On Wednesday, 25 March 2021, a group of armed, young militias would storm shops, households and a military base in the town of Palma, in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado. In three years, the violence has led to the killing of over 2600 people.
This tragedy has its roots, which must be unpacked, for nothing in society is class neutral.
When Frelimo liberated Mozambique from Portugal, it adopted the Marxist-Leninist ideology, under the leadership of Samora Macheli, who died in mysterious circumstances in October, 1986.
After the death of Machel, Frelimo experienced an ideological shift to more liberal and capitalist policies. The country joined the IMF and World Bank, and began to implement structural adjustments measures.
In 1990, a new Constitution was adopted, and the name of the country changed from “People’s Republic”, to just “Republic of Mozambique”. These were no symbolic changes, but material changes which would lead to the crisis we see today.
As was expected, the economy grew by 7 – 8 percent, just after the bourgeois policies were implemented. Just a was the case in South Africa during the era of liberal policies like GEAR, that economic growth NEVER benefitted the people.
Enetering the country in the guise of “foreign investment” multinational companies started to dine on the economy of the country, of course with the help of a weakened liberation movement.
People, especially youth, who were poor and unemployed, started to be impatient. The marginalized would feel the wrath of imperialist looting, as is also the case with South Africa.
At the same time, educated Mozambicans who had travelled abroad started to erect Mosques in the impoverished areas. Many youth got recruited into Islam, and would be promised that “things will be better under Sharia”.
Islam, as a religion, is Not a cause of conflicts in Mozambique. It is but an opportunistic trigger of an already existing time bomb.
With the high levels of youth unemployment in South Africa, and the absence of a credible working class formation which will agitate people against against capitalism, some phenomenon, or reactionary movement, may trigger similar tensions in South Africa.
It is only through agaitating the masses to revolt against capitalism, and to rally behind the creation of a socialist society, that we can avert chaos, at least proactively. Our people must be told that corruption is a product of capitalism, and the idea that you can eliminate corruption in a capitalist society is feeble.
You can kill all Gupta brothers, arrest President Zuma, and kill all those associated with them, corruption will continue. The realization of a socialist society is the only ideas where all will share in the country’s wealth, land and minerals.
My greatest sympathize to the people of Mozambique. I pray that peace reigns in that country, and that they manage to eject all those multinationals, reject IMF and World Bank, and begin building their own economy, rather than assault each other with guns and machetes.
Tiisetso Makhele is an African Marxist. He writes in his personal capacity
“The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not represent the opinions or views of Central news