Maputo, 18 Aug (AIM) – The district director of the Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE) in the central Mozambican city of Quelimane city, Assane Uamusse, has resigned from office for supposedly “personal” reasons.
However, according to Friday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Notícias”, Uamusse is accused of mismanagement of the body, being involved in electoral frauds.
“We received a letter form Uamusse claiming that is resigning for social reasons. After we observed the document, STAE accepted his resignation request”, said Cristóvão Castigo, the Zambézia provincial director of STAE.
The body, he added, chose Lourenço Fact “who has worked in various positions inside STAE, to replace Assane Uamusse.”
“Noticias” is a fortnight late with the news. The election bulletin published by the anti-corruption NGO, the Centre for Public Integrity (CIP) reported Uamusse’s resignation on 4 August, and attributed it to the breakdown of a secret agreement he had made with the main opposition party, Renamo.
Uamusse had struck a deal with the STAE district deputy director, appointed by Renamo, Maia Madeira Maia, to grant him 32 places to be filled by registration brigade members from Renamo. But the agreement failed because, four days after the start of voter registration, the head of the Department of Organisation and Electoral Operations decided to transfer some of the Renamo brigade members to other registration brigades.
According a report from a Zambezia Commission of Inquiry, cited by CIP, the head of the Department of Organisation and Electoral Operations (ROOE), Vitorino Azevedo, justified the change of brigade members with the argument that he had made a short study which he shared only with Assane Uamusse, excluding the deputy heads of the ROOE representing Frelimo, Renamo and the MDM. In fact, CIP says, Azevedo was obeying an instruction from Uamusse.
Believing that he had been betrayed by the decision of Uamusse, taken without his consent, Madeira Maia decided to block the transfer of the brigade members.
Uamusse, seeing his authority called into question by his deputy, decided to go into the field to put his decision into operation by dismissing the brigade members concerned. Madeira Maia then retaliated, by filming the moment when his director sacked the brigade members from his party’s area of influence “to be used as evidence of the arbitrary beviour of the district director”.
The Commission of Inquiry recommended disciplinary proceedings against the both men “for proven lack of transparency in the selection of brigade members”, which affected the voter registration.
The Commission concluded that it was “lack of transparency in the selection of brigade members” which led to the struggle between Uamusse and Maia, which in turn contributed to “the poor performance of voter registration” in Quelimane.