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Mozambique A Key Country In East Africa

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#1 pacific


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Posted 30 April 2003 - 06:56 PM

Frelimo Nationalised Children, Opposition Claims

Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (Maputo)

April 29, 2003
Posted to the web April 29, 2003


When it took power in 1975, Mozambique's ruling Frelimo Party nationalised children, and ordered parents and children to address each other as "comrade" - that, at least, was the hallucinatory version of Mozambican history retailed by parliamentary deputies of the former rebel movement Renamo on Tuesday.

The country's parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, was debating a government bill reforming the country's family law.

Since Renamo had little to contribute to this debate, it chose to fantasise about history.

All the problems of Mozambican families were laid at the door of Frelimo - so much was this claim repeated that it seemed as though Renamo regarded independence in 1975 as a disaster. In this view of history, the Mozambican family was in a much healthier condition under colonial rule.

"Marxism-Leninism" and "scientific socialism" had destroyed Mozambican traditions, and broken up the Mozambican family, but Renamo had saved the day, the opposition deputies alleged.

"Renamo has taught Frelimo to respect tradition and respect the family", claimed Isabel Lino. (Although all the measures in defence of Mozambican women and children have been drawn up by Frelimo governments, and not a single bill on family matters has ever been penned by Renamo deputies.) "The family lost its values when Frelimo introduced the word 'comrade'", lamented Maria Martins. "Children were obliged to call their parents 'comrade'. Children could order their parents to be lashed".

This was too much for Sergio Vieira, who asked Martins to explain precisely when these remarkable events had happened. He was a founding member of Frelimo, and could not recall anyone saying his son should call him "comrade daddy".

Eduardo Betaniya quite specifically declared that the Portuguese had defended family values, but Frelimo destroyed them. After independence "Women began to think they were superior", he complained. He painted a picture of wild sexual licence in post- independence Mozambique. "Women were walking round naked - their skirts didn't reach their navels", he raved. Rahil Khan blamed it all on one man. It was the country's first president, Samora Machel, who "nationalised children", and then sent them off to "communist countries".

In a distorted reference to the schools for Mozambicans provided by the Cuban government, Khan claimed that "thousands of children were sent to communist countries without the authorisation of their parents".

"Samora Machel shouted to the four winds that God doesn't exist", declared Khan. "Now, thanks to Renamo, President Chissano goes to church".

Frelimo deputies retorted that plenty of Renamo members had been trained under Samora Machel's government (including at the schools in Cuba). "How many people did you train in your 16 years of war ?", Anastercia Ismael asked the Renamo benches. "Or was the only training you gave in cutting off people's ears ?" Dionisio Quelhas claimed that some Mozambican students returned to Cuba and were sent directly to re-education camps in the northern province of Niassa, where they perished. Others supposedly hanged themselves in the Cuban schools.

While his colleague Betaniya complained of "generalised sex" in the 1970s, Quelhas seemed to have been living in another country, where sex had been abolished. Love was outlawed, and "Mozambicans didn't know what it was to have a boyfriend or girlfriend before the 1992 peace accord", he claimed.

There were a handful of serious Renamo speeches, notably an impassioned defence of polygamy from David Alone. Polygamy was "a constant in the history of Mozambique", he said, criticising the bill for its hostile attitude to polygamy.

"Some people want to legalise prostitution and ignore polygamy", he claimed. "Polygamous women do not lose their social dignity". Polygamy was "part of Mozambican culture", and should not be confused with promiscuity.

"We should take as our point of reference the real country, and not the fictitious world in which many of us live, the urban world, the so-called civilised world", declared Alone.

Alone proudly stated a position that is reactionary in the true sense of the word - openly rejecting modernity in favour of a supposedly timeless tradition, rejecting the "fiction" of urban life, for the "truth" of the rural world. But polygamy is a divisive subject in Renamo: Betaniya strongly disagreed with Alone. For him, polygamy was condemned as "contrary to divine law".

Celina Solomone objected to raising the minimum marriage age for girls from 14 to 18. She supposed 18 would be all right in the cities, "because there are lots of other things to do, such as schools and cinemas. But in the countryside, there's only the fields. So in the rural areas this law will be a dead letter".

Clearly it did not cross Solomone's mind that she was justifying the sexual abuse of 14 year old girls.


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#2 pacific


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Posted 30 April 2003 - 07:00 PM

Government Wants Productive Sector Involved in AUSummit

Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (Maputo)

April 24, 2003
Posted to the web April 24, 2003


The Mozambican government expressed in Maputo on Thursday its interest in having the country's private sector get involved in the African Union (AU) summit due to take place in Maputo in July.

Industry and Trade Minister Carlos Morgado met business people from the industrial, commercial and service sectors to convey to them the government's stance.

He explained that the idea is to give the national business community greater exposure, at a time when the country will be displayed to the eyes of Africa and the entire world. The coordinator of the sub-committee of the Summit Preparation Commission (CIUA), dealing with liaison with the private sector, Nunes Maposse, said that a round table is being prepared to gather Mozambican business people and the Presidents of Mozambique, South Africa and Nigeria, Joaquim Chissano, Thabo Mbeki and Olusegun Obasanjo, for an "open dialogue" on the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

Morgado urged the participants to contribute ideas on what matters they would like to be broached in that meeting.

Just as at a meeting held last week between the organizing committee and the banking and insurance sectors, chaired by Foreign Minister Leonardo Simao, the government again requested financial sponsorship from business, that will be compensated for with advertisement and acknowledgement of participation in the summit.

The second AU summit is scheduled to take place in Maputo between 4 and 14 July.


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#3 pacific


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Posted 22 August 2004 - 12:56 PM


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