Mozambique opposition claims harassment

2014-09-25 19:04

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Maputo - A Mozambique opposition party on Thursday accused government supporters of attacking their presidential candidate's convoy with sticks, stones and machetes while he was campaigning.

The Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) said ruling Frelimo party supporters attacked Daviz Simango's motorcade in the south of the country ahead of the 15 October general election.

MDM spokesperson, Sande Carmona told AFP that Tuesday's incident, part of a series of attacks on the party this week, left at least three people injured and four vehicles damaged.

"People in the motorcade were hit with stones, and beaten with sticks and machetes by Frelimo men," said Carmona.

"It happens almost all the time," Carmona claimed, describing the recent attacks as the "worst" and accusing police and prosecutors of not taking action because they were "under the control of Frelimo".

Observers say Simango, who is the mayor of the second biggest city, Beira, presents a challenge to both ruling Frelimo's candidate, Felipe Nyusi and the leader of the main opposition party, Renamo, Afonso Dhlakama.

"Having a third actor running is creating nervousness in both other parties," Hortencio Lopes a researcher for the Maputo-based think tank, the Centre for Mozambican and International Studies, said.

"This nervousness is creating both verbal and physical violence," he said, especially "on the part of Frelimo."

Last week the National Electoral Commission issued a strong warning to political parties to "respect the constitution and rule of law... and abandon the resource to violence," without naming specific parties.

Simango broke away from Renamo to form the MDM in 2008 and garnered just eight percent of the vote at presidential elections a year later.

But his party made inroads in municipal polls held last year, wresting two provincial capitals from Frelimo's control.

Read more on:    mdm  |  daviz simango  |  mozambique  |  southern africa  |  mozambique elections 2014

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