Messages exchanged in the WhatsApp group "Supervisors of Beira" and in Ribáuè and Matola show how to manipulate the registration equipment, and are being used to prevent voter registration in areas with a significant number of opposition voters.
WhatsApp messages between supervisors and the STAE district director in Beira allow us to conclude that a large part of the breakdowns are manipulated because the pattern of breakdowns follows the following orientation:
For example, Supervisor Linete asks her colleagues to standardize their techniques for handling the machines. She asks them to follow the technique she is using, informing undocumented voters that "the machine does not recognize witnesses and ballots, it is the machine's system" and not her. Then the voter has no choice but to give up, aware that "the problem is the machine" and not the supervisor.
Another inspector explains the other technique he uses: "at the end of each citizen's registration, the computer first asks to record. Once the registration is finished, the next step is to print, just double-click on the image that appears in the corner." They don't explain what happens after the double click, but it is certainly a technique that benefits Frelimo, because in the following comment, Supervisor José acknowledges that "your experience is good, and thanks to that double click we are reaching one hundred and something (voters)."
The third technique is explained by supervisor JB when he states that after the Frelimo inspectors, with whom he coordinates, warned him that the largest number of voters in line "was not ours," "I turned off the machine and only started operating it again when the situation benefited us. He acknowledges that he made the decision unilaterally, which could have cost him dearly. But "fortunately we now have that support" from the director.
Zília Nagimo has a different technique from the other supervisors: "In our station, when it's ours (referring to a Frelimo voter), we watch in silence: the supervisor and the operator, or the two operators, which is me and the typist, so as not to show off" as the opposition.
The district director of STAE in Beira congratulates his colleagues, whom he calls "family," because "the enemy [the opposition] is already afflicted, but it is necessary to continue to attack. And he orders the supervisors to "only accept witnesses and ballot papers" if this is to benefit Frelimo. In response, JB again confirms, "So if it is to favor our people, I will resume the practice." Supervisor JB thanked his director for his guidance and said, "It was worth the endorsement (of the director), because in fact I had already stopped accepting witnesses [to identify the people who register, as the law allows] after I saw that the only ones who brought people without documents were the MDM and Renamo inspectors and the neighborhood, unit, and block secretaries," who in Beira are MDM, not Frelimo. According to Supervisor JB, the secretaries of neighborhoods, units, and blocks "were almost already camped outside the registration post.
He announced that, in addition to having abolished, on his own initiative, the witnesses and the ballot papers, he had also taken another decision to prevent the registration of opposition voters: to reject the voter cards of individuals from outside Beira. He only accepted them if they were to benefit Frelimo.
JB proudly reports to the group that "The enemy has already realized that in my post it is impossible, so much so that the flooding has subsided and I have noticed the influx of residents from the constituency."
In another communication, JB informs the director that the floods are decreasing because they [opposition voters] have already realized that they are not going to register through these two ways [witnesses and notes]" and launches a suggestion to his director: "but we can relax, because we have sure information that the floods will start again, but this time they will bring an ID application receipt. So they are asking for IDs in droves. The enemy is cunning."
The blocking of opposition voters eventually also affected Frelimo voters, who were confused with those of the opposition parties. This worried supervisor Mateus Capondo, who alerted others to reinforce collaboration with Frelimo party inspectors.
"You have supervisors who are rotating comrades in the census posts because of lack of knowledge of where they come from and also I think because of lack of communication," reveals Mateus Capondo who reports having received "five comrades who left from another post."
"This kind of incident can happen" because "in this kind of cleanup [of opposition voters], one is always going to get away, especially when the supervisor doesn't know ours in the area where he is based." And he suggests that "you have to communicate a lot with the supervisor and pay close attention." He warns that this exercise "is not easy, but it is possible."
Gisela Patrício developed the technique of "sleeping on the computer". But, before explaining what the technique consists of, she says that "in the first few hours," her registration post "was "full" or in a group in our favor, but around 2 pm the scenario changed" and the line was full of opposition voters. To block them out, "I asked the inspector to go out and check the line to make sure if they were ours or not." The inspector complied. When he returned, the inspector informed the supervisor that "most of them were not ours." So "I had the typist sleep on the computer. I mean, taking longer to register a voter, even though I knew there were one and other of us in line." In the end, he says he asked the inspector to go and identify "our comrades to come tomorrow at the first hour."
He ends the message by saying that the technique had an effect because "in my post, many people return (home) without registering. And he swears that if it is to help Frelimo "I will do it as many times as necessary.
In addition to this technique, in other posts, in some districts, mobiles were allegedly malfunctioning when, in fact, they were fully operational. They were used in the dead of night to register voters. The most obvious case occurred in the district of Ribáuè, where two machines from the town hall posts were removed to register residents from outside the municipality boundaries. The supervisors claimed that the two machines were broken and that the brigade had stopped registering for a week due to alleged malfunctions in the machines. A similar scenario occurred in the city of Matola, where the machines were reported broken when in fact they were being used during the night, until about 11 pm, and on several days. (cipeleições)