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Two journalists threatened by leaders of opposition party

(MISA/IFEX) - According to a report in the 17 October 2008 daily issue of "Noticias", two journalists based in Beira, Mozambique's second largest city, were threatened on 15 October by leaders of the opposition political party, Renamo. The two journalists, Moisés Saela and Francisco Raiva, work for Radio Mozambique and Stv, a local independent Mozambican television station, respectively.

According to "Notícias", Saela was publicly berated by José Cazonda, the head of Renamo in the Beira Municipal Assembly, for interviewing Moisés Machava, the man who is now functioning as "spokesperson" of the divided opposition in the province.

"In what capacity did you interview Machava? What did he say? . . . Have I ever said that Machava was our spokesperson? You are the ones who cause confusion inside Renamo. I am the head of the group and nobody else", said Cazonda in an aggressive reproach to Saela.

Renamo is divided in the Beira municipality, as some of the members support Davis Simango - a mayor who was fired from that party and is now an independent candidate - while others support Manuel Pereira, the official candidate for the opposition party in the coming elections.

Journalist Raiva also told "Notícias" that he had been threatened by the Beira head of Renamo's Youth League, Arnaldo Tivane, who is accusing Stv of biased coverage in favour of a rival candidate. Related to this, Edwin Honnow, a citizen who regularly writes for several Mozambican newspapers, told reporters in Beira that he has received threatening phone calls from Tivane, who is accusing him of working for a rival political candidate.

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