Mozambique: Prominent Political Analyst Shot and Maimed

Unidentified assailants on Monday morning shot and seriously injured a prominent Mozambican academic and political commentator, Jose Jaime Macuane.

According to the electronic newssheet “CanalMoz”, Macuane was kidnapped outside his house, and driven to Marracuene district, about 30 kilometres north of Maputo. He was shot in both legs, and then dumped by the roadside.

Local residents rescued Macuane and took him to a Marracune health unit. He was then transferred to a private clinic in Maputo, where his condition was described as “critical”.

Four bullets struck Macuane. Three of them were flesh woundS, but the fourth caused serious damage to his femur. As of Monday afternoon, doctors were operating to remove the bullet and attempt to repair the damage to the bone.

Macuane is a lecturer in social sciences at Maputo’s Eduardo Mondlane University. He is also one of the regular guests, alongside journalist Fernando Lima, on the Sunday night talk show “Pontos da Vista” (“Points of View”) on the independent television station STV.

“Pontos da Vista” is notable for its critical stance, and its willingness to subject government policies and statements to sharp scrutiny. In one of his latest interventions on this programme, Macuane remarked “When the state does not clear up crimes, the state is showing that it survives off organized crime”.

Lima, who is the chairperson of the independent media company Mediacoop, and a former chief news editor at AIM, had spoken to Macuane’s father-in-law who told him that the assailants gave their victim a chilling message. They said they were carrying out instructions to leave him lame.

Asked whether he felt his own life was in danger, Lima told AIM he had been feeling that for a long time.

The shooting of Macuane coincided with the opening of a meeting of the Coordinating Council of the Attorney General’s Office. When she addressed the meeting, Attorney-General Beatriz Buchili cannot have known of the attack against Macuane – had she known, perhaps she would have added his name to the list she gave of prominent figures, such as attorney Marcelino Vilanculos or judge Dinis Silica, who have fallen victim to organized crime in the recent past.

“The enemy of justice, peace and concord is active”, she warned. “We have no alternative but to combat crime, and particularly organized crime, with all our strength. This is a challenge for the entire judicial machinery”.

“The best way of weeping, and of avenging our colleagues”, Buchili added, “is to pursue crime and, without hesitation, to submit the agents of crime to trial and sentencing”.

Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique