THE Mozambican chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) hasÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â condemned assaults and intimidation on journalists covering the current election campaign, writes Charles Mangwiro for journalism.co.za.
Accoring to MISA, two reporters, Alfane Momade Antonio of the Nacala community Radio and Lazaro Antonio of the Alto Moloque community Radio in central Zambezia are the latest victims.
A MISA statement says that the incident occurred last Wednesday, the fourth day of the current election campaign, when Antonio visited the Renamo office to request the party campaign agenda after a scheduled meeting with the head of the Renamo campaign in Nacala, Rafael Gusmao.
Instead of being given the information, he was attacked by men believed to be Renamo supporters after his station was accused of reporting negatively about Renamo.
Antonio was treated in a local hospital for injuries after the matter was brought to the policeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s attention.
In Alto Molocue, MISA says Lazaro Antonio of the local community radio station was also summoned by the first secretary of the ruling Frelimo Party in the district, Daniel Gurue, along with recording equipement he had earlier used in an interview with the opposition Renamo party.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe strongly condemn this as illegal on the grounds that some politicians are obstructing the work of journalists, and are thus denying the constitutionally enshrined right of the people to information,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â MISA said in its statement.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œReporters, particularly those working on community radios are suffering physical or psychological violence, which is entirely deplorable under the rule of lawÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â. MISA said.
The Southern African state has begun a 45-day election campaign ahead of October 28 polls.
Incumbent President Armando Guebuza is seeking re-election for his final term of office facing an old rival, the leader of the main opposition Renamo party Afonso Dhlkama and Daviz Simango, the leader of the Renamo breakaway Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM).