from ARIMANDO DOMINGOS in Maputo, Mozambique
MAPUTO, (CAJ News) – THE killing of a prominent civil society election observer a week before elections is the latest incident in the volatile atmosphere prevailing in Mozambique ahead of polls.
Anastacio Matavel, the poll monitor, has been shot dead in the southern Gaza Province where there have been allegations of plans to rig the elections.
He was shot dead in his car at the end of a training session of electoral observers, where he had made the keynote speech.
His killing has sparked outrage among the civil society community in the Southern African country.
The Public Integrity Centre (CIP) condemned the murder as an attack on all civil society organisations and individuals working on independent electoral observation.
“CIP condemns this macabre act and demands a public statement by FRELIMO candidate and President, Filipe Nyusi, repudiating the electoral violence that has been taking place throughout the country since the beginning of the election campaign,” it stated.
Nyusi, the candidate of the governing Front of the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) has appealed for violence –free polls, set for next Tuesday.
Violence has continued despite the plea and in spite of FRELIMO agreeing a peace deal with its longtime rival, the Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO).
Some militants within RENAMO have snubbed the peace deal.
A series of attacks by extremists north of the resources rich country are also cause for concern ahead of polling day.
More than 10 million people- a third of the country- are expected to vote.
– CAJ News