led by the local Frelimo head of mobilization and propaganda, who is also a member of Chokwe Municipal Council.

“We were attacked with stones, sticks and other blunt instruments and in our own offices we had to ask the police for protection”, said Araujo. “Our members were beaten up and then they vandalized our premises and took down our flagpole without any explanation at all. We were humiliated as if we were not Mozambicans”.

The mayor of Chokwe, Jorge Macuacua, admitted that the incident had occurred, but denied it was perpetrated by Frelimo members. Instead, he claimed that a group of Chokwe residents, seeing the banner of a political party flying from a house went there to demand an explanation.

“It was not an attack but a protest by Chokwe residents against the existence of a flag flying from a house in one of the Chokwe neighbourhoods”, said the mayor, as cited by “Canalmoz”.

The MDM office was in a private house, which the party was renting. The house has now been severely damaged. The MDM says it has lodged a formal complaint with the police.

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