Sunday, May 06, 2007


A refreshing change from the normal tide of "the badder you are, the more likely you are to get away with it", which is the usual rule here in Moz.

A week or so ago three supposed criminals were taken from their homes by the police and held without charge in cells. One of them managed to get a call to his lawyer but by the time the lawyer got to the station, the guys had been moved to location unknown. A few hours later, they were taken to the area of Triunfo, Maputo's north-east corner, and shot several times each, in the back of the neck. Many residents who observed parts of what happens, went to the press (the independent press, obviously) to complain.

The case became a scandal among Maputo's equivalent of the chattering classes, and the PGR (equivalent of the Attorney General), for once investigated the subject thoroughly and soon emitted a report stating categorically that the killings were illegal executions, perpetrated by a death squad within the police. Based on this, the PGR emitted arrest warrants for the 3 police officers involved.

In response to this...
a. The police simply refused to arrest their own men and emitted their own report saying that the 3 criminals had somehow managed to break their handcuffs and escaped while trying to flee.
b. The Minister of the Interior (responsible for the police), categorically denied that death squads.
c. The vice minister of the interior admitted that actually they might exist.

At least, with this kind of public outcry, we have less risk of creeping into a Rio de Janeiro style situation where the police still perform dozens of extra-judicial killings every year.

One would hope, however, that the head of state would step in to remind the Police that, according to the constitution, they do not have any option about executing the arrest warrants issued by the PGR.

Meanwhile, the donors gave the government a generally glowing report, although they moaned a bit about the feeble progress in combatting corruption. But since they all live in fortresses in Somerschield and will certainly get somewhere classier on their next promotion, who's to rock the boat.

Just found your blog online. Very interesting. It sheds some light on some strange things I've noticed but didn't understand. Thanks for the insight.
Hello mate, long time no speak, often wonder how you're getting on, was about to drop you a line but realised that your email had been swallowed by hotmail (if you don't use your account for a couple of months the b*stards wipe all emails and contacts). Hopefully you see this so if so drop me a line - markgvarley at gmail dot com - got loads to catch up on. m
Soube que tiveste uma filha. O meu chama Mikail e é a luz da minha vida. Manda um alô.
Ana Lucia Paixão Bassir
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