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A deadly power struggle

02/06/2018 AHK Süd-Afrika - News-Hauptkategorie

In Mozambique, decentralisation has been the subject of the most intense political debates and conflicts for more than two decades. At first sight, the government and opposition parties are essentially fighting over how much power the provinces should be given. But in fact the opposition wants political responsibility and power for the administrative units where it has won the majority of votes. So far, government has managed to avoid that.

After the parliamentary elections of 2014, the apparently mere administrative problem of decentralisation became enormously politically contentious. That’s because the most important opposition party, Renamo, demanded that itself – not the president, like in the past – should appoint the governors in those central Mozambican provinces where it had won a majority of votes. Government refused that, and that sparked a “mini-war” between the armed forces of Renamo and the security forces of the “eternal” government of Frelimo that has been ruling the country since 1975. Mozambique was on the way to a failed state (see Kaufmann/Borowczak in D+C/E+Z e-Paper 2017/6, p. 20 and box, p. 22).  [Page 20]  d+c e-Paper December 2017

 By Friedrich Kaufmann and Winfried Borowczak