Maputo — Mozambique's main opposition party, Renamo, has condemned last weekend's police action in Maputo, where police units raided shops, bars and even restaurants, and seized alcoholic drinks on the pretext of implementing the government's measures to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 respiratory disease.
Under the latest measures against Covid-19, which took effect at zero hours last Friday, all bars and stalls selling alcoholic drinks must close, and the opening hours of restaurants are shortened. But the government decree says nothing about confiscating drinks.
Addressing a Thursday press conference, the Renamo spokesperson in Maputo City, Ivan Mazanga, said that the party condemns vehemently the move taken by the police against those who mainly depend on sales of these products to make a living.
"Not only is it illegal, but the police action is a moral catastrophe, because the products seized are a source of income and sustenance of the affected families," Mazanga said, adding that to make matters even worse there was no stock listing which will obviously make it difficult for the legitimate owners to recover what was confiscated.
If the aim of police raids is to enforce the law, Mazanga said it would be fair that the Mozambican President, Filipe Nyusi, and Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario should also be held accountable. They took part on Monday in the funeral at Maputo Municipal Council of a prominent music manager, where over 150 people were present, though the latest government measures limit attendance at funerals to 20.
"This was a gross violation of the measures penned by the president himself," Mazanga said. "Those who have violated the law should not go unpunished because they are strong, while the same law is used illegally to punish others because they are weak."
Renamo has also called on Mozambicans to fully comply with Covid-19 preventive measures such as the use of face masks, frequent hand washing, and social and physical distancing whenever the conditions are favourable.
Mazanga recognised that in a poverty-stricken country people will still need to move out of home to make a living, but preventive measures should never be abandoned.