The interior minister of Mozambique this Wednesday (02-09) promised to apply exemplary disciplinary measures to officials at the Police Practical School guilty of impregnating trainees.
Speaking to the press after a public event in the province of Inhambane, southern Mozambique, Interior Minister Amade Miquidade said that internal investigations indicated that one instructor and a corporation security officer had got two of the police candidates at the school pregnant.
“Exemplary disciplinary measures will be applied to discourage others from opting for this practice, considering that there is a code of conduct that must be observed,” the minister said.
The case was made public in July of this year, when an order from the Mozambican police commander-general, Bernardino Rafael, initiating disciplinary proceedings against instructors at the Matalane Police Practical School, Maputo province, on suspicion of having impregnated young people during training, became public.
The document reveals Rafael as ordering the suspension of the instructors and the return of at least 15 young women to their homes while pregnant, pending their return to training after childbirth.
In the scope of the investigation carried out by the Ministry of the Interior, Amade Miquidade said, it was found that, of the 15 young women, only two had become pregnant from relationships with superiors (the instructor and security agent). Eleven had fallen pregnant by partners outside the school while taking the course, and the other two through relationships with colleagues.
“Regarding these, as they were acts of their own free will, we leave it to the young women and their families to decide. There was no intervention of a disciplinary nature. They [the young women] should just wait for when they are able to [re-]enter the centre next year, and complete the course,” Miquidade outlined.
The case prompted indignation on social networks, with Mozambican civil society organizations demanding accountability.
Speaking to Lusa, Mozambican ombudsman Isaque Chande took a similar line.
“This is a major setback in the lives of these girls and their families, who normally place hope in their children. I believe that many of them come from poor families. It is very unfortunate, because when this happens, we are constraining the girls’ future,” Chande declared.
Source: Deutsche Welle/ Miramar