Mozambique: Press Censorship in Cabo Delgado But Senior Police on Trial

Three senior police went on trial 13 March for arresting and beating the renowned investigative journalist Estacio Valoi. The police are Augusto Guta, provincial police press spokesperson; Cornelio Duvane, commander of the Pemba Municipal police; and Aires Aurelio Tequia, then head of the Pemba 2nd squadron but now district commander of Montepuez. Valoi was detained for taking photographs at a women's day rally 7 April 2017. His mobile telephone, camera and notebook were confiscated.

In his defence Tequia, head of the squadron where Valoi was taken, first said that his actions were justified because of the attacks then taking place, but it was pointed out that the attacks only started 6 months later. Second, he said the problem was that he had not recognised that Valoi was a prominent journalist. But prosecutor Nelia Madeira pointed out that any citizen had a right to take photos at the rally. The court ruling will be given on 27 March. (Carta 15 Mar)

But Cabo Delgado governor Julio Parruque called a press conference for provincial journalists on 23 February, the day after community radio journalist Germano Adruabi was arrested. Parruque told the journalists they would no longer be allowed to report on attacks, corruption, illicit enrichment, drug trafficking, illegal fishing and other social problems and politicians. Journalists Germano Adruabi and Amade Abubacar remain in detention. (Carta 13 Mar)


From Carta de Mocambique

Former Maputo finance vereador murdered. Celia Cumbe, who was vereador for administration and finance in the previous administration of David Simango, was killed and the body burned on 5 March. Her bank cards were taken. Carta (15 Mar) reports that in December Cumbe was coming under strong pressure, particularly from other vereadores, to make improper payments, including over-invoicing. Maputo "was being looted in the last weeks of the term of David Simango," writes Carta. (Veradores are local ministers or local cabinet members, responsible for a sector.)

President Nyusi's brother accused. In 2016, Baldeu Chande, then administrator of the Quirimbas National Park (PNQ), was removed for alleged corruption. Celso Correia, Minister of Land, Environment and Rural Development, appointed Albino Jacinto Nhusse as administrator of the PNQ. Albino Jacinto Nhusse is the brother of the President of the Republic (PR), Filipe Jacinto Nyusi (Deifferent name spellings, but brothers nonetheless.) But, Carta (12 Mar) says, "the environment of disorder and malaise in local communities has not changed." Albino Nhusse denies involvement in corruption in Quirimbas Park.
The community living in the area around the PNQ accuse the park administration of demanding bribes ffrom those who collect shellfish or engage in fishing activities. As soon as he took the lead of the PNQ, Albino Nhusse promoted a ranger who sold crabs confiscated under the pretext of inspection, selling them to Chinese at the PNQ's own premises, claims Carta.

Sentenced to jail but presenting a business meeting. In 2018 Setina Titosse, former head of the Agriculture Development Fund (FDA), was sentenced to 18 years in jail for stealing $3 mn from the fund. But she has never gone to jail. It was advertised that she was hosting a business promotion seminar at Hotel VIP on 15 March. (Carta 13 March) Forever Living, a US pyramid cosmetics company, had hosted meetings at Hotel Vip on 15 December and 23 February to recruit salespeople. Titosse using a similar looking poster and the Forever Living eagle logo, but the poster never actually mentions Forever Living and uses the name "Forever Business".

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