22 February 2013

Mozambique: 17 People Arrested for Cholera Riots in Nampula

Photo: Nancy Palus/IRIN
A man washes his hands during cholera prevention session (file photo)

Maputo — The Mozambican police have arrested 17 people accused of promoting disinformation campaigns about the origins of cholera, and of leading mobs which destroyed the homes of local officials in the Namicopo and Namutequeliua neighbourhoods in the northern city of Nampula.

Rumours were spread that block chiefs and secretaries of the ruling Frelimo Party were somehow responsible for outbreaks of cholera (although, in reality, no cases of cholera at all have been confirmed in Nampula so far this year).

According to a report in the Beira daily paper Diario de Mocambique, the disturbances began when a mother and her two children in Namicopo died between 8 and 13 February. They had been suffering from acute diarrhoea, and the relatives of the deceased jumped to the conclusion that these were cholera cases, and that the disease had been deliberately spread by the local authorities.

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