Africa-Press – Mozambique. The Defence, Security and Public Order Commission of the Mozambican Parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, has demanded explanations for the shooting of defenceless citizens by police officers in the central province of Zambezia.
The commission’s rapporteur, Arlindo Maquival, who headed an inspection visit to the province, made the demand at a press conference on Monday in the provincial capital, Quelimane.
Quoting a report from Radio Mozambique, which said that at least 10 people were shot by Mozambican police officers in the districts of Milange, Molumbo and Pebane since January, Maquivale stressed “We look at this with great concern. Any citizen has the right to condemn these kinds of things.”
He added that “we, as politicians, are concerned, but it is the responsibility of the Defence and Security Forces, which we will oversee, to also respond these cases.”
Questioned about the death of five prisoners a week ago, shot by a prison guard at the Milange District Penitentiary, Maquival said the commission is waiting for the inquiry report.
“What we know is that the case is still being investigated. It is not the responsibility of the commission to clarify the matter. We are on the ground. We will find out what happened, but we can’t go above what has been constituted as a commission to investigate the matter that right now concerns all citizens.”
The Mozambican authorities have set up a commission of inquiry, which has a deadline of 10 days, to investigate the causes that led to the death of the five prisoners in Milange. Information so far available suggests that only one guard was on duty, overseeing 280 prisoners. He claimed that the prisoners tried to overpower him and seize his gun in order to escape, which obliged him to open fire.
The parliamentary commission stressed that the right to life is enshrined in the Mozambican constitution, and in these cases, lives had been taken by members of the defence and security forces who have the duty to preserve life.