Mozambique: Cholera Outbreak Halts Registration in Nacala


STAE General Director Ignores CNE Decision to Suspend Beira STAE District Director

The suspension of the Beira STAE district director was confirmed in a communique on Thursday (18 May), and by the CNE spokesperson on Friday (19 May) last week. But he remains at work, because he has not yet been formally suspended.

This is because CNE chair  Bishop Carlos Matsinhe, signed a decision different from the decision issued by consensus by the members of the CNE. This bulletin has had access to the two resolutions.

The first one is unsigned, supposedly because it was by consensus. According to some members of the CNE, the first resolution decided “by consensus” was to “suspend preventatively, with immediate effect, Mr Nelson Carlos do Rosário, from his duties as Director of the Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat of Beira district” and gave responsibility “to the Director-General of the Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (Loló Correia) to implement this resolution, and to carry out the subsequent legal measures”. The resolution should “take immediate effect”.

However, another decision was produced which was not discussed in the CNE plenary. And it was this resolution that was signed by CNE chairperson, Bishop Carlos Matsinhe, but some members of the CNE are not in agreement with its content.

The first resolution charges Loló Correia with setting up a commission of inquiry to ascertain, within seven days, the veracity of the facts alleged against the Beira STAE district director and recommends that the STAE Director General “proceed with the preventive suspension of the STAE Beira district director, Nelson Carlos dos Santos”.

This is all part of an intense political struggle between the opposition and Frelimo, for control over the electoral administration and management bodies, and to influence their decisions.

How did this begin?

On Wednesday, 17 May, the CNE discussed in plenary the case of the STAE Beira district director, Nelson Carlos de Rosário, who was accused of setting up a WhatsApp group named “Supervisores Beira” to put electoral crimes into operation. From the discussion, two divergent suggestions arose. One of the CNE members appointed by the opposition suggested the preventive suspension with immediate effect of Nelson Carlos de Rosário. The second suggestion was that he should not be suspended while there were no legal facts to justify the decision. This position was presented by Carlos Cauio, former chairperson of the Bar Association, and supported by Rodrigues Timba, António Mauvilo and Lourenço Chiluvane.

Lourenço Chiluvane is currently deputy director of  STAE-Central, appointed by Frelimo in March, to replace Agostinho Levieque. He was appointed to serve as a counterweight to Loló Correia, put in his post by members of the opposition, supported by some malcontents from Frelimo who disobeyed their party.

At the meeting, Eugénia Fafetine Chimpene and Mário Ernesto had “reasonable positions”. Paulo Cuinica and Daud Ibramogy were absent and this left the representatives of Frelimo without a quorum to maintain the discussion and decision.

After the decision, the coordinator of the Commission on Legal and Ethical Matters (CALD), Rodrigues Timba, should have produced the written resolution, as agreed in plenary, which did not happen. He only wrote the resolution which determined the extension of the working hours of the registration posts. The following day he travelled to Nampula. Loló Correia made the suspension of the director conditional on the existence of a written resolution that would support the decision. That is, it was left up to Rodrigues Timba, a member of the CNE chosen by Frelimo, to produce the written decision that would allow the Director-General of STAE, Loló Correia, to suspend preventatively the Beira STAE district director.

Days later the resolution was produced but with a content different from that approved in plenary.  The resolution allows the director of STAE to win more time before suspending the current STAE district director in Beira.

The commission of inquiry should have already completed its work.

Collecting voters cards

A police agent, stationed at the Maquetela brigade, went to the house of the block chief to obtain explanations about the collection of the cards, but  Olinda Rafael had already fled from the house after she had been found with the cards. Her whereabouts are unknown, but on Friday (26 May), at 09.00, she should appear at the police station.

In Balama, Cabo Delgado, the Heads of 10 houses have cards accumulated from many citizens. They have been collecting the cards to extract the numbers.

Speed up, but queues remain big

Crowds continue in Sofala, Zambézia and Nampula, but there are improvements in attendance

The central provinces of Sofala and Zambézia, and Nampula in the north have been registering huge crowds at the voter registration posts, as our correspondents report and the photos below show. However, significant improvements in registering voters are  reported in many districts.

Beira has been the scene of the largest crowds in Sofala province, while in Zambezia the biggest crowds have been in Quelimane, Guruè, Morrumbala and Alto Molócuè.

In Quelimane there was an enormous crowd, which forced STAE to allocate more computers (“Mobile IDs”) to ease the congestion at the registration posts.

In the Malua 2 EPC, in Alto Molócuè, there was a huge crowd of citizens waiting to be registered. Wednesday (24 May) voter registration took place without upsets, and there was flexibility in attending to citizens. But the priority given to unknown people is continuing, while there are citizens who have been waiting for approximately a week without being able to register.

On Mozambique Island, in Nampula, the number of people registered per day has increased. Currently, many brigades have been registering between 100 and 110 voters a day.

More computers in Tete city: The STAE district director in Tete City, Timóteo Fabião, says that with the increased number of Mobile IDs, the targets envisaged for the current registration will be met. The STAE district director said during the visit the made to some posts, such as those at Marien Ngouabi, Nhamabir, Kankhomba and Mpade. Although Tete has not yet reached 50%, the target will be achieved because the district has been boosted with 18 extra mobiles, and has moved brigade members who have proved skilful, from the peripheral areas into the city.

Printing cards

Another case of nocturnal printing of voter cards – this time in Nacala

Nacala awoke this Thursday (25 May), agitated by the discovery of a house where voter cards were printed during the night. This paralysed one of the machines in a primary school in the upper city.

It was the Renamo monitor who discovered this. He informed the Renamo election agent that he had found, at 05.00 in the morning, the supervisor stationed at that registration post printing voter cards outside of normal working hours. Francisco Abudo, the Renamo election agent, says that, after he had been informed, he went to the post and found the printing going on.

Alfredo Assumane, the agent of the AMUSI party, accuses the supervisor of having been instructed to print the cards at night. Contacted by our bulletin, the supervisor denied this.

By the time our correspondents left, only one machine was authorised to operate. The other was paralysed, awaiting the arrival of the Nacala STAE director.

In Massinga, in Inhambane, the district STAE is printing cards from the registration post at the Madauca Complete Primary School in the STAE headquarters because the printer has not been working since Tuesday (23 May). The opposition parties suspect that the cards are being printed clandestinely.

District director prevents printing of voter cards outside of the registration post

In Morrumbala, in Zambézia, the STAE director, João Cassamo, ordered the return of material collected in the Marenco EP, which was to have been printed in Morrumbala town. According to the director, the printing of voter cards should take place where the registration is happening, and not in the town.

The material had been collected by the STAE staff stationed in the electoral operations area, in order to print voter cards in the town after 21 days when the printer was out of order. The Marenco EP is about 22 Km from the town.

Right now, the brigade is printing cards, after the repair of the printer, but there is a low turnout of voters.

Other registration news in brief

Police agent again hinders CIP correspondents in Nacala: A police agent stationed at the voter registration post located in the 7th April EPC, in Nacala Port, has, for the second time, prevented the CIP correspondents from observing. At that post, in the yard of the 7th April EPC, there have been various cases of violence. This is the second time that police agents have prevented our correspondents from observing.

Secretaries select who should register in Caia: In Caia, Sofala province, reports from our correspondents indicate that many people have not yet been registered, because it is assumed they support the opposition. People are not actually banned from registering, but what happens is that the zone secretaries indicate who should be registered through a list. They are called. Mostly, they are people from areas where the opposition is strong.

MDM head of mobilisation released in Chiure: Tuesday (23 May) the head of the MDM for Organisation and Information in Chiure, Benedito José Tavares Bacar,  was released. He had been detained after he was accused of trying to register two youths from Namapa, Nampula province, Bacar is free awaiting trial.

Tanzanian detained who tried to register in Balama: A Tanzanian citizen has been in the hands of the Mozambican police since 23 May, for trying to register as a voter in Nairóbi village, in Balama, Cabo Delgado.

Does Gaza plan to register 305,000 “ghost voters”?

It seems that the Gaza registration inflation of 2019 is being repeated. The National Statistics Institute (INE) and national STAE say there are 517,000 potential voters in Gaza districts with municipalities. But STAE in Gaza says there are 822,000 voting age adults. Once again STAE in Gaza inflating the numbers.

In the 2019 elections, STAE in Gaza registered 329,430 more voters than there were voting age adults in the province, and 161,641 of these "ghosts" voted, mainly for Frelimo and its presidential candidate Filipe Nyusi. This increased the number of parliament seats for Frelimo by four. Our full report on fraud in the 2019 elections is on

The numbers were released by the Deputy Provincial Director of STAE, Jorge Machai, appointed by Renamo, at a press conference in Xai Xai Tuesday last week (16 May). He says there is great resistance to sharing information about the voter registration in Gaza, and for this reason published internal numbers. Each provincial STAE has a Frelimo-aligned director and deputy directors formally indicated by Frelimo and Renamo.

The “CIP Eleições” Bulletin contacted the Gaza STAE provincial directorProvincial, Mário Cossane, to explain why projections are being used that are different from those issued by the INE, but he refused to comment. He said that, first, he was outside the office with his family, second, that he did not know who was ringing him; and third, that he did not give interviews over the phone. Then he hung up.

The most recent data (to 10 May) show that Gaza province has registered 265.996 voters which is 51.4% of the number of real voters to be registered. But, if the projections of the provincial STAE are used, then by 10 May Gaza had only registered 32.3% of the target.

According to the estimates of the provincial STAEProvincial, Gaza province has 822,109 adults eligible to register, which is 305,089 more than the INE and STAE national count. Bilene and Massingir districts, with the lowest population density, are the only districts in which the INE projections will be used. The largest constituencies in Gaza will use the STAE projections.

The STAE data show that Chókwè district, the largest constituency in Gaza, has the largest number of potential “ghost” voters: more than 116,000. Chibuto is the second largest constituency with 64,000 additional. Xai-Xai and Manjacaze project registration of 64,000 and 58,000 “ghost” voters respectively. The provincial STAE appears to be using the data base from the 2019 elections.

Registration after 30 days

57% of voters registered by Sunday

5.5 million voters had been registered by Sunday (21 May), which is 57% of the 9.9 million voting age adults eligible to register. The Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE) announced this on Monday (22 May), during the conference on the balance of the 30 days of voter registration, organised by the Centre for Public Integrity and by the “Mais Integridade” (“More Integrity”) observer consortium.

From the data presented, Maputo City has already registered 397,000 voters, and Maputo province has registered about 700,000. Gaza has reached 60% of its target and by Sunday it had registered 320,000 voters. The figures for the other provinces were: Inhambane, about 300,000; Manica 480,000; Sofala 509,000; Tete 425,000; Zambézia, 780,000; Nampula, 820,000; Cabo Delgado 500,000; and Niassa about 300,000.

Will registration be higher than 2018?

According to STAE, if this trend is maintained, the figures from the 2018 registration will be surpassed. But Miguel de Brito, the head of the IDEA International Mission in Mozambique, disagreed with the STAE optimism.

He told the conference that the pace of registration at national level is slow and has not changed over the three periods analysed in 26 days of registration. The pace of registration remains at 82% and if there is no acceleration, the figure of 88.9% of 2018 will not be reached.

Some provinces are speeding up their registration (Cabo Delgado, Nampula and Zambézia), others are stagnant (Niassa, Tete and Sofala) but others are slowing down (Manica, Inhambane, Gaza, Maputo Province and Maputo City).

Gaza shows the best performance in registration, with levels of higher than expected in the initial days, but now it is at the normal level  with a tendency to slow down.

At the same event, the results of the electoral observation by the Centre for Public Integrity and of the “More Integrity” civil society observer consortium were presented.

In Beira

After delays, voters stay overnight at Beira registration posts

With only a few days before the end of the registration period, in Munhava neighbourhood of Beira, voters are beginning to stay overnight at the voter registration posts, as the photos show. This is intended to ensure that they have a place in the queue to register the following day.

Our correspondents in Beira visited, at around midnight, the posts at the São José da Munhava Secondary School and the Macombe EPC, in the same neighbourhood. Many citizens were sleeping in the queues, as the photographs show.

Brigade members wake up and speed up the registration in Beira

Brigade members seem to have woken from their sleep in Beira. Now they are trying to make up for lost time after a period in which they tried to block opposition voters, on the orders of the STAE district director, who has now been suspended. On Monday (22 May) we visited the registration posts at the Beira Industrial and Commercial Institute, the Muchatazina Secondary School, the Esturro EPC, and Matacuane. We noted there that the registration is proceeding without upsets, with the machines functioning well, and with the desired speed. At the same posts, the voters have arrived before dawn to register.

Other registration news

Monitor forced to return money charged to citizens to register

A Frelimo monitor  at the voter registration post in the Pista Velha EPC, in Alto Molócuê, has been forced to return the money he demanded from two citizens for their registration.

The incident happened Friday (19 May), when a mother and her daughter asked the monitor to attend to them, since they had been trying to register for the previous three weeks without success. One of them was pregnant. In response, the monitor asked for 100 meticais ($1.50) for the two to register. Since they needed to register, they gave him the money.

This was denounced by a third woman who also wanted to register. When she realised it was possible to register, she also went to speak to the monitor and asked him to facilitate her entry into the post so that she could register. The monitor agreed, but demanded that she pay 50 meticais. The potential voter offered 20 meticais, but the monitor rejected this, on the grounds that it was too little.

Revolted, the citizen retaliated. She communicated the case to the secretary of the Frelimo branch in the triangulo area in Muimahi neighbourhood. For her part, the secretary channelled the case to the neighbourhood secretary, who questioned the monitor. First, the monitor denied the accusations, but later he admitted that he had received he money. Then he returned the money to his victims.

Frelimo in Manica admits collecting voter card numbers and says this is a way of mobilising voters

The first secretary of the Frelimo provincial committee in Manica, Tomás Chitlango, said that collecting the numbers of voter cards by the neighbourhood secretaries is a way found to mobilise the electorate.

“It’s the work of the neighbourhood secretary, as a government official, to mobilise his people to go and register, because, in a democracy, to be voted upon, we need the people to register. Now if the neighbourhood secretary, the head of the post, or the head of the locality, are mobilising, are looking for people who have not yet registered, that’s their responsibility as members of the Frelimo government”, said Chitlango, who advised the opposition not to become agitated by the mobilisation work that Frelimo is undertaking.

“A party that becomes agitated because the neighbourhood secretary is mobilising the people, is forgetting that, to be democratic, we need to mobilise the people, so that they can vote for us”, he concluded, and invited the opposition parties to do the same.

Public servants in Namacurra denounce the collection of identity cards for Quelimane

Some public servants in Namacurra, in Zambézia, accuse the Frelimo Party of obliging them to hand over their identity cards to be taken to Quelimane. The purpose of taking the documents is not known, but it is suspected that these people will be registered as voters in Quelimane.

In Alto Molócuè, our correspondents are reporting cases of members of the Frelimo Party stepping up the collection of voter cards in the neighbourhoods.

Mothers lend babies for registration queue jumping

In Tete city, the brigade members have been instructed not to give mothers carrying babies priority  in the queue. According to the supervisors this decision was taken because some women are lending out their babies to other women trying to register. The decision was announced on 21 May by a STAE-Central official, when she visited the posts.

Registration post closed to print cards

At the post in the Eduardo Mondlane EPC, in Angoche, Nampula, there was no registration on 22 May, because the day was reserved for printing voter cards. For a week, the printer did not print cards, because it was out of order. The post just registered voters, but did not give them their cards. Registration will continue when the printing of the cards for all those already registered has finished.

Sussundenga has already registered 79% of its voters

The Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE) in Sussundenga,Manica province, announced on Tuesday (23 May) that, in the entire district, 78.6% of the potential electorate of 93,500 has already been registered. This is a very high percentage when compared with many other districts. Sussundenga is one of the strongholds of Frelimo in Manica. Manica is one of the three provinces with the highest percentage of voters registered, after Gaza and Cabo Delgado.

Political parties concerned at the lack of interest shown by voters in Massinga

Frelimo and Renamo are concerned at the lack of interest shown by voters in recent days. Renamo says the causes of the poor attendance at the registration posts are weak mobilisation by the civic educators in the neighbourhoods, and lack of trust in the process because some members of Frelimo are collecting voter cards for obscure purposes.

Armando Maquiquele calls for greater rigour by those in charge of mobilising the public to register.

Massinga is the only district in Inhambane province which has not yet reached 50%.

Registration post has not begun to register in Mandimba, Niassa

The registration post that should operate in the Muita Basic School, ZIP Nº 7, 15 km from Mandimba town, has not yet begun to work, when there are only 11 days left before the end of the voter registration period. According to some people in the area, the registration equipment has not yet arrived at the post. Mandimba is a major border post with Malawi on a main road.

Observers find high levels of problems, especially in opposition controlled municipalities which Frelimo is trying to win

Observers found that in the 4th week of observation, 11-18 May 2023, that 28% of registration posts visited showed significant problems. These largely relate to inability to print voters cards and to shortages of materials. Nationally 28% of polling stations had problems, which is very high after a pilot registration and three weeks of actual operation.

The highest level of problems was in 9 opposition municipalities which Frelimo is trying to win, ranging from 38% in Beira up to  70% in Quelimane, 74% in Morrumbala, 75% in Nacala-Porto and 100% in Marromeu.

But even in Frelimo voting areas there were significant problems - 17% of registration posts in Gaza and 20% in Maputo city and province.

The biggest problem is the inability of STAE to respond to requests for supplies or technical assistance. In the worst cases, brigades said they had gone a week without a response. The 17-20% level of problems in the south suggests serious deficiencies on the part of STAE. But the very high levels in opposition zones suggest something else is happening there, pointing to passive or active intervention of make it harder for voters in opposition zones to register.

Over all, registration posts in opposition areas are having significantly more problems that those in Frelimo zones. We believe this to be political.

But there is a high rate of problems even in Frelimo zones, and that some opposition areas such as Moatize and Alto Molócuè have well run registration posts with the same level of problems as Frelimo zones.

The observers are from Mais Integridade, the only civil society observation of the registrations.

Detailed results

The tables below give the percentage of observed registration posts with problems during observation visits, by province and by municipality. The break is at 1/3 with problems. For the municipalities with more than 1/3 we give the current number of seats in municipal assembly, with all being opposition controlled.

The details for the nine municipalities with more than 1/3 with problems are:

Marromeu is the worst municipality, where no registration post was able to print voters cards while people who registered were still there. Cards were printed and handed out later.

Nacala Porto is next worst with problems in 75% of visits by observers. The main problem was not printing voters cards, allegedly because of lack of rolls of blank cards. Several posts had not printed cards for seven days. EPC Nacarula had registered 920 voters during a week without printing cards. Where material did eventually arrive, some brigades starting printing cards in the post at 5 am or continued after the post closed. The observer was banned from one post, EPC 25 de Setembro. Two posts gave priority to friends and Frelimo.

Morrumbala was next with 74% of visits with problems. Here the biggest problem was a lack of registration forms (Boletins de inscrição), followed by printer problems. There seems no clear understanding of the location of the municipal boundary.

In Quelimane 70% of visits showed problems, mainly lack of registration forms and printer problems. Two-thirds of posts were not issuing voters cards. Several posts with priority lists.

In Angoche 63% of visits showed problems.  In three registration posts observers were banned or restricted to a short period of time. Printer problems were widespread and in more than half voters were not receiving cards.

In Malema, with 48% problems, they were again printer problems and lack of registration forms. At EPC Ewili (Mucuassula) the printer had not been working for two weeks. In Muhissa, the printer was repaired but broke down three days later.

In Cuamba, with 44% problems, three posts were completely closed and many other had equipment problems. At Escola Secundária de Cuamba the school stopped supplying electricity; the post at EPC de Majaua had been closed for three days due to lack of electricity and equipment problems. At EPC Josina Machel state employees were given priority which caused a disturbance in the queue.

In Nampula city, with 44% problems, it was the common problems of computer or printer breakdowns and lack of registration forms. In 8 polling stations visited cards were not being issued; at EPC - Mutomote the printer had not worked for two weeks. At EP1 - Kanloca there was not enough sun to allowed the solar panels to work. At several posts some staff and even supervisors were missing; on one visit to Escola Secundária de Maparra only one person was working. At EPC-1 de Junho the printer had not worked for six days. Complaints about long queues and slow working.

In Beira with 38% problems, observers were barred from five registration posts. Three posts lacked electricity. In others the problems were largely printers.

The data and how we defined "problem"

The data is taken from 843 reports of visits to registration posts in 26 municipalities by Mais Integridade, 11 though 18 May 2023. Some registration posts were visited more than once. Data is presented as the %age of visits showing a problem.

Observers are asked 30 questions about each visit to a registration post. We defined a registration post as having a "problem" if the observer report showed at least one of these four issues:

+ at the time of the visit, the post did not have all the necessary material available (such as registration forms and voter cards) or some equipment (computer, camera, printer) was not functioning (Q10).

+ the registering process was interrupted during the visit (Q24)

+ voters cards were not being given to at least some people (Q21)

+ the observer was not allowed to observe (Q5)

There is one new municipality in the group, Morrumbala, which does not yet have a municipal assembly. To estimate past voting, we look at votes for the provincial assembly, which are disaggregated by district. Votes in 2019 were manipulated so that Frelimo, impossibly, won in all districts. So we use the vote in 2014, where the district had a Renamo majority

The data from observers also shows some additional information:

+ 16% of polling stations were not accessible to some people with disabilities.

+ 62% of brigade members were women.

+ 88% of brigade members were young (between 8 and 35 years old).

+   4% of brigade members had a disability.

Only 47% of voters registered in 26 days

19 days from the end of the voter registration period, the majority of the potential voters have not yet registered. So far, only 47% of voters registered in 26 days. In response, the National Elections Commission (CNE) instructed the Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE) to increase the number of computers (known as “Mobile IDs”) in the most critical provinces, and to extend the working hours of the registration brigades from eight to ten hours a day.

In response to the CNE instruction, STAE has decided to allocate a further 42 computers and their respective printers to the provinces of Sofala, Zambézia, Nampula, Niassa and Tete.

The STAE data show a worrying scenario for the electoral administration and management bodies which do not have the resources to pay for a possible extension in the number of days for registration. Hence, STAE is doing all that it can so that, in the few remaining days, it can register the number of voters envisaged.

Indeed, the CNE spokesperson, Paulo Cuinica, made a point of stressing that any increase in the hours of work represents additional costs for the electoral administration bodies.

Observer evaluation of first 30 days, Monday morning

The observer evaluation conference will be in Portuguese, at 9h Maputo time, 8h London and Lisbon, Monday 22 May. Live on Facebook

Court acquits and releases guard arrested for stopping illegal registration

The guard at a Gurué registration post was released by court order on Friday (19 May) after having been detained, supposedly on the orders of the Gurué STAE district director, since 22 April.

The guard on the gate of the registration post at Production Unit No. 4 (UP4) in Gurué said he had prevented the entry of trucks transporting people from Ile district, supposedly to register in the Gurué municipality in Zambézia. The Gurué STAE district director ordered him taken to the police cells, accused of preventing potential voters from entering the registration post.

The court acquitted the guard for insufficient evidence. Civil Society is demanding that those who accused the guard should be held accountable.

No registration posts and polling stations in some Renamo zones of Matola

In the last elections, the area of Campo Mataquini, Matola, had positive results for Renamo, but now it seems to have been penalised in that it has not been allocated a nearby registration post and polling station. These residents of Campo Mataquini, in Matola A neighbourhood, in Matola-Sede, are obliged to go to the São Estêvão, 30 January, Matola A and Santos registration posts to try to exercise their civic right. But when they reach those posts, they are not allowed to register, because they do not live there.

When the maps were drawn up, the Renamo delegate, Milene Jusselini, suggested that Campo Matequini should have its own registration post, but STAE ignored this.

Renamo believes these are manoeuvres to make Renamo members and sympathisers unable to take part in the elections. It demands that registration brigades be placed in such a way so that the majority of voters have the chance to vote.

Also Brigade 97, at the T-3 Unit EPC, is short of staff, which leads to huge crowds at the voter registration posts. It is near Ndlavela neighbourhood, which has the highest population density in Matola, but few registration computers were allocated to register the potential voters. Additional computers have now been allocated, but without additional staff to operate them. The residents of Ndlavela, who live near other neighbourhoods, have been going to neighbouring registration posts, but when they arrive there, they are not allowed to register.

Milene Josselini says that what is happening in these neighbourhoods is deliberate, to stop Renamo supporter registering.

OJM list used to collect voter cards in Guruè found

This Sunday (21 May) a list was found in Guruè of 56 people who have delivered voter cards to members of the OJM in the Gurue municipality, in Zambezia province. The OJM is the youth wing of the Frelimo Party. Collecting voter cards is a practice reported by our correspondents in all the districts where voter registration is taking place. But the CNE said on Friday (19 May) that it had not yet received any complaint from the opposition parties about this phenomenon.

Five youths tried to register illicitly in Dondo

In the Dondo Secondary School, Sofala, there was a delay in starting registration on Thursday (18 May) because of a disagreement between the monitors of Frelimo and of the MDM. This was because five youths from Mile 26 appeared at the registration post and tried to register.

According to the investigations to which they were submitted, they were taken to the post by a teacher from the Mile 26 School, whose name they did not reveal. But it is known that he is a member of the Frelimo Party working at the school. This man has been recruiting youths in remote areas to go to Dondo to register, with the promise of jobs if the Frelimo Party wins on 11 October. The youths were taken to the Dondo District Police Command, for “a question of courtesy” since nothing would be done against them. In the past, there was an identical situation; the police did nothing when youths came from Mafambisse to register in the Broadcasting Centre EPC in Dondo City. They were released and went home.

New Móbile ID encourages voter registration in the Macurungo EPC

The new “Mobile ID” computer, installed this Thursday (18 May) in the Macurungo EPC, in Beira, is encouraging voter registration. Voters, in conversation with the “CIP Elections” Bulletin praised the initiative, saying that it had previously been like martyrdom to go to that post, because of the slowness deliberately organised by the brigade members.

Marromeu director accused

The director of the Renamo Election Office in Sofala, Francisco António Miranda, is accusing the STAE director in Marromeu, Daniel Cuzaminho, of committing electoral crimes. He is allegedly instructing brigade members from the registration posts of that district to prioritise registration of Frelimo members

The National Electoral Commission (CNE) this afternoon (Wednesday 17 May) took action to respond to the report below and similar ones since registrations began:

+ It ordered the preventive suspension of the STAE Beira district director Nelson Carlos do Rosario and all registration supervisors.
+ It was decided that as of tomorrow CNE members and central STAE technicians should travel to all provinces for 10 days to supervise the voter register.
+ The CNE instructed STAE, with immediate effect, to increase voter registration by two hours, with polling stations opening at 7am and closing at 5pm. STAE was also instructed to allocate more computers in the most critical provinces in terms of numbers of registered voters, namely Sofala, Zambezia, Nampula, Niassa, and Tete.

CIP Elections reveals scheme to exclude opposition voters in Beira to benefit Frelimo

We have access to a WhatsApp group called "STAE Supervisor Beira" administered by the Beira district director of STAE, Nelson Carlos do Rosario. In the messages exchanged between them it is clear that the slowness in attendance, some breakdowns of machines, the rejection of witnesses and demanding semi-official documents such as neighbourhood declarations are deliberate and are part of the scheme to wear out the opposition electorate and benefit Frelimo. It is a film with grotesque episodes.

The WhatsApp group was created by the district director on the day voter registration began, 20 April, but only began to add the supervisors as from 24 April.

The first step to block opposition voters was taken at 13.46 on 25 April, when the STAE district director instructed the supervisors to reject the complaints of the monitors from the opposition parties. “Do not sign or accept the complaints of the monitors. We cannot facilitate them”, he wrote. The instruction of the director was to make it as difficult as possible for those whom they call “the enemy”. “The mission”, according to Nelson Carlos do Rosário, “is to destroy the enemy”. The enemy are the voters of the opposition.

“Strike hard at the enemy were the words of our chief, our general staff. Today we are applying them”, commented supervisor Nhanombe TF, who proposed to his colleagues that they use the scheme which he had already been using to block those whom he calls “monkeys”: “For me, recognise the identity card, the voter card of all the comrades with the confirmation of one of the Frelimo monitors and members of the brigade. From the monkeys, accept one or other of them, but not the majority of them”.

The suggestion of Gito Tomás Nhanombe is that the brigade members should only recognise and receive documents from Frelimo and reject those that are presented by voters of the opposition. Only a few members and voters from the opposition should be accepted in order not to create conditions for objections and disturbances.

One of the supervisors told of his system to block voters - demanding more documents from voters at his registration post, located in the Industrial Zone. “I have even demanded a work card from those who say they work at the port or at CFM”, he boasted, declaring with pride “The circle is closed” against the opposition. Gizela Patrício added, “At my post, the interview makes it seem that we are working in SERNIC”, the National Criminal Investigation Service.

Another message, written by the supervisor Linete Ucama, addressed to the director of STAE and to her colleagues, says that there appeared at her registration post “the so-called heads of posts of the MDM of Manga neighbourhood without badges”, looking for “three INE graduates who were going to the boarding house. They walked with them to the gate”. Then, she adds, “they asked who sent you to register? Didn’t a car appear with young people from Buzi?” They asked whether the youths were guests at the local boarding house. At that point “one of our [i.e. Frelimo] monitors” appeared. “He rang up the commander, and so they are detained”. It is not clear whether the detainees are the heads of the posts, or the youths.

The response from the STAE district director was: “Well done. Family, we can congratulate ourselves. The enemy is nervous, but we need to continue attacking”. And he gave an instruction: “accept witnesses and cards, only if it benefits us: otherwise, don’t”.

Another participant warns his colleagues to be “always attentive and aligned”, because “this is our turn”. Another member of the group approves of the idea, and applauds: “that’s right... Let’s go do this.…in war you don’t hand out sweets…fleas are pulled out and bleed. Lets pull out the flea. Now it’s us …the force of change”.

In one of the messages, the supervisor Gizela Patrício expresses concern that a large number of voters have registered in one of the posts and she exclaims “I hope that at least 90% are our comrades, who have registered, otherwise we are screwed”.

Paulino Tato Luís informs the STAE district Director that “I want to order the arrest of the secretary of the First Macuti neighbourhood. He is always probing at my registration post”. In response, Nelson Carlos de Rosário authorises the arrest: “Do it, chief”.

“The mission of liberating Beira” is not for the faint hearted

In the task of manipulating the voter registration to favour Frelimo it is forbidden to hesitate or to be afraid. In one message, the supervisor Evangelista Sanculane criticises some of his colleagues who are apparently afraid to put into operation the orders of their chiefs.

“I’m very sorry, but there are colleagues who lose their nerve, and tremble when faced with some situations. Supervisor, you’re not there by any chance.” Sanculane reminds his colleagues that they do not occupy their positions by accident: “You have a mission to liberate the city from the anti-patriots. But with this trembling at carrying out instructions, where are you going? If you can’t bear it, resign while it’s still early, instead of distracting us”.

Another supervisor recommends that Sanculane send the fearful supervisor to him: “Send this supervisor who still has problems to me. You exercise the job of supervisor”.

STAE director notes: “CIP observers are great bandits”

Sofala is one of the provinces where CIP faced great barriers to obtain accreditation. The CIP letter of request was returned under various pretexts. Accreditation was only possible by resorting to higher levels of the provincial STAE. The conversations in the Beira WhatsApp group explains why the local STAE was worried.

In one of the messages, the STAE district director in Beira issues a warning with the title: “Attention, Important Message”, in which he wrote the following: “Family, let’s pay a lot of attention to the observers of the electoral process, particularly those from CIP (these are great bandits).” He then explains why he considers them “great bandits”. “During voter registration, observers only have the right to observe (watch, see). At the PdR (registration post) the observers cannot interview anybody (not the brigade members, or members of the public), They may not take photographs and may not interfere in the process”. And he gives a recommendation to his colleagues: “if an observer does not comply with these duties, instruct the police to expel him from the place where the PdR is operating”.

Beira is just where the scheme was discovered. It was uncovered, but everything reported in the document that the MDM has submitted to the bodies of justice is reported every day by our correspondents in all districts where the voter registration is taking place.

More registration equipment found in homes in Matola

Two more sets of registration equipment in Matola is being kept in private homes believed to be of neighbourhood heads. It is feared that equipment was used during the night to register voters from outside the municipal area.

One set was found by opposition monitors in Ndlavela neighbourhood, in T3 in Matola. This is equipment from brigade 105, located in Campo de Ndlavela, block 25 (video).

The second batch of equipment was found in a house in Bunhiça neighbourhood, in Machava administrative post of Matola (video and photo below, showing the kit being loaded into a car). The equipment is used by the brigade located at block 64 . The supervisor said that she just received orders from the coordinator to take the equipment to be kept in that residence, and she was not responsible for moving the equipment to that house.

Equipment must be kept over night in the STAE warehouse, or in the registration posts under police protection, as in the past, but in this registration many “Mobile IDs” (as the registration computers are known) have been found in private homes. Last week, the opposition monitors found a Mobile, with its respective printer, in the home of a brigade member.

Also, in Chókwè, Gaza, some mobiles are kept overnight in the homes of locality heads, or in unknown homes. In Ribáuè mobiles were transported at night to register voters from outside the municipal area and to print voter cards, which confirmed the suspicions that there has been clandestine registration in many parts of the country.

Director of STAE says there is no evidence voters came from Moamba

The Maputo provincial director of the Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE), Paulo Chambale, said on Thursday (11 May) that he has not yet received any denunciation of the movement of about fifty people from Mahoche, in the Pessene administrative post, Moamba district, to register in Matola. (Reported here Wednesday 10 May,

“As the STAE director in Maputo province, I have no knowledge of this. Nor does the Provincial Elections Commission know about it. A short while ago, we were at a meeting which discussed how the registration was going. This matter was not even mentioned. So right now I would have great difficulties to talk about a matter which has not even reached my hands yet”, said  Chambal.

The voters were transported in a bus of the Matola Municipal Transport Company. Some of the voters admitted that they had come from Tenga to register, but for the director of STAE, this does not constitute any evidence.

1/4 of registration posts have problems

A survey by our correspondents Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows that 25% of registration posts have problems. The main problems are with printers, and lack of materials, notably registration forms (Boletins de inscrição). In more than 10% of posts, voters' cards were not being issued, and in some cases had not been issued for several days.

In two provinces there are major issues. Our correspondents found that in Sofala 56% of registration posts had problems, and in Nampula, 42%.

In a few places there were still special "priority" queues for teachers or other civil servants, even though these have been banned.

In comparison to earlier surveys, there were many more reports of smooth operation of registration posts. But the share of registration posts with problems remains very high.

Observers and media barred in Ihla de Moçambique, Beira and Barué

The chair of the Ilha de Moçambique district elections commission (CDE) has stopped reporting and observation by our correspondents, saying he does not recognise badges issued by the Nampula provincial elections commission (CPE). He says the CPE should have issued a "credential" and not a plastic coated badge on a string as issued by all provinces. The photo shows badges issued in Inhambane.

The same excuse is being used to bar our correspondents in Manica, especially in Báruè, and both correspondents and observers in some posts in Beira.
Election officials want to discipline Gurué whistleblowers

The deputy director and two assistant heads of the STAE Organisation and Elections Operations Departments (ROOE), all from the opposition parties (Renamo and the MDM), could be subjected to disciplinary proceedings for “proven insubordination and incitement to violence”. They should be disciplined for revealing the secret printing of voters cards on the night of 27 April in Gurué in a STAE warehouse. (See this newsletter 28 Apr,

This suggestion arises in two reports. The first is a report from the consultation which was headed by the Deputy President of the Zambézia Provincial Elections Commission, Orlando Mote. The second is from a Multi-Sector Commission of six members, only one of whom is from  the opposition (Isabel Guirugo, representing the MDM).

Although the report recognises that this procedure is not advisable because nobody from the opposition was present, it did not make any recommendation on this aspect. The head of the ROOE “recognises that he made a mistake by not involving the deputy department heads from the opposition”, according to the report to which we have had access.

Above all, the report shows that there is a bad environment resulting from a lack of communication between the district director of STAE and the STAE members from the opposition. “The fundamental problem which creates all this malaise is the lack of communication between the district director of  STAE and the staff members indicated by the political parties, particularly those who came from the opposition parties, namely from Renamo and the MDM”, says the report.

The report confirms that the relationship between the members of the electoral bodies “is precarious”, which has worsened the climate of distrust around the printing of voter cards.

Gurué whistleblower detained illegally for 5 days

BThe Mozambican police (PRM) in Guruè on Thursday (11 May) released a monitor from the party AMUSI (Action of the United Movement for Salvation), Guedes Rui Suandique Portugal, who had been detained last Friday (5 May) for allegedly disturbing the voter registration. Guedes Portugal spent six days in the prison cells without his detention being legalised, and without any criminal case against him being opened.

The victim, now at liberty, said he was taken to the cells because he had denounced the abandonment of his post by a data input operator at the voter registration post in the Nacuacue EPC, where Guedes Portugal had been placed by his party. According to Portugal, the Gurue STAE director and the chairperson of the District Elections Commission (CDE) obliged him to rewrite the report previously submitted by the team of MDM and AMUSI monitors, to deny that the data input operator  had been absent from the post. Portugal tells his story in this video.

Portugal says he lived through dark days in the PRM cells in Gurué, and witnessed repeated violations of human rights in that place which was his bitter home for five days.

Our Bulletin tried several times to hear the version of the Guruè electoral management and administration bodies, but without success. They always promised to react, but never did.

Background: History of fighting dirty in Gurué

Results have always been close in Gurué between MDM and Frelimo, and there is a history of misconduct. In the 2018 municipal elections a CIP Election Bulletin Study showed that 2/3 of polling stations were suspicious, with serious misconduct on both sides. In 2013 the Constitutional Council (CC) did its own investigation and found "flagrant violations of the law by polling station staff as well as the Zambézia Provincial Elections Commission". Editais (official polling station results sheets) had been altered, some on instruction of the Zambézia Provincial Election Commission (CPE) and some were actually written by the CPE. In 2013 the National Election Commission gave the victory to Frelimo but the parallel count showed MDM had won. The CC cancelled the election and MDM won the rerun.

Frelimo collects cards from teachers in Milange

In Milange, in Zambézia, Frelimo has activated the campaign to collect voter cards from teachers. Speaking at a meeting this week in one of the Zones of Educational Influence (ZIP) in the district, the coordinator of this educational unit invited the teachers to send a photograph of their voter cards once they have registered so that their names will be on the party’s list for internal Frelimo purposes.

After instructing his colleague who was taking notes for the report of the event not to write about this point, the ZIP coordinator said that all teachers should know how to vote to avoid later reprisals. He said that, in almost all the registration posts in the municipality, apart from the duly accredited monitors, Frelimo has appointed clandestine monitors who report data on party members registered daily. This activity has been complemented by filling out the number of the card in the party lists. Identical work is taking place across the district.

People outside the municipality registering inside

Monitors from Renamo and from the MDM tried unsuccessfully to stop the registration in Quelimane of six people from Nicoadala district, 30 km from Quelimane. The six citizens, supposedly members of Frelimo, wanted to register at the voter registration post in the Sinacura EPC, in the centre of Quelimane. All had scarves covering their heads.

The denunciation by the Renamo and MDM monitors aroused the attention of a group of journalists and civil society election observers, which forced the presence of the STAE Quelimane district director, Hassan Hussen. He confirmed the case, but said these are citizens who used to live and work in Nicoadala, but who have been transferred to the Quelimane municipality, and “we think they have the right to register" in Quelimane.

The Renamo and MDM monitors stationed at the Sinacura EPC voter registration post, in Quelimane, accuse the supervisor of threatening to transfer them from the place or expel them.

Journalists still without credentials in Cabo Delgado

Our correspondents in Pemba, Cabo Delgado, report that, since the start of the registration, STAE in Cabo Delgado has only issued credentials for one media outlet, and from then until today the computer system is down. The situation is making it difficult for some observers, as well as journalists from various media, to observe the registration. STAE communications officials in Pemba told our Bulletin that they are waiting for the arrival of a technician to solve the problem.

Paying to jump the queue

Voters at the Chipangara EPC, in Beira, accuse brigade members of constantly favouring people in their confidence or taking payment of 50 or 100 meticais ($.80-$1.60) for people to register. Some of the voters we spoke to, arrived at the post at about 05.00 in the morning to register, but their turn never came, because people known to the brigade members appeared and took over the registration post, and created a noisy environment there.

The brigade members denied all the accusations, but recognise that they have given priority to people “classed as priorities, such as the disabled, and people whose professional duties mean they cannot stay in the queues, such as duly identified nurses”.

In Alto Molócuè, in Zambézia, voters at the Pista Velha registration post say they pay 50 meticais just to acquire a voter card. They add that so far they have not discovered who is responsible for charging the 50 meticais. They also accuse the brigade members of continuing to attend to their acquaintances and to public employees. Many potential voters stay in the queues all day until the post closes, but are still unable to register. That is why, they add, that they end up paying to obtain a voter card.

Cholera outbreak halts registration in Nacala

An increase in the number of cholera cases, and a wave of disinformation about the spread of the disease, has led members of the public, mostly youths and adolescents, to destroy and burn public infrastructures, and the homes and property of community leaders. This forced STAE to remove the equipment from the Quissimajulo neighbourhood in Nacala.

The Nacala district police commander, Sansão Sigauque, confirmed that STAE found itself obliged to remove its equipment. The equipment will only return to Quissimajulo, when appropriate conditions are created.

Other registration news

In Chingodzi neighbourhood, in Tete, community leaders were threatened with a beating because they removed from the registration queue people living in areas outside the municipality and foreigners who were attempting to register at that post. Most of those living outside the municipality are from Nkondedzi, in Moatize district. As for the foreigners, they are Malawians, Zimbabweans and Congolese, who live in Mozambique.

The Frelimo monitor at the voter registration post in Manica EP, in Manica district, said he has come across cases of Zimbabwean citizens who habitually register at that post. There have also been a large number of Mozambicans who turn up without the documents needed for registration.

AllAfrica publishes around 500 reports a day from more than 90 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.