Renamo members kidnapped in Manica

Maputo (AIM) – Unidentified men beat and kidnapped two members of the rebel movement Renamo on Monday, when they tried to re-open a Renamo office at Honde, in Barue district, in the central Mozambican province of Manica, according to a report in Wednesday’s issue of the independent daily “O Pais”.

The Honde office was closed during the renewal of the Renamo insurgency in 2016. Honde is near the site of major Renamo ambushes against vehicles on the road between Manica and Tete provinces.

With the truce declared by Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama in late December, and now extended until May, Renamo members have set about resuming normal political activities and reopening offices that had been temporarily closed.

But in Honde, when Renamo members went to what had been their office they found that the building was flying the flag of the ruling Frelimo Party. When they asked what was going on, they came under attack.

According to the witnesses who spoke to “O Pais”, about a dozen people, armed with sharp instruments, attacked the Renamo group. One of those who escaped the attack, Maria Joaquim, said “a group of men appeared carrying stakes and bamboos. They told us to run away, so we did start to run”.

She said they kidnapped two Renamo members, whom she named as Bengala and Lucas Zacarias. So far the two are still missing, and the case is in the hands of the police.

“This is our office”, declared the Renamo Barue district delegate, Celestino Daimone. “During the conflict we abandoned it, and our offices were occupied by other people. This is one case. When we arrived, we approached Frelimo to ask them what was going on, and to convince them to remove their flag and give back our office. Then the confusion began”.

In Quelimane, capital of Zambezia province, however, Renamo is facing no such difficulties. According to “O Pais”, Renamo is resuming its political work in the province, and boasts that it will win the 2018 municipal elections throughout Zambezia.

Speaking to Renamo members in Quelimane on Tuesday, Renamo official Latifo Ismael declared that the truce is a reality and nobody should be afraid of being threatened.

Post published in: Africa News

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