By Suleman Chitera
17 Arrested in Connection with Mozambican Voting Violence
Seventeen people suspected of attempting to interfere with vote-counting at 10 polling stations in Mozambique’s Zambezia province have been arrested.
Out of a population of 30 million, an estimated 13 million Mozambicans across the southern African country voted in the presidential, legislative and provincial elections on Tuesday, 15 October.
However, the voting process was marred by alleged ballot box-stuffing, observers being forcefully evicted from polling stations, and residents burning tyres and barricading roads, among other offences.
In a recent interview with journalists, district police commander, Vasco Mariano, explained that the 17 detained individuals were identified as ringleaders of a group that vandalised a police vehicle carrying officers who were responding to chaos in Zambezia’s Maganja da Costa district.
Mariano said: “When police arrived at the place, the rioters threw blunt instruments at them including stones, and some were holding machetes. The police car was smashed. When we noted that the rioters were overpowering our forces, we had to call for reinforcements.”
No election material was damaged in the furore, and order was soon restored. The suspects are expected to be charged in court at a future date.