Mozambique: Senior Election Observation Figure Murdered

Posters calling for a vote for President Nyusi of Mozambique.

Maputo — Unidentified assassins have murdered a senior election observation figure in the southern Mozambican province of Gaza.

Anastacio Matavel, the Executive Director of the Forum of Gaza Non-Governmental Organisations (FONGA) was shot dead on Monday morning in the Gaza provincial capital of Xai-Xai. Matavel was also the Gaza Focal Point for the coalition of election observation bodies known as the "Sala da Paz" (Peace Room).

Matavel had made the opening statement at an observer training session organised by the civil society organisation Joint. He left the room and walked over to his car, but the killers were waiting for him. According to the Sala da Paz Facebook page, Matavel was shot ten times.

He was rushed to the Gaza provincial hospital, where he died of his injuries at about 13.00.

But it is reported that, in their haste to flee the scene of the crime, the assassins became involved in a traffic accident, in which two of them lost their lives, and a third survived, but is in police custody.

Joseph Hanlon, editor of the "Mozambique Political Process Bulletin", published by the anti-corruption NGO, the Centre for Public Integrity (CIP), told AIM he found it significant that the victim was a senior election observer, involved in training observers.

"The target was election observation", he said. "They don't want observation in Gaza".

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