Mozambique News Agency
THREE DEAD IN UNREST
Maputo, 1 Sept (AIM) – Three people have died and dozens injured in the neighbourhood of Benfica, on the outskirts of Maputo, as a result of riots that have spread in the southern Mozambican cities of Maputo and Matola. The injured were taken to Jose Macamo General Hospital. Rioting broke out in protest at the recent price rises of water, energy, bread and other consumer goods.
The offices of EDM and Banco Procredito that are located next to the passenger terminal in Benfica were vandalised by protestors. Two cars belonging to Electricidade de Mocambique (EDM) were burnt out.
The warehouse of food distributor “Sasseka” was looted, with rice and the contents of freezers stolen.
At the passenger terminal in the neighbourhood of Magoanine, on the outskirts of Maputo, AIM witnessed vandalism and looting of shops.
In the passenger terminal Praça dos Combatentes, also known as Xikelene, protestors vandalised and looted the warehouse of “Delta Trading”, a distributor of food products, along with a store belonging to a Chinese shop owner.
Areas were deserted where police patrolled, but disturbances returned as soon as police left the vicinity.
VANDALISM BY PROTESTORS IN BENFICA
Maputo, 1 Sept (AIM) – Protestors angry at the rising prices of water, electricity, bread and other consumer goods on Wednesday morning attacked the food distribution warehouse “Sasseka” and an office of the electricity company Electricidade de Mocambique (EDM) in the neighbourhood of Benfica, on the outskirts on Maputo.
The Benfica passenger terminal was the scene of an outbreak of violence, with the police responding with tear gas to disperse protestors who had burned tyres to obstruct the flow of traffic. The demonstrators threw stones at passing cars, although most cars stayed off the roads once the unrest erupted.
In the terminal Praça dos Combatentes, also known as Xikelene, the scenario was even more dramatic with the police firing incessantly to disperse the protestors, who had set fire to tyres. Great plumes of smoke covered the area.
There have been unconfirmed reports of some deaths and injuries.
UNREST IN MAPUTO AND MATOLA
Maputo, 1 Sept (AIM) – The cities of Maputo and Matola on Wednesday morning saw unrest with streets being obstructed with rubbish and large obstacles such as electricity poles and burning tyres. Passing vehicles have been stoned. The protests were triggered by the rising prices of water, energy, bread and other consumer goods.
The unrest in the two cities has caused transport disruption, leaving many people unable to get to work. The fleet of mini busses (colloquially known as “chapas”) that transport people from the periphery of the city has been reduced considerably, with great floods of passengers waiting at terminals.
Along the main streets, in both directions, the scenario witnessed by AIM was a pilgrimage of workers, students and other citizens walking to their place of work because of the lack of transport.
At terminal T3, for example, the minibuses were parked and not operating because the drivers were concerned about the threat.
Several police units have been dispatched to tackle the unrest. The General Command of the Police warned of the illegality of the alleged movement against the rising cost of living in the country. AIM received an anonymous telephone call from someone claiming to represent this “movement”.
Police Spokesperson Pedro Cossa said that no application had been made to any administrative, district or provincial authority to carry out demonstrations, as required by the law on the rights of the citizen.
According to Cossa, the fact that the leaders of the unrest have not observed the legal procedures is an affront to the law, and for that reason the police will treat any action taken by those associated with the warning message, distributed through both the mobile phone networks, as a threat to public order and tranquillity.
New tariffs for water and electricity entered into force today, with electricity prices rising by up to 13.4 per cent. Water prices have risen by about 11.7 per cent.
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