The Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo), the ruling party, emerged victorious in 64 out of the 65 cities that participated in the municipal elections. However, the opposition has strongly contested these results, citing numerous electoral irregularities.
It is unclear how many people were injured or killed in the ensuing violence, but according to reports by Agence France Presse (AFP), two people have died, including a police officer, as of Friday.
The clashes primarily occurred in the capital city of Maputo but also extended to the northern cities of Nacala and Nampula, according to the Public Integrity Center (CIP), a non-governmental organization. It was in Nampula where a police officer is reported to have lost his life after being attacked by a group of protesters.
The CIP further reports that the police retaliated by opening fire on the crowd, resulting in at least one fatality and around a dozen injuries. In response, the protesters pelted law enforcement with stones and set tires ablaze.
These municipal elections have been marred by allegations of extensive fraud, a point vehemently raised by civil society and the opposition. The CIP’s coordinator explained to RFI on Friday, October 27, that they had observed irregularities in polling stations, including the forceful ejection of opposition delegates by the police during the vote count.
Moreover, a civil society activist states that opposition appeals made immediately after the voting process were not received by the National Electoral Commission. According to her, commission members were conspicuously absent during the submission period for complaints, only to reappear after the deadline had passed, thereby declaring the grievances to be untimely.
This unfolding situation underscores the challenges faced in the aftermath of Mozambique’s municipal elections, reflecting both the contested results and a turbulent atmosphere of unrest. As the nation grapples with these developments, it remains to be seen how the government, opposition, and civil society will navigate these complex political waters.