A YouTuber in Mozambique was kidnapped after denouncing a ‘prophet’

The Mozambican YouTuber Arsenio Amos was kidnapped on 5 February supposedly in retaliation for one of his videos. He was released the following day through the help of the police.

Known online as Beleza em Pessoa, Arsenio is recognized for humorously discussing various issues on his channel, with emphasis on social and political life in Mozambique. His channel Arte and Vida (Art and Life) has over 80 thousand subscribers, making it one of the country’s most popular YouTube pages.

In recent videos, Arsenio commented on how Mozambican selfproclaimed prophets accumulate wealth by lying on their religious teachings. One of them focuses on the irregularities in the religious activity of Joe Williams, a Mozambican prophet who today is suspected of being involved in the YouTuber’s kidnapping.

On 6 February, after the kidnapping of Arsenio, an audio attributed to Williams in which he makes threats to the young YouTuber was shared across social networks.

In another video, the YouTuber highlights the fact that some prophets did not like his channel’s approach and that he had received death threats.

In the following days, photos began to circulate showing Arsenio Amos in handcuffs at a Maputo police station. In the photos, Joe Williams could be seen talking to a police officer.

On 7 February, the country’s largest newspaper, Noticias, reported that the prophet had been arrested for attempted kidnapping. The police said they were already following the prophet’s movements, and had been alerted by undisclosed sources that the prophet was with the captive YouTuber in a car.

At the time of publication, Williams was in police custody. He is the prime suspect for being behind the kidnapping, and will also be investigated for illegal accumulation of wealth and corruption.

This phenomenon of prophets is not exclusive to Mozambique as it’s also being reported in several African countries. They promise cures for diseases and resurrection after death and are usually linked to churches whose origins are unknown.

The photos that circulated soon after the incident showed the YouTuber with his mouth shut with tape, to which Zarito Mutana, a Facebook user, reacted:

but I think it is Joe William’s revenge against the young man.

Someone should stop this monster, someone should stop calling this monster on television, someone should just tell Joe Williams enough

The politician and television commentator, Domingos Gundana, criticized the way the YouTuber was detained.

Imagine if the Universal Bishops were like that, going around suing everybody who speaks against them or against their actions and those of their churches.

This socalled Prophet, is he going to shut everybody up in this country? But he’s the first one who calls his brothers futxeka, poor people, and makes stupendous videos.

Release the young Beleza em Pessoa and let him do his job of informing [people].

Long live freedom and down with ignorance.

I think the Prophet Joel Williams is already exaggerating. In these images we can see the blogger BELEZA EM PESSOA, subjected to torture before reaching the authorities of Justice, supposedly because the blogger has stained the HONOUR AND GOOD NAME of our Prophet.

We can’t allow this. Something must be done. You have to understand that Da Beleza is not a killer, he’s an honest professional. Not this. I repeat, no.

Much has been speculated over the origin of Williams’ wealth, which is still unknown.

Others have suggested that the kidnapping happened in retaliation not for the criticisms made by the YouTuber, but for the nonfulfillment of a supposed contract between the prophet and Arsenio for the YouTuber to speak well of him on his channel, although this is only speculation. This possibility was raised by journalist Virgilio Conjo:

done within a contract with well defined clauses: communication purpose, Target, formats and so on.

Bloggers and radio and television presenters are providing a poor service to public figures for the benefit of donations. What they didn’t know is that one day the spell turns against the wizard.

They, for a long time, helped JW to get out of the shit and, without delay, not having room for so much shit, JW attacked the bloggers themselves

Source: Global Voices