Mozambique: Trial of Chair of Tete Assembly Postponed

Maputo — Moatize (Mozambique), 17 Sep (AIM) - The Moatize district court, in the western Mozambican province of Tete, on Monday postponed a trial for assault of several members of the main opposition party, Renamo, because the man who supposedly led them, Fabiao Bzingue, is the chairperson of the Tete Provincial Assembly, and enjoys immunity.

Bzingue and the other Renamo members are accused of beating up a member of the ruling Frelimo Party in Moatize during the current election campaign.

Frelimo submitted a complaint to the district court, but a court official told reporters "the trial of the Renamo case has been postponed to a future date, because the Chairperson of the Provincial Assembly enjoys immunity".

Immediately the postponement was announced the Renamo members involved left the courtroom and went back to the election campaign.

Meanwhile, in the Tete district of Mutarara, Frelimo has been accused of burning down a house belonging to a Renamo member. The fire occurred last Thursday, but the initial reports do not show that it was arson, let alone who was responsible for it.

The owner of the traditional house, Joao Luis Semente, told AIM "I was lucky that day. We were all going to die. But that night we didn't go to sleep early. I was talking with my wife. Suddenly, at about 22.00, we saw the fire burning our house".

"We fled", said Semene, "but I burnt my hands because I was trying to save some things. I didn't succeed, and so I only have the clothes I am wearing".

Alleged arson also occurred in Gurue district, in the central province of Zambezia, on Monday, and here the victims were members of Frelimo.

According to a report from "Sala da Paz" ("Peace Room"), a coalition of election observation organisations, an unidentified individual set fire to five houses in the Ceu Azul neighbourhood in Gurue municipality.

The arson occurred at about 23.00 on Monday. Despite the intervention of neighbours who tried to put out the flames, some of the houses, which belonged to Frelimo members, were totally destroyed.

The mayor of Gurue, Jose Aniceto, visited the scene and suggested there were political motives behind the crime. He urged greater vigilance, so that the arsonist can be fund and held responsible for his acts.

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