Leaked Internal Document: Mozambican Police Commander Claims Force is ‘Infested With Criminals’

An Interior Ministry document signed by Bernadino Rafael, General Commander of the Mozambican police force, dated May 9th, and leaked to independent outlet ‘Carta de Mozambique’ has brought to light the existence of criminal elements within the Mozambican police force. 

What You Need to Know

The document, titled, ‘Ministry of the Interior, General Command of The PRM (Mozambique Republic Police), Office of the Commander: Instruction No.05/CGPRM/GCG/100/2024’ states, “Recently, the General Command of the PRM has noted with the greatest concern the occurrence of crimes involving members of the PRM, practiced with the use of firearms, notably robberies and kidnappings.”

The document then lays out Commander Rafael’s recommendations, “Therefore, with a view to ensuring an in-depth and comprehensive analysis of this phenomenon, I instruct the Branches, Directorates of the PRM General Command, PRM Provincial Commands, Police Education Establishments and Special and Reserve Forces Units to carry out a reflection on the causes of PRM members’ involvement in criminal acts and present recommendations for resolving the problem.” 

Commander Rafael has given the Branches 30 days to complete a ‘reflection’ and return any findings. 

The Details

Corruption in Mozambique has continued to be a Major issue since independence, with the Global Organized Crime Index stating, “State-embedded actors in Mozambique are involved in a significant number of illicit economies, providing protection to criminal enterprises in exchange for bribes. The ruling party tends to be reactive rather than proactive towards criminal entrepreneurship, allowing for high-level state corruption and virtual impunity for politicians accused of corrupt relationships with criminal traders.”

“Officers of the Mozambican police are frequently accused of extorting money from civilians and tourists, while military personnel in Cabo Delgado have been accused of extorting displaced persons,” the Index claims. 

In addition, a 2023 Afrobarometer survey found that 55 percent of Mozambican’s believed that ‘most’ or ‘all’ police officers in the country were corrupt.

An additional 51 percent of citizens stated that when they requested assistance from the police they were ordered to pay a bribe.

So, What Now?

A weak judicial system, rampant corruption among the ruling party, and minimal wages for police all contribute to Mozambique’s security problems, with little being done to adequately tackle the issue; as seen in Commander Rafael’s latest address to the government and security sector. 

Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger is a Political Science Graduate from the University of Otago, New Zealand. Currently working as an Editor for The ModernInsurgent and writing for Atlas News, her interests include conflict politics, history, yoga and meditation.

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