Maputo — Mozambique's ruling Frelimo Party has denied any involvement in the Monday morning arson attack against the home of Ines Alculete, the mother of the mayor of Quelimane, Manuel de Araujo.
Araujo is also the candidate of the main opposition party, Renamo, for the post of governor of Zambezia province in the general and provincial elections scheduled for 15 October.
In a message distributed over social media on Monday afternoon, the Frelimo Central Committee Secretary for Communication and Image, Caifadine Manasse, said his party "repudiates criminal acts, and we urge the authorities to clear up this incident as quickly as possible".
"We also reaffirm our tireless struggle for social peace, and harmonious co-existence, which is a fundamental principle of the guidelines laid down by Comrade President Filipe Nyusi", he added.
Manasse regretted the attitude taken by Araujo "in making unfounded accusations to denigrate the Frelimo Party and its candidate". This, he argued, was part of a strategy followed by the opposition parties to make themselves look like victims.
He urged all citizens to strengthen their vigilance "in order to maintain the climate of peace and national reconciliation, and to reject the resort to populism and other expressions of incitement to violence".
Araujo had been campaigning alongside Renamo leader Ossufo Momade in the district of Milange, when he heard of the attack against his mother's house. He returned immediately to Quelimane where he visited the charred wreckage of his mother's bedroom.
The bedroom took the full force of the flames. Fortunately Ines Alculete was not at home when the arsonists struck - otherwise she would most likely have been burned to a crisp.
An angry Araujo told reporters "I am directly and publicly accusing the Frelimo Party and President Nyusi of responsibility for this act", because they had never publicly distanced themselves from acts of violence attributed to Frelimo members.