Intelligence Officer Arrested in Connection with the Alleged Coup Plot

Captain Zenóbio Lázaro Muhondo Zumba, 34 years old, became the first collateral victim of searches being carried out by the Criminal Investigation Service (SIC) and by Intelligence Services on computers, writings and other documentation seized from the 15 people arrested for allegedly plotting a coup.

On June 30 past, the captain arrived at the headquarters of the Military Intelligence and Security Service (SISM), where he is an analyst at the Information and Analysis department attached to the General Staff of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA). He thought it was just another normal day at work.

According to information given by his wife, Suzana Zumba, members of the Military Police showed Captain Zumba a photograph of Lieutenant Osvaldo Caholo, who had been arrested at home on June 24. “Zenóbio said that he knew him, since they had both been classmates in the International Relations’ degree program in UTANGA [Technical University of Angola]”, according to  Suzana Zumba.

Then, Ms. Zumba continued: “they showed him a document that establishes a connection between the two of them. He [Captain Zenóbio] reported about his pursuit of a master’s degree in International Relations to the head of General Staff of the FAA.”

Also according to Ms Zumba’s statement, apparently Lieutenant Caholo had a digital copy of the referenced report on his computer, and it was sufficient cause for Captain Zenóbio Zumba to be arrested. This is how he was suspected of belonging to the alleged group of conspirators who, according to the accusation levelled by the Attorney General of the Republic, General João Maria de Sousa, were planning to overthrow president José Eduardo dos Santos. On June 20, 13 of the current detainees were arrested while in a book club discussing non-violent theories of protest, mainly inspired by Gene Sharp’s book From Dictatorship to Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation.

Since June 30, Captain Zenóbio Zumba has been detained in the headquarters of the Military Region of Luanda. According to Suzana Zumba, he strongly objects to the fact that he remains in detention even though the authorities have never issued a warrant for his arrest, nor has he been questioned by a military prosecutor.

“He [Captain Zenóbio] refused to be registered by the MP without being shown a warrant for his arrest.”

“Every time I raise this question with the lawyers who come here, they pay absolutely no attention to me because, according to them, I’m Zé Maria’s [head of the Military Intelligence and Security Service] prisoner, and there is no arrest warrant for me”, complains Captain Zenóbio Zumba, in a message which was seen by Maka Angola.

Captain Zenóbio Zumba was scheduled to travel to Argentina on July 10, where he is studying for a Masters Degree in International Relations at the University of Social and Business Science (UCES).
Up to the date of publication of this text, the captain has not been allowed to have visitors. His wife is only allowed to bring him food and water, since the army lacks the logistical means to feed its prisoners.

A source within the Military Police, contacted by this portal, anonymously confirmed that Captain Zenóbio Zumba was arrested due to “an order from General Zé Maria, with no other formal expedient for his arrest.”