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Note: This document is from the archive of the Africa Policy E-Journal, published by the Africa Policy Information Center (APIC) from 1995 to 2001 and by Africa Action from 2001 to 2003. APIC was merged into Africa Action in 2001. Please note that many outdated links in this archived document may not work.

Mozambique: Recent Documents, 1
Any links to other sites in this file from 1995 are not clickable,
given the difficulty in maintaining up-to-date links in old files.
However, we hope they may still provide leads for your research.
Mozambique: Recent Documents, 1
Date Distributed (ymd): 951206

Excerpts from Issue 16 - December 1995

Edited by Joseph Hanlon.  Published by AWEPA, the European
Parliamentarians for Southern Africa, Prins Hendrikkade 48,
1012 AC Amsterdam, Netherlands. Tel: (31) 20 626 66 39; Fax:
(31) 20 622 01 30; e-mail:  Material may
be freely reprinted.

The following are excerpts from a much longer document, with
some sections rearranged for greater readability.  For a
complete copy by e-mail (50K+ total), contact For the printed version contact AWEPA at
the address above. The AWEPA office in Maputo is moving to:
Rua Licenciado Coutinho 77 (CP 2648) e-mail: Tel +258 (1) 41 86 03 Fax +258 (1) 41 86


Mozambique has become the 53rd member of the Commonwealth,
and is the first country to be admitted which is not a
former British colony. But all of its neighbours are
members, and they pushed Mozambique's application. The
Commonwealth has had an aid programme with Mozambique since
independence to compensate for attacks by two renegade
members of the Commonwealth, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and
South Africa.


The red carpet has been rolled out for former backers of the
opposition. James Blanchard III and the daughters of Jorge
Jardim have met with President Joaquim Chissano and been
encouraged to invest in Mozambique.  Blanchard, a right-wing
US businessman who was one of Renamo's biggest private
backers in the 1980s, is planning to take over the Maputo
Elephant Reserve and the adjoining Machangula peninsula for
a major tourist development. Meanwhile, the Renamo head in
Sofala province, Manuel Pereira, has proposed a joint
venture with an Italian company covering 250,000 hectares in
southern Sofala.

Excerpts on Local Elections:


Parliament forced the government to withdraw its package of
three bills for local elections, on the grounds that they
were unconstitutional. The three parties in parliament, in
consultation with the government, will agree a new elections
timetable before the end of this session in late December.
It is unlikely that the first local elections can now be
held before 1997.

The Municipalities Law (3/94) approved by the old one-party
parliament on 13 September 1994 calls for elections of
mayors and city councils in at least the ten provincial
capitals and Maputo city at a date set before 1 October

The government's package of three bills covered the actual
election, setting up a national election commission, and
registration. But the parliamentary legal affairs committee
unanimously ruled the bills unconstitutional. The ruling
effectively says that the original Municipalities Law is
unconstitutional, which was surprising, as the committee is
chaired by Ussumane Aly Dauto, who was justice minister when
the Municipalities Law was passed, and who now accepts that
he allowed an unconstitutional law to be passed.

The government decided to go ahead with the bills, arguing
they were constitutional. But it decided to withdraw them on
8 November, after two days of debate, when it became clear
that not only was Renamo opposed to the bills as
unconstitutional, but that some Frelimo MPs agreed with
Renamo and thus the bills would be defeated.

This was remarkable and unexpected for two reasons. First,
Frelimo MPs were prepared to stand up to their own party in
governmment. Second, Renamo MPs put constitutionality over
their own repeated demands for early elections. Both are
marks of the rapidly growing maturity of the new parliament.


The key constitutional issue hinges on interpretation and
language. The constitution talks of two types of local
government bodies: "representative" bodies, such as
councils, which are "elected", and "executive" bodies and
officials, including district administrators and mayors,
which are "designated". When the 1990 constitution was
drafted, this distinction was made because the drafters
intended that mayors and administrators would still be
nominated by central government, even if councils were to be

The question was: Even if the constitution's drafters did
not intend it, could mayors still be elected? Supporters of
the bill argued that election was a possible form of
"designation"; opponents said that by making a distinction
between the two, the constitution made clear designation
meant nomination and not election.]


It would be "utopian" to expect to be able to hold local
elections everywhere in the country next year, argued
Alfredo Gamito, the Minister of State Administration.

The government's policy set out in the 1994 Municipalities
Law is that when districts have a basic set of conditions -
such as a small town hall with basic equipment (a
typewriter, a safe for tax revenues, etc), a small trained
staff, housing for officials, and places where councillors
can stay during meetings (as many districts are too large
for councillors to go home at night between meeting days) -
they will be called "municipalities" and elect a council and
a mayor (for cities) or an administrator (for districts).
The law defined the ten provincial capitals and Maputo city
as "municipalities" already, and said a local election date
had to be set before 1 October 1996.

The Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration
(STAE) from last year's elections had been reappointed, with
Armenio Correia as director general. It was planning for
registration in March and elections in September in these 11
cities. Elections in remaining districts would be in 1997
and 1998.

The second phase would have been 18 districts - 12 which
contain places already designated as cities (Chokwe, Dondo,
Mocuba, Nacala, etc.) and the six districts being assisted
under the Swedish pilot district (PROL) programme (Lichinga
district, Mocimboa da Praia, Monapo, Angonia, Buzi, and

Elections in these 18 would have taken place in 1997. If
there was pressure from parliament and sufficient donor
money, then these 18 could have been added to the September
1996 list.

Elections in the remaining 102 districts would have been in
1997 and 1998.

The principle of "gradualism" in elections had three roots.
First, the government felt there was no point in electing
councils for districts that had no functioning
administrative structure. Second, a gradual approach allows
elections to be more Mozambican-run and less donor-dependent
(although even elections in 11 cities will need $22 million
in donor funds). Third, starting in cities that already have
functioning administrations will be a good test of the whole
decentralisation process and allow changes in the law and
regulations before elections in other municipalities.

The new schedule to be agreed by the parties in parliament
will cover all districts, and determine if elections will be
phased or all at the same time.


Donors have made local elections a high priority. The
independent weekly Demos (1 November) published the text of
demands to the government issued by the Aid for Democracy
(AfD) donor group in September.

The six point statement is not signed by individual donors
and does not even identify the source, because it is a
collection of individual donor demands. It is somewhat
confused and contradictory, and not all AfD donors support
all six points. But donor representatives said they felt the
need to have something in writing to give to government,
even if it was not a fully agreed statement.

The first point, which does have widespread donor support,
is "Consensus: The most important factor which will
determine the degree of donor support . Consensus should be
reached in parliament as soon as possible regarding the way
in which the elections will be conducted."

Donors said that they would not support an election if the
law had been pushed through parliament over Renamo
opposition. Thus Renamo has an effective veto, and Gamito
cited donor views when he withdrew the bill. At least some
donors say they will accept a delay until 1997, so long as
it is agreed by Renamo and Frelimo.

The first point also talks of consensus of "extra
parliamentary parties", but this has less support.

Second, the donors effectively support gradualism. "Donors
believe the elections should be held promptly in as many
districts as possible" but if they are not held in all
districts in 1996, then "a timetable should be announced".

The fourth point partly contradicts the second. It opposes
gradualism and the structure of the 1994 Municipalities Law.
"Existence of a tax base or a requirement for the local
entity to be declared a municipality should not be
preconditions to representative local government."

The United States, Britain and Germany are the main donors
opposed to gradualism and the 1994 law, and the fourth point
reflects their view. The European Union and the Like Minded
Group have generally supported the phased approach, and the
second point rather than the fourth reflects their view.

The third point is that "elections should be held at minimum
cost. Elements which are not cost effective or verifiable by
political parties and other monitors should be avoided and
will not be supported."

The other two points are self-evident. Fifth, that "powers
and responsibilities given to local government should be
carefully delineated". (This is the core of intensive
donor-funded activity already under way within the Ministry
of State Administration.) Sixth, "local authorities should
be accountable to local voters." (This is already covered in
the 1994 law.)

Gamito's statement that he was withdrawing the law because
of donor conditions drew an angry editorial from Domingo (12
November). "The donor community has returned to showing a
firm hand and imposing directions on political questions in
our country. ... The lessons that Domingo draws are not new:
those who hand out the 'bread' continue to define the rules
of the game and always do it to benefit those who support
donor interests."

Privately, donors agree. They admit that such a statement
made by foreign countries about their own local elections
would be totally unacceptable. But they stress that
Mozambique must accept such impositions because it is
dependent on donors for more than half its budget. One donor
representative commented: "the 1994 elections only took
place because of donor pressure, and there will be local
elections only if donors keep up the pressure now."

From their side, the Mozambican government is taking a
put-up or shut-up line. If donors want the first elections
in more than 11 cities, they will have to pay the costs. And
if they expect elections across the entire country, then
they will have to provide some money to rebuild town halls
destroyed in war - which so far donors have refused to do
and which IMF spending restrictions make it impossible for
the government to do.

Excerpts on Dual Administration:


Renamo continues to rule some of the areas it controlled at
the end of the war three years ago, and to exclude
government officials. The problem is most serious in Manica
and Sofala provinces in central Mozambique, and in Nampula
province in the north. Two incidents in Sofala in October
increased tensions.

In Maringue, Renamo's war-time capital in Sofala, the first
visit by provincial governor Felisberto Tomas on 10 October
provoked a major confrontation. Two officials sent by the
governor to prepare the visit were beaten and expelled. The
governor decided to go in any case, but the party was met on
the road 25 kilometres from the town by the district
administrator, Nobre Meque, and the five local policemen,
telling them to turn back.

Meque is a Renamo member nominated for the post by Renamo
and appointed by the government under the terms of the 1992
Rome peace accord. But he and the police had been driven out
the night before by Renamo, who burned the tents that housed
the policemen and who said they would kill Meque if he
allowed the governor to visit.

Meque told the Beira daily Diario de Mocambique (13
October): "they say I have been bought by Frelimo because I
don't obey the orders of Renamo. I am a government official
and I have one boss - I cannot obey two masters."

He continued: "Renamo maintains its objectives secret, but
it does not want to see the rebuilding of Maringue."

Governor Tomas and the journalists continued and did visit
the town, where Tomas gave a speech to several hundred

But it was an expedition to a foreign land; Renamo retains
total control of the area. The daily Noticias (13 November)
said Renamo has 1,000 armed men there. They were never
demobilised and are in bases at Catema and Massala, 15 and
40 kilometres from Maringue. Men guarding weapons there told
Noticias they were just awaiting orders to distribute the
weapons and return to war. Renamo President Afonso Dhlakama
denied the report.

The Maringue visit follows Renamo's beating and kidnapping
of Rui Frank, the Frelimo party head in Gorongosa, also in
Sofala, on 3 October. This highly public incident, done in
front of journalists, seemed intended to be a formal
expulsion of Frelimo from a district where Renamo received
more than three times as many votes as Frelimo in the
election last year.

The kidnapping led to a public protest by the new (and
vociferously non-party) Human Rights League. In a statement
on 19 October, League president Maria Alice Mabota, said
that "after receiving orders from their leader, men of the
security guard of [Renamo President Afonso] Dhlakama invaded
the district administrator's house" in Gorongosa where they
"committed corporal offences" against the administrator's
heavily pregnant wife, and threatened to kill the
administrator. They then "severely beat" Frank, tied him up,
and took him from the house.

Dhlakama was speaking in Gorongosa on the day of the
incident. Frank says that with his arms and legs bound, he
was taken to the rally and shown to the crowd by Dhlakama.
Still bound, he was then taken to the provincial capital,
Beira, where he was put into a hotel room and then released.


Under the peace accord, the government agreed to name Renamo
nominees as district and locality administrators in certain
zones formerly controlled by Renamo. In Chapa locality in
Cabo Delgado, the Renamo-nominated administrator died, and
Renamo asked to nominate the new one. Governor Jorge
Nuanahumo refused, pointing out correctly that Renamo no
longer had the right. But it seems a provocatively
legalistic decision.

Domingo, the outspokenly pro-Frelimo Sunday newspaper, said
it had information that Nampula Governor Rosario Mualeia had
sacked a district administrator "for being a friend of

As well as administrators, Renamo had also demanded the
appointment of lower level officials, and the integration
into the state apparatus of its teachers, health workers,
and police. Here the response has been extremely variable.
The Ministry of Health is already retraining 257 former
Renamo helth workers, even though two-thirds have less than
six years of schooling. And the Ministry of Interior has
agreed to retrain and integrate into the police 141
ex-guerrillas nominated by Renamo.

But the Ministry of Education has steadfastly refused to
integrate into the state system any Renamo teachers who are
not fully qualified - which few are. In some parts of Manica
and Sofala, Renamo teachers are continuing to teach in
places where the govern- ment has still not been able to
send trained teachers. People who have visited the schools
say that many of the teachers are committed and despite
their own lack of training, are doing an acceptable if
rudimentary job. All are teaching without pay, and some have
gained strong support from local parents.

(continued in part 2)

This material is being reposted for wider distribution
by the Africa Policy Information Center (APIC). APIC's
primary objective is to widen the policy debate in the
United States around African issues and the U.S. role
in Africa, by concentrating on providing accessible
policy-relevant information and analysis usable by a
wide range of groups and individuals.  APIC is
affiliated with the Washington Office on Africa (WOA),
a not-for-profit church, trade union and civil rights
group supported organization that works with Congress
on Africa-related legislation.


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