Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Mozambique: Police Shoot 8 Renamo Demonstrators in Angoche

Police shot eight Renamo demonstrators in Angoche, Nampula, today (Thursday, 16 November). Manquinho Mastado is in a serious condition and has been transferred to Nampula Central Hospital. Four were hospitalised of whom two were discharged.

The confrontation apparently started when Renamo demonstrators were travelling through the streets with a coffin covered with a Frelimo capulana (cloth). The police went to disperse the demonstrators and took the coffin to the District Command. The demonstrators went to the command to ask for the return of their coffin. It is not known what happened, but there was a riot that resulted in four people being confirmed shot. Amoung those shot there and elsewhere are: Essumaila Amisse, Ali Carlitos Amisse Salvador, Suhura Braimo and Wazir Chande.

CC Demands  Notices From 11 More Municipalities

The Constitutions Council (CC) today gave the CNE 72 hours extra time to produce editais, but demanded editais from 11 more districts. They are Katembe, Kambukwana, and Nhaca in Maputo city; Namaacha (Maputo province), Chokwe (Gaza), Homoine (Inhambane), Morrumbala and Milange (Zambézia), Mandimba and Insaca (Niassa), and Moatize (Tete).

Yesterday the CC demanded individual results sheets (editais) and minutes (actas) from 10 municipalities and gave the National Electoral Commission (CNE) just 24 hours. CNE president Bishop Carlos Matsinhe, today asked for an extension to 48 hours. The Bishop said that the CNE does not have them, and that they are still in the hands of district elections commissions. CNE spokesperson Paul Cuinica said in an interview today that polling stations editais always remain in the municipalities

This is an admission that the CNE simply rubber-stamped the results compilations sent to it by district elections commissions, without checking them.

Opposition members the CNE believe many editais could have been sent today. They suspect that Frelimo has instructed the presidents of the electoral bodies in at least two provinces to delay sending the material in order to fabricate new false editais and actas. This has already happened in Maputo city (see this bulletin this morning.

Bishop Matsinhe yesterday issued an instruction (12/CNE/2023) to the presidents of the Nampula and Cabo Delgado Provincial Electoral Commissions to proceed with “the delivery of the editais and actas to the CNE (…) as urgently as possible”. CIP Eleições knows that there was a province that had the material ready to bring today (Thursday), but it cancelled this after the CNE requested the extension of the deadline.

Two CNE Violations of the Electoral Law

In national elections, official copies of the polling station editais have always been sent to the CNE. Indeed, in national elections provincial counts are ignored and the results announced by the CNE are the results compiled by STAE directly from the editais.

The municipal electoral law (14/2008) also requires editais to be sent to the CNE.

Article 107 defines the contents of the polling station edital as containing numbers of votes for each candidate plus blank and invalid votes. Article 108 says “The presiding officer of each polling station immediately communicates the edital provided for in article 107 of this Law, via the respective Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration, to the District or City Electoral Commission, which in turn transmits it to the Provincial Electoral Commission and the latter directly to the National Electoral Commission.” This seems clear that it is the polling station edital which is passed up the chain to the CNE, in municipal as well as national elections.

And the reason is that the law gives the CNE a special responsibility. Provincial centralisation makes no sense, and the province simply makes a table of the district results (art. 121, 122). But for the general tabulation by the CNE, the law gives the CNE the special responsibility of “verifying” the total numbers of votes and the votes for each party. (art 126) This clearly requires access to the mesa editais, which should have reached Maputo.

Thus not having the mesa editais in Maputo is a double violation of the law – they have not been sent directly up the chain as required, and the CNE rubber stamped results rather than verifying them.

This is the CC 15 November notification to CNE, with 24 hours deadline (prazo), and demands for editais for Matola city and Matola-Rio (Maputo province), Nlhamankulo, KaMpfumo and KaMavota (Maputo City), Quelimane, Alto Molocue and Maganja da Costa (Zambezia), and Angoche and Isla de Moçambique (Nampula):