Maputo — MOZAMBICAN authorities have been urged to probe the death threats a gunman linked to an opposition leader has made against an investigative journalist.
Aunício da Silva, the journalist and editor of a weekly publication in the northern Nampula City, fears for his life after an assailant threatened to kill him for publishing articles that allegedly tarnished the image of Carlos Saíde, the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) candidate for the mayoral by-election scheduled for January.
It is reported da Silva implied Saíde had a hand in the assassination of the former mayor , Mahamudo Amurane.
Unknown gunmen shot him dead in October following disagreements with the leadership of the MDM for insisting on clean governance and the fight against corruption.
Amnesty International condemned the threats against da Silva.
"This incident represents yet another attack on media freedom in Mozambique and sends a chilling message to journalists across the country to stay silent or face the consequences," Deprose Muchena, Amnesty regional director, said.
Muchena said President Filipe Nyusi's government must protect journalism by urgently investigating threats against da Silva.
"Journalism is not a crime. Anyone found to be criminally responsible for threatening and harassing journalists must be brought to justice in a fair trial."
In 2000, investigative journalist, Carlos Cardoso, was assassinated for probing corruption in the privatisation of Mozambique's biggest bank.
Nyimpine Chissano, son of then-President Joaquim Chissano, was charged for masterminding the murder.
It was claimed he survived prosecution after the intervention of his father.