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Title:  Mozambique Human Rights Practices, 1995   
Author:  U.S. Department of State    
Date:  March 1996    
 
 
 
 
                            MOZAMBIQUE 
 
 
Mozambique has a constitutional government headed by President Joaquim 
Chissano who was elected in the country's first multiparty elections in 
October 1994.  President Chissano and the leadership of his party, the 
National Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO), which has 
ruled the country since independence in 1975, control policymaking and 
implementation.  The National Assembly, while providing a forum for 
reconciliation and public airing of issues, did not exert significant 
authority or independence from the executive.  The extremely weak 
judiciary continued to be unable to implement constitutional provisions 
safeguarding individual human rights or provide an effective check on 
the power of the executive branch.  Although the foundations of 
democracy remain fragile, Mozambique's political transition continued to 
be largely successful, with far fewer human rights problems than before 
the end of the war in late 1993.  The country remained stable following 
the departure of the last elements of the United Nations peacekeeping 
force (ONUMOZ) in early 1995.  Reintegration of areas controlled by the 
Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) during the war remained 
contentious but limited to only a few districts.  Tensions between the 
ruling FRELIMO party and RENAMO abated somewhat as the two parties began 
to work together in the newly elected multiparty legislature.   
 
Mozambique's internal security forces, which include the State 
Information and Security Service (SISE), the Criminal Investigation 
Police (PIC), the Mozambican National Police (PRM) and the Rapid 
Reaction Police (PIR), were a focus of controversy, with RENAMO leader 
Afonso Dhlakama repeatedly charging that they continued to act as arms 
of the ruling party.  Members of the security forces committed human 
rights abuses.   
 
Approximately 80 percent of the population is employed in agriculture, 
mostly on a subsistence level.  A slow transition to a market economy 
continues in the small formal economy.  Major exports are shrimp, sugar, 
cotton, and cashew nuts.  While the absence of war has caused economic 
output to expand, extensive corruption at all levels of government and 
halfhearted acceptance of the principles of a free market hamper longer 
term economic development.  The Government has not yet fully implemented 
major economic reforms.  Starting from an extremely low base, the gross 
domestic product grew an estimated 5.4 percent in 1994 and was forecast 
to grow 5.5 percent in 1995.  However, a high inflation rate continued 
to plague the country, and Mozambique's economy and the Government's 
budget remain heavily dependent on foreign aid.  The annual per capita 
income of $90 remains one of the lowest in the world.  Near normal rains 
and continuing peace meant that many Mozambicans, including returning 
refugees and the internally displaced, were able to farm their lands 
again, reducing dependence on food aid.   
 
Continuing the postwar trend of recent years, the status of political 
and civil liberties in Mozambique improved again, but the country's 
overall human rights record was marred by a pattern of abusive police 
behavior and the corrupt and ineffective judicial system's inability to 
serve the average citizen.  Ill-trained and undisciplined police forces, 
private security forces, and local officials continued to commit human 
rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings and excessive use of 
force.  Security forces and police routinely beat or otherwise tortured 
or abused detainees.  Extremely poor prison conditions resulted in the 
deaths of dozens of inmates.  The media remained largely owned by the 
Government and manipulated by a retrograde faction within the ruling 
party.  With increased press scrutiny, more abuses by security forces 
came to light than in previous years, and in some instances the 
Government investigated and punished those responsible.  However, due to 
the common perception that the police force is inept and corrupt, many 
citizens resorted to mob justice.  Arbitrary arrests, lengthy 
detentions, discrimination and violence against women, and violence 
against children remain problems.   
 
RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 
 
Section 1   Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom 
from: 
 
   a.   Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing 
 
There were no known or suspected cases of political killings, but there 
were reports of extrajudicial killings.  According to the government-
owned press, a district administrator in the northern province of 
Nampula was accused of ordering executions by firing squad.  The 
administrator was suspended pending an investigation.  In August in an 
outlying Maputo suburb, rather than halting a mob from lynching two 
suspected thieves, a policeman fatally shot the two men.  The local 
police station declined comment.  Also in August, according to an 
independent news facsimile, the PRM in Maputo allegedly extorted money 
from the families of two suspected bandits but then summarily executed 
the men anyway.  Witnesses claim that in July police called in to settle 
a dispute between neighbors over a chicken instead shot and killed one 
of the disputants, Fern Macongue Sitoe.  According to the press, the 
policemen continue to work in the local police station.  In February 
Rapid Reaction Police in Inhambane opened fire on a crowd of unarmed 
protesters, killing two.   
 
From all indications, mob/vigilante killings continued to be common.  In 
April a policeman was beaten to death in Maputo by  
 
a mob protesting police brutality.  In August a mob chased and burned 
alive a man who had allegedly robbed a delivery truck.  There were 
numerous but unverified reports during the year that regulos 
(traditional chiefs) and curadeiros (traditional healers) had imposed 
and carried out death sentences against persons accused of witchcraft. 
 
   b.   Disappearance 
 
There were no reports of politically motivated disappearances.  The fate 
of thousands of Mozambicans who disappeared during the civil war still 
remains unresolved. 
 
   c.   Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or 
Punishment 
 
The Constitution expressly prohibits torture, but the Mozambican police 
forces carried out serious abuses during 1995.  The police often used 
excessive force, and there were continuing reports that, as a matter of 
routine, detainees were often beaten and whipped.  Corruption in the 
police forces extends throughout the ranks, and the PRM used violence 
and detention to intimidate people from reporting abuses.  In August the 
Mozambican League of Human Rights reported that police in Nampula commit 
torture in jails, police stations, and public places. 
 
According to a 1995 investigation by the Mozambican League of Human 
Rights, security forces employed by the Commercial Bank of Mozambique 
beat and tortured (including use of electric shocks) employees of that 
institution during 1994.  According to a press report in February, 
members of the "Proteg" private security force beat Gabriel Jose Stefane 
and two of his relatives and detained them for 2 days in the firm's 
headquarters.  In March police in Mutarara detained and beat two RENAMO 
members of the National Assembly.  This lead to a parliamentary inquiry 
and disciplinary action against the police involved.  RENAMO leader 
Dhlakama charged on numerous occasions that members of his party were 
being harassed, detained, and beaten by police.  He also charged that 
police, under the guise of civilians, continue to steal from and 
intimidate his constituency in Manica Province.  In June the Mozambican 
League of Human Rights reported that the "Lightning Brigade" of the 
Mozambique Armed Defense Force (FADM), sent to the Moamba area west of 
Maputo to deal with armed banditry, had detained, beaten, and tortured 
suspects without due process. 
 
The rise of criminal activity, combined with the ineffectiveness of the 
police forces and a weak judicial system (see Section l.e.), led to 
increased instances of popular justice and vigilante activity.  The 
local press frequently reported instances of suspected thieves being 
severely beaten or even lynched by angry mobs.  Confiscating people's 
possessions under flimsy pretexts is a common police practice.  On 
occasion, the Government has taken action to counter the abuses arising 
from police corruption and excessive use of force.  In February Nampula 
Province Governor Rosario Mualeia called on police in the province to 
stop beating citizens and confiscating their possessions.  There were 
isolated instances of disciplinary actions in other parts of the 
country. 
 
Prison conditions throughout the country posed a serious threat to 
inmates' life and health.  Medical and food supplies are more often than 
not insufficient, and it is estimated that some prisons hold up to four 
times their intended prisoner capacity.  According to Justice Minister 
Jose Abudo, illnesses prevalent in the prison population include 
diarrhea, malaria, scabies, and tuberculosis.  Abudo made a highly 
publicized visit to Maputo jails in August and drew attention to the 
terrible conditions.  He noted that with the exception of Niassa central 
prison, all other prisons in the country were overcrowded.   
 
According to a report by the Mozambican Legue of Human Rights, the 
central prison in Maputo houses nearly twice its capacity--1,575 rather 
than 800 inmates.  The civil prison in Maputo is currently housing 550 
prisoners rather than its stated maximum capacity of 250.  In Nacala 
City, in Nampula Province, the prison is housed in the basement of the 
only hotel in town.  As the Nampula Provincial Director of Prisons, 
Basilio Augusto, explained, the province does not have adequate 
buildings to house prisoners.  Thus, prisoners, ill or not, are all 
placed in the same cell in inhumane conditions.  For example, Nampula 
central prison, with a capacity of 90 persons, currently houses 400 
prisoners.   
 
In September Radio Mozambique reported that 31 inmates had already died 
in Chimoio central prison in 1995 from illness, lack of food, and lack 
of sanitary conditions.  According to the report, prisoners in Chimoio 
receive only one meal per day, and the prison authorities rarely provide 
inmates with medical attention.  August press reports stated that 25 
prisoners died in Manica central prison.  In May the press reported that 
the Director of the Nampula prison had been accused of stealing 
prisoners' food and that 12 prisoners had died in the first 3 months of 
the year from malnutrition.  In July 3 former detainees at the First 
Police Station in Nampula stated that at least 10 people died there over 
a 3-month period.  The three men attributed the deaths to food shortages 
and lack of medical assistance.  However, they also charged that police 
beat inmates as punishment for disobeying orders.  They further alleged 
that some police guards asked for money in exchange for freedom. 
 
In January the Tanzanian Embassy requested that the Government 
investigate reports that 13 Tanzanian citizens had died of diseases 
caused by poor conditions in the jail in Beira.  International human 
rights groups are given access to prisoners. 
 
   d.   Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile 
 
The law requires that most detainees be charged or released within 30 
days.  However, persons accused of the most serious crimes, i.e., 
security offenses or those requiring a sentence of more than 8 years, 
may be detained for up to 84 days without being formally charged.  With 
court approval, such detainees may be held for two additional periods of 
84 days while the police complete their investigation.  In practice, 
however, these rules, as well as a detainee's constitutional right to 
counsel and to contact relatives or friends often are ignored.  The 
Government has broad latitude to determine what constitutes a security 
offense. 
 
Most citizens are unaware of their rights, particularly those granted 
under the 1990 Constitution, and detainees can spend many months, even 
years, in pretrial status.  In some cases, detainees may be released 
from prison while the investigation proceeds, but the bail system 
remains poorly defined, with police and prison officials usually taking 
bribes to effect the release of those who can afford to pay.  The law 
provides that if the prescribed period for investigation has been 
completed and no charges have been brought, the detainee must be 
released.  In practice, however, this law is often ignored, in part 
because of the severe lack of administrative personnel, trained judges, 
and sufficient lawyers to monitor the judicial system (see Section 
1.e.).  A large backlog of prisoners continues to await trial.  In March 
the Deputy Minister of Justice acknowledged that between 20 and 30 
percent of some 4,000 detainees held in jails had been held without 
charge beyond the period stipulated by law, but in July, the Minister of 
Justice stated that of 2,572 detainees awaiting trial, 1,451 had not 
been charged.  In July it was reported that of 174 prisoners in the Xai 
Xai jail, only 25 had actually been convicted of crimes.  The same month 
long-time detainees at the Gaza provincial prison in Xai Xai rioted, 
demanding that their cases be tried;  11 detainees were injured when 
police intervened.   
 
According to the Mozambican League of Human Rights, of the 1,575 people 
detained in Maputo central prison, 1,009 were awaiting trial.  The 
League discovered that one person who was arrested for stealing cement 
has been jailed in Maputo central prison since September 1992 but has 
yet to be taken before a magistrate.  In another documented case a man 
in the central prison accused of stealing a kilogram of onions in 1989 
still awaited trial at year's end.   
 
The 1990 Constitution expressly prohibits exile, and the Government does 
not use exile as a form of political control. 
 
   e.   Denial of Fair Public Trial 
 
The 1990 Constitution formally established an independent judiciary and 
specifically states that the decisions of the courts take precedence 
over all other authorities and individuals and must be obeyed.  
Nevertheless, the executive, and by extension the FRELIMO party, 
dominates the judiciary.  In general, judges are beholden for their 
positions to the ruling FRELIMO party, which continues to exercise 
significant influence on all aspects of public life through the 
executive and party organs.  Moreover, the President appoints the 
members of the most important tribunal, the Supreme Court, and prior to 
the October elections, these were automatically ratified by the FRELIMO-
appointed National Assembly.  The President also appoints the Attorney 
General, and after a delay of almost a year, in December, the President 
filled this long-vacant position.  The new multiparty National Assembly 
has yet to assert its prerogatives in the judicial area. 
 
Mozambique has two complementary formal justice systems:  the 
civil/criminal, which includes customary courts; and the military.  A 
1991 law empowered the Supreme Court to administer the civil/criminal; 
it also hears appeals, including military cases, although the Ministry 
of Defense administers the military courts.  Civilians are not under the 
jurisdiction of or tried in the military courts.  Local customary courts 
handle matters such as estate and divorce cases.  In regular courts, all 
accused persons are in theory presumed innocent and have the right to 
legal counsel and the right of appeal, but the authorities do not always 
respect these rights, and in fact the great majority of the population 
does not possess the means to obtain any form of legal counsel following 
the disintegration of a government organization previously responsible 
for providing counsel for indigent defendants.  The President of the 
Supreme Court has acknowledged that the judicial system is plagued by 
bribery and extortion.   
 
The Government, with international assistance, has developed a 
comprehensive plan for improving the professional level and efficiency 
of the judiciary.  However, in 1995 little action was taken to put this 
plan into effect.  The military is also discussing new judicial 
institutions.   
 
Since the establishment of the Supreme Court in 1988 and the abolition 
of the Revolutionary Military Tribunal, persons accused of crimes 
against the State are tried in common civilian courts under standard 
criminal judicial procedures.  A judge may order a trial closed because 
of national security interests or to protect the privacy of the 
plaintiff in cases concerning rape. 
 
Efforts to reintegrate RENAMO-controlled zones into central 
administrative structures continued, but RENAMO still administers a 
number of areas through a rudimentary form of civil administration and 
traditional courts, with extensive use of traditional authorities as 
judges.  In a June Focus on Africa report, traditional chiefs were 
accused of sentencing to death persons accused of witchcraft and 
throwing them to the crocodiles.   
 
   f.   Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 
 
The 1990 Constitution provides for the right to privacy and expressly 
forbids the use of surveillance techniques.  By law, police need a 
warrant to enter homes and businesses.  Although there are fewer reports 
of such activity, incidents of illegal telephone wiretapping by 
government intelligence agencies allegedly still occur.  In July 
RENAMO's Dhlakama accused the SISE of spying on him during a visit to 
Gaza Province. 
 
Section 2   Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 
 
   a.   Freedom of Speech and Press 
 
The Constitution, the 1991 Press Law, and the 1992 Rome Peace Accords 
provide for freedom of expression and the press but with restrictions in 
cases involving national defense considerations.  In practice, however, 
the Government restricts these freedoms.  While criticism of the 
President is not legally prohibited, the 1991 Press Law holds that, in 
cases of defamation against the President, truth is not a sufficient 
defense against libel.  Although this law had not been tested in court, 
it resulted in considerable self-censorship and almost no direct 
criticism of the President. 
 
The Government dominates the media through direct control of, and 
subsidies to, the most important means of reaching the public.  The 
Government owns the country's only two daily newspapers (Noticias in 
Maputo and Diario in Beira), the largest weekly newspaper (Domingo), the 
main radio station, the only weekly news magazine and one of the two 
television stations.  The Government also has its own wire service (the 
Mozambican Information Agency--AIM), which local journalists regard 
largely as an outlet for propaganda. 
 
While control of the media is not word-by-word and day-by-day, the 
official media know their limits and generally do not criticize 
government officials or policies.  Two ministers did become the target 
of press campaigns, but this was less a break with past practice than 
evidence that they were out of favor with the retrograde faction of 
FRELIMO that has the most influence on the press.  The government-
controlled media not only avoids stories critical of the Government but 
also finds ample space for items that support it or that portray the 
opposition in a bad light.  Recently, such activity included 
disinformation campaigns regarding RENAMO activities and exaggerated 
reports on the degree of food shortages in the country.  Abolition of 
the Ministry of Information in late 1994 did not result in greater 
independence for the media as the Ministry's functions were taken over 
by the Prime Minister's Office. 
 
Notwithstanding the dominance of the official media, the small, 
independent press carry opposition viewpoints and generally have far 
more credibility.  However, the influence of the independent press and, 
for that matter, of the official press as well, is limited largely to 
Maputo and the provincial capitals because of the logistical difficulty 
of distribution of any publication in rural areas. 
 
The independent media consist of two weekly newspapers (Savanna and 
Demos), two daily fax newsletters (Mediafax and Imparcial), the second 
television station (RTK) and a few limited-range radio stations.  RTK 
began its third year of broadcasting in 1995.  While independent of the 
Government, the station is owned by a FRELIMO Central Committee member, 
and programming has not taken an independent political line.  Both RTK 
and the government station broadcast only in Maputo and two other major 
cities, leaving the vast majority of the country without television 
coverage. 
 
Journalists of the independent as well as the government-controlled 
press who even obliquely criticized high-level officials were subject to 
threats and intimidation.  In March Mediafax editors quickly were 
summoned to the prosecutor's office (even though such legal processes 
usually take months) after publishing a story about a vice minister's 
actions relating to a stolen car.  Interior Minister Manuel Antonio made 
public threats against journalists of Diario de Mocambique, after that 
paper published reports linking the Minister's brother to a stolen car.  
In June a journalist with the government-owned AIM was detained by 
police for 8 hours, apparently in retaliation for press articles 
critical of police behavior. 
 
There are no formal restrictions on academic freedom, but, in practice, 
teachers routinely adhere to self-censorship since their employment 
depends on the State. 
 
   b.   Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 
 
The Constitution provides for freedom of assembly and association.  
Legislation enacted in 1991 provided guidelines for the registration of 
political parties, and 18 registered political parties were active 
during the 1994 election campaign, including RENAMO and FRELIMO.  
Throughout 1995 political groups were free to hold congresses and press 
conferences.   
 
Other groups and associations also have organized or become more active.  
For example, in mid-February the Order of Lawyers of Mozambique was 
established with the announced purpose of reorganizing the legal 
profession and redefining the national standards for accreditation as an 
attorney.  The Mozambican Christian Council has undertaken a project to 
collect arms throughout the country.  It has held several rallies where 
people were able to exchange arms for agricultural equipment.  The 
rallies were well-attended and faced no governmental obstacles or 
harassment.   
 
Under new legislation approved in October 1992, a political party must 
demonstrate that it has no racial, ethnic, or religious exclusiveness 
and secure at least 2,000 signatures of support from within the country 
in order to be recognized legally.   
 
No groups were known to have been denied permission to hold public 
marches. 
 
   c.   Freedom of Religion 
 
The Constitution mandates strict separation of church and state and 
provides for the freedom to "practice or not practice a religion."  The 
Government does not require religious organizations or missionaries to 
register, and foreign missionaries are routinely granted visas.  The 
Constitution gives religious institutions the right to own property and 
operate schools.  In May a radio station owned by a religious 
organization opened in Maputo, and in March a Muslim-owned weekly 
newspaper was launched.  Relations between the Government and religious 
organizations, tense in the early years after independence, began to 
improve in 1992 and have improved further as the Government has sought 
political support from these organizations in the multiparty system. 
 
   d.   Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign Travel, 
Emigration, and Repatriation 
 
The Constitution provides for freedom of travel within the country and 
abroad.  The Government no longer requires citizens to obtain permits 
from local authorities in order to travel within the country.  The 
Government does continue to enforce a law fining foreigners who overstay 
their visas $300 per day. 
 
With the end of the civil war and the return of the rains after the 
record drought of 1992, internally displaced Mozambicans and those who 
had sought refuge in neighboring asylum countries began to return home 
at the end of 1992 and throughout 1993 and 1994.  Under the auspices of 
the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and with the 
assistance of the International Organization of Migration, by mid-1995 
over 1.7 million refugees had returned, and most of the 3.6 million 
displaced persons had moved back home.  Travel to RENAMO controlled 
areas was generally not difficult, although in many cases RENAMO 
insisted that in order to ensure safety and prevent misunderstanding, 
relief workers and others should carry RENAMO letters. 
 
The numerous soldier mutinies which plagued the country during 1994 
largely abated due to the demobilization of most of the former 
combatants, with relatively few such protests threatening freedom of 
movement.  A more significant problem, especially for truck drivers and 
foreign tourists, was harassment by police demanding bribes to escape 
trumped-up charges of minor infractions. 
 
At the end of 1995, there were few refugees from other countries in 
Mozambique.  Between October 1992 and December 1994, the UNHCR 
registered 383 refugees, but the Government has subsequently lost track 
of the whereabouts of 200 of these persons.  In January the Foreign 
Minister stated that the Government had received 187 requests for 
asylum.  There were no reported cases in which refugees were forced to 
return to countries where they might have a well-founded fear of 
persecution. 
 
Section 3   Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens to 
Change Their Government 
 
Citizens freely exercised for the first time their right to vote in 
multiparty elections in October 1994, which U.N. and other observers 
declared to be free and fair.  President Chissano was elected, with the 
ruling FRELIMO party winning 129 of the 250 National Assembly seats.  
The newly elected Parliament, with its FRELIMO majority, did not provide 
any significant check on the power of the executive branch.  The 
President and the FRELIMO leadership continued to control policymaking 
and implementation, and FRELIMO members were appointed to all cabinet 
positions and provincial governorships, even in provinces where RENAMO 
had won overwhelming majorities in the 1994 elections.   
 
RENAMO, for its part, in Nampula Province raised money by imposing its 
own taxes and also carried out its own census.  In other areas, FRELIMO 
administrators accused RENAMO officials of running parallel governmental 
structures, and harassing and even physically abusing central government 
appointed officials.  By year's end, there were indications the 
Government was establishing itself in some RENAMO-dominated areas. 
 
In March the Government proposed local elections, limited to the 10 
provincial capitals and Maputo, for 1996.  The timetable and the areas 
to participate in these elections were still being debated at year's end 
however, and they were not expected to take place in 1996.     
 
While there are no legal restrictions hindering women's involvement in 
government, cultural factors and underdevelopment have inhibited their 
political advancement.  Nonetheless, of the 250 newly elected National 
Assembly deputies, 62 are women (48 of 129 FRELIMO, 13 of 112 RENAMO and 
1 of 9 Democratic Union Coalition), albeit, these female deputies are 
not believed to play a significant role in either the Parliament's or 
the individual parties' decisionmaking processes.  One woman serves as a 
minister in the Government and five as vice ministers.   
 
Section 4   Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights 
 
There are no legal obstacles to the formation of local human rights 
groups in Mozambique, and two groups formed in 1993 continued to 
operate.  Based on its belief that the great majority of human rights 
abuses in Mozambique never come to light, the Mozambican League for 
Human Rights has focused efforts on educating the public regarding its 
rights, with emphasis on the rights of prisoners.  The Government has 
permitted the League access to Maputo prisons under the jurisdiction of 
the Ministry of Justice.  The League has also publicly criticized 
widespread abusive behavior of the Mozambican police and the Minister of 
Interior himself. 
 
The Mozambique Government has been receptive to international human 
rights monitoring groups, including the International Committee of the 
Red Cross (ICRC). 
 
Section 5   Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, Disability, 
Language, or Social Status 
 
The Constitution forbids discrimination based on race, sex, religion, or 
disability, but the Government does not ensure in practice that such 
discrimination does not occur.   
 
   Women 
 
According to medical and other sources, violence against women, 
especially wife beating and rape, is widespread, especially in rural 
areas.  According to a local women's group, many women believe that 
their spouses have the right to beat them.  The police do not normally 
intervene in domestic disputes, and cases are rarely brought before the 
courts.  Furthermore, when victims of physical abuse are brought to the 
hospital, these cases are rarely registered as caused by domestic 
violence.  No official statistics exist with reference to the magnitude 
of domestic violence.  The Government has not specifically addressed the 
issue of violence against women.  While rape can theoretically be 
prosecuted in the courts, cultural pressures would make it highly 
unlikely for most women to press for such action. 
 
Despite the constitutional prohibition of discrimination based on sex, 
women suffer from both legal and societal discrimination.  Mozambique 
has civil and commercial legal codes which predate independence and 
frequently contradict each other and the Constitution.  Among these laws 
are discriminatory measures based on traditional African practices which 
limit widows' inheritance rights, with estates reverting to the deceased 
husband's relatives.  Also, the legal domicile of a married woman is her 
husband's house, and she may only work outside the home with the express 
consent of her husband.  A married woman can use property as collateral 
for funds only with her husband's consent.  The Government has not yet 
drafted any measures that would revise and update family law. 
 
Women continue to be underrepresented in the professions; a few women 
are active in the leadership of nongovernmental organizations (NGO's).  
Women have less access than men to educational institutions above the 
primary level.  Although roughly equal proportions of male and female 
children enter primary school, by secondary school, males greatly 
outnumber females.  Discrimination against women is most apparent in 
rural areas where over 80 percent of the population live and where women 
are engaged mainly in subsistence farming and childrearing, with little 
opportunity for schooling or access to health care.   
 
In July, in preparation for the U.N. Conference on Women in Beijing, the 
Mozambican Association of Women in the Legal Profession held a seminar 
which examined discriminatory elements in the law.  They questioned 
Article 21 of the Constitution, which grants Mozambican citizenship to 
the foreign wife of a Mozambican male but normally does not grant 
citizenship to the foreign-born spouse of a Mozambican woman.  They also 
examined several portions of the Civil Code which dictate a woman's 
residence and grant decisionmaking power to the fathers and husbands. 
 
In May the Mozambican Association of Demobilized Soldiers noted that 
demobilized female soldiers were not being given the same opportunities 
as men for reintegration into social and economic projects. 
 
The Justice Ministry and an NGO, the Association of Women, Law, and 
Development (MULEIDE), which aims to promote and defend the legal rights 
of women, are collaborating to identify outdated laws that conflict with 
rights granted to women by the 1990 Constitution.  This has been a slow 
process with few concrete accomplishments. 
 
   Children 
 
The Government has not made children's rights and welfare a priority.  
It has made little attempt to alleviate the plight of the increasing 
numbers of urban street children, many of whom were orphaned by the war.  
In a speech in April, the Minister of Social Action Coordination 
suggested that there were hundreds of thousands of abandoned children in 
urban areas.  Such street children are routinely beaten by police and 
are often victims of sexual abuse.  The Government appears either 
unwilling or unable to deal with an increasingly corrupt and overcrowded 
educational system in which it is widely reported that school children 
(or their parents) must bribe teachers for passing grades.  Reportedly 
about half of the country's children do not attend school at all. 
 
   People with Disabilities 
 
Although the Constitution expressly states that "disabled citizens shall 
enjoy fully the rights enshrined in the Constitution," few resources 
were available to make this a reality.  In 1991 the Association of 
Mozambican Disabled (ADEMO) was created to address the social and 
economic needs of the disabled.  Although poorly funded, ADEMO provides 
training, raises public awareness of the need to fully integrate the 
disabled into society, and lobbies the Ministry of Labor to initiate 
legislation to support the working rights of the disabled.  The 
electoral law governing Mozambique's first multiparty elections 
specifically addressed the needs of disabled voters in the polling 
booths.  No special access facilities exist. 
 
   National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities 
 
There was no systematic persecution or discrimination on the basis of 
race or ethnicity.  However, the FRELIMO Government has traditionally 
included at all levels a disproportionate number of southerners, mostly 
from the Shangaan ethnic group.  The Government took some steps to 
address this imbalance--in a departure from previous practice, new 
provincial governors appointed during 1995 were all natives of the 
respective provinces and more nonsoutherners were included in FRELIMO's 
parliamentary delegation. 
 
RENAMO leadership is predominantly from the Shona ethnic group.  There 
is no indication that the conflict between the Government and RENAMO was 
primarily motivated by ethnicity, although ethnic and regional factors 
may have played some role and explain some of the civil war violence. 
 
Section 6   Worker Rights 
 
   a.   The Right of Association 
 
The Constitution specifies that all workers are free to join or refrain 
from joining a trade union.  The Labor Law passed in December 1991 
further protects workers right to organize and to engage in union 
activity at their place of employment.  The legislation gave existing 
unions the right to register independently from the then FRELIMO 
dominated Organization of Mozambican Workers (OTM).  The three 
independent unions that broke away from the OTM in 1992 formed a central 
union in 1994 but maintain working contacts with OTM.  In December 1994, 
the National Peasant Union was created, and it specified that it is 
autonomous and unrelated to any political party. 
 
While still subject to strong government influence, OTM is seeking to 
develop a more democratic image.  At its Third National Congress in May 
1994, the OTM membership for the first time elected the President and 
the Secretary General.  Previously both OTM positions had been 
government appointments.  New OTM statutes call for independence from 
any influences by companies, governments, political parties, and 
religious groups.  The independent unions charged, however, that OTM 
still lacked sufficient independence from the Government and called for 
the establishment of a new central union structure. 
 
The Constitution explicitly provides for the right to strike, with the 
exception of government employees, police, military personnel, and 
employees of other essential services (which include sanitation, 
firefighting, air traffic control, health care, water, electricity, 
fuel, post office, and telecommunications).  While there were frequent 
calls for a general strike to protest what was seen as an insufficient 
minimum wage, no such strike occurred.  Some wildcat strikes were held, 
predominantly for payment of salaries in arrears. 
 
The 1991 Labor Law forbids retribution against strikers, the hiring of 
substitute workers, and lockouts by employers.  There were no known 
instances of employer retribution against striking workers.  Specific 
labor disputes are generally arbitrated through ad hoc workers' 
committees, formally recognized by the Government.  The Constitution and 
labor legislation give unions the right to join and participate in 
international bodies.  The OTM is a member of the Organization of 
African Trade Union Unity and the Southern African Trade Union 
Coordinating Council.  The Mozambican Parliament has ratified four 
International Labor Organization conventions on employment policies, 
tripartite negotiations, trade union legislation, collective bargaining, 
and protection of trade union rights.   
 
   b.   The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively 
 
The Labor Law protects the right of workers to organize and engage in 
collective bargaining.  It expressly prohibits discrimination against 
organized labor, although antiunion discrimination has not been an issue 
because, until recently, unions were government-controlled 
organizations.  In late 1991, the Government decreed that it would no 
longer set all salary levels.  Negotiation of wage increases was left in 
the hands of existing unions.  During 1994 and 1995, the OTM took an 
active role in negotiating an increase in the minimum wage.  The OTM, 
the three independent unions, and business organizations met with the 
Government to negotiate a "social pact," which resulted in an increased 
minimum wage and the setting of voluntary price ceilings on certain food 
staples.  The more activist independent unions and, to a lesser extent 
the OTM, utilized the threat of a general strike to compel the 
Government and business organizations to negotiate.  The resulting 
"social pact" committee has since been formalized to negotiate issues 
which impact on workers.  In September the OTM, the three independent 
unions, and the Teachers and Journalists Unions continued to negotiate 
with employers' associations and the Government for an increase in the 
minimum wage rate.  They demanded a 75 percent increase in the minimum 
wage and an indexing of wages to the inflation rate.  The Government 
agreed to a 37.5 percent wage increase. 
 
While Mozambique has enacted legislation for the establishment of export 
processing zones, no zones have been created. 
 
   c.   Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor 
 
Forced or compulsory labor is prohibited by law, and there have been no 
reports of such labor practices.   
 
   d.   Minimum Age for Employment of Children 
 
Child labor is regulated by the Ministry of Labor.  In the wage economy, 
the minimum working age is 16 years.  Because of high adult 
unemployment, few children are employed in regular wage positions.  
However, children commonly work on family farms or in the urban informal 
sector, where they perform such tasks as guarding cars, collecting scrap 
metal, or selling trinkets and food in the streets. 
 
   e.   Acceptable Conditions of Work 
 
The Government sets minimum wage rates administratively.  The minimum 
wage at year's end was less than $21 (218,143 meticais) per month.  The 
Ministry of Labor is responsible for enforcing the minimum rates in the 
private sector, the Ministry of Finance in the public sector.  
Violations of minimum wage rates are usually investigated only after 
workers register a complaint.  It is customary for workers to receive 
benefits such as transportation and food.  The minimum wage is not 
considered sufficient to sustain an average urban worker and family.  
Many workers must turn to a second job, if available, as well as work 
garden plots to survive. 
 
The standard legal workweek is 44 hours, with a weekly 24-hour rest 
period stipulated.  In the small modern sector, the Government has 
enacted health and environmental laws to protect workers.  On occasion, 
the Government has closed firms for noncompliance with these laws, but 
the Ministry of Labor enforces these laws ineffectively.  Workers have 
the right to remove themselves from work situations that endanger their 
health or safety without jeopardy to their continued employment.   
 
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[end of document]

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