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Lunda Tchokwe's movement leader says he "is not on the run" but "fears for his life".

The president of the Movement of the Portuguese Protectorate Lunda Tchokwe (MPPLT), promoter of the demonstration in Cafunfo, which resulted in several deaths, told Lusa this Wednesday that "he is in Luanda" and "is not at large" but "fears for his life" due to "anonymous threats.

: José Mateus Zecamutchima
José Mateus Zecamutchima  

"I am not on the run, I was not contacted by the police, I did not run away, I am in Luanda and if you want to contact me you can do so, including my lawyer Salvador Freire," said José Mateus Zecamutchima, who for years has been defending autonomy in the eastern region of the country, rich in mineral resources.

According to the leader, elements assigned to the government are "wanting to find evidence to accuse the movement and its leaders.

According to the police, about 300 people linked to the MPPLT tried to invade, on Saturday, a police station in Cafunfo, Lunda Norte province, and in response, the forces of order and security killed six people.

The police version is countered by MPPLT leaders, opposition political parties, and local civil society who speak of more than a dozen dead.

The Interior Minister announced on Tuesday that José Mateus Zecamutchima has already been indicted by the courts for "mobilizing people to destabilize the eastern region," he was indicted in an already open criminal trial following the incident, "and the courts will deal with him.

"He will justify why he insists on creating situations of embarrassment in the eastern region, particularly in the province of Lunda Norte, what the objectives are, who's behind it and what's on his mind, to justify himself," Eugénio Laborinho said at a press conference.

"We have material evidence, and the other is the intent, the objectives of this rebellion. The processes are there, you will have the opportunity to see," he said.

This Wednesday, José Mateus Zecamutchima assured that "it is in Luanda and not in part uncertain", affirming that the movement that he leads "is not illegal and has exchanged various correspondence and offices with the Angolan Government, the National Assembly and the Ombudsman's Office.

For the MPPLT leader, the accusations against the movement stem from the fact that the authorities "do not want to assume the deaths", which in his accountancy are already 25, because "many bodies have begun to be discovered in ravines and wild places".

"And some of these bodies were thrown into the rivers," he pointed out.

José Mateus Zecamutchima, who says he fears for his life because he is "receiving anonymous calls with death and kidnapping threats," reported that he "is still searching" for possible members of the movement in the eastern region, also denying the presence of foreigners at the demonstration.

"There are people in the lundas who are Tchokwe, but do not speak Portuguese. If the country is under sanitary fence, due to the covid-19, with the closure of borders how would alleged foreigners from the DRCongo have gotten in here?" he questioned.

"Basically, the government just wants to find evidence to incriminate the members of our organization," he stressed, further arguing that the police "should also present for the demonstrators.


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