Maputo — Armed men, believed to be members of Mozambique’s main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, abducted and beat up the first secretary of the ruling Frelimo Party, in the central district of Maringue, Andre Madumane, on Wednesday, according to a report in Friday’s issue of the independent newsheet “Mediafax”.
His captors released Madumane on Thursday afternoon, but his injuries from the savage beating he received are so serious that he is to be taken to Beira Central Hospital for medical treatment.
Maringue used to be a Renamo stronghold, and it was where the rebel movement set up its military headquarters in the final years of the war of destabilisation. But Renamo support in the district has collapsed, and Frelimo won a majority of votes in Maringue in the 2009 general elections.
Madumane was once a Renamo guerrilla, and occupied a senior Renamo position in Maringue. But about five years ago he clashed with the Renamo leadership, particularly with Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama, and defected to Frelimo.
“Mediafax” reports that ever since his defection Madumane has suffered harassment from Renamo. The daily paper “O Pais”, however, suggests that his abduction and beating may be related to the detention of Renamo members found in possession of an 82mm mortar in Maringue in January.
When the police seized the mortar, the Renamo members were allegedly carrying it into the neighbouring district of Gorongosa, where Dhlakama is currently living, surrounded by several hundred demobilised Renamo fighters.
In addition to his post as Frelimo First Secretary in Maringue, Madumane is also a member of the Sofala Provincial Assembly.