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The BBC's Greg Barrow in Johannesburg
"Mozambique has lost one of its most courageous and critical voices"
 real 28k

Thursday, 23 November, 2000, 10:18 GMT
Top Mozambican journalist murdered
Mozambican capital, Maputo
Cardoso was gunned down outside his office in Maputo
A leading political journalist in Mozambique has been shot dead outside his offices in the capital, Maputo.

Carlos Cardoso, a proment white Mozambican, was the editor of the influential daily news sheet, Metical, which specialised in investigating corruption.

He (Cardoso) fought against corruption and organised crime. His voice has been silenced.

Prime Minister Pascoal Mocumbi
Nearly 15 minutes after speaking to the BBC on Wednesday, Mr Cardoso left his offices and, according to eyewitnesses, was shot dead by gunmen who surrounded him after arriving in two cars.

Mr Cardoso, 49, had been the director of the state news agency, but left in 1994 to found the country's first independent news sheet.

The government has promised a full investigation.

Cardoso's legacy

Eyewitnesses said two cars blocked his way and gunmen fired 10 shots, killing the journalist and wounding his driver, Carlos Fabiao who was admitted to hospital with serious head injuries.

Prime Minister Pascoal Mocumbi said he was saddened by the news saying "to kill a journalist was to kill the fight for truth".

"I'm deeply shocked at his assassination," Mr Mocumbi said in a statement.

"He fought against corruption and organised crime. His voice has been silenced... Mozambique has lost one of its most active journalists. It's a loss for the country and the media."

Mr Cardoso had a reputation for independence and was fiercely critical of both the governing Frelimo party and the opposition Renamo Party.

He was probably the most prominent independent journalist in Mozambiqe's modern history.

Investigation call

An opposition Renamo spokesman has also mourned the murder of Mr. Cardoso saying Moambique has lost one of its most courageous and critical voices.

The shooting comes at a time of heightened political tension in Mozambique with Renamo making veiled threats about returning the country to civil war.

All sides are calling for a swift investigation to identify the perpetrators of this crime and end speculation about potential political motives for Mr Cardoso's murder.

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