Friday, July 3, 2015


Mozambican Interior Minister, Jaime Monteiro, has guaranteed that the police are continuing to work to identify and arrest the murderers of constitutional lawyer Gilles Cistac. Cistac was gunned down in central Maputo in broad daylight on 3 March. The police claimed, on 13 April, that they had arrested two people in connection with the murder, but did not present them to the media, and two and a half months later nothing further has been heard of these suspects.

Resultado de imagem para Jaime monteiro  moçambiqueMonteiro did not even mention them when he addressed the country’s parliament, on Wednesday and Thursday, in response to questions from the former rebel movement Renamo about the fight against crime, and particularly the Cistac murder. Monteiro said there had been a slight drop in the crime rate. Between January and June this year, the police had recorded 7,501 crimes, compared with 7,563 in the same period in 2014. He claimed that he police had dismantled 298 criminal gangs, compared with 254 in the first six months of last year.He denied Renamo’s claim that the police attitude towards the Cistac murder was one of “passivity” and “impotence”. He said the police would continue to hunt for the killers and take all necessary measures to clear up this and all other violent crimes.This did not satisfy Renamo deputies who demanded further details on the investigation. But when he took the podium again, on Thursday, Monteiro did not even mention the Cistac murder. He declared that the police “will continue to prioritise strategies that guarantee greater effectiveness in preventing and fighting crime, particularly organized crime”.Monteiro stressed the need for strengthening liaison between the police and the community, “resting on the principle that public security is not exclusively the work of the police, and all of society is called upon to make a contribution to this great and noble task”.He reported “positive results” in the fight by the police against kidnap gangs, “expressed in the release of the victims, the growing number of gangs arrested, cases tried and kidnappers sentenced”.  The latest example was on Tuesday, when the Maputo City court sentenced eight people to prison terms of between 11 and 16 years for their part in the kidnapping of two children in 2013. There had been earlier trials of kidnappers in Maputo, Matola, Beira and Inhambane, Monteiro recalled, and he promised that several more cases would be brought to trial in the near future. The Minister also denied a Renamo claim that only “small fry” had been arrested in connection with the theft from a police warehouse in Matola of 12 rhino horns. “All those involved in the theft of the rhino horns are under arrest”, he insisted. A month ago the general command of the police had confirmed that seven people had been arrested in connection with the theft, including four police officers – the head of the local brigade of the Criminal Investigation Police (PIC), a chief inspector, a sub-inspector and a sergeant. Monteiro admitted that “one of the greatest challenges of the Interior Ministry is the need to continually raise and guarantee the standards of professional ethics among members of the police”. The police, he said, were committed to “mechanisms to purify their ranks”. It was also crucial to ensure that recruitment, selection and training procedures “result in the entry of suitable citizens with the necessary vocation to perform police duties”.

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