Mozambique: Police Fingered in Mozambique Poll Observer's Murder

Maputo — TWO Mozambican senior police officers have been suspended after law enforcers' implication in the murder of an election observer this week.

Police chief, Bernardino Rafael, ordered the suspensions after it emerged some officers were allegedly behind the killing of Anastancio Matavele, director of the Forum of Non-governmental Organisations for Gaza (FONGA).

Alfredo Macuacua, commander of the Riot Police of Gaza, and Tudelo Guirrugo, head of the Special Forces in the province, have been suspended.

It is alleged the officers under their command shot at Matavele's car as he drove after a training session for election observers in the southern Xai-Xai city.

Dewa Mavhinga, Southern Africa director at Human Rights Watch (HRW), said authorities should ensure a prompt and impartial investigation to ensure justice for Matavele and accountability for those responsible.

"The apparent involvement of police in killing an election observer is a chilling development that casts a dark shadow over the Mozambican elections," he said.

Orlando Mudumane, Mozambican police spokesperson, was quoted as saying police were investigating five occupants of a vehicle from which bullets were allegedly fired.

Four of the men, he said, were members of the national police force.

Two of them were killed on the spot as the vehicle crashed as it sped away after Matavele was shot.

A third man was receiving medical treatment after police officers detained him. Two other occupants of the car fled the scene.

An escalation of violence is threatening national elections scheduled for Tuesday next week.

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