Mozambique: Frelimo Blames Renamo for Tete Violence

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Maputo — Mozambique's ruling Frelimo party has denied claims by the main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, that it has been harassing Renamo members in the western city of Tete.

Quite the opposite was true, according to Domingos Macajo, the spokesperson for the Frelimo Tete Provincial Committee, who gave AIM the Frelimo version of the violent clashes on Sunday evening that marred the end of the municipal election campaign in the city.

He accused Renamo supporters of going on the rampage in Tete, beating up citizens they found wearing Frelimo T-shirts. Macajo cited the case of a Frelimo member named Oscar Vitorino who received serious head injuries, when the Renamo militants smashed the windows of his car.

In a second incident, Renamo members threw stones against a car carrying four Frelimo supporters, and then set it on fire.

Macajo also accused Renamo of abducting a 12 year old child. The child's father was a former Mayor of Tete and former Frelimo parliamentary deputy, Castro Ntemansaca, who rushed over to the Renamo delegation to rescue his son.

Macajo said that Frelimo has notified the relevant authorities of what it regards as Renamo crimes.

"Once again, we want to say that Renamo should not present itself as a victim, or try to confuse public opinion by disinforming Mozambican society about what is happening in this city", he added.

Macajo said he was not surprised by Renamo's behaviour - he claimed that Renamo resorted to violence because "during the election campaign, it was unable to win the electorate".

Such incidents, he added, showed that Renamo "is a party that likes blood. It loves these acts of intimidation, violence, vandalism and crime, which violate human rights and create social instability".

Macajo warned Frelimo members and the population at large to remain vigilant against anything that might seek to wreck Wednesday's elections.

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