3 Malawians feared killed in suspected Renamo attacks in Mozambique

Three Malawians from a single family are said to be among those who have been killed since the re-emergency of instability in with tension between Renamo and the ruling Frelimo party, who fought each other in a 1975-92 civil war.

The three were killed after Renamo forces attacked a village known as Katandika in Manica Province where the family was working as tenants on a farm.

Last week a Malawian journalist working with Radio Mozambique in Maputo was the latest victim of the renewed hostilities between the two sides after he was attacked by people believed to be members of Renamo forces.

The journalist identified as Bright Sonjela was left severely injured after the attack which happened as he was trying to follow up on the killing of the three Malawians.

Renamo militia

Renamo militia

Sonjela in an interview with Malawi’s local daily paper confirmed both his attack and the killings.

However, spokesperson for Malawi’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Quent Kalichero said the Malawi government has not yet received information of any Malawian being victims of the unrest in Mozambique.

“We are closely monitoring the situation and our mission in Mozambique is doing a good job to update us on the situation but so far we have not received such reports,” Kalichero told The Nation.

But Sonjela said he was attacked on the Mozambique’s main highway the N1 Road between the towns of Muxungue and Save as he was travelling to investigate the death of the Malawians.

“Four people wearing Renamo uniform stopped me when I was gong to investigate the three Malawian killed. They took my car and money. Now am in Hospital receiving treatment,” he said.

He identified the Malawians as 36-year-old Jackson Mbwana who hails from Dzombe Village, T/A Makanjira in Monkey Bay, his wife Jandica Isumaila, 25 and their seven-year old son Rajabu Mbwana.

“It is believed that these people were killed on June 25 or thereabout. I went there on July 7 when I started investigating the matter and on Monday I went there again and its when I met my attackers,” said Sonjela.

Renamo’s complaints is that Frelimo has stacked the election commission in its favor to ensure another landslide victory for President Armando Guebuza’s party in a vote due in the second half of 2014.

The two sides have held two months of talks but made no headway.

For many of Mozambique’s 23 million people, the most serious Frelimo-Renamo friction in more than a decade has rekindled dark memories of the war, which left the country in ruins.

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