Senior Mozambican journalist detained, then released

The Mozambican police on Tuesday illegally detained one of the country’s most experienced journalists, Fernando Lima, in the municipality of Mocuba, in the central province of Zambezia.

Lima is chairperson of the board of the media company Mediacoop, which owns the independent weekly “Savana” and the daily newssheet “Mediafax”. For ten years in the 1980s he was chief news editor at AIM.

Lima says he was accused of campaigning for the opposition Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) outside of the legal election campaign period, which ended on Sunday. No campaigning is permitted in the last two days before the election, and on the election day itself.

According to Lima, the only evidence cited against him was the last three issues of “Savana”, which were all published before the end of the campaign period. “Savana” is still on sale in Maputo, and so it is hard to imagine why possessing or distributing it in Mocuba should be considered a crime.

Lima was travelling to the municipality of Gurue in the company of Antonio Munaita, a journalist from the on-line paper “Diario de Zambezia”. Both are duly accredited by the Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE) to cover the municipal elections.

The two journalists were held between 16.30 and 20.30 and then conditionally released. They completed their journey to Gurue later in the night.

Post published in: Africa News

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