History and Politics of Mozambique

History of Mozambique

The original population of Mozambique was the Bushmen, who were driven out by the Bantu who came from Sudan. From the 8th c. Arabs settled on the coast and created trading posts for trade with the intertribal formations that existed here. Merchants from Iran, India, China and Indonesia also traveled here. For the 13th-15th centuries. the heyday of the Monomotapa state, which existed for several centuries on the territory of today’s Zimbabwe and Mozambique, falls. In 1498 Mozambique discovered Vasco da Gama. From the beginning 16th century the Portuguese began building forts along the coast and colonizing the hinterland. In the 17th century The Portuguese attempted to conquer Monomotapa, but were defeated. A few decades after that, Monomotapa disbanded. In 1752, the Portuguese possessions were united into the colony of Mozambique, whose main source of income was the slave trade. The boundaries of Portuguese Mozambique were established at the Berlin Conference of 1884–85, but the subjugation of the hinterland continued until the beginning. 20th century The first anti-colonial organizations emerged in the 1920s to improve the position of Africans under the colonial regime. After World War II, new forms of resistance arose. In 1949, 1951 and 1963 there were dockers’ strikes. In 1960–61, political parties arose that demanded that the country be granted independence. In 1962 they united in the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELI-MO), headed by E. Mondlane. In 1964, FRELIMO announced the beginning of an armed struggle, which took on the character of a protracted guerrilla war. During the struggle for independence, E. Mondlane died.

The new government in Lisbon, which came to power after the revolution in Portugal in 1974, decided to decolonize its overseas possessions, and in 1975 Mozambique gained independence, and FRELIMO leader Samora Machel became its first president. In 1977, FRELIMO proclaimed itself “the vanguard Marxist-Leninist party” and declared its goal to build a socialist society. The government nationalized industrial enterprises, plantations, banks. Tens of thousands of Portuguese were forced to leave the country. The emigration of qualified personnel led to the closure of many enterprises, the desolation of plantations, and food shortages. Opponents of FRELIMO, who created the National Resistance Movement of Mozambique (RENAMO), took advantage of the discontent of the population. With the support of racist South Africa, it launched an armed struggle against the government. The South African army repeatedly invaded Mozambique, supporting the RENAMO units. In 1981, the armed forces of Zimbabwe, acting on the side of FRELIMO, entered Mozambique. The internal conflict has grown into an international one. In 1986, President S. Machel died in a plane crash. Joaquim Chissano became his successor. Under him, since 1989, the internal political course of the government began to change: the liberalization of the economy began, a draft new Constitution was developed, which provided for a multi-party structure and elections of state authorities. In 1992, negotiations began between the government and RENAMO on ending the civil war, holding presidential and parliamentary elections. In April 1994, through the mediation of the UN, a compromise was reached. General elections were held in October 1994. Chissano was elected president. In parliament, FRELIMO won 129 out of 250 seats, and RENAMO – 112 seats, 9 seats went to small parties. A difficult problem in 1995-96 was the demobilization of most of the state and rebel military formations and the creation of a unified army. The new army had to fight to eliminate the armed detachments of robbers who refused to surrender their weapons. In December 1999, the second presidential and parliamentary elections were held. Chissano was re-elected president, FRELIMO received a parliamentary majority, but the opposition turned out to be represented not by several parties, but only by RENAMO. In the beginning. 2000 Mozambique was hit by catastrophic flooding. 640 people died, entire villages were washed away, crops were destroyed on 10% of cultivated land, tens of kilometers of railways and highways were demolished. In 2000, relations between the government and RENAMO escalated, RENAMO leader A. Dhlakama even threatened to start a guerrilla war again. In 2001, an agreement was reached between him and Chissano on constant consultations for the sake of preserving democracy in Mozambique. In con. 2001 Chissano made a statement saying that he did not intend to run for president in the 2004 elections.

State structure and political system of Mozambique

Mozambique is a parliamentary republic with strong presidential power. The Constitution of 1990 (as amended in 1996) is in force. Administratively, Mozambique is divided into the capital and 10 provinces (Maputo, Cabo Delgado, Gaza, Inambane, Manica, Maputo, Nampula, Nyasa, Sofala, Tete, Zambezia). Major cities: Maputo, Beira, Nampula. The head of state and government is the president. The highest body of legislative power is the Parliament (Assembly of the Republic). The supreme body of executive power is the government formed by the president (the Cabinet of Ministers) headed by the prime minister. The President is elected by the people for a term of 5 years. In the 1999 elections, Chissano received 52.3% of the vote, and A. Dhlakama – 47.7%. Check cancermatters for political system of Mozambique. The National Assembly consists of 250 deputies and is elected in general elections for 5 years. In the 1999 elections, FRELIMO received 48.54% of the vote (133 seats), RENAMO – 38, 81% (117 seats). More than 12% of the votes were received by parties that did not overcome the 5% barrier. The system of local governments – provincial, city and district municipalities elected by the population – is just being created. In most cases, these are appointed bodies. An outstanding political figure was Eduardo Mondlane (1920-69), the founder of FRELIMO, who died at the hands of the Portuguese secret service. More than 30 parties have been registered, but in fact a two-party system has already been formed: FRELIMO and RENAMO. Leading business organizations: Mozambique Chamber of Commerce. Public organizations: Confederation of Free and Independent Trade Unions of Mozambique; Organization of workers of Mozambique – Central Trade Union; Christian Council of Mozambique. Domestic policy is aimed at stabilizing the political and social situation, at solving problems through dialogue with the opposition, trade unions, entrepreneurs, for the employment of military personnel of both sides who took part in the civil war. Foreign policy is characterized by the desire to maintain good relations with all countries of the world, but special attention is paid to the states on which economic assistance for economic recovery is most dependent – the United States, South Africa and the EU countries. The armed forces consist of the army, air force, navy and police paramilitaries. The number of the army is 11 thousand, incl. Air Force – 1 thousand, Navy – 0.6 thousand (2001). Army spending $35.1 million (1% of GDP) (2000). Mozambique has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation (established with the USSR in 1975).

Politics of Mozambique