Following an invitation from the Parliamentary Commission on Gender, Social Issues, Mass Media and Technology, EISA provided inputs to the process of their vision of the Press Law and drafting of the Broadcasting Bill.
EISA's inputs were limited to the relevance of the media as a core democratic pillar, and included suggesting the integration of some democratic principles that have been omitted or not clearly addressed, such as the right to airtime by parliamentary opposition parties in state and public media, the need for the regulation of political advertisement during electoral processes and the need for the establishment of an independent media regulator by a law from parliament rather than by government decree. A Policy Brief on the matter was produced by the EISA field office in Mozambique in March 2021 (See Oportunidade para os media moçambicanos se afirmarem como agentes de 'peace building'?/Opportunity for the Mozambican media to assert themselves as agents of 'peace building'?).
12 Mar 2020
To capture how political dynamics are reflected in the social media, in particular during the electoral campaign, EISA undertook a monitoring of selected social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and WhatsApp), with the assistance of Demos, a UK based work with considerable experience in social media monitoring in elections in countries like Nigeria and Kenya. The report was launched on 12 March in Maputo 2020, at an event attended by electoral stakeholders, media and the general public. EISA Mozambique will use the report findings in its programming process, since social media is of increasing importance when it comes to electoral integrity.
EISA identified CSOs partners with whom we will work with and support for the 2019 electoral processes, namely the Association for Development and Society (ADS), which works in partnership with the Catholic Church of Mozambique; Solidariedade Moçambique; Sociedade Aberta; Civil Society Capacity Building and Learning Centre (CESC).
In accordance with EISA's policy, each organisation underwent a due diligence process, which will inform the scope of collaboration with them. EISA Head Office facilitated training on the EISA financial reporting requirements with the organisations.
On 5 August 2019, EISA organised an international conference on Media, Fake News, Disinformation and Cybersecurity in the Context of Elections, in partnership with the Mozambican chapter of the Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA), attended by CNE, Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration (STAE), political parties, journalists, government representatives, MPs, human rights activists, and others.
Experiences were shared by the Electoral Court of South Africa and by the African Court of Human and Peoples Rights. Although Mozambican elections to date have not clearly and expressly been affected by for example, cyberattacks, this was an important discussion to have and to raise awareness around these issues. Relevant stakeholders indicated a willingness to put in place protective measures, taking into account fundamental rights like freedom of expression/speech.
Around 300 journalists from the 11 provinces of Mozambique benefitted from seven workshops in which EISA facilitated sessions related to the constitution and electoral laws, the role of the media in a democracy and the media as a platform to level the political field (see also Manual para a Cobertura Jornalística das Eleições em Moçambique). Two workshops were organised for each of the three geographic regions (South, Central and North) of Mozambique. In addition, a national training event was convened, particularly for editors. Three of the regional events was a response to an invitation by SIDA to facilitate sessions on electoral laws and political processes in general, with focus on the 2019 general and provincial elections, for SEKELEKANI, a local organisation funded by SIDA.
In collaboration with Radio Mozambique, the national public radio service, EISA trained more than a hundred journalists in all 10 provinces on the electoral legal framework and election coverage and reporting.
EISA Mozambique trained 15 local journalists on election day procedures and election results analysis for the second round of the by-election.
EISA Mozambique also trained 15 local journalists on election day procedures and election results analysis for the second round of the by-election.
EISA also produced handbooks on electoral legislation, in English and Portuguese. It was widely distributed to both citizen and international observers as well as to political parties. The National Electoral Commission disseminated it to its staff throughout the country.
A common practice that has attracted the attention of civil society and the media has been the misuse of public resources to support political party campaigns. This not only creates significant unfair advantages for incumbents, but is also corruption since public resources are misappropriated. To address the issue EISA collaborated with the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa and the Open Society Justice Initiative to implement a regional project in the SADC aimed at raising the awareness of the use of public resources for campaign purposes and this was piloted in Mozambique. EISA field monitors administered a questionnaire intended to collect raw data on the issue of the (mis)use of state resources for electioneering purposes during the 2004 elections. The report, Monitoring of the Use of Public Resources during the 2004 Campaign, was published by EISA in 2005.