By Jorge Joaquim
Human rights organization Amnesty Internationalon Tuesday urged Mozambican authorities to investigate bomb threats against the civil society leader Adriano Nuvunga.
He has been receiving anonymous calls threatening to bomb his home since the evening of 3 October. The caller told Nuvunga that a bomb had been planted in his house and that it would explode at any moment. He has since evacuated the house with his family.
Nuvunga is the Executive Director of the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), a civil society organization focusing on democracy, governance and human rights in Mozambique. He is also head of FMO, the civil society consortium that has led pressure for Mozambique not to pay the so called ‘hidden debts’ and for those responsible to be prosecuted.
The term “hidden debts” refers to the illicit loans of over two billion US dollars obtained by three fraudulent, security-linked companies, Proindicus, Ematum (Mozambique Tuna Company) and MAM (Mozambique Asset Management), from the banks Credit Suisse and VTB of Russia in 2013 and 2014. The banks lent the money on the basis of illegal loan guarantees, issued by the government of the day, under the then President, Armando Guebuza.
Recently, Nuvunga has been critical of the government’s handling of the counter-insurgency in Cabo Delgado. He has been calling for full, independent and impartial investigations into allegations of human rights violations in Cabo Delgado by government security forces.
In response to threats to him, Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa said that this situation is a terrifying warning aimed at scaring Nuvunga into silence.
“The threats should not be taken lightly,” said Muchena. “Mozambican authorities must launch a prompt, independent and impartial investigation into this intimidation and ensure that those who are behind this act are brought to justice in fair trials”
The anonymous calls also send a chilling message to others like him who work to protect and defend human rights in Mozambique.