Maputo, 17 May (AIM) – The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), a prominent Mozambican NGO, has condemned members of the Mozambican Police (PRM) for allegedly murdering last Wednesday four individuals in the port of Nacala, in the northern province of Nampula,
“We vehemently condemn the police action and demand accountability from the police agents and also from the state itself”, says CDD in its daily newsletter.
According to local media in Nampula and other reports cited by the organization, the victims were hit by stray bullets when the police were trying to control a riot caused by rumours about people allegedly spreading cholera in the Nacala neighbourhood of Quissimajulo.
In some parts of Mozambique, deadly diseases are believed to be the work of witchcraft rather than micro-organisms. Over the years, these rumour have led to mob attacks on public services, including health units. Thus the very people fighting against cholera are accused of spreading it.
“They burned and destroyed the house of the neigbourhood secretary, the police station, and a part of the Quissimajulo health centre”, reported Watana, a local radio station.
Nonetheless, CDD accused the police of a disproportionate use of force. “The police must not carry weapons of war, knowing that when they shoot, they can kill”, the organization said. “It cannot be accepted that these are stray bullets. The Mozambican police is trained to contain mass uprisings using proportional force”.