MAPUTO, Judges based in the Mozambican capital, Maputo, who are involved in hot cases are receiving special security protection following two high profile assassinations in recent years.

In April 2016, Senior Prosecutor Marcelino Vilanculos was murdered outside his home in the southern city of Matola. Two years earlier, Judge Dinis Silica was gunned down in broad daylight at a street intersection in central Maputo. Both had been working on sensitive cases concerning a wave of kidnappings of business people which had hit Mozambican cities since late 2011.

According to the President of the Maputo City Court, Henrique Cossa, the issue of increased security has already been dealt with. Cossa told the daily newspaper, Noticias, that the police have guaranteed the security and we have no reason to complain.

Last year, the chairperson of the Mozambican Association of Judges (AMJ), Carlos Mondlane, was blunt in his analysis. He warned that we are living through a situation in Mozambique today in which judges are scared, prosecutors are scared, police officers are scared, and as representatives of the repressive machinery of the state, we must not allow any kind of weakness to appear towards those who work for organized crime.

In April, the Mozambican Association of Public Prosecutors (AMMMP) requested that the government step up measures of personal security for prosecutors, including providing bodyguards and protecting their homes, particularly for those handling sensitive cases.