Mozambique: District Administrator Bans Activist

Maputo — The administrator of Barue district, in the central Mozambican province of Manica, Joaquim Zefanias, has illegally attempted to ban a civil society activist from operating in the district, reports Friday’s issue of the independent newsheet “Mediafax”.

In a dispatch dated 28 January, Zefanias banned the coordinator of the Civil Society Platform in Barue, Rangel Mairoce, from undertaking any activity in the district in that capacity “because he does not respect the district authorities”.

According to Mairoce, this followed a meeting on 24 January at which Zefanias verbally expelled the activist from Barue, ordering him to go and live somewhere else.

This was blatantly illegal, since Mozambican citizens have the right to live anywhere in the country.

The following day Mairoce wrote to Zefanias, asking him to put his order in writing, so that Mairoce could appeal against it. He warned the administrator that, as long as he received nothing in writing, “as a paralegal and as a Mozambican, I will continue to exercise the rights I enjoy under the Constitution of the Republic”.

When Zefanias replied on 28 January, he dropped the demand for Mairoce to leave the district, and even admitted that Mairoce could live wherever he liked. But he then declared that Mairoce was not authorised to undertake any activity in Barue for the Civil Society Platform, and that “the Platform will only be able to operate with another coordinator of high responsibility who respects the government authorities and the members of the platform”.

Zefanias gave no reason for his ban, and so Mairoce says he is writing to the provincial governor, Ana Comuana, explaining the illegal behaviour of the administrator, and making it clear that he has no intention of leaving the district.

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