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Mozambique: ‘The war ended 17 years ago, but we are still poor’

Children in Maputo who make a living salvaging at the dump.
 Photo by GroundWorkSouth Africa.

By Joseph Hanlon and Milton Keynes

March 5, 2010 -- Pambazuka News -- A return to war in Mozambique is highly unlikely, but the widening chasm between rich and poor and growing social exclusion are creating a ‘serious risk’ of conflict. This was the warning issued by the Peer Review Mechanism Forum in Mozambique’s self-evaluation report to the African Union Peer Review in February 2009.[1] Similarly, Mozambique’s Institute for the Promotion of Peace—an association of former fighters from both sides in the 1981–92 war— remarked in March 2009 that Mozambique seems at peace, but growing economic disparities and socioeconomic injustice are weakening the peaceful transition.[2] Mozambique’s peace has been remarkable—without any truth commission or international courts, the 1992 peace accord has held without retributions and with former foes serving together in parliament and the army.

One result is that Mozambique has become a ‘donor darling’, with relatively high levels of aid. In 2007 the World Bank talked of Mozambique’s ‘blistering pace of economic growth’,[3] while the IMF said ‘Mozambique is a success story in Sub-Saharan Africa, benefiting from sustained large foreign aid inflows, strong and broad-based growth and deep poverty reduction’.[4] Despite this apparent success, both the World Bank and UNICEF have pointed to the ‘paradox’ of rising chronic child malnutrition in the face of rapid GDP growth,[5] and in a 2006 survey three quarters of Mozambicans stated that in the past five years their economic position had remained the same or become worse.[6]

One million people died in Mozambique’s 1981–92 war, and one third of the population had to flee their homes. In the aftermath there was an intense feeling of ‘never again’—everything must be done to avoid violence. But 17 years later, there has been a subtle mood change. Those who fought gained nothing, while their leaders have become comfortable and prosperous. Furthermore, there is now a new generation of young people who do not remember the war. With a basic primary education they are moving into towns and cities to try to earn a living in the ‘informal sector’ on the margins of the law. Lynching in poor urban neighbourhoods is increasing, and violent crime is increasingly an issue in the media and in public meetings with President Armando Guebuza.

Concerns about the social implications of growing divisions had led to warnings of social violence in the first draft of this article presented at the Wilton Park Conference on Conflict Prevention and Development Co-operation in Africa on 10 November 2007.[7] Since then, both violence and warnings about violence have increased significantly.

As the peer review self assessment stresses, the risk is not a return to formal civil war, but rather the increased prevalence of inchoate violence in communities. There was an unprecedented riot in Maputo on 5 February 2008 and in early 2009 violent clashes erupted between communities and the police. Most Mozambicans cannot imagine a return to war, yet the poor and hungry may increasingly resort to violence when they feel their lives and livelihoods are threatened. The first section of this article looks at Mozambique’s three decades of war, and how the most recent war was driven by global geo-politics but partly sustained by internal inequalities.

The settlement was unique, with no truth commission or tribunal and a highly successful demobilisation package. In the next section, the focus turns towards the post-war period, elections and the influential role of the international community of donors which evinces commonalities with other post-war experiences, such as in Sierra Leone.[8] The policy dominance of the international financial institutions is displayed.[9]

The third section shows that economic restrictions have eased but that the ‘peace dividend’ has been modest. The article exposes the failure to reduce poverty and highlights the growing gaps between the better off and the poor. While Mozambique has been open to foreign investment and has witnessed substantial GDP growth, the poor majority have not benefited. There is no organised violence of the sort normally linked to war but the growth in social violence is leading to growing concerns about social stability. Growing inequality and economic growth that does not trickle down to the poorer segments of the population is increasing tensions. Finally, the article draws the implications of the bubbling popular discontent and disrespect for a system that has not ended poverty or provided equitable opportunities to citizens.

It argues that Mozambique is not the success story that has been painted by donors who have singularly failed to address looming problems of increased poverty and jobless youth.

Three decades, three wars

Mozambique suffered three decades of almost continuous war: 1964–74 liberation/colonial war, 1976–80 Rhodesia war and 1981–92 Cold War proxy war of destabilisation. If one accepts the definition that ‘civil war is collective killing with some collective purpose, mainly within one country, and where the fighting is primarily between people of that country’,[10] then the 1964–74 and 1981–92 wars were ‘civil wars’, and probably the 1976– 80 war as well. But all three were largely driven by outside forces. Mozambique was a colony of NATO-member Portugal, which refused of follow the decolonisation (and neocolonialism) strategies of France or Britain. Liberation wars began in all of its African colonies in 1964, eventually leading to the overthrow of the fascist government in Portugal in 1974.

Unusually, Mozambique had only one liberation movement, Frelimo,[11] which signed a peace agreement in 1974, leading to independence in 1975. The peace lasted just two years. Mozambique was bordered by two countries ruled by white minority governments, Rhodesia and South Africa.[12] Rhodesian independence fighters were allowed bases in Mozambique, and the Rhodesian Government attacked Mozambique in 1976; soon after, Mozambique imposed sanctions on Rhodesia. Rhodesia responded by creating an anti-Frelimo guerrilla force, eventually named Renamo.[13] Independence in Zimbabwe in April 1980 brought peace, excitement and a promise of development. This time, peace lasted just one year.

Renamo was quickly handed over to the South Africans—with the tacit approval of the British Government.[14] Ronald Reagan was elected US President in November 1980 on a vociferously anti-Communist and US-focused policy platform. He intensified the Cold War through proxy wars in Angola, Nicaragua and Mozambique, where the US backed and helped to create, openly or covertly, armed opposition forces. In particular, he saw white South Africa as a bastion against Communism in neighbouring states. South Africa adopted a policy of economic and military destabilisation of its neighbouring countries,[15] involving sanctions, direct attacks and support for proxy forces such as Renamo, which was given training and shipped into Mozambique with extensive air and sea support.[16]

Portuguese colonialism had been poor and crude and Frelimo, in the late 1970s, was widely popular for bringing independence and free movement, and for its rapid expansion of health and education. So schools, health posts, economic infrastructure and transport were targeted to undermine Frelimo’s basis of popularity. Passengers were burned alive in buses to make people afraid to travel; schools were attacked, and teachers and pupils kidnapped and killed to make people afraid to use the Frelimo education system. The decade-long war was a heavy assault on Mozambique’s social and economic infrastructure. From a mid-1980s population of 13–15 million, one million people died (7 per cent of the population) and five million were displaced or made refugees in neighbouring countries (one-third of the population).

Damage was estimated at US$20 billion.[17] UNICEF estimated that Mozambique’s gross domestic product was only half of what it would have been without the war.[18] The number of first level health posts had been increased from 326 at independence to 1195 in 1985, but 500 of these were closed or destroyed by Renamo; 60 per cent of all primary schools were destroyed or closed; more than 3,000 rural shops were destroyed or closed, and most never reopened.[19]

The United Nations estimated that by the end of the war in 1992, Renamo controlled 23 per cent of the land area but only 6 per cent of the population,[20] because so many fled to government-controlled towns or to refugee camps in neighbouring states. A peace accord between Renamo and the government was signed in Rome on 4 October 1992. The peace accord recognised the existing constitution and the (Frelimo) government as legitimate, but called for new elections and support to turn Renamo into a political party. This was followed by UN-monitored demobilisation and elections on 27–29 October 1994, which were won convincingly by Frelimo.

With the end of the Cold War, wars ended in Namibia, South Africa and Mozambique, and stopped temporarily in Angola, while a US-backed dictator was overthrown in Malawi. US-backed forces lost elections in all five southern African countries.

Demobilisation and reconciliation

Mozambique’s war never developed a momentum of its own like the similar proxy war in Angola. Fighters on both sides no longer believed they were fighting for anything, and simply wanted to go home.[21] Richard Synge in his book on the UN mission in Mozambique comments on ‘the frustrations of the assembled soldiers, whose desire to rejoin civilian live was the most effective limitation on the parties’ chances of returning to war’.[22] During the peace talks there were local truces, and after the accord there were few cease fire violations. There were 105,000 soldiers and guerrillas and the peace accord called for a new army of 30,000 made up equally of the two sides. But it had to be voluntary, and only 12,000 people decided to join the new army—and most of those were officers.[23]

Former fighters voted with their feet, and went home.[24] Demobilisation of 93,000 fighters was smoothed by an effective package. They were given their salary for two years, the first six months paid by the government and the next 18 months paid by donors through a US$35.5 million UN trust fund. Half the group were ordinary soldiers who received US$7 per month; 35 per cent were lower level officers with salaries of US$10–24. Demobbed soldiers received transport to anywhere in the country and they were given a book of cheques or vouchers which could be cashed every two months at a branch of the People’s Development Bank (BPD, Banco Popular de Desenvolvimento).[25]

Cash payments gave ‘a new impetus to social life, especially in rural areas’, according to one study.[26] The key to the success seems to have been the two years—long enough to find a wife, have a child and establish a farm. Despite the success of the Mozambican demobilisation, it has not been repeated elsewhere because it was considered too expensive; more commonly after other wars, soldiers have only received six months money or a single lump sum, which has often proved ineffective.

There was no truth commission and few people talk about the atrocities of the war. Yet the level of reconciliation and the lack of retribution and vengeance have been remarkable, and Mozambique never suffered the level of violence that plagues South Africa. Most people accepted that this was mostly an imposed proxy war, where fighters on both sides were press-ganged into a war directed by far-away leaders for reasons that had nothing to do with Mozambique. Starting again meant putting aside a horrible past. Better not to open Pandora’s Box with a truth commission or trials.[27]

Divisions and differences

In the post-Cold War period the roots of civil war have been probed and various explanations have been offered. Concern about the prevention of organised violence has led to a closer look at social divisions, and especially at ‘ethnic’ tensions and regional differences. In Mozambique, ethnic, language and religious differences have not been and are unlikely to be significant drivers of violence. The country hosts between 12 and 24 mother tongues—only one of which is a European language (Portuguese).[28] The most common language, Emakhuwa, is spoken by only one quarter of the population and the others are spoken by 11 per cent or fewer.

Many people speak several languages and Portuguese is the language of government. Regional and language group identification with parties is neither total nor consistent; both parties have elected members of parliament from 10 of the 11 provinces.[29] Frelimo’s base tends to be the south and the far north, with the centre—which has a tradition going back to the colonial era of being hostile to central government—being Renamo’s base. Language is not a good guide. Emakhuwa speakers are divided between the two parties, while Renamo is stronger in provinces with a larger number of languages.

Rather than ethnic, language or regional divisions, the main differences that could lead to violence are between rich and poor and between urban and rural. Indeed, differences in economic and social development within ethnic and language groups and within provinces are much larger than average differences between groups or provinces. Ethnic and language issues have not triggered violence and seem unlikely to do so; rather very wide economic and developmental differences have been, and will be, causes of organised violence.

This was already an issue in the 1981–92 war. War was externally driven, and divisions and conflicts within the country would not have become violent without outside intervention. However, destabilisation builds on the target’s weaknesses. Renamo fighters were largely kidnapped young men, usually initiated into the movement by being forced to commit a brutal act, such as killing a member of their own family. Senior officers were trained in South Africa.

Portuguese colonialism had been so retrograde that at independence Frelimo embarked on a programme of rapid modernisation and industrialisation. On a social level this meant ending the role of traditional chiefs, who were largely named by the colonial authorities and served as tax collectors. However, some local chiefs had local respect and played key roles in land distribution, inheritance and local conflict resolution; traditions and ceremonies remained important. On an economic level, as part of its modernisation strategy, Frelimo’s emphasis was on industry and state and co-operative farming, which largely ignored the majority of peasants who were, incorrectly, assumed to be self-sufficient. As in neighbouring Tanzania, there was a programme of villagisation (initially voluntary but later forced), which was seen as essential to provide modern health and education services.

Inflation increased in the early 1980s and marketing collapsed, due both to the war and to economic strategies that failed to address the needs of the peasantry. But as the 1980s progressed, Renamo gained first acquiescence and then some local support, so that when Renamo entered an area, local people often did not resist. Renamo reinstated the local chiefs and told people in villages to go back to their traditional land. While Renamo’s rule was often brutal, many reinstated chiefs backed Renamo. Most people fled to the towns but some stayed and accepted the Renamo occupation. Renamo became the party of people opposed to modernisation—those who supported traditional leaders and wanted to continue traditional ceremonies, and those who had been harmed by the errors of economic modernisation policies.

Thus, it is possible to use social contract and greed-grievance models of the roots of civil war to explain the war.[30] The greed-grievance debate started around 2000 when Paul Collier asserted that ‘rebellion does not seem to be the rage of the poor’ and that most civil wars are due to the greed of opportunistic leaders.[31] His position was challenged by Natziger and Auvien who argued ‘that objective grievances or poverty and inequality contribute to war’.[32] From this perspective, the failure of the Frelimo economic modernisation strategy and the deterioration of the rural economy generated popular grievances that could be mobilised against government.

This line of argument is consistent with the contemporary theory according to which the risk of a civil war rises when the implicit social contract between a government and its citizens breaks down. This occurs most often in societies characterised by high inequality.[33] Taking the Natziger and Auvinen line, inequality and a failure to promote development led to grievances, which became part of a breakdown in the social contract. While on its own the breakdown was not serious enough to cause or trigger a civil war in the case of Mozambique, it led poor rural people to tolerate the invasion of Renamo forces.

Post-war: elections, aid and adjustment

Since the end of the war in 1992, Frelimo has convincingly won all six multi-party elections (national in 1994, 1999 and 2004 and local in 1998, 2003 and 2008).[34] Three quarters of all voting age adults participated in the first ever multi-party elections in 1994. Existing president and Frelimo party head Joaquim Chissano was convincingly re-elected with 53 per cent of the vote, compared to 34 per cent for Renamo head Afonso Dhlakama. In part, the vote for Renamo was to bring it into politics and ensure an end to the war and, in part, it was a vote against Frelimo which was blamed for growing economic difficulties.

The election won high praise from international observers. Frelimo was the single liberation movement and then the party of the one-party state, so it had an established network reaching all levels of society. With the advent of multi-party elections, Frelimo converted that structure into something similar to party machines in developed countries. The war ended without Renamo having built a strong local base, but it did attract a number of competent and ambitious people who had fallen out with Frelimo. Despite advice from a wide range of conservative parties and foundations, party president Afonso Dhlakama refused to turn Renamo into a conventional political party; he continued to run it personally, treat it as a centralised guerrilla movement and to expel anyone perceived as a threat. As a result, Renamo lacked sufficient cadres for its organisation and it failed to push its supporters to vote.

Numerous small parties have emerged but none has made an impact. The multi-party system was introduced at the same time as capitalism; people expected to be paid for everything and voluntary work was seen as part of the bad old socialist system. Thus small parties and NGOs have been formed mainly to secure an income. Only Frelimo has been able to build a party machine based on a mix of voluntary work and patronage. One result is that Frelimo has faced no effective opposition and has increasingly become the predominant party—the natural party of government. But in early 2009 a significant third party coalesced around Daviz Simango, the popular and effective mayor of Beira who was expelled from Renamo in 2008.

Meanwhile, turnout has been falling. Registration has consistently been over 80 per cent of voting age adults, but turnout of registered voters dropped from 88 per cent in 1994 to 74 per cent in 1999 and only 43 per cent in 2004.[35] Most of the 2004 abstainers appear to be people who had voted against Frelimo in 1999, and decided it was not worth voting in 2004. Three explanations have been given: voters no longer opposed Frelimo (which had a new presidential candidate), they no longer saw Renamo as a credible opposition, or they felt that democracy and electoral politics would not resolve their worsening poverty.

Donors, turning to the West and adjustment

Mozambique’s relations with its donors have been complex. Frelimo has a long history of maintaining a wide range of support. In the 1960s during the liberation war, Frelimo was unusual in receiving aid from both China and the Soviet Union. In the 1990s, it joined both the British Commonwealth and the Portuguese CPLP (Comunidade dos Paýses de Lýngua Portuguesa). During the 1981–92 destabilisation war, Mozambique was kept alive by a mix of aid from the Eastern bloc—the Soviet Union and other communist countries including East Germany—as well as traditional Western European allies—Nordics, Netherlands and Italy—who were not prepared to confront the US directly over its proxy war but who were willing to bandage Mozambique’s wounds. As the Cold War and South African destabilisation intensified Mozambique tried to reach an accommodation with the US to end the war.[36] In response, the US demanded ‘a turn toward the West’.

Mozambique joined the IMF and World Bank (the Bretton Woods Institutions, or BWI) in 1984 and agreed to allow US non-government organisations to work in Mozambique. The economy was badly battered by the war, with production falling and inflation rising rapidly, to a point where the Mozambican currency (the Metical) was almost valueless.

The Bretton Woods Institutions wanted shock therapy (as was later applied unsuccessfully to Russia). Even Mozambique’s friends pushed it to try to settle with the US, and in the 1980s, donors twice withheld food aid and allowed Mozambicans to starve—in 1983 to force it to join the Bretton Woods institutions, and in 1986 to pressure it to agree to a first structural adjustment programme.[37] Again, Mozambique successfully judged the balance of support, and in 1986 it introduced its own compromise programme with devaluation, deregulation, privatisation, health charges and less price control.

In contrast to the Bretton Woods Institutions' prescriptions there was also an increase in wages and producer prices, support for moving consumer goods into rural areas to stimulate the economy and assistance for local industry. Donors approved and aid tripled, from US$300 million in 1985 to US$920 million in 1988. GDP grew, inflation fell and the metical was again worth something so that people no longer demanded dollars or rand. Economic growth happened despite the intensification of the war. But the IMF was not satisfied, and from 1990 it imposed harsh adjustment policies, including savage cuts in government spending, limits on credit to the economy and sharp cuts in real wages—nurses and teachers fell below the poverty line in 1992, below the abject poverty line (then US$50 per month) in 1993 and below US$40 per month in 1996.

Where the government policy led to rising GDP and falling inflation from 1987 through to 1991, the IMF policy led to falling GDP and rising inflation, even after the war ended in 1992. There was no peace dividend and little post-war reconstruction. In the early 1990s, the unquestioned victory of ‘savage capitalism’ and the policy dominance of the Bretton Woods Institutions were largely accepted by Mozambique’s remaining donors. Nearly all donors made aid conditional on the recipient having programmes with the IMF and World Bank, which gave those agencies dictatorial power to impose the harshest adjustment.

But two problems arose. First, the IMF also imposed a cap on aid, saying that spending aid on post-war reconstruction would be inflationary, while the donors wanted to spend more money on what was already becoming a donor darling. Under IMF pressure the minimum wage had fallen from US$40 per month in 1991 to US$15 per month in 1995. But in 1995 the newly elected government raised the minimum wage to US$20. The head of an IMF delegation in Maputo in September 1995 condemned the increase and warned that the IMF would suspend its programme and declare Mozambique ‘off track’. Because donors all required Bretton Woods Institution programmes before they dispensed aid, the IMF would have suddenly ended all aid.

A group of donors concerned about the lack of peace dividend, the cap on their own aid and the threat of a further squeeze by the IMF issued an unprecedented public statement backing the government and criticising the IMF. It worked. The IMF backed off, loosening its controls on the economy, allowing more aid spending and permitting the increase in the minimum wage. GDP began to grow and inflation fell. The government was able to rebuild schools and health posts. The second problem related to what became a donor obsession in the late 1980s and early 1990s: accelerating Mozambique’s transition to capitalism and its acceptance of free market policies, and quickly turning the Frelimo ‘socialist’ leadership into capitalists.

The World Bank took the lead by pushing loans to Frelimo leaders who were involved in privatised businesses, knowing that the loans would not be repaid.[38] World Bank president James D. Wolfensohn in 1996 took the view that there was little the bank could do about corruption in developing countries because it ‘cannot intervene in the political affairs of our member countries’,[39] and it moved slowly to address issues of corruption. USAID said openly that it was trying to ‘erode’ the capacity of the state in order to make it easier for private interests and non-government organisations to take over.[40] In the first years of independence, Mozambique had been a paragon of integrity and honesty but by the early 1990s, corruption was endemic.

In an earlier article, once rejected out of hand but now grudgingly accepted, I argued that in the mid-1990s the donors had made an implicit deal with the governing elite—in exchange for faultlessly implementing donors’ demands on the economy, corruption would be allowed.[41]

Twenty-first century—subservience and MDGs

After the turn of the century, concern began to grow about the failures of the adjustment programme and that IMF limits on social spending would prevent Mozambique meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Caps were eased. Then another, more quiet, donor confrontation forced the IMF in 2006 to further lift caps on aid spending in health and education. By the early 2000s increasing numbers of donors were providing direct budget support, and the Budget Support Group became the main donor policy forum. By 2007 there were 19 members and they signed an annual contract with the government covering all policy areas, with donor representatives at the heart of decision making processes within government.[42]

Mozambique truly is a ‘donor darling’ receiving US$65 per person per year in aid, compared to Tanzania and Uganda (which have almost the same GDP per capita as Mozambique and are often grouped with Mozambique as IFI showcases of ‘success’[43]) and Malawi (which is much poorer than Mozambique), which each receive only US$42 per person per year.

A joint donor–government study in early 2007 said ‘Mozambique is generally considered an aid success story’,[44] but that there is ‘a widespread perception that government leadership and ownership of the aid agenda has left donors in the driver seat’.[45] A 2004 study said ‘high aid dependence means that the budget process essentially involves only two actors, the executive and foreign donors. Accountability to donors is much stronger than it is to Mozambican society’.[46]

An ironically titled 2005 report, Perfect Partners, said that the Mozambique government apparently believes ‘that its undoubted reliance on foreign assistance means that it is not in a position to insist on its own priorities. [ . . . ] We would like to stress that aid dependency does not have to entail subservience’.[47]

But one of the authors went on to argue that Mozambique’s decision to apparently give up ownership is, in fact, a choice—to maximise aid flows—and thus a form of ownership.[48] Mozambique needs the money and the donors are desperate for an African success story.

It’s the economy, stupid’[49]

Seventeen years after the end of the war, travelling through rural Mozambique, one still sees destroyed shops and government buildings. The Cold War may now be a dim memory in the US and Western Europe, but its results are still a very real presence in Mozambique. Two decades of structural adjustment and 17 years of peace have not brought prosperity. There was real economic growth after the war, as peasants reopened abandoned fields and the rebuilding of roads and bridges increased rural trade. Aid remained capped, as did the government salary bill, but the caps were looser.

The most severe constraint was that the IMF forced a steady decrease in credit to the economy. An important policy shift was that under Bretton Woods Institutions pressure the grain marketing board was closed, ending storage facilities and guaranteed prices, and shifting all of the risk onto peasants still recovering from war. In the colonial era and before the war, rural shops bought crops and sold inputs, but most shops were destroyed in the war and never reopened. There are many more petty traders on foot or bicycle; they sell small items but do not buy crops. Agricultural technology and productivity levels remain low, and there is little rural credit.[50]

The central problem appears to be that too little money is going into the rural economy and this is hindering economic development. Total useable post-war aid[51] has been US$12 billion—just over half the cost of the 1981–92 Cold War proxy war. So the former ‘West’ has not even given Mozambique enough to repair the damage it caused. In addition to a simple lack of money, the Bretton Woods Institution policy now adopted by Mozambique is that the role of donors and the state is to create human capital (through health and education) and build infrastructure (roads and electricity), and on that basis, the private sector will invest, develop Mozambique and end poverty.

The government can create the conditions, but then, ‘it must be left to the market,’ explained Aiuba Cuereneia, Mozambique’s Planning and Development Minister.[52] ‘Our policy is to attract investors who bring know-how, access to markets and capital, and who do not need Mozambican banks’, explained Roberto Albino, the head of the government agency to promote commercial agriculture (CEPAGRI, Centro da Promoc¸ao da Agricultura).[53] Mozambique has few experienced business people and they lack capital, which means, Cuereneia admits, that for the next few years, ‘unfortunately, most investment will be foreign’.

This vision of development is popular with donors. Speaking for the 19 budget support donors, Norway’s ambassador Thorbjorn Gaustadsaether on 21 September 2007 praised the government ‘particularly for its macro-economic management’. Although some donors such as Britain have been arguing that neo-liberalism and the Washington Consensus are dead,[54] the budget support group in Maputo made clear that those policies are alive and well in Maputo.

But foreign business people are not rushing in to invest in poverty reducing or labour intensive production, so jobs are not being created. Most foreign investment has been in mega-projects in the mineral-energy sector—a US$ 1.5 billion aluminium smelter, a gas pipeline for export to South Africa and titanium and coal mines. UNDP’s International Poverty Centre (IPC) issued a report on Mozambique in September 2007 which argues that these mega-projects have created few jobs and, because of tax exemptions, contribute little to public revenue.[55]

Furthermore, ‘the concentration of private and public investment in large capital intensive projects with little impact on poverty has drained financing from other, potentially more poverty-reducing projects’. The report concludes that the donor/IFI-promoted ‘mega-project based development strategy relying on market opening has lost more jobs than it has created’ and that ‘its overall impact has arguably been to increase poverty’. Only two areas of foreign investment are creating jobs—sugar investors were given tariff protection over the sharp objections of the IMF and have created tens of thousands of jobs, while international tobacco companies have done more than any others to raise peasant incomes in some areas.

But there has been very little domestic investment or job creation. There is no credit for the rural economy, little agricultural extension, few business extension services and little agriculture and other research.[56] Despite every study pointing to the importance of agriculture, donor and government spending on agriculture has been falling for over a decade. The IPC study says that post-war agricultural growth ‘represents a “bounce-back” from the catastrophic war years’ and came entirely from the expansion of area under cultivation and higher labour input; 90 per cent of farmers still prepare their land by hoe, and food crops yields have not changed over the past decade. It stresses that ‘investment in agriculture remains extremely low’.

Increasing class differentiation and deepening poverty

GDP has grown at six to seven per cent per year for a decade. Government claims that the number of people living below the poverty line decreased dramatically from 69 per cent in 1997 to 54 per cent in 2003.[57] These headline figures of high growth combined with a dramatic fall in poverty are quoted by donors and government as a mark of Mozambique’s post-war success. But UNICEF points out that children have poor nutrition in the overwhelming majority of Mozambican households, and the rate of chronic child malnutrition is actually rising.[58] For both UNICEF and the World Bank this is a ‘paradox’.[59] In fact, it is not paradoxical at all, for two reasons.

First, the decline in poverty has been exaggerated, and is based on an effective change in the poverty line. If the line is not moved, the government admits, poverty still falls, but only to 63 per cent.[60] Because of population increases, the number of people in poverty has increased from 11.2 million to 11.7 million. The government contested my view that this second figure is more accurate,[61] but the African Peer Review Mechanism self-evaluation report confirms that ‘the most credible indicators show an increase in absolute terms in the number of people below the minimum subsistence line’.[62]

No other study shows a big fall in poverty. For example, the UNDP Mozambique Human Development Report 2005[63] estimated that between 2000 and 2004 ‘real GDP per capita’ fell everywhere.[64] Second, it is increasingly accepted that the gap between rich and poor is widening with the poor becoming steadily poorer and unable to properly feed their children. A series of rural income surveys in 1995–96, 2001–02 and 2004–05 provide a much more detailed picture.[65] Officially, 70 per cent of the population is classified as rural, so this also includes people in smaller towns.

These show a huge increase in differentiation. There was a general increase in income between the first two surveys, but of the total increase in rural income, 73 per cent went to the 20 per cent of households with the highest incomes and less than 3 per cent went to the poorest 20 per cent.[66] For the next period, differentiation accelerated, with the non-poor becoming better off, but the poorer becoming poorer. The poorest half of the rural population actually saw their incomes fall, while the top 20 per cent made another large gain. The widening gap between better off and very poor is also shown by the fact that between 2002 and 2005 mean income rose 18 per cent but median income fell by 3 per cent.[67]

Finally, the surveys show that the position of people near the poverty line is very precarious. Nationally, half of the rural families considered ‘not poor’ in 2001–02 had fallen back into poverty by 2004–05. In 2002, 30 per cent of rural families nationally were not poor, but by 2005 half of them had fallen back into poverty, while 18 per cent of the population had been able to rise above poverty. The total change is small, just 3 per cent, but that hides a very large movement up and down.[68]

For the 70 per cent of the population covered by the surveys, and thus for the country as a whole, the differences between better off and poor are widening noticeably, with the income of the poor majority actually falling between 2002 and 2005. And people near the poverty line are particularly insecure and struggling. Meanwhile, the capital Maputo displays the symbols of growth—major new construction and traffic jams of expensive cars. But even the government’s own figures show that poverty worsened in Maputo city between 1997 and 2003.[69]

The poorest 1/5 of households have only 3% of rural income and received only 3% of the gains between 1996 and 2002 (Hanlon and Smart, Do Bicycles Equal Development, based on Broughton et al., ‘Changes in Rural Household Income’). Visitors, the large aid industry contingent and writers of IMF and World Bank reports rarely see the poor urban neighbourhoods, small towns and rural areas where most Mozambicans live. Various studies show that the fruits of Mozambique’s ‘blistering pace of economic growth’ have gone almost entirely to the better off and, in the past few years, the poor have become poorer.

Interviews in rural areas frequently draw the response: ‘The war ended 17 years ago, but we are still poor.’ The main conflict in Mozambique is between classes, between the better off and worse off, competing for the same resources. UNDP’s International Poverty Centre issued a damning report on Mozambique in September 2007.[70] It said that ‘recent economic growth in Mozambique cannot be considered pro-poor’, and that instead benefits of economic growth are going to ‘a sharp rise in the consumption growth of the richest households in the midst of a large impoverished population’. Therefore, it called for ‘a significant shift in the country’s development strategy’.

Violence and the rage of the poor

Mozambique is much less violent than neighbouring South Africa, but there have been outbreaks of violence. In this section it is shown that these are usually linked to hunger and poor people under stress. There was a period of violence around 2000–02. In the worst incident of its kind since the end of the war, an armed group linked to Renamo attacked official buildings inMontepuez on 9 November 2000; seven police and three attackers were killed. There was a wave of arrests, and 100 arrested people suffocated to death in an overcrowded jail cell on 22 November. Montepuez is socially and politically divided, but the main problem was the closure of a cotton company which created substantial local unemployment.[71]

The same period saw outbreaks of xenophobia and of rumours that children were being kidnapped or killed to steal their organs. An ongoing issue has been around cholera, which is endemic in Mozambique. In coastal areas of Cabo Delgado and Nampula provinces, in northern Mozambique, there have been repeated incidents in which people putting chlorine in wells were accused of poisoning the wells with cholera. One period of violence has been particularly well studied by a team led by Carlos Serra of Universidade Eduardo Mondlane.[72] In 2001 and 2002 in coastal Nampula, houses were burned and officials were attacked for allegedly putting cholera in wells. In December 2001 angry mobs in Nacala-a-Velha and neighbouring Memba district attacked anticholera teams, non-government organisation workers with bicycles and motorcycles, and police.

Particularly notable was that they attacked traditional leaders (re´gulos, mape´we´) and local government officials. More than 100 houses were destroyed and at least one person killed. The study found that local people felt the rapid post-war changes were making their lives worse, and they blamed outsiders and in particular the state for this. Second, and most importantly, they strongly believed that the rich and powerful (which included government officials, NGO workers and even traditional chiefs) wanted to kill the poor; fearing for their lives, their believed officials were poisoning their water. The validity of these fears is not important, although if one accepts Johan Galtung’s concept of ‘structural violence’, the poor are suffering indirect violence at the hands of the rich.[73] And it is necessary to understand that the rural poor see their living standards deteriorating, fear for their lives and will resort to violence to protect themselves.

And the rich and powerful have shown their willingness to resort to violence. In 2000 and 2001 investigative journalist Carlos Cardoso and central bank head of banking supervision Siba-Siba Macuacua were both publicly assassinated as they tried to investigate high level involvement in bank fraud. Although the extreme violence of Montepuez and the assassinations were not repeated, tensions and social violence continued as the decade progressed. Other chlorine/cholera incidents were reported. And as unemployed and minimally educated youth moved to towns and cities and struggled to survive, there were increasing complaints of crime.

Inequality ‘may jeopardise stability’

‘Rising poverty and inequality in Maputo ... may jeopardise political stability’, warned the Chr Michaelsen Institute (CMI) in a study for the British Department for International Development (DfID) in January 2008.[74] ‘In the bairros of Maputo, unemployment, crime and high costs of food, housing and land inhibit the poor from converting progress in education and health into increased income and consumption... The large number of educated but unemployed and frustrated young men and women in the bairros, who cannot manage to live up to ideals of urban modern life, may jeopardise the current political stability’.

It was a prescient comment: demonstrations in Maputo on 5 February and then four other towns against the high cost of living shocked Mozambique. At least five people were killed and more than 100 injured, many shot by the police. Hundreds of young people, mainly unemployed or scraping a living from the informal sector, co-ordinated by mobile telephone text messages and blocked all the roads into Maputo and many streets inside the city, quickly closing the capital.[75]

Frelimo dismissed the rioters as marginals and vandals. But it became clear that the young demonstrators had the tacit support of their elders, and the government-owned daily newspaper Noticias published a series of more thoughtful articles. Editor-in-chief Rogerio Sitoe led the way with a column arguing that the root cause was ‘the religious way we applaud and accept the prescriptions of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’, when these are really ‘poison prescriptions’. They have destroyed jobs and failed to promote agricultural development, which has ‘contributed greatly to the impoverishment of the countryside and forced a migration to the cities, particularly of the youth’. The government needs its own development policy and needs to stop treating World Bank and IMF statements as if they were ‘bible verses’. A subsequent letter to the editor was published saying the demonstrations were not vandalism, but a strike by the people demanding their rights.[76]

Even donors have begun to express concern. ‘Although the tendency for poverty reduction continues, there are also perceptions and clear indications of an ever growing gulf between the privileged and the poorest’, Norwegian Ambassador Thorbjorn Gaustadsaether, outgoing head of the G19 donor budget support group, said on 30 April 2008. He added that various factors, notably the lack of jobs, meant that ‘the least favoured members of society have not benefited from the country’s economic growth’. The riots in Maputo on 5 February ‘remind us of the need to create greater equity in society’.

The incoming G19 chair, Irish Ambassador Frank Sheridan, said ‘many of the poorest are struggling just to maintain their present standard of living, or are even falling back, while the most prosperous are benefiting disproportionately’. He warned that failure to deal with problems of inequality could lead to ‘social tension and subsequent political failure’.

‘Mozambique’s present development model, based on free individual initiative and the principles of a economic liberalism’, is seen as creating unemployment and leaving many families with not even enough to survive, especially in urban areas, said the self-evaluation for the African Peer Review in February 2009.[77] The principal beneficiaries of growth have been a tiny group. This is polarising society, and creating ‘serious risks’ of conflict.

Lynchings, cholera, and rain

In poor urban areas, people live in flimsy houses with no electricity or street lighting, and complain of increasing night-time crime, including housebreaking, mugging, rape and thefts of food from gardens, often by people armed with knives or machetes. They claim that if they turn criminals in to the police, they are quickly released in exchange for a small bribe, so they have taken to dispensing justice with their own hands. In 2008 at least 50 people were killed in lynching, but in early 2009 the rate had doubled to two a week.[78] Rural violence also increased in early 2009.[79] In Nicoadala district in Zambezia province, local people accused the state of locking up the rain and only giving it to better off farmers.

In mid-February three people were killed and six injured, accused of diverting the rain. And cholera violence returned, in ways that precisely matched Carlos Serra’s earlier study. On 6 January 2009 an angry mob burned down three cholera treatment tents that had been set up on the beach in Pemba, Cabo Delgado. The mob also attacked the houses of the neighbourhood secretary and his deputy, who were forced to flee to the police station. On 18 January in Mecufi, on the coast south of Pemba, an eight-person anti-cholera brigade was attacked and beaten—again accused of spreading the disease.

In Quinga, on the coast of Mogincual district in Nampula, on 25 February 2009 two Red Cross volunteers who were part of a brigade publicising anti-cholera messages, which include putting chlorine in wells, were beaten to death, accused of poisoning the wells with cholera. The Mozambican Red Cross (CVM) said that in Quinga people attacked volunteers riding bicycles and wearing Red Cross T-shirts ‘because they suspected they had money’. Three days later, in Angoche district (just south of Mogincual) protestors attacked health workers accused of spreading cholera.

They were already being protected by the police so the mob attacked the police with knives and spears, disembowelling and killing a police sergeant and seriously injuring two other policemen. Houses of 13 Red Cross volunteers were destroyed. On the same day in Moma district (south of Angoche) a mob attacked a community leader accused of putting cholera in the wells; two policemen protecting him were hospitalised. In addition, bicycles used by the volunteers were stolen or destroyed.

Protests continued. In Quinga, three people were arrested but the crowd blocked the road to prevent them being taken out of the village; 37 Red Cross volunteers fled. On 18 March police arrested a number of people in Quinga accused of killing a shopkeeper and trying to bury alive a Red Cross worker, and took them to Liupo, the Mogincual district capital. Liupo has no court, so they had to be held until they could be taken to Angoche to be charged and tried. The police were clearly frightened by what had been done to their colleagues in Moma and Angoche, so they pushed 48 people into the tiny three metre by four metre single cell in Liupo police station. Thirteen people died of suffocation over night.

Fear and hunger are driving forces. In March 2009 the government announced it had a surplus of 75,000 tonnes of maize, but admitted that marketing failures meant it did not reach areas of hunger. The forced abolition of the grain marketing board means only private traders distribute food; the poor do not have money to buy food, so private traders are not interested in going to remote areas.[80] Coastal Nampula province is one of the poorest areas of Mozambique. Mogincual was the centre of an outbreak of konzo (tropical ataxic neuropathy), an irreversible paralysis of the legs, in 1992–93, and cases have been reported regularly since then.[81]

Cassava roots contain cyanide which can cause paralysis if eaten in quantity when the roots are not adequately processed; this occurs only in periods of severe hunger when there is little other food. In early 2009 it was reported that hunger was again sweeping the district due to a poor harvest caused by draught and cyclone Jokwe in 2008. The Mogincual district director of health said the return of konzo was ‘inevitable’.[82]

In a time of hunger when people see no hope of improvement in their lives, perhaps the violent resistance to putting chlorine in local water supplies and confrontations with police and state officials should be seen as local people making a desperate attempt to regain some power: as a disempowered group finally taking a stand to defend its very lives.


The excellent Conducting Conflict Assessments: Guidance Notes by Britain’s Department for International Development (DfID) stresses the importance of economic and social factors as well as political ones as roots of violent conflict.[83] It says that any analysis must look at the ways aid may have fuelled greed and grievance, such as ‘privatisation programmes which serve elite interests and generate conflict’. It specifically warns about aid going ‘on economic adjustment and liberalisation’ instead of targeting ‘poverty reduction or peace-building’. And it calls for the defining of new policies to create economic opportunities for marginalised groups and for development ‘which connects remote areas to the market and increases access to state services’.

It also calls for policies ‘supporting stronger focus on the needs of disaffected youth’. Finally, it highlights the need ‘to influence development actors such as the IMF, the EU and World Bank’ who are failing to take into account these violent conflict related issues.

There are two reasons to quote this at length. First, the Guidance Notes correctly point to the possible sources of violent conflict in Mozambique. Second, the response to these notes is symptomatic of the wilful blindness of the donor herd. When DfID actually commissioned a conflict assessment of Mozambique, it allowed only two weeks. The brief tasked the consultants to look primarily at the traditional political issues and, because of pressures of time, did not have them look at the social and economic issues which the Guidance Notes themselves highlight.

The final report notes that ‘Mozambique is becoming another example of the problem of chronic unemployment among educated youth—a phenomenon associated with rising crime and potential for conflict’.[84] But the report does not go into detail on how one might respond, for lack of time and because it was outside the brief.

It is easy to take DfID to task because it ignored its own guidelines, but the problem is more general. Donors need to believe in the Mozambique success story, so they do not look at anything which would challenge their comfortable picture and would force them to rethink their consensus development policy. But inequalities are growing and are now the major area of conflict in Mozambique. As some prosper, allegedly because of party or other connections, the lack of jobs and agricultural support for the majority are becoming sources of grievance. The poor feel under threat and fear for their lives; they implicitly understand that they are subject to structural violence.

Few people who suffered in the wars would voluntarily return to war. But half of Mozambique’s population is too young to remember them. Their experiences and expectations are very different from those of their parents. Increasingly people in their late teens and 20s at least have some primary education and speak the national language, Portuguese. They see themselves as better educated and more ‘modern’ than their parents, and have more contact with a wider world through mobile telephones, videos and more travel (even if only to the nearest market town, with electricity and discos). Many young people do not see themselves as hoe farmers like their parents.

Meanwhile, both the traditional and the modern party system do not allow youth a voice. Both Frelimo and Renamo are tightly hierarchical and ruled by party elders. The ‘free market’ does not provide jobs and the economy is dominated by older people who seem to gain advantage through party links. There is much discussion of youth, but no one actually listens to them. Thus there is a pool of increasingly alienated young people who do not see a better future for themselves.

What would happen if, as in West Africa, there were charismatic leaders who called on the youth to rise up against their greedy elders? Preventing violent conflict requires giving the young and poor a future and a stake in society—not a trickle down free market that might, some day, perhaps, solve their problems, but active intervention to tackle grievances and create jobs and agricultural markets. Is the donor herd so mesmerised by a few good statistics that they cannot see the growing poverty outside the capital? Preventing violent conflict requires Mozambique to become an activist, developmental state which intervenes in the economy, and gives all Mozambicans a stake in the future.

[Dr Joseph Hanlon is senior lecturer in development and conflict resolution at the International Development Centre of the Open University. Milton Keynes, is a visiting fellow at the Crisis States Research Centre, London School of Economics and the editor of the Mozambique Political Process Bulletin. This article first appeared at Pambazuka News via AfricaFiles. It posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal for educational purposes. This paper is to be published in the March issue of the academic journal, Conflict, Security & Development 10:1 March 2010.]


1. Forum Nacional do MARP, Relato´rio de Auto-availac¸ao do Paý´s. 64;Noticias, 14 February and Q12 23March 2009. This is an establishment body of 58 people, including three provincial governors, the governor of the Bank of Mozambique, university rectors and representatives eight parliamentary commissions, civil society and the private sector.

2. Instituto de Promoc¸ao de Paz (ProPaz), see; Dia´rio Independente, 23 March 2009.

3. World Bank, Beating the Odds, iii.

4. IMF, ‘Republic of Mozambique’, 4.

5. World Bank, Beating the Odds, Box 1.1; UNICEF, Childhood Poverty in Mozambique, 18. Chronic malnutrition, measured through ‘stunting’, a low height to age ratio, for children under three years of age, increased from 36 per cent in 1997 to 37 per cent in 2003; the increase in rural areas was from 39 per cent to 41 per cent. UNICEF, Childhood Poverty in Mozambique, 94.

6. World Bank, Beating the Odds, Tables 1.12 and 1.13.

7. Hanlon, ‘Mozambique: “The War Ended 15 years Ago”’.

8. Hanlon, ‘Is the International Community Helping’.

9. Malyn Newitt, professor of Portuguese history at the University of London, actually heads one of his sections: ‘Mozambique under the yoke of the IMF’. Newitt, ‘Mozambique’, 227.

10. Definition used by Open University, see Yanacopulos and Hanlon, Civil War.

11. Frente de Libertac¸ao de Moc¸ambique [Mozambique Liberation Front].

12. In 1965 the white prime minister of Rhodesia, Ian Smith, made his Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI). The United Nations imposed economic sanctions on Rhodesia in 1966, which also withdrew from the Commonwealth. South Africa withdrew from the Commonwealth in 1961. In 1962 the UN General Assembly condemned South Africa's apartheid policies and in 1963 established a voluntary arms embargo against South Africa. In 1973 the General Assembly declared apartheid ‘to be a crime against humanity’. Following the Soweto uprising in 1976 and its brutal suppression by the apartheid regime, the arms embargo was made mandatory by the UN Security Council in 1977. Thus, at the time of the Mozambican independence in 1975, there were mandatory UN sanctions against Rhodesia but not against South Africa. Neighbouring states were not required to impose economic sanctions.

13. Resisteˆncia Nacional Moc¸ambicana [Mozambique National Resistance]. For the history, see Flowers, Serving Secretly; Hall and Young, Confronting Leviathan; and Johnson and Martin, Destructive Engagement.

14. Johnson and Martin, Destructive Engagement.

15. Hanlon, Beggar Your Neighbours. The word ‘destabilisation’ to describe these tactics was used inside South Africa, for example by Rand Afrikaans University Professor Deon Geldenhuys in his paper ‘Destabilisation Controversy’. Destabilising the neighbouring states was intended to ‘force profound political changes in the target state’, including an end to calls for sanctions against South Africa and an end to support of the liberation movements. Destabilisation, he wrote, is necessarily ‘covert’ and should ‘cause serious hardship to the population, who would in turn direct their frustration and fury at the target’s regime’.

16. Renamo used terrorist tactics—in the literal sense of terrorising people and making them frightened. The war has been detailed in other books, notably Hanlon, Mozambique: Who Calls the Shots; and Hanlon, Peace without Profit.

17. Hanlon, Peace without Profit, 15 and 150, based in part on UNICEF, Children on the Front Line, which estimated losses at more than US$15 billion and deaths atmore than 500,000 at the end of 1988. The damage estimate is also based in part on calculations at the time by Joseph Hanlon for SADCC and Reginald Green for UNICEF. Deaths include not only those directly killed in the war but also children who died from lack of medical care, people who died of hunger, etc. Data from the National Statistics Institute and censuses before and after the war found 2 million people ‘missing’ who could not be accounted for in neighbouring countries, suggesting that 1 million dead may be an underestimate. Appendix 1 of Hanlon, Peace without Profit, has a detailed calculation, including data on returned refugees, etc. We will never know for sure how many extra people died.

18. UNICEF, Children on the Front Line.

19. Hanlon, Peace without Profit.

20. Mozambique Political Process Bulletin, 14 February 1995.

21. A surprisingly little discussed aspect of the Mozambican war, see van den Bergh, Why Peace Worked. It is also touched on by Hanlon, Peace without Profit, 18; Manning, Politics of Peace; and Newitt, ‘Mozambique’, 222.

22. Synge, Mozambique: UN Peacekeeping in Action, 112.

23. Mozambique Political Process Bulletin, 14 February 1995.

24. Since then, Mozambique has only maintained a small and largely ineffective army and tiny military budget. Senior military figures, especially now ageing veterans of the liberation war, remain important within Frelimo, but the military, as such, is not a political force in Mozambique and probably does not have the capacity to stage an effective coup.

25. Branches then existed in 68 of 128 district capitals. With privatisation, most rural bank branches were closed.

26. Lundin et al., ‘Reducing Costs’.

27. Personal observation, based on covering Mozambique as a journalist during that period. van den Bergh, Why Peace Worked, notes that, in retrospect, Mozambicans say it was a correct choice not to have a truth commission or tribunal.

28. Provincial data from Table 11 of Direcc¸ao Nacional de Estatý´stica, Moc¸ambique, based on a 1991 survey. National data from Quadro 9.1 of the website: geral/estudosanalise/lingua/view?searchterm=lı´nguas based on the 1997 census. The two disagree on the spelling of language names and percentage of national speakers. Note that there is a wide variation, even in official documents, in setting the boundaries between languages and in defining how many there are.

29. Renamo has no seats in Gaza province.

30. See Yanacopulos and Hanlon, Civil War, chapters 3, 6 and 7.

31. Collier, Economic Causes of Civil Conflict.

32. Natziger and Auvien, ‘Economic Development’.

33. Addison and Murshed, ‘Social Contract’.

34. Best estimates are that Frelimo won a clear parliamentary majority in all three national elections and clear majorities in the presidential elections of 1994 and 2004. The 1999 presidential election was very close and there was some fraud on both sides, so the ‘real’ result cannot be known.

35. Mozambique Political Process Bulletin, issues 14, 24 and 31.

36. As then President Samora Machel argued it was important to deal with the organ grinder and not the monkey.

37. Hanlon, Peace without Profit, 90–92.

38. This was admitted in the World Bank’s own evaluation: Landau, Rebuilding the Mozambican Economy, 62–63.

39. James D. Wolfensohn, World Bank Annual Meetings Address, 1 October 1996. Available at: http://web. EXTABOUTUS/ORGANIZATION/EXTPRESIDENT2007/EXTPASTPRESIDENTS/ PRESIDENTEXTERNAL/ 0,contentMDK:20025269,menuPK:232083,pagePK:159837,piPK:15 Q9 9808,theSitePK:227585,00.html.

40. Julius Schlotthuer, USAID manager in Maputo, speaking in 1992 and quoted by Abrahamsson and Nilsson, Mozambique: The Troubled Transition, 142 and fn. 239.

41. Hanlon, ‘Do Donors Promote Corruption’.

42. See De Renzio and Hanlon, ‘Mozambique: Contested Sovereignty?’.

43. Harrison, ‘Post-Conditionality Politics’.

44. KPMG, ‘Donor Co-operation Strategy’, 46.

45. Ibid., 32.

46. Hodges and Tibana, Political Economy of the Budget, 8.

47. Killick et al., Perfect Partners?, 50.

48. Castel-Branco, ‘Aid and Development’.

49. A phrase widely used during Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 US presidential campaign against George H.W. Bush.

50. Donors often promote microcredit, which has helped petty traders, but with interest rates of 10 per cent per month, it is too expensive to use to buy inputs like fertiliser and improved seeds, or to invest in irrigation.

51. Excluding debt relief, emergency aid and technical assistance. Hanlon and Smart, Do Bicycles Equal Development, updated.

52. Interview, Maputo, 26 October 2006.

53. Speaking at a public meeting at Hotel VIP, Maputo, Mozambique, 23 May 2006.

54. A package of measures forced on aid recipients by the IMF and World Bank in the 1990s, including small government and reduced spending, ending subsidies, privatisation, trade liberalisation, deregulation, free market exchange rates and higher interest rates. The small government component was abandoned by the mid-1990s, as the World Bank, in particular, came to realise that governments did not have enough skilled staff to implement World Bank programmes. Later, the MDGs led to larger government and more spending in the social sectors.

55. Virtanen and Ehrenpreis, ‘Growth, Poverty and Inequality’.

56. Hanlon and Smart, Do Bicycles Equal Development, has a much more detailed discussion of economic development issues.

57. Massingarela et al., Poverty and Well-Being.

58. UNICEF, Childhood Poverty in Mozambique.

59. World Bank, Beating the Odds, Box 1.1.

60. Massingarela et al., Poverty and Well-Being.

61. There is a much more detailed discussion of the poverty data in Hanlon and Smart, Do Bicycles Equal Development, chapter 7. The full debate, including the government response, is posted on under the heading ‘Is Poverty Decreasing in Mozambique?’.

62. Forum Nacional do MARP, Relato´rio de Auto-availac¸ao do Paý´s.

63. UNDP, Mozambique Human Development. The 2009 Human Development Report displays a share of 74.7 per cent of the Mozambique population falling below the US$1.25 a day poverty line—the highest share in the world after Rwanda, Burundi and Liberia.

64. Except Maputo province, where real GDP per capita was artificially inflated by the opening of the Mozal aluminium smelter.

65. TIA, Trabalho de Inque´rito Agr´ýcola.

66. Hanlon and Smart, Do Bicycles Equal Development, based on Boughton et al., ‘Changes in Rural Household Income’.

67. Mean is arithmetic average (sum of all incomes divided by number of people) while median is the income of the person half way between highest and lowest. When themean rises it means total income rises, but if in addition themedian falls, it means money has been transferred from poor to rich.

68. Pitoro and Mlay, ‘Ana´ lise de Rendimento e Dinaˆmica’.

69. Massingarela et al., Poverty and Well-Being.

70. Virtanen and Ehrenpreis, ‘Growth, Poverty and Inequality’.

71. Mozambique Political Process Bulletin 28, 1November 2002.

72. Serra, Co´lera de Catarse.

73. Galtung, ‘Violence’. In the paper, he argues that ‘if people are starving when this is objectively avoidable, then violence is committed, regardless of whether there is a clear subject-action-object relationship’. If people are being starved to death or shot and killed, there is equal violence being committed.

74. Paulo et al., ‘Monitoring and Evaluating’.

75. Covered extensively in Noticias. See

76. Noticias, 15 and 18 February 2008.

77. Forum Nacional do MARP, Relato´rio de Auto-availac¸ao do Paý´s.

78. Noticias, 13 March 2009. The word ‘linchar’ has entered into Portuguese for executions by mobs, based on ‘lynch’ in US English, used for mob killings, particularly of Black people in the US South in the 19th and 20th centuries. In Maputo, alleged criminals are killed by necklacing—putting a tyre around their neck, filling it with petrol and setting it alight—a method used in South African townships in the 1980s against alleged apartheid spies.

79. Hanlon, ‘Mozambique: The Panic and Rage’.

80. The Chr Michelson Institute study for DfID explicitly recommended the return to a rural marketing board ‘to reduce the exploitative nature of current relations with traders’. But this is vociferously opposed by the international financial agencies, so is unlikely to occur. See Tvedten et al., ‘Monitoring and Evaluating’.

81. Ernesto et al., ‘Persistent Konzo ad Cyanogen Toxicity’.

82. Noticias, 27 February 2009.

83. Goodhand et al., Conducting Conflict Assessments.

84. Vaux, ‘Strategic Conflict Assessment’. Ironically, Tony Vaux is one of the authors of Conducting Conflict Assessments.


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