…students were prevented from completing the training course
A document emanated from the Mozambican Police (PRM) has leaked in local media in early August allegedly revealed that 15 students had become pregnant at a police training school in Matalane, a district of Maputo province, Southern Africa.
The document states that the pregnancies resulted from the students’ sexual relations with their instructors, without specifying whether these relations were consensual.
Moreover, it states that pregnant students will not be able to complete the course at present, and will have their trips back to their home provinces paid for by the police and the instructors involved will be suspended.
When asked about the case by the newspaper O País on August 8, Police Commander General Bernardino Rafael said that those involved would face disciplinary proceedings.
Fátima Mimbire, a human right activist wrote on her Facebook handle:
“Treat the Matalane issue with the appropriate seriousness. I am heartbroken by this news of 15 pregnant students at the Matalane Training Centre. This is serious. It is serious because, as the document itself states, it involves the instructors.
Now, one person who holds authority over another gets them pregnant. This reminds me of the teacher who demanded sex from students in exchange for grades or not to be humiliated in class because, in the teacher’s view, they were dumb, instead of being prosecuted he was transferred to teach somewhere else. And there, he continues his exploits.” She continue.
“Blaming violence on women is a common practice in chauvinist/patriarchal societies, known for devaluing women and submission to the wishes of men, resulting in judgment about the victim’s conduct and minimizing the aggressor’s conduct.”
Statistics reveal that hundreds of girls get pregnant at school, some by tutors, teachers, headmasters”.
A petition is also running demanding punishment for the police officers involved. So far, over 3,800 people have signed it.
On August 19, President Filipe Nyusi finally spoke about the case, saying it will be investigated by the police, he said:
“For the government, this case is serious and is being investigated in detail at ministerial level and by the General Police Command of the Republic of Mozambique. The state should not and will not tolerate situations like this. The law must be upheld and it is the same for all of us. Nobody is above the law.
Investigations are underway to assess the details of each case, seeking to safeguard the psychological and emotional state of the pregnant women, because they deserve humane respect.”
Among the cases that have recently captured media attention is that of Alberto Niquice, deputy for the party Liberation Front of Mozambique (Frelimo), who’s facing criminal charges for raping a 13-year-old child in 2018.
Early this year, 30 Mozambican civil society organisations demanded the suspension of Niquice’s inauguration, who was re-elected in 2019. However, the deputy took office and is working as normal in the Assembly of the Republic.
Another case covered in the press was the case of domestic violence suffered by Josina Machel, daughter of Mozambique’s first president, Samora Machel.
In October 2015, Josina was assaulted by her partner of three years, Rofino Licuco, leaving her blind in one eye. Licuco was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months in prison, as well as to pay 300 million meticais (about US$4.2 million) in compensation to Josina.
However, Rofino appealed the sentence and, in June this year, the High Court of Appeals overturned it on the grounds that there was “insufficient evidence” in the case.