Mozambique: Several Detentions for Alleged Electoral Fraud

Maputo — The Mozambican police have detained a member of Mozambique's ruling Frelimo Party, named as Afonso Henriques, for alleged electoral fraud, reports the election observation team from the anti-corruption NGO, the Centre for Public Integrity.

Henriques was supposedly caught in the possession of 12 extra ballot papers all marked in advance in favour of Frelimo, while he was trying to slip them into the ballot box in a polling station in the Angoche municipality of the northern province of Nampula.

In a polling station in Mopeia district, in Zambezia province, a member of the polling station staff named Selma Francisco was found with ballot markers also marked in advance for Frelimo. The report did not say how many she was carrying.

In Dachua locality, in Milange district, also in Zambezia, a citizen was found with six extra ballot papers, and was arrested.

In the same district, a polling station monitor for the main opposition party, Renamo, caught a man trying to slip extra ballot papers into a ballot box in the locality of Chitambo. According to the CIP correspondents, the man concerned works for the district immigration services. In his case, the police took no action.

According to the coalition of observer groups known as Sala da Paz (Peace Room), people have also supposedly been found with ballot papers marked in advance for Frelimo in Nampula city and in the Zambezia districts of Mulumbo and Mocuba.

So far, it is not known whether these ballot papers are authentic, or how they reached the hands of the people who intended to slip them into the ballot boxes.

CIP also noted a number of other irregularities at polling stations. Thus, at a station in the Zona Verde neighbourhood of Maputo, the deputy chairperson of the station was suspended for unauthorised use of a cell phone. Polling station members of staff are forbidden from using cell phones, except for the chairperson and them only to communicate with STAE.

In the Caliu administrative post of Angonia district, Tete province, a citizen who had already voted was detained by the police, when he returned to the polling station. He was said to be making "strange movements". A citizen was detained in the Angonia district capital Ulongue, because he had been collecting voter cards. In both case, these individuals turned out to be members of Renamo.

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