Violence and Arson in Bié

By Edú Wañgo: Bié province has been experiencing an escalation in violence during the election campaign. On August 21, traditional community leader (soba) Arão Massanga Simão was beaten and struck on the head with a machete. He had allowed a UNITA flag to be hoisted in the village of Muyumba, which falls under his jurisdiction. Located in Sachenomuna commune, in the municipality of Cuemba, the village has more than 6,000 inhabitants, half of whom are on the electoral register. “At around 2pm, four National Police officers, armed with PKMs, came to my house looking for me. I did nothing. One of them hit me on the head with the butt of his rifle”, said headman Simão. On the journey from his house to the police station, a fifteen-minute walk, the community leader explained that he was hit repeatedly with batons by the police officers, and was also struck on the […]

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Strike at Angolan National Radio

Angolan National Radio staffers are set to go on strike on Friday, August 24, after the expiration of a deadline for negotiations between the management and the workers. On May 24 this year, the local branch of the Angolan Journalists’ Union met with RNA employees, who collectively demanded a salary increase of around 300 percent, amongst other claims. The coordinator of the union committee, Luísa Rangel, highlighted the desperate situation of many RNA professionals. She recalled how her colleague, the reporter Luís Tara, had committed suicide a year ago. “He went and stabbed himself in front of the chairman of the board’s office, to draw attention to his unbearable situation as a result of the humiliating treatment by the management.” He was treated in hospital for the stab wounds, but then hung himself a few days later. Ms. Rangel noted how Mr. Tara “with more than 20 years of experience […]

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Land Rush End in Summary Trials

A rumour that the municipal administration of Cacuaco, Luanda, was to distribute land in the farming area known as Kilometre 30, resulted in almost 100 detentions and summary convictions by the Cacuaco municipal court on Monday, August 13. Maka Angola has confirmed that more than 40 people, 22 of them women, were sentenced individually to a suspended prison sentence of three months, converted to a 49,000 kwanza fine (US $490). The news that plots of land were to be allocated prompted multitudes of people to the area. But for no apparent reason, members of the National Police at the scene started arresting people at random. Roque Augusto, one of those present, explained that his family went to the site and claimed a plot in the zone that was supposedly being distributed. According to him, his family didn’t even occupy the plot. “Last Saturday, a large team from the National Police […]

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Kangamba: the MPLA Convicted Candidate

The kick-start of the ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), and president José Eduardo dos Santos campaign trail, on June 23, in the 11 de Novembro stadium, elicited the shadow and the real power of another dos Santos. Few people noticed it. On the stage erected outside the stadium, where several famous Angolan singers performed, and where the president was scheduled to address the crowds, another name was displayed on two huge posters on both sides of the stage: that of the controversial 47 year old political showman Bento Kangamba, whose real name is Bento dos Santos. The event was yet another masterful coup in the personal campaign of the self-proclaimed “businessman for youth” and president of Kabuscorp F.C. Bento Kangamba who is running for member of Parliament in the up-coming elections scheduled for August 31. The said candidate is the secretary of the MPLA’s provincial committee […]

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Low Batteries for Manuel Vicente in Malanje

By Ezequiel Fragoso   The campaign speech in Malanje August 11 by the MPLA’s vice-presidential candidate, Manuel Vicente, bore little relation to reality and found little favour with local MPLA activists. For several days, Angolan National Radio’s provincial outlet announced that more than 100,000 MPLA activists and friends of the party had been mobilised to attend Manuel Vicente’s rally on Saturday, at the former party’s fair in the Catepa neighbourhood of Malanje city. To accommodate the large crowd, the Malanje municipal administration demolished, last week, ten classrooms attached to the Feira Primary School. The provincial director of Education, Gabriel Alexandre Boaventura, told the press that the demolition was part of a previous project that “is in line with our plans since the beginning of the year”. The pupils are currently having a break from school because of the electoral period. Boaventura promised that another school, Patrice Lumumba, would be renovated […]

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The Presidency’s Assault on the Sick

By Alfredo Muvuma   On August 6, a young man, whose name Maka Angola withholds for safety reasons, burdened his family with a US$ 25,000 bill. The amount was to be paid to the Multiperfil Clinic in Luanda for three days of in-patient malaria treatment. The clinic was formally established in 2002 by the Council of Ministers, by Decree 33/02, for “the rendering of public services.” The same decree also assigned to the clinic the category of public institution, directly accountable to the government and the Presidency of the Republic. Through Resolution 09/02, president José Eduardo dos Santos granted his own office the power to directly oversee the clinic. More recently, in 2010, president Dos Santos certified Multiperfil Clinic as a body of the Military Bureau of the Presidency (Casa Militar), on the same level as the Presidential Security Unit (USP) and the Presidential Guard Unit (UGP). This powerful institution, […]

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Scuffles and Arrests During Electoral Campaign in Benguela

By António Capalandanda,   The National Police, arrested Calisto Kavoli, the municipal secretary of UNITA for the province of Benguela, during a dispute which took place last Friday, between militants from his party and MPLA supporters, over the placement of election posters in Benguela. At around 2 PM, a group of over 20 members of Revolutionary Youth of Angola (JURA), the youth branch of UNITA, approached the Rotunda da Cruz Vermelha [Red Cross Roundabout], in the city of Benguela, and began tearing up MPLA pamphlets there. According to a report printed in the officious Jornal de Angola, the first secretary of the MPLA in Benguela, Armando da Cruz Neto, “deplored the attitude of UNITA leaders and militants.” In a public event which took place on August 4, the MPLA leader and governor of Benguela said, referring to the occurrence: “I cannot believe that after 10 years of peace, there are […]

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General Paihama: the Regime’s Firebrand

By Nelson Sul d’Angola   As a member of the MPLA’s Political Bureau, General Kundi Paihama, presided over an electoral rally held in the Ombaka National Stadium in the province of Benguela on August 4. Since the first multi-party elections were held in 1992, it has always been General Paihama’s role to coordinate the MPLA’s election campaign in Benguela, due particularly to his inflammatory rhetoric. General Paihama, who is the minister for Former Combatants and War Veterans, incited an audience of over 30,000 people. He employed the type of language used in the civil war, and that of a constructive MPLA in contrast to a destructive UNITA. In his speech, the general made reference to the incident which took place last Friday, and which culminated in acts of physical violence by UNITA militants against the MPLA provincial delegate for Education, in a dispute over the placement of campaign banners and posters. […]

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Executive Jets for Manuel Vicente’s Wine

Carlos Duarte: The vice-presidential candidate, Manuel Vicente has expensive taste in fine wines and cognacs. From time to time, Manuel Vicente sends an executive jet to France and Portugal (the luxurious Falcon-900 or the sophisticated Falcon X-7) for the exclusive transportation of wine and cognac for his personal consumption. The flights are operated by VipAir, a company part owned by Sonangol, and no passengers are allowed to travel on those flights. Some recent examples highlight how the current minister of State for Economic Coordination and probable successor to José Eduardo dos Santos at the presidency of the republic and the MPLA, is completely indifferent to the living conditions of the majority of Angolan citizens, who don’t even have access to clean drinking water. In Paris, the crew of the Falcon-900, on a mission to collect wine and cognac for Manuel Vicente, was not allowed to transport a second VipAir crew […]

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Police Clamps Down War Veterans’ Protest

By Lázaro Pinduca,   On Friday morning, a powerful, combined unit composed of Rapid Response Police (PIR), regular police officers and members of the Intelligence and Security Services (SINSE), used violence to disperse a gathering of war veterans who were preparing to hold a protest march in the city of Lubango, Huíla province. During the event, the police arrested 14 protestors and a journalist who was covering the attempted peaceful protest. All of the detainees were released after some 10 hours in custody at the Lubango Police Municipal Command. The police and security forces, estimated at more than 150 officers in number, took up positions at the meeting point at around 5am. The forces initially advised the veterans, who began to converge on the location at around 6am, to leave the place of their own accord. Just before 8am, when their numbers had swelled to over 250, the intrepid veterans, […]

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