Democracy and rights
Close links between the government party and
the state apparatus undermine democracy in Mozambique.
In 2018, however, a step was taken towards a greater
influence for the opposition.
Although multi-party democracy, freedom of speech and
access to justice are guaranteed in the constitution,
Mozambique is not a functioning democracy. Although the
opposition formally holds a relatively strong position
in Parliament, it has no real political influence as a
result of how the rules for decision-making and
accountability are formulated. The latest election was
bordered by violence and accusations of cheating from
Offers a comprehensive list of airports in Mozambique, including international airports with city located, size and abbreviation, as well as the biggest airlines.
The opposition has long demanded a decentralization
of power and in 2018 a change was implemented which
means that the governors of the country's provinces will
henceforth be appointed by the party that wins the
regional elections. Previously, all the governors were
appointed by the president. The change is expected to
benefit democratic development in the country in the
Torture, arbitrary arrests and executions without
judicial review have been documented. There are also
reports that police and government officials threatened
and harassed members of the opposition.
Freedom of assembly and association is guaranteed in
the constitution. However, the right to participate in
peaceful demonstrations is often restricted by the state
which has the opportunity to refuse permission.
Civil society can usually act freely, but
organizations that are critical of the government can
The Constitution prohibits discrimination on grounds
of gender and 40 percent of the members of parliament
were women in 2018. But women are still financially
discriminated against and every third woman aged 15 to
49 say they have been subjected to violence by their
partner. Mozambique is ranked 49th in the World Economic
Forum's Index of Gender Equality in 149 Countries 2018.
After the adoption of new criminal law legislation in
2014, same-sex relationships are not illegal, but
homosexuality is still a sensitive issue in rural areas.
Freedom of religion prevails both in the constitution
and in practice.
Since the fall of 2017, radical Islamists have
carried out violent attacks in the province of Cabo
Delgado. The attacks had claimed more than 200 lives in
Corruption is widespread at all levels of society and
legislation against corruption is deficient with many
loopholes. In Transparency International's index of
perceived corruption in 2019, Mozambique is ranked 146
out of 180 (see ranking list here). Following pressure
from major donors, several corruption investigations
against other former ministers have begun, previously it
has been common for corruption investigations to be
stopped from a political point of view.
Freedom of expression and media
The Constitution establishes the right to freedom of
expression, but in practice the right is limited.
Violation of senior officials or to slander the Prime
Minister or the President is considered a security
breach and can result in fines and imprisonment for up
to two years.
Many journalists apply self-censorship, and those who
are critical of the government may suffer badly. In
2018, a journalist who was criticized against the
government was kidnapped and beaten. The same year, the
authorities proposed that an annual fee be introduced
for all media. For some media it would entail a cost of
tens of thousands of kronor. The proposal is postponed
in the future following protests.
In 2019, the human rights organization, Human Rights
Watch, accused the government of trying to intimidate,
imprison and prosecute journalists who are watching the
government forces fight to stop the Islamist uprising in
the province of Delgado. Reporters Without Borders
places Mozambique in place 103 in its ranking of freedom
of the press in 180 countries in 2019. That's four
places down compared to 2018.
Judicial system and legal security
The government's influence over the judiciary erodes
the legal security in the country. The President has
considerable power to appoint high legal representatives
and the Supreme Court is dependent on funding decided by
the Minister of Finance. The World Justice Project ranks
Mozambique at 108th in its index of the rule of law in
126 countries in 2019.
Political control also influences the work of the
police. There are shortcomings when it comes to putting
people accountable for abuses such as assault and
arbitrary detention. There are also reports of
ill-treatment and also fatalities in connection with
The country's prisons are overcrowded and the
conditions there are very poor. The death penalty was
abolished in 1990.
WikiLeaks publishes documents on Mozambique
According to secret US documents published by WikiLeaks, Mozambique has
become a leading drug trafficking center.
Violent rattles in Maputo
Hunger cravings are breaking out in Maputo and its slums after prices of
bread and fuel have risen. Police open fire on protesters, and 14 people are
killed and over 440 injured in the violence. According to eyewitnesses, the
police shoot with ammunition, but this is denied by the authorities.
Former minister is sentenced to prison
Former Minister of Transport Antonio Munguambe is sentenced to 20 years in
prison for embezzling large sums from state-run airport company ADM. The verdict
is seen as a success for the country's fragile justice system.