Saturday, March 03, 2007

A wee update on the crime situation. The police recently "turned" one of the leaders of Maputo's big heist gangs, and used the information he gave up to catch and machine-gun to death the other leader, in a full-on high speed chase in the suburb of Matola a couple of weeks ago. Apparently when they raided his house afterwards, the police discovered four wives and two plasma TVs. Obviously, the plasma TVs where the talk of the town here.

The "Mambas" unit I mentioned in my previous post was disbanded on the quiet, and it seems that the flying squads have stopped shooting each other at least for the moment.

Meanwhile, the current black comedy being shown by the Gungulinho theatre group (who always focus their plays on up to date social issues), focuses on the sad story of public lynchings which I mentioned previously. The story takes place in a typical "bairro" on the outskirts of Maputo, where the residents suffer from a rising crime level - several rapes are horrifically depicted on stage - and eventually, in despair at the lack of action from the undermanned and underequipped local police station, they take the law into their own hands. At first everything goes well, and several "bandidos" are caught by the collective action of the residents, and burnt to a crisp while the police hide in their squadroom. But in the closing scene of the play, one of the young guys from the neighbourhood is attacked, as he comes home from work, by a "ninja" (street thief). He cries out for help, and it comes, but in the ensuing struggle and confusion, the thief escapes and HE is grabbed and set alight. The people at first rejoice, but as dawn breaks, they realise their mistake and the play ends with the audience quiet in anguish. If the government do not wake up and realise how explosive this issue is becoming, I reckon that they will regret it sooner rather than later.

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