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Mozambique newspaper refuses to ‘bow before fire’



Burnt equipment is seen in the editorial offices of Canal de Moçambique

Staff at a weekly Mozambique newspaper are refusing to let an arson attack stop them from reporting. Canal de Moçambique published its regular Wednesday edition, just three days after the newsroom was firebombed.

Speaking in front of the newspaper’s office Monday, Matias Guente, executive editor of Canal de Moçambique, said he believed Sunday’s attack was retaliation for the paper’s reporting and described the arson as a “terror attack on freedom of expression and against press freedom.”

The paper’s editorial line “will not bow before the fire,” Guente said. The office was attacked with petrol bombs, and a container of gasoline was found at the site, the Associated Press reported.

Police are investigating the blaze in Mozambique’s capital Maputo, which damaged the publication’s newsroom and equipment. The paper, owned by the media group Canal I, prints about 10,000 copies weekly and has about 50,000 subscribers to its daily news website, CanalMoz. 

“This attack represents a serious blow to the freedom of the press, one of the foundations of democracy,” the local civil society organization Center for Democracy Mozambique said in a report Monday.

Canal de Mozambique is known for its critical coverage of the government, including authorities’ responses to attacks by Islamist militants, as well as corruption and scandals such as the “tuna bonds” case.

In January 2019, Mozambique indicted 18 individuals on charges including abuse of office and embezzlement after some funds from loans to bolster the country’s state fishery were allegedly diverted, according to the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.

Guente, the editor, has also been previously harassed and in December, attackers attempted to abduct him, VOA Portuguese reported at the time.

Attack on democracy

President Filipe Nyusi condemned the arson attack and ordered authorities to investigate.

“Freedom of the press is a pillar of democracy achieved by Mozambicans and must be protected,” said Nyusi in a statement posted to his Facebook page.

A tent was erected after the attack so the paper’s journalists could work because “everything was left in ash,” said Guente. The paper has around 17 staff in the capital, as well as reporters in most of Mozambique’s 10 other provinces.

Mediacoop, the publisher of Savana and Mediafax, also invited Canal to use its premises and facilities to ensure it can continue publishing, the Associated Press reported.

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Muntu Blocked in Kamwenge



Alliance for National Transformation presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been blocked from campaigning in Kamwenge according to a statement he released earlier today.Below is the full statement:

Today in Kamwenge, as we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people. We had earlier in the week agreed on the venue with security agencies. No one had anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or the people to access.

After identifying an alternative place only 100m away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police.

Our policy has always been to do all we can to be reasonable, even in the face of unreasonable action on the part of the state. We engaged the police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner well knowing that they intended to not only frustrate us, but cause us to act in ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on.

While we are confident that we are on the right side of both the law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation. We will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of our campaign.

And yet this truth remains: the regime’s days are numbered.



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Is Johnson Byabashaija courting Enid Kukunda for protection?



The very amiable Commissioner General of Prisons Canon Johnson Byabashaija was recently sighted with President Y K Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s second wife Enid Kukunda as the two had a very secretive meeting in one of the city hangouts.

According to our informers, the two seem to be in a deep conversation that they wouldn’t allow a housefly pass around. However, sources further reveal that Byabashaija could have courted the second lady for protection given that he has amassed a lot of wealth and could be a subject of investigations.

Our sources reveal that Byabashaija who carries himself as Mr.I know it all hasn’t met Madam Enid alone but a host of others with connections to the centre of power in the country.

We will bring you more detail

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Bobi Wine released on Bail



Presidential candidate and kyadondo East legislator Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu has been realeased on bail by the Iganga magistrates court where he appeared to defend himself against accusations of flouting COVID-19 campaign SOPs. A defiant Kyagulanyi took the opportunity to blast the incumbent Yoweri Museveni, whom he accuses of using state power to quell dissident.

This follows a tense week that has seen thousands injured and several dead following Hon. Kyagulanyi’s arrest earlier this week. Demonstrations and riots erupted in many parts of the country and heavy police and army deployment was seen all over the country.

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