Maputo, 16 Aug (AIM) – The Mozambican Attorney-General’s Office (PGR) on Tuesday interrogated the former spokesperson for the ruling Frelimo Party, Caifadine Manasse, about the defamation lawsuit he is bringing against his one-time comrades in the Frelimo parliamentary group.
Initially, Manasse was suing 23 Frelimo parliamentary deputies, all of them from his home province of Zambezia. He told reporters on Tuesday that he has added three more names to the list of accused, but did not say who they are.
“They are not members of parliament, but they are political actors”, he said.
Manasse said he is not trying to damage Frelimo, and that all he wants is “the restoration of my honour and good name”.
“I have begun proceedings against citizens who assaulted my image, good name and integrity”, he said. Since, at the time he was the Frelimo spokesperson, an assault against him was also an assault against the Party, he claimed.
“For me”, Manasse said, “this is the moment when I shall produce the data that will help the PGR and the justice system find all the points necessary to restore my good name”.
The interrogation began at 09.00, and lasted for the exceptionally long time of ten hours, according to a report by the independent television station STV.
Manasse’s lawyer, Custodio Duma, said the case is still in its initial phase, and the Public Prosecutor’s Office must now work on the basis of the information provided by Manasse.
He added that the PGR must question all the people named by Manasse. This may begin on Wednesday but the interrogations could take some time to conclude.
Manasse remains a member of Frelimo, but in March he was expelled from the Zambezia branch of the parliamentary group, after a meeting of the Frelimo Provincial Committee.
At that meeting he was accused of breaching confidentiality about the Party’s affairs, failing to pay his membership dues, and incriminating his colleagues in the alleged trafficking of drugs through the port of Macuse.
In particular, Manasse supposedly accused the First Deputy Chairperson of the Assembly, Helder Injojo, of drug trafficking.