Mozambique's opposition Renamo spokesman arrested

Mozambican opposition party, Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) spokesperson Antonio Muchanga, gives a press conference at the Party National Headquarters in Maputo on October 16, 2014 (AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia)

Maputo (AFP) - Mozambique police arrested Tuesday a senior official of Renamo, the country's largest opposition party, on charges of inciting violence amid renewed political tension between the former rebel group and government.

"Antonio Muchanga was arrested this morning at a gas station" in Matola, a town on the outskirts of the seaside capital Maputo, police spokesman Orlando Mudumane told AFP.

Muchanga, the Renamo party spokesman, is accused of making speeches "inciting violence" and for organising an "illegal demonstration" after Renamo staged countrywide protests at the weekend.

The demonstrations were sparked by last week's confirmation by an electoral court that the long-ruling Frelimo party had won October presidential and legislative polls.

Despite the electoral authorities' ruling, Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama has refused to accept the results and threatened to create a parallel government.

Muchanga, also a member of the legislature, had already been arrested in July, also for allegedly inciting violence. He was released six weeks later following the adoption of an amnesty law as part of peace talks between the government and Renamo.

On Monday, he told reporters that Renamo lawmakers would boycott both the national and provincial parliaments.

The provincial assembly was due to be sworn in on January 7 and the national assembly on January 12.

Renamo and Frelimo fought a 16-year civil war that ended with a peace deal in 1992, but Renamo took to the bush again in late 2012 to wage a new low-level insurgency in the centre of the country.

That instability ended with a ceasefire agreement signed on September 5.