Maputo, 18 May (AIM) – The Minister of the Interior, Arsénia Massingue, challenged on Wednesday the Mozambican Police (PRM) to continuously ensure order, security and public tranquility throughout the country.
“We know that we have policemen in the northern operational theatre [in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, where terrorist raids have been taking place since 2017]. They stand side by side with the Mozambican Armed Forces and with the friendly forces of Rwanda and the Southern Africa Military Mission (SAMIM) to ensure security for the population”, said the minister, in Maputo, during the celebrations of the 48th anniversary of the foundation of the PRM.
The anniversary is taking place at a time when the PRM is coming under criticism from national and international NGOs because of its violent behaviour against social demonstrations.
Recently, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), a prominent Mozambican NGO, condemned members of the police who allegedly murdered four individuals during a riot, in the port of Nacala, in the northern province of Nampula.
According to Massingue, PRM members must avoid corruption.
“We want to tell our force to stay away from the practices that tarnish our performance and discourage honest policemen to act in a serious way, in the right way. We want a police force that is committed to the people’s cause, guaranteeing the people’s security”, she said.
She also encouraged the PRM to continue with the measures it has been taking for the good of the nation but “we do not tolerate misconduct.”
The minister also commented on the kidnapping of a citizen of Indian origin on Tuesday, in central Maputo, saying that it is a worrying situation for the government.
“The kidnappings are still a challenge for us. What I can say now is that the National Criminal Investigation Service (SERNIC) and the PRM are working to investigate in order to clear up the case”, she said.
The kidnappings “discourage investors, and businessmen who operate in our country”, she added. “They inhibit all those who still want to invest in our country”.
In December 2020, President Filipe Nyusi announced the government’s intention to set up a specialist police unit to fight against kidnappings. Two and a half years later this unit does not yet exist.
Massingue blamed the delay on the “sensitive” nature of the matter. She said that the members of the unit have been selected, and are now undergoing training, which involves support from unspecified foreign partners.
Foreign support was essential, she explained, because internally Mozambique does not possess the necessary training capacity.