Mysterious fire guts Mozambican investigative publication

AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER

A mysterious fire that destroyed the equipment of a privately-owned Mozambican investigative publication has not stopped it from meeting its next deadline.

Unknown assailants, suspected to be estate agents, set fire to the office of Canal de Mocambique, a media outlet that has been critical of and angered the Mozambican government when it published confidential documents.

Soon after the fire destroyed computers and other equipment, good samaritans donated new equipment and the journalists were able to set up offices under a tent and work.

“All newspaper equipment was completely burned down but this morning people came over and donated some computers, desks, plastic chairs and the team promptly resumed work right there on the street. Tomorrow’s deadline will be met,” said journalist Erik Chakras.

The arson attack has been denounced by journalists, The African Editors Forum (TAEF) and human rights by journalists and rights groups.

TAEF chairperson Jovial Rantao condemned the attack, praised the good samaritans who donated equipment and called on the Mozambican authorities to investigate the crime.

The Centre for Democracy and Development said: “This attack represents a serious blow to the freedom of the press, one of the foundations of democracy.” 

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