Mozambique: Campaign Money Creates Confusion Among Frelimo Members

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Frelimo supporters in Nicoadala got into an uproar Wednesday morning at the party's district headquarters, when District Secretary Agostinho Armando said he wanted to use money disbursed by the provincial party secretary. Frelimo Provincial Secretary Paulino Lenco disbursed 50,000 Meticais ($810) for the campaign logistics in the district. Armando said he would use 40,000 MZN ($650) to buy chairs for the meeting room of the district headquarters, and give 5,000 MZM ($80) for the OMM, the Frelimo woman's group, and the same amount for the OJM, the youth group - who objected to the small amount. Finally it was agreed to distributed 1000 MZM ($16) to Frelimo in each of four localities, Monhunha, Namacata, Nhafuba and Nicoadala.

Arrested for vandalizing Frelimo campaign material

Two campaigners were arrested last week for vandalizing Frelimo party posters. Deputy MDM delegate in Luabo district, Zambezia, Jose Giua, was arrested Monday (16 September) because a supporter of his party reportedly posted an MDM poster over another Frelimo poster. At the time of his arrest Giua was meeting at his party's headquarters. The delegate was held in the cell at the district police command until was the case was heard Friday at 8 am (20 September) at the district command, and then transferred to the neighbouring district of Chinde. Last week Frelimo supporters in Luabo stuck a poster of their party over another MDM poster but no one was arrested.

In Govuro, Inhambane, a young man was taken to the cells of Govuro district prison on Wednesday (September 18), accused of tearing up Frelimo party leaflets that were glued to trees and power poles. According to Pelagio de Almeida, Head of Police Operations in Govuro, the arrest followed a complaint by someone who passed by and reported the case to the police. Almeida said that an indictment has already been issued.

Since the beginning of the campaign there has been no record of arrests for vandalizing pamphlets of opposition parties.

Fake news & audio False Renamo dissident threat of new attacks

“In a nutshell, the audio says that Renamo's military wing, in the person of Mr. [Mariano] Nhongo, contacted Beira City-based Radio Pax warning that his men will start attacking tomorrow, the sections are: INCHOPE - SAVE, INCHOPE - CHIMOIO, INCHOPE - BORDER, INCHOPE - NHAMAPADZA ”.

This quotation circulated last week on social networks, accompanied by an Ndau-language audio, attributed to the self-proclaimed leader of the Renamo Military Junta, Mariano Nhongo, with the claim that is was broadcast by Pax Community Radio, based in Beira.

The message and audio are false, the Catholic church Radio Pax director Father Jose Suade said. He acknowledged an interview with Mariano Nhongo on Wednesday (September 18) but said that at no time did the self-proclaimed leader mention attacks in the areas referred to in the text. The director of the station also said that Nhongo spoke in Portuguese and not in Ndau, as the audio suggests. “Our broadcast is in Portuguese. We do not broadcast in the local language."

“In the audio of the interview we had with Mr. Nhongo, the information of the text does not appear, much less the audio that circulates on social networks,” said Father Suade.

With support from the National Community Radio Forum (FORCOM), Radio Pax issued a statement on Friday denying that Mariano Nhongo announced attacks in an interview with this broadcaster.

Since the start of the election campaign, several attacks have taken place in the central region of the country. The most recent were in the neighboring district of Gorongosa and Nhamatanda districts, Sofala, and another in the village of Zimpinga in Gondola district, Manica. The latest of the attacks took place on Tuesday, a day before Nhongo spoke to the press.

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