Mozambique: Riots and Two Deaths in Nampula and Nacala

Nampula and Nacala-Porto are experiencing riots and the police are responding with rubber bullets and gunfire with real bullets. There are arrests, injuries and deaths in both cities. The demonstrators, including Renamo supporters, are putting up barricades and destroying private property in both towns.

In Nampula a 10-year-old child was shot as he left school during the demonstrations and another person was shot in Namicopo neighbourhood. Later a police officer was allegedly attacked by the population in Nampula and was seriously injured, and died in Nampula Central Hospital.

In Nacala was a man hit and killed by a blunt object in the Nacala Central Market.

In Nacala-Porto, riots broke out after the National Electoral Commission announced the election results yesterday (Thursday 27 October) in Maputo. Immediately, young people organised themselves and started throwing stones at the windows of commercial establishments and at some vehicles. The police intervened by firing shots. The shooting continued throughout the night and was continuing as this article was being written (11am local time).

This morning Nampula woke up to riots, barricades and vandalisation of some vehicles. The police are also responding with gunfire. Trade is also paralysed and there are reports that some demonstrators are being rounded up by the police authorities. Gunfire can still be heard in several neighbourhoods, especially in Namicopo, Namutequeliua and Muahivire.

The atmosphere remains tense.

Anglican Bishops break their silence and ask Bishop Matsinhe “to observe the law and practice the truth”

In a pastoral letter, written on 22 October before the CNE approval of the election results, the Anglican Council of Mozambique (CAM) made a rare, but vigorous appeal to the electoral bodies and “especially to [its] Bishop Carlos Matsinhe”, who chairs the National Elections Commission (CNE), on the need “to observe the Electoral Law and practice the truth”.

The Anglican bishops justified their appeal with the argument that “the Mozambican people, the voters, expect from you honesty, integrity, transparency, respect and the truth”, because “Jesus Christ urged humanity to know the truth, saying that the truth will set you free”.

The Anglicans lamented that eventual “failures of electoral managament” are occurring, as well as “possible interference of other bodies from outside of the electoral process”.

The bishops, colleagues of Carlos Matsinhe, recall that the CNE is an organ of the State and “not of any religion or church, including the Anglican Church”. And they asked political parties who feel they have not been treated fairly to resort to the institutions of justice, in strict observance of the laws.

The bishops say they are praying for the CNE and for STAE, at all levels, and for government members, politicians and the Mozambican people “for the success of the elections”.