The Changing Culture of Mozambique

Part V


In 1977 FRELIMO grows from socialist into Marxist-Leninist doctrines. Many of these new doctrines conflicted with the traditions of the Swahili culture.

Some of the changes were not readily accepted were:

  • Women’s liberation- ending bridal pricing and  polygamy
  • Church membership-members of FRELIMO were not allow to join a church
  • Traditional healers-many were weeded out

Aid was received from:

  • Soviet Union
  • Eastern Europe
  • Nordic countries

They were considered a threat by:

  • Rhodesia
  • South Africa
  • USA
  • NATO alliances

For those who considered FRELIMO as a threat, gaining the alliance of those who resisted the changes was considered as an opportunity to weaken FRELIMO. The ANC, African National Congress, the South African resistance organization (started by Nelson Mandela and others) and ZANU were allowed to operate within Mozambique’s borders in their perspective bordering region. Rhodesian intelligence created a false-front organization called RENAMO, the National Resistance movement of Mozambique, also known as MNR. RENAMO was an acceptable alternative for those who were not in agreement with FRELIMO’s socialist/communist policies because RENAMO was anti-socialist and anti-FRELIMO.

FRELIMO had taken a strong and strikingly different role in leadership and in governing the still very traditional society and had made many enemies. Several enemies joined with RENAMO including former FRELIMO members who had been thrown out and white colonists that had left Mozambique after the cease-fire. By 1979 RENAMO membership had grown to over 2,000 men.

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