Political Analysis of Mozambique

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11. Conclusions
Looking at the path trodden so far, one easily concludes that it is not easy to reach definitive conclusions or peremptory value judgments about the current political situation in Mozambique. However, based on the various information gathered above, it may be concluded that:

  • There seems to exist a kind of tacit public consensus, both on the side of the government authorities, and that of other stakeholders, in following the path of democratic construction in Mozambique, though they interpret in different ways the forms and priorities of this construction; that is, all the stakeholders, although they differ in their perspectives, agree that the democratic system is the only path for solving all problems, in the medium and long term;

  • Since the electoral victory of Armando Guebuza, as the new President of the Republic, there seems to be a kind of new institutional vigour, with several leaders of the state and of the ruling party showing greater public concern with questions of governance, the fight against corruption, and greater links between the government and the rural population, which does not yet mean that there are concrete results from this involvement;

  • On the other hand, there is a certain scepticism and a generalised feeling that the country is returning to working methods from the time of the one party state;

  • The electoral system in place, while it draws criticism from certain segments of society who consider it unjust, is tolerated by other segments who regard it as a necessary evil in consolidating the construction of the state;

  • Various stakeholders do not look enthusiastically on the electoral reforms under way, since they fear they will be useless given the prevailing climate of impunity for those who break the law in Mozambique; which means that it is not the laws which are insufficient. It is the impunity when they are not observed which is in question. Thus apart from reforming the laws, above all the attitude of the institutions which ought to implement the laws should be reformed;

  • The political space which is legally guaranteed to the various stakeholders does not necessarily mean the exercise of political pluralism, since factors linked to material poverty and to the incipient political culture do not guarantee that they can be made full use of;

  • The movement of civil society that has come to the fore in recent years shows a great potential which should be encouraged so as to overcome the weaknesses still visible in some organisations (related to questions of internal governance, leadership, etc). There is a vast field that civil society is now filling in its dialogue with the government at various levels, but there is much space for growth;

  • While some reforms of the judiciary will begin to have a public impact shortly, the deeper changes in the sector could still take a long time, since they require more investment in the training of staff, building of infrastructures, greater adaptation of the justice services to the country’s socio-cultural reality and, above all, greater independence of the system from the executive; that is, the judicial system, in order to be credible for all, should free itself in fact from politico-ideological dependence on the executive, through actions that are concrete, public and visible to all;

  • While it is true that there are beginning to be signs of some government interest in understanding the scale of the corruption problem, it is also true that to advance in the true combat against this evil, more political will must be shown in the effective application of existing legislation on this matter. There must also be concrete judicial acts giving public signs of a general commitment of the institutions against corruption; that is, what has been done so far is good, but it is insufficient to demonstrate the real political will of the government to do away with corruption. It is necessary that some concrete cases of senior members of the executive caught in the webs of corruption be pursued to the end, whatever the consequences. Furthermore, the public sector reform should pass from the phase of diagnosis to that of cure – that is, the implementation of concrete measures that really do reform the public administration in Mozambique. It is intended to shift from a bureaucratic public administration to a managerial public administration oriented towards the efficient, timely and rational satisfaction of the citizen’s needs.

  • Mozambique seems to possess sufficient legislation30 to reach acceptable standards of transparency, accountability and prevention of conflicts of interest. It seems that the problem does not lie in producing more legislation. The problem is in enforcing, efficiently, the existing legislation.

12. Reasons for optimism or pessimism?
There are no reasons for pessimism. There are good reasons for optimism, but internally the country needs to:

  • The national capacity to produce consumer goods and exports;

  • Efficient use of natural resources to generate jobs for the population;

  • Universal education as a factor to reduce poverty in the long term;

  • Construction and improvement of economic and social infrastructures;

  • Research into alternative sources of energy;

  • Gender balance as a factor of social equality that promotes development;

  • Greater incentives to national and foreign investment;

  • Increased political dialogue for conflict resolution;

  • Electoral transparency and democracy as a way of preventing conflicts;

  • Remove the sovereign bodies (courts, prosecutors, police, army) from political party dominance in order to ensure greater democracy and social harmony;

  • Build parliament’s capacity as a central democratic institution;

  • Independence of the judiciary as a source of juridical security for citizens.


  • Generalised corruption in the public administration;

  • Party dominance in sovereign bodies (courts, prosecutors, police, army);

  • Electoral fraud and/or attempted fraud;

  • Economic exclusion and marginalisation on the basis of political colours;

  • Stigmatisation and demonisation of political adversaries;

  • The pace of spread of HIV/AIDS;

  • Red tape and slowness in the public administration.

Make use of:

  • The international environment that is still very favourable to Mozambique;

  • Progressive regional economic environment;

  • Peaceful political regional environment with links of friendship;

  • International institutions interested in lending money;

  • Foreign tourists interested in getting to know the country;

  • Foreign investors interested in putting their money here.


  • Complacency, friendship and/or ambiguity towards dictatorial governments (e.g. Zimbabwe);

  • Complacency, friendship and/or ambiguity towards governments that sponsor international terrorism;

  • Complacency or ambiguity towards trafficking in drugs, weapons, people, and organized crime in general.

Bibliographical references

  • Constituição da República de Moçambique (2005) (Constitution of the Republic of Mozambique): Imprensa Nacional de Moçambique.

  • Plano Quinquenal do Governo (2005-2009), (Government Five Year Plan) Maputo.

  • PARPA (2001-2005), Maputo.

  • Santos, Boaventura de Sousa & Trindade, João Carlos (org) (2003), “Conflito e transformação social em Moçambique: A Paisagem das Justiças em Moçambique”, (Conflict and social transformation in Mozambique: The landscape of plural justice in Mozambique), Lisboa, Edições Afrontamento.

  • Mosse, Marcelo (2004), “Corrupção em Moçambique: Alguns elementos para debate” (Corruption in Mozambique: Some elements for debate), Maputo.

  • AWEPA, Boletim sobre o Processo Político em Moçambique(Mozambique Political Process Bulletin) n.32, 15 July 2005, Maputo.

  • Weekly paper SAVANA, issue of 25 November 1994, Maputo.

  • National Basic Survey on Governance and Corruption (2005), Maputo.

  • Boletim Informativo do Tribunal Supremo (Supreme Court Information Bulletin) (2005), Volume I, Número I, Maputo.

  • Hanlon Joseph (2005), “Ventos de mudança sem clara direcção” (Winds of change with no clear direction), Boletim da AWEPA número 32, Maputo.

  • Ética Moçambique (2001): “Estudo sobre a Corrupção” (Study on corruption), Maputo.

  • Ética Moçambique (2003): “Principais Resultados do Estudo Sobre Boa Governação” (Main Results of the Study on Good Governance), Maputo.

  • Frelimo (2005): “Proposta de Revisão da Legislação Eleitoral” (Proposed Amendments to the Electoral Legislation), Maputo.

  • Renamo (2005): “Proposta de Revisão da Legislação Eleitoral”. (Proposed Amendments to the Electoral Legislation)

  • Sitoe, Eduardo (2004): “Os Custos da Liberdade de Imprensa” (The Costs of Press Freedom), Maputo.

  • Law 4/90, of 26 September, Maputo.

  • Decree 55/2000, of 27 December, Maputo.

  • Law 7/98, of 15 July, Maputo.

  • Decree 48/2000, of 5 December, Maputo.

  • Law 6/2004, of 17 June, Maputo.

List of persons interviewed

  • Chairperson of the Legal Reform Technical Unit

  • Secretary-General of the Assembly of the Republic

  • Vice-Chancellor of the Pedagogic University

  • Head of the Renamo-Electoral Union Parliamentary Group

  • Secretary of the Frelimo Central Committee

  • President of the PDD

  • President of PIMO

  • President of PARENA

  • Member of the Frelimo Central Committee

  • National Coordinator of LINK

  • Executive Director of CEDE

  • President of the Human Rights League

  • Executive Director of MISA-Mozambique

  • Executive Editor of TVM

  • Representative of the Association of Journalistic Companies (AEJ)

  • Member of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Church

  • Interim Director of AMODE

  • UNDP Information and Communication officer

  • Representative of DFID

  • Ambassador of Spain

  • Archbishop of Beira

  • Ex-Chairperson of the Sofala Provincial Elections Commission

  • Former Frelimo first secretary in Beira City

  • Head of the Renamo Group in the Beira Municipal Assembly

  • Mayor of Beira

1 Aldo Ajello, the then Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General, stressed this in an interview given to the paper SAVANA, on 25 November 1994.

2 In the Ministry of the Interior, the audit into the management of the former minister discovered that more than 26 billion meticais was missing.

3 Cases against the former ministers of Education, Alcido Nguenha, and of the Interior, Almerino Manhenje, have been formally delivered to the Supreme Court for criminal proceedings.

4 As Joseph Hanlon wrote in Bulletin number 32 of AWEPA, June 2005.

5 Some, such as PIMO leader Yáqub Sibindy, suggest there should be state resources or that donors should finance the regular activity of parties.

6 At electoral moments, the opposition normally accuses SISE agents of inciting the public against militants of the opposition and especially against Renamo members.

7 Dom Jaime Gonçalves was one of the main mediators of the General Peace Agreement for Mozambique, signed in Rome on 4 October 1992. He is one of the voices in the Mozambican catholic church that is most critical of the government.

8 Several interviewees from Frelimo asked that their names not be cited, above all when they expressed individual positions different from the positions of their party.

9 On 1 August 2005, the two parliamentary groups deposited their proposals for amending the package of electoral legislation with the Ad-Hoc Commission set up by Parliament for this purpose.

10 The 5% threshold, agreed by the Government and Renamo during the Rome peace talks, is seen by the opposition and by civil society as a factor that hinders political pluralism in the Mozambican parliament.

11 Some civil society voices suggest that 4 October should be not only the day of peace, but also the institutionalized date on which elections are held.

12 The AWEPA Bulletin is regarded as a very credible source in almost all national political circles particularly because it possesses the broadest network of correspondents of any Mozambican media in the country, although often the parties don’t agree with it.

13 Maria José Moreno is the first Mozambican women to lead a parliamentary group.

14 During the campaign for the 2004 general elections, some Mozambican NGOs closed their offices, because most of their leaders were involved in campaign activities.

15 Álvaro Casimiro is the current national coordinator of LINK.

16 Most of the private Mozambican papers are the property of the journalists themselves, who set up companies, often with no prior business experience, or any basic accounting training for them to understand about management.

17 In fact, Ernesto Gouveia Gove (Chairman of the Board of Notícias) is also Deputy Governor of the Bank of Mozambique). Albino Francisco Fragoso Magaia, member of the board, was the delegate of the extinct Ministry of Information to Sociedade de Notícias between 1992 and 1994. Bernardo Cumaio, member of the board, is also one of the directors of EMOSE.

18 The Misa-Moçambique report on the state of press freedom expresses serious concern that the community radios in some districts, such as Angónia and Mutarara, in Tete, and Mocuba in Zambézia are being used as government propaganda instruments.

19 See Boaventura de Sousa Santos and João Carlos Trindade (Org) in “Conflito e transformação social: Uma Paisagem das Justiças em Moçambique” (2003), Edições Afrontamento, Lisbon

20 The new Constitution of the Republic was passed by parliament in late 2004, and came into effect on 21 January 2005

21 In Boletim Informativo (Information bulletin) of the Supreme Court, Volume 1, Number 1, 2005.

22 Mário Mangaze has been President of the Supreme Court since it was set up in 1989.

23 Mário Mangaze gave this speech at the opening ceremony for the 2005 judicial year, on 1 March 2005.

24 Ibid.

25 Abdul Carimo was a judge for 15 years. Now, as well as his post as chair of UTREL, he is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ethics-Mozambique, an anti-corruption NGO.

26 Words of Abdul Carimo.

27 This is the case with the Anti-Corruption Unit in the Attorney-General’s Office (PGR), which was regarded as less credible than the PGR itself.

28 This law was only regulated 10 years later, through Decree no. 55/2000, of 27 December, which means that it only took effect 10 years after it was passed.

29 The PAP partners are: Belgium, Denmark, European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Holland, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Britain, World Bank, Canada and Spain.

30 Mozambique possesses the law on the fight against corruption, law 6/2004; under way is a review of the law that regulates public procurement; the public finance management system is now functioning, among other instruments, which, if properly applied can bring significant changes to the management of public affairs.

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