Veteran Mozambican journalist, editor, and commentator João Chamusse was killed at his home on December 14, 2023. (Photo: Esmerelda Amaral)

CPJ calls for a thorough investigation into killing of Mozambican journalist João Chamusse

New York, December 14, 2023—The Committee to Protect Journalists calls for authorities in Mozambique to thoroughly investigate the killing of journalist João Chamusse outside his home his home in KaTembe, in the province of Maputo, on Thursday.

“CPJ is deeply disturbed by the killing of prominent Mozambican journalist João Chamusse, and we extend our condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues,” said Muthoki Mumo, CPJ’s sub-Saharan Africa representative, in Nairobi. “Mozambican authorities should urgently and credibly investigate Chamusse’s killing and its motive, and ensure that those responsible are held accountable.”

Chamusse, co-owner and editor of privately owned online daily newspaper Ponto Por Ponto, was found dead on the morning of December 14 by neighbors who heard him scream for help during the night, according to Luis Nhachote, a local journalist and former colleague and friend of Chamusse, who went to the scene and spoke with Chamusse’s neighbors. Chamusse had a wound to his head and a machete and gardening hoe were found on the ground, Ponto Por Ponto co-owner Esmeralda Amaral, who also went to the scene, told CPJ. The Mozambique chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), a regional press freedom group, condemned the killing. 

CPJ’s calls and messages to Bernardino Rafael, general commander of the police, received no response. 

In addition to his work for Ponto Por Ponto, which covered alleged corruption and local politics, Chamusse contributed commentary critical of the government on programming aired by the privately owned TV Sucesso broadcaster, according to MISA and the U.S.-Congress funded VOA Português. Previously, he co-founded the weekly Canal de Moçambique newspaper and worked as a reporter at Mediafax newspaper, edited by journalist Carlos Cardoso who was murdered for his journalism in 2000.

Another Mozambican journalist, Paulo Machavo, was killed in 2015, but CPJ has not yet determined whether his death was related to his work.

Editor’s note: This text has been updated to correct the location of Chamusse’s home in the first paragraph and the spelling of Nhachote’s name in the third paragraph.