Mozambican police promoted while jailed for killing observer

MAPUTO, MOZAMBIQUE (AP) — Three Mozambican police officers accused of killing a leading election observer in October 2019 have been promoted, according to local media reports — despite two of them being in jail awaiting trial for the killing and one being on the run.

The two jailed men told a judge in a pre-trial hearing that they had been promised promotions by superiors as reward for killing Anastacio Matavele in Xai-Xai, capital of Gaza province, ahead of nationwide elections on October 15, 2019.

Matavele was shot dead by a gang of five men on October 7, 2019.

Two of the suspects died in a car crash when they attempted to get away and two others — Edson Silica and Euclidio Mapulasse — were arrested, and one, Agapito Matavele, is in hiding and wanted by the police.

According to documents signed by the Mozambique’s chief of police on December 27, 2019 and obtained by the Maputo-based newspaper Savana, Silica was promoted to Sub-Inspector of police, and Matavele and Mapulasse to Sergeant.

Silica and Mapulasse told a judge that they had been promised promotions, rather than cash, for killing the observer, Savana reported on Friday.