Maputo — Unidentified assailants shot Agostinho Vuma, the chairperson of the Confederation of Mozambican Business Associations (CTA), in central Maputo on Saturday afternoon.
The attack occurred as he was leaving his office, near the corner between Karl Marx and Josina Machel Avenues. Two bullets struck Vuma. He was rushed to the specialist health unit, the Heart Institute (ICOR). He was conscious when he entered ICOR, and is now under intensive care.
A security guard at the building where Vuma's office is located told reporters that he recognized one of the gunmen and named him as "Salimo". The guard said he heard Vuma cry out "Salimo, what have I done?"
Leonel Muchina, the spokesperson for the Maputo City police command, said that the police, working with the National Criminal Investigation Service (SERNIC), have launched a manhunt to arrest the assailants. He declined to give any details of the police operation, on the grounds that "this is a very sensitive investigation".
"But the preliminary facts that we can make public indicate that the attack was carried out by two individuals, who fired two shots", said Muchina, addressing a Saturday press conference.
He revealed that the building facing Vuma's office has surveillance cameras, and any film they took may be of vital importance. Muchine added that the guard who said he identified one of the shooters has been questioned and his testimony is "very pertinent".
As chairperson of the CTA, Vuma was the most prominent representative of the Mozambican business class, often leading negotiations with the government and the trade unions over such sensitive matters as the minimum wage.
Vuma was also a member of the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, elected on the ticket of the ruling Frelimo Party from the southern province of Gaza.