Maputo, 9 Oct (AIM) – The campaign ahead of Mozambique’s municipal elections, scheduled for Wednesday, ended on Sunday.
No campaigning is allowed on Monday or Tuesday which are supposed to be “days of reflection”, when the voters consider the messages of the competing candidates and make up their minds.
The final weekend of campaigning was marred by a violent clash between supporters of the ruling Frelimo Party and of the main opposition party, Renamo, in the northern port city of Nacala.
Motorcades of the two parties confronted each other and, according to observers from the “Mais Integridade” (“More Integrity”) coalition, Frelimo supporters pelted the Renamo campaigners with stones. Six people, all from the Renamo group, were seriously injured.
In this confusion, the Frelimo supporters grabbed a Renamo member and dragged him to the nearby Frelimo office, where he was beaten until he lost consciousness.
Bloody and unconscious, the man was turned over to the police, who then took him to his family.
Both Frelimo and the police tried to prevent the observers from filming these violent events. Their mobile phones were confiscated and the images they contained were deleted.
The observers say they were taken to a room in the Frelimo offices where they were threatened and warned not to follow the rest of the Frelimo election campaign.
In Nacala on Sunday, the last day of the campaign, police fired tear gas into a crowd of Renamo supporters.
According to the report in the independent newssheet “Mediafax”, it was not clear why the police acted in this way – but the paper suggested they were acting preemptively to prevent a further clash between Frelimo and Renamo supporters.