Government bungling blamed for assassinations
From ARIMANDO DOMINGOS in Maputo, Mozambique
MAPUTO, (CAJ News) – POLITICALLY-motivated murders have claimed at least 10 lives in Mozambique in recent months with authorities failing to properly investigate or prosecute culprits, rights groups said following the murder of a senior opposition official.
Gunmen last weekend shot dead Jeremias Pondeca, an official of the Mozambique National Resistance (Renamo) and member of a team preparing a meeting to end the military and political hostilities between the party and the government.
The peace talks, which were due to resume this week, were put on hold following Pondeca’s killing
Investigations suggest four men who had been following Pondeca by car, approached the victim and fired two shots at his head and one at his abdomen before fleeing.
He was killed in Maputo.
“The government’s failure to genuinely investigate past killings provides space for the latest terrible crime,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch.
Bekele said the organisation documented nine previous cases of apparent political killings since March 2015, in which the targets were officials from Renamo and the ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frelimo).
It is alleged mostly police had not conducted comprehensive investigations into the cases.
In some cases, the police failed to inspect and secure the crime scene before the evidence was compromised.
– CAJ News
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