Mozambique: Macuane Attack – Transparency International Demands Action

The anti-corruption organization Transparency International (TI), and its Mozambican chapter, the Centre for Public Integrity (CIP), have demanded a serious investigation into Monday’s attack against prominent academic and political commentator Jose Jaime Macuane.

Macuane was abducted from outside his home in the Maputo neighbourhood of Coop at about 08.30. The kidnappers drove him outside the city, into the district of Marracuene, where they shot him four times in the legs. They told him they had been ordered to leave him lame.

The TI statement noted that Macuane is “one of several prominent activists who have taken a strong stand against corruption within the current and former Mozambique governments. His abduction and shooting is seen as a warning message to all who openly question and seek investigation of the latest government corruption scandal” (a reference to more than a billion dollars worth of undisclosed government-guaranteed loans that came to light in April, and led the IMF and other partners to suspend financial assistance to Mozambique).

“Corruption fighters speak for the people, they hold governments to account and they must have the freedom to speak openly about government problems and how to fix them. Jose Jaime Macuane is a hero and he and people who have the courage to speak truth to power must be protected in Mozambique, and everywhere,” said Elena Panfilova, Vice Chair of Transparency International, cited in the TI release.

The release also pointed out that, as a signatory of the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, Mozambique has an obligation to protect members of civil society and “create an enabling environment that will enable civil society and the media to hold governments to the highest levels of transparency and accountability in the management of public affairs.”

Meanwhile both the police and the Attorney-General’s Office have promised an investigation into the attack. Assistant Attorney-General Taibo Mucobora told reporters on Wednesday that prosecutors will work with the Criminal Investigation Police (PIC) “to find out what happened and hold the moral and material authors of the crime responsible”.

Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique