A case for defending Mozambique

by | Apr 13, 2021 | International, Politics | 0 comments

Hosia Mviringi

Mozambique is a Southern African country on the Eastern coast bordering Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania.
This alone defines and elevates the importance of the country to the SADC region as a block and to individual countries that share a boundary with it.
Zimbabwe is currently mourning the death of a compatriot, Mr Nyasha Mugwagwa, who is one of the twelve civilians who were massacred in a terrorist attack on the town of Palma, Cabo Delgado province, on March 24 2021.

The vicinity and natural geographical interconnectedness of Mozambique to almost half of the SADC region make the country’s stability a matter of natural interest to the block.
It places the country at the core of the region’s economic and humanitarian interests.

Historically, Mozambique holds sentimental value to the region as a whole and Zimbabwe in particular.
The liberation history of this whole SADC region will be incomplete without a mention of Mozambique.
The coastal nation provided bases for the training of liberation war fighters for both Zimbabwe and South Africa, as one of the frontline states.

To date, Mozambique is home to some of the most significant war struggle monuments which hold immense historical significance to the SADC region in general and Zimbabwe in particular.
The Zimbabwean story can never be told in full without mention of the infamous Chimoio massacres.

The Zimbabwean story can never be complete without a revisit to the Nyadzonia and Chimoio shrines, which represent an extra province to the Zimbabwean social and political architecture.
Mozambique is home to many Zimbabwean descendants and vice versa.

It will therefore be an inexcusable dereliction of moral duty if Zimbabwe and SADC were to look aside when lives are being lost in Cabo Delgado.
Likewise, it would be catastrophic for the region to watch as Mozambique gets run over by a foreign-funded terrorist organisation.

As aptly put by Honourable Lemogang Kwape, Botswana’s Defence Minister, after a plenary meeting in Maputo on the eve of a SADC Double Troika Summit on April 8 2021;
“No member state can or should face terrorist threats on its own. We need to stand firm and united, as the SADC region, in a show of solidarity to our sister country, Mozambique,” he said.

Cabo Delgado, in its own right, is a historical region and city in the Mozambican context and it remains very significant to the history of the liberation of the whole Southern African Development Community(SADC) region, in the sense that it produced some, if not most of the illustrious sons and daughters of the revolutionary Frelimo Party such as Samora Machel and the current President of the Republic H.E Felipe Jacinto Nyusi.

Cabo Delgado, in historical terms, played the midwifery role in that it was the first port of call for newly trained liberation fighters as they deployed from training bases up North in Tanzania.
This is a part of history that is hardly told to the world.
This is a piece of history that should be treasured by all conscious regional compatriots.
It is this piece of history that should invoke deep emotions when we see images of native innocent Mozambicans being slaughtered like chickens by heartless cross border mercenaries.
It is this history that should jolt all sensible leaders into a natural sense of guilt and shame.
It is this history that should inform urgency of action to salvage this brotherly nation from the jaws of this terrorist beast.

It is this eternal sense of shame, guilt conscience and indebtedness that must drive our actions as SADC region, as Zimbabwe and as individual countries within SADC and Africa at large, to move with speed, whatever it takes, and provide the necessary support to the government and people of the Republic of Mozambique in this their hour of greatest need.

Mozambique has been plundered and looted for many decades now, partly at the hands of a colonial regime that was led by Portugal, and later on at the hands of a foreign-sponsored uprising that was to be fronted by one neo-colonialist puppet, Alfonso Dlakama.

Efforts to bring reconciliation and lasting peace in Mozambique we’re frustrated and met with scorn by an arrogant Western puppet organisation in the name of RENAMO.
And now the ISIS menace that has trekked from East Africa.

The people of Mozambique continue to languish in poverty and desperation, their country shamelessly bunched among the poorest nations on earth.
Yet it is all deception.
The country remains one of the richest countries on the Southern African peninsula, hosting the largest newest discovery of Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) and Oil.

These discoveries alone place Mozambique at the very core of the SADC regional economic matrix that no sane person can afford to ignore.
Mozambique is not poor, but instead, full exploitation of these natural resources, that include Coal and diamonds, could place the SADC economy in the driving seat Africa wide.

The ongoing energy projects in Mozambique have the potential to make SADC an energy self-sufficient region.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has resisted for a long time the temptation to unilaterally intervene in Cabo Delgado, and to be at the forefront of dealing with the Mozambican crisis.

He is part of a coalition of SADC nations who are yet to combine forces to address the crisis. Every nation on earth has its crises, but that does not stop others that are in a better position to help others in greater need.

No crisis on earth should supersede the need and duty to self-defence and preservation from aggression and potential future threats.

By joining this coalition, Zimbabwe is only being logical and proactive, to the extent that the government realises the potential of the Mozambican insurgency to spread like veld fire into neighbouring countries.

Zimbabwe and SADC as a whole can never be safe until Mozambique is safe. Zimbabwe will only be safe when the whole SADC region is safe and peaceful.
Thus the folly of expecting Zimbabwe to fold hands and watch as the situation in Cabo Delgado escalates into a national and subsequently a regional crisis.

Regional peace or lack thereof is a very contagious phenomenon. A peaceful neighbour is a natural asset to the nation.
Yet an unstable neighbour becomes a thorn in the flesh.
Mozambique’s Beira corridor is a worthwhile economic resource for protection by the SADC region as almost half the region depends on the Beira port for imports and exports.

The Beira port is the most cost-effective shipping route for Zimbabwe due to its proximity to the landlocked Southern African nation.
Zimbabwe imports the bulk of its fuel through a pipeline that runs from Beira to Feruka and Msasa in Harare. Without the Beira-Feruka-Msasa pipeline, petroleum products would have to land in Harare at an unbearable premium.

For the avoidance of doubt, Zimbabwe is invested in the Beira Port, thus the nation is a shareholder in the port, and this speaks of substantial economic interests to protect.

People to people relations are vital components of the very existence of the two nations.
To date, there are some points along the expansive boundary, where people from both sides are subject to the same traditional leaders. Places where citizens from across the divide do not require a passport to cross over.

Extended families live across the borders. People from both sides of the boundary commiserate with one another in times of strife.
In other words, Zimbabwe and Mozambique are one nation, despite the existence of artificial demarcations.