Two Maputo kidnappings within an hour

Kidnappings are continuing at an alarming rate in Maputo, and on Thursday two women were kidnapped in different parts of the city, in broad daylight.

According to a report in the independent daily “O Pais”, a woman of Asian origin was abducted at about 15.00 in the neighbourhood of Malanga.

The woman, the wife of a businessman who owns an ice-making business, was seized outside her husband’s factory by five men, armed with AK-47 assault rifles. According to an eye-witness, “the victim was in the back seat of her car, when they arrived and fired a shot into the air, to intimidate her. But she refused to leave the car”.

The gang then fired another warning shot, broke the car window, and dragged the woman out by force.

About an hour later, another woman, also the wife of a businessman, was kidnapped in the centre of the city, close to the well known “Cruz Azul” private clinic. Again the criminals were armed with AK-47s – it is thus not impossible that the same gang was responsible for both kidnappings.

This brings the number of kidnapping in Maputo to five in the past week. On Monday a businessman was abducted in Olof Palme Avenue, in the heart of the city. On Tuesday, a woman of Asian origin was seized at the entrance to the Maputo Portuguese School, where she had just dropped her four year old son.

On Wednesday, at about 20.00, a boy attending 12th grade at the Portuguese School was kidnapped in front of his house in the central neighbourhood of Coop. He was with his father, a moslem businessman who owns a bottle store, who was powerless to save his son from the kidnap gang.

The deputy chairperson of the Supreme Court, Adelino Muchanga, asked about the wave of kidnappings on Thursday, admitted weaknesses in the police investigations.

“As long as we do not improve our investigative capacity, we will not be successful in the fight against kidnapping”, he said.

But he thought this fight was the responsibility, not solely of the Criminal Investigation Police (PIC) and of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, but of all of society “since these people (the kidnappers) live in society”.

Post published in: Africa News

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