Chakussanga, 32, presenter of a weekly current affairs program on private Radio Despertar, was shot in his home in the Viana district of the capital, Luanda, according to local journalists and news reports. Money, a cell phone, a car, and other belongings appeared to be intact, although a tank of cooking gas was missing, Radio Despertar Editor-in-Chief Armando Ferramenta told CPJ.
Radio Despertar, which has ties to the opposition National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, had been critical of the government led by the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola. Chakussanga was the host of a call-in program in Umbundu, the language of the Ovimbundu, Angola’s largest ethnic group, whose central highland homeland is an opposition stronghold, according to local journalists. In January, he began airing discussions on “political and electoral education,” according to Ferramenta. In recent months, he reported to friends that he had received anonymous threatening phone calls and text messages, Ferramenta said.
No arrests were immediately made. Commenting on the murder at a September 7 press conference, ruling party spokesman Rui Falcão said “we have no idea what happened” but accused Radio Despertar of inciting civil disobedience in the region. Chakussanga was survived by a wife and four children, the youngest of whom was born on the day he was killed, Ferramenta said.