Mozambique: Clash Between New Democracy and Frelimo in Gaza

Maputo — A new Mozambican political party, Nova Democracia (ND - New Democracy) has accused the ruling Frelimo Party of attacking an ND election motorcade in Xilembene in the southern province of Gaza.

The website of the coalition of election observation bodies known as "Sala da Paz", carried photographs of an ND vehicle with its windscreen smashed and ND supporters bleeding from head and face wounds.

According to a note from ND, cited by Sala da Paz, the Frelimo members were trying to prevent ND from campaigning in Xilembene, and the attacking group was led by the local secretary of the Frelimo youth group, the OJM.

The attackers used stones, bottles and chairs, and their target was the ND candidate for Gaza provincial governor, the musician Refiller Boy. ND says that intervention by its campaign security prevented him from being struck.

The ND note claimed that the police were defending the assailants. The party promised it would file a legal complaint, since preventing legitimate election meetings is a crime that can be punished with a six month prison sentence and a heavy fine.

Shortly after this note was issued, the police did act. They asked Refiller Boy and other members of his delegation to go to the Chokwe district police command to make statements. When they did so, they were detained "as though they were the aggressors", wrote ND on its Facebook page.

Refiller Boy spent the night in the Command. He was released on Thursday morning, but ND promised "this is not the end of the matter. We shall act until the police conforms with the law".

Also in Gaza, in Massingir district, election parades of Frelimo and of the main opposition party, Renamo, clashed on Wednesday, when the Renamo group passed very near a Frelimo office.

According to a Sala da Paz observer, three Frelimo members were seriously injured, and the matter has been channelled to the police district command.

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