Mozambique’s Interior Minister, Pascoal Ronda, has called for a multisectoral approach geared to tackle the scourge of kidnappings.
Speaking on Wednesday in the parliament, Ronda said that the country needed a reflection on kidnappings comprising not only the National Criminal Investigation Service (SERNIC) and the police (PRM), but also the judiciary, the Attorney-General Office (PGR), members of parliament and government.
The proposal seems to be yet another strategy hatched by the crime syndicates which tentacles extend from the underworld to the judiciary, policy and politics, aimed at buying time, especially at the end of a political cycle, to strengthen themselves and compromise new political actors.
There are questions that help understand how criminal syndicates are deeply embedded in the law enforcement agencies, to which there have been no answers, namely why police keep fighting the SERNIC, which has the mandate to investigate crime. Often police appear to try to overshadow SERNIC, with police spokesperson giving briefings explaining the steps the investigation is taking, which is criticised as underhanded tactics to warn the criminals.
This always begs the question why the police would give the press information of an operational nature; what legal basis gives police power of investigation; why SERNIC never talks about kidnappings; why the PGR has created an organised crime unit and what does it do; where is the anti-kidnappings task force that police General-Commander, Bernardino Rafael, promised in November 2021.
What emerges is a pattern of institutional sabotage. When there is growing opposition to the inertia of the authorities in solving kidnappings crime, somebody invariably suggests this type of multisectoral solution; and when internal capacity is beefed up, one organisation embarks on a solo and fragmenting proposal.
The fact is that ultimately nothing is done. The process is managed by internal tentacles of obscure interests and the crime syndicates get back in the driver seat.
And President Filipe Nyusi is dragged into the misleading discourse of statistics, as if crime belonged in the productive sector. “Kidnappings are down,” he says. Is that so, Mr President? Who in their right mind believe this?
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