Maputo — Nampula (Mozambique), 17 Jun (AIM) - The Mozambican police in the northern city of Nampula on Monday denied the rumour that a Congolese paediatrician is involved in kidnapping children in the neighbourhood of Muatauanha.
The rumour had spread through the city since Thursday. It was said that the Congolese doctor was holding children captive in his house, and intended to harvest their body parts for sale. A mob gathered outside the house, forcing the police to intervene. 18 arrests were made.
Speaking at his weekly press conference, the spokesperson for the Nampula police command, Zacarian Nacuti, said the claims against the Congolese had been invented by the mother of three allegedly kidnapped children, and that the real dispute centred over control of a local church, where her family and that of the Congolese were co-managers.
"The police ascertained that this is all a contradiction between two families", said Nacuti. "The woman accused the doctor of kidnapping her children, but in reality the quarrel is about the management of a church. The woman claims rights in this matter, because her husband, who died recently, was one of the managers of the church".
"Our investigation showed that the woman faked this situation in order to take the doctor out of circulation", he added. The police could find no truth in the accusations against the Congolese doctor, who works in Nampula Central Hospital, and has lived in the city for many years.
The rumour caused rioting in Muatauanha, and Nacuti said the police arrested 18 people it believed were ringleaders in the violence, during which property belonging to the doctor was destroyed.
Nacuti also told reporters that last week the police shot and killed one member of a gang of three people who were robbing a home in the Muhala Expansao neighbourhood.
"When the police ordered them to stop, they replied with gunshots", he said. "There was an exchange of fire, during which one of them died. The driver of the stolen vehicle used in the burglary fled, but he was caught later. The police recovered from the thieves a pistol, a home-made gun and a machete".