Maputo — The Mozambican police force (PRM) has expelled 147 policemen from its ranks since the start of the year, according to Inacio Dina, spokesperson for the General Command of the police.
Speaking to reporters in Maputo on Tuesday, at his weekly press briefing, Dina said there had been around 500 disciplinary proceedings which resulted in the 147 expulsions.
Of those expelled, 49 had been caught extorting money from citizens, and 24 had been found guilty of other crimes of corruption. Dina said the number of expulsions could rise since, of the 500 disciplinary cases, more than half are still at the phase of preliminary investigation.
The disciplinary measures taken, Dina said, showed that the police have launched a relentless struggle against corruption inside their ranks.
Dina denied reports that the police are harassing the interim mayor of Nampula, Manuel Tocova. “The PRM doesn't harass anybody”, he said, “and it would be grotesque if policemen did this. The duty of the police is to guarantee public order, security and calm, and citizens are called upon to collaborate”.
Harassment, he added, should not be confused with the duty of the police to pursue and neutralised suspected criminals. In the latter cases, citizens had the right to defence in a court of law to prove their innocence.
Summarising last week's meeting of the Coordinating Council of the Ministry of the Interior, Dina said the figures provided showed that there had been a one percent reduction in crime between 2016 and 2017. The number of crimes recorded had fallen from 16,680 to 16,576.