03/03/2024

Zambézia: Tension between Manuel de Araújo and Chief Judge at Judicial Court during inauguration

Manuel de Araújo, Chief Judge of Zambézia, presiding over a group of people sitting at a table in front of a podium.

Manuel de Araújo, Chief Judge of Zambézia, presiding over a group of people sitting at a table in front of a podium.

Tension arose during the swearing-in of members of the municipal assembly of Quelimane between Manuel de Araújo, mayor of Quelimane, and the Chief Judge of the Zambézia Judicial Court, Paulo Cinco Reis, who presided over the ceremony.

It all started after the Chief Judge of the Zambézia Judicial Court opened the minutes of the recount of the last municipal elections. Paulo Cinco Reis verified the identity and legitimacy of the elected officials. In the minutes read, one of the Frelimo members, identified as Alexandre Luís da Rocha, was absent from the swearing-in, and the reasons given at the time were unknown.

This is where the problem started. Manuel de Araújo protested this fact, as he believed that the truth was not being told. He explained that Alexandre da Rocha is in prison for being caught red-handed inserting ballot papers in the municipal elections of October 11 last year. Therefore, in his view, this information should be included in the publicly read minutes.

“This minute does not reflect justice or what is known to the public of Quelimane. Therefore, I request a correction because all of us are residents and citizens of this country. All of us, including the director of justice, who was present on the day of the trial, know why Mr. Alexandre Rocha is not here,” said Manuel de Araújo, momentarily halting the event.

He added, “Alexandre Rocha is not here because he is in prison; he was caught red-handed inserting votes on October 11. Therefore, I understand that it cannot be for unknown reasons, but for what is already known. We need to be transparent and take educational action,” he emphasized.

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