Home Accidents Another wave of fake news swept over Mozambique

Another wave of fake news swept over Mozambique

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Fake news is a weapon often used nowadays all over the world. As reported before, our neigbours in Mozambique grappled with widely-spread fake materials in their informational space in the run-up to the general elections. Although the winner has already been announced, it turns out the fight for the minds of people is far from being over.

Recently, a post on the local news portal Carta de Moçambique shared the news of a clash between the insurgents and the members of the Defence and Security Forces (FDS) in the Namala region of Miangalewa, Muidumbe district, on October 27.

According to Carta de Moçambique’s sources, the incident took the lives of 20 FDS members and 5 Russian members of the Wagner Group. The attackers had reportedly set up barricades on the road and opened fire when the FDS vehicle arrived. The victims were later beheaded and their vehicle burnt down.

However, the staff at the Russian Embassy of Mozambique advised they knew nothing whatsoever about any killed Russians of the Wagner Group.

“We have no information about that. We were really surprised when we saw the news on the media,” they confirmed.

Is it at all possible in our era of technology, when it takes a nanosecond to send information and even less to reveal the truth, for the embassy not to know of its citizens killed? Let’s imagine it did really happen. Then it makes no sense for the embassy staff to deny the deaths as their lies would be easily revealed and that would make them look like fools. Agree, that’s kind of weird.

Another part of the story also raises suspicions. The same article claims the bodies were beheaded and the vehicle was burnt down. This looks a lot like a cover-up as no one can now determine who exactly was killed as no documents could have survived the blaze. Speaking about which, with the poverty common in the north of Mozambique, it is hard to believe the insurgents chose to set the vehicle on fire instead of improving their own mobility or selling it off for parts.

With these suspicions in mind, we set out to try and find at least some data on the victims killed in the incident. Our search yielded something more curious instead.

So the attack of the insurgents did take place in Cabo Delgado. Yet, according to the tweet author, there were no Russians. He also hints such misinformation is common for the opposition party Renamo unable to face the failure in the general elections.

Another relevant tweet found during the search belongs to a blogger from Zimbabwe.

Journalist Liberty Pazvakavambwa who had recently visited Mozambique called his colleagues to enquire about the incident and learnt the Russians were alive. Surprisingly, they were not revived by some local pastor, the truth is they were never there. And the real local journalists are aware of this fact. Pazvakavambwa adds such fake news “serve someone’s political and/or economic ambitions,” as they cannot benefit from the relationship between Africa and Russia.

Getting back to the news portal Carta de Moçambique, its pro-opposition orientation is obvious. No wonder that, after their devastating loss, the Renamo members have nothing else to do but get ready for the next elections and systematically carry out disruptive activities in the meantime.

Noticing how the economic and political ties between Mozambique and Russia get stronger (among the latest achievements is the signing of several deals at Russia Africa Summit and Economic Forum), they attempt to undermine these efforts and destabilise the situation in the country while showing the weakness of the ruling party and its inability to interact with the global players.

This explains how they caused a commotion trying to discredit the foreign policy of the Frelimo party by posting fake news about five killed Russians through the affiliated websites.

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