A new “underground” newspaper called “Vigilant Citizen”, launched in Mozambique on the eve of elections, is being shared in .PDF by the blog Moçambique para Todos [pt]. Its cover carries the iconic image of protesters with the poster “Who keeps voting for these guys?”
Latest stories from Quick Reads + Mozambique
The final mayoral campaign rally of opposition party MDM in Beira ended with three people killed and several injured – the injured included the candidate's own son – following an attack by riot police who used tear gas grenades and shot bullets to the air.
When the tumult began, incumbent mayor Daviz Simango was preparing to take the stage and call on the crowd to vote once again for the main opposition party MDM (Mozambique Democratic Movement), in power in the second largest city of Mozambique, also the capital of the province of Sofala.
Unrest in Beira set in on November 16, the second to last day of the electoral campaign for Mozambique's municipal elections. The vote will take place on November 20, 2013. @Verdade newspaper is gathering citizen reports in a special website for the elections.
An open letter [pt] by Mozambican well-known economist and researcher Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco begins “Mr. President, you are out of control.” The letter frontally questions the credibility of President Guebuza in the current context of political and military tension in the country, followed by a strange rash of kidnapping. The researcher describes the latest events as “runarounds”:
Para suspender a constituição e aniquilar todas as formas de oposição, atirando depois as culpas para os raptores e outros criminosos e terroristas, ou para aniquilá-los em nome da luta pela estabilidade.
In order to suspend the constitution and to annihilate all forms of opposition, then blaming the kidnappers and other criminals and terrorists, or annihilating them in the name of the struggle for stability.
Castel-Branco even suggests that President Guebuza wants to “turn the country fascist”. The polemic text is being shared and commented on social media.
The Fourth International Congress in Cultural Studies – Colonialisms, Post-colonialisms and Lusophonies has a call for paper submissions open until
October 15, 2013 November 15, 2013 [deadline has been extended]:
To demystify, to dehierarchize, to establish a policy of difference, to allow a multiplicity of voices, to constitute so many projects of possible modernities/rationalities within post-modernity, to mobilize, to re-politicize, to imagine other political, social and economical models, this is the task (utopian, of course) that is, for us, essential in the re-imagining of Lusophony.
A postcolonial reflection in a Lusophone context cannot avoid the exercise of criticism to the old dichotomies of periphery/center, cosmopolitanism/rurality, civilized/savage, black/white, north/south, in a context of cultural globalization, transformed by new and revolutionary communication phenomena, which have also globalized marginality.
The congress will take place from April 28 to 30, 2014, in the city of Aveiro, Portugal.
Following a thrilling victory in the quarterfinals (see our coverage), last night the Mozambican women's basketball team won a place in the Afrobasket Finals tonight against reigning champions Angola. With yet another comeback-style victory over Cameroon in the semifinals, they are also guaranteed a place in the World Championships, and in the nation's sporting history.
A positive example of a farming, savings and literacy community project in Mozambique was highlighted in the blog of the NGO Justiça Ambiental (Environmental Justice) following their visit to the community of Nacoma, about 83 km from the northern city of Nampula last July.
Justiça Ambiental learned about the association's good practices “for a more efficient agriculture on poor soils” and crop improvements, and also about how the group, mostly composed by women, “increased their income allowing it to improve their lives and their families”:
We were impressed by the organization, methodology and capacity of a group so small yet so effective in managing their own interests. A good example of community empowerment, with which all present were astonished. However, for us it was more than that. It was once again a confirmation of the power of the people of Mozambique and Mozambican women in particular, their ability, courage and perseverance in trying to resolve their difficulties and strive for a better future. For us it was a true life lesson!
Concerns about the future of good examples such as this one were raised by the NGO in the end of the blog post, referring to the controversial economic development plan ProSavana (reported by Global Voices) and the ‘land grabbing’ plans of the governments of Japan, Brazil and Mozambique.
Hackathon Mozambique launched a graphic design contest [pt] for the upcoming third civic hackathon, and the deadline for submissions is already near: September 14, 2013.
The event, sponsored by Mozambique's Ministry of Science and Technology with the support of Sweden and Finland, will take place in early December and is being organized in an open group on Facebook, Hackathon Mozambique, that gathers more than 300 enthusiasts of the “development of innovative technological solutions” in the country. The topic for December's hackathon, Tourism, was democratically decided in an open poll.
The winner of the top prize of the previous edition, DoEverythingIT, proposed an app for “sending data on rainfall and water levels, collected from the Zambezi River upstream, to authorities who are able to issue timely warnings to people living downstream from the river via mobile messaging”, #humanipo reported.
Every Wednesday, dozens of Mozambican citizens march in the main streets of the capital city, Maputo, wearing German flags or raising them in their hands. They are called ‘Magermans', meaning those who returned from Germany. For more than 20 years they have been protesting for outstanding wage claims from the post-independence period when the socialist government sent about 18,000 Mozambicans to former East Germany.
When they left their country, following the declaration of independence in 1975, they were sent “for training, for jobs, and to learn skills to rebuild “, a video by Adam Thomas explains:
When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, many returned. They didn't find what they expected and have been protesting ever since.
An article by Louise Sherwood on IPS News points that “the workers received 40 percent of their salaries in cash while the other 60 percent was sent back to Mozambique”:
A  document, in possession of the Magermans, released by the German Federal Ministry of Finance, shows that 74.4-million dollars in salaries and 18.6-million dollars in social security were paid by the former GDR, figures which equate to approximately 5,000 dollars per worker. The Mozambican government accepted that a much smaller amount was owed and began to make payments of 10,000 t0 15,000 Meticais (or between 370 to 550 dollars) to some of the workers.
Mozambique's Ministry of Science and Technology is sponsoring the country's first civic hackathons, with the support of Sweden and Finland. The second, slated for the end of June, will focus on mobile apps in natural disaster management and flooding scenarios, frequent in the country. First prize is worth €2,000.
After striking for 27 days, Mozambique's medical professionals announced the end of their collective protest over inadequate compensation, without any concession from government. The strikers claimed they wanted to end the suffering of the nation's people. On @Verdade's Facebook page, readers expressed their frustration with the situation, speculating about how services will be affected by low morale. More »
After a week-long strike by medical professionals in Mozambique, Dr. Jorge Arroz, the President of Associação Médica de Moçambique, was arrested on Sunday night, May 26, 2013, under accusation of “sedition” (incitement of discontent or rebellion against a government). On Twitter and Facebook, @verdademz, @canal_moz and other netizens report.
Three brickmakers who had been arrested by the Mozambican Police while protesting peacefully with hundreds of people “at the gates of Brazilian mining giant Vale”, in Moatize on May 14, 2013, have been set free and are waiting for the verdict, NGO Justiça Ambiental informs denouncing acts of intimidation. The resettled population has been protesting for greater compensation. The Moatize coalfield is one of the largest unexplored mineral coal reserves in the world.
Medical professionals in Mozambique have announced they will strike. They consider that they were “humiliated, insulted and disdained” in their last meeting with government. This current strike follows a strike earlier this year by doctors. The video announcement is available with subtitles in English, and a number of languages.
Lack of transparency and professionalism when choosing candidates, besides a tendency to determine in advance who will take the institution's positions. Those were the reasons given by the human rights activist, Benilde Nhalivilo, to give up candidacy for a seat on the National Elections Commission of Mozambique[pt], a body responsible for overseeing elections in the country. Information on the A Verdade newspaper[pt].
April 2013′s “Open Terrace” will focus on Artists and ‘Houses of Culture’ [pt] from the Northern province of Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. The initiative takes place every month, bringing together people from diverse backgrounds to debate public issues. On December 2012, Global Voices reported on an Open Terrace dedicated to transparency in extractive mega projects in the country.
Mozambique's @Verdade newspaper is reporting on Facebook that about 500 residents of neighborhoods resettled by Brazilian mining company Vale are blocking road access to its coal mine in Moatize, Tete province. The peaceful protest is for greater compensation. The paper is reporting the rail line is also disrupted.
(…) there is a space that until now has been little explored by the national political forces, be it for political propaganda or electoral campaigns: the internet.
Mozambican platform Olho Cidadão (Eye of the Citizen) launched a new blog on April 2, 2013, with an analysis of the presence of political parties on the internet [pt]. Mozambique will hold municipal elections on November 20.
Global Voices partner in Mozambique, @Verdade newspaper, is one of the winners of the African News Innovation Challenge, ICFJ announced today, November 28, 2012. The innovation grant will be used to implement a “Citizen Desk” in partnership with Sourcefabric: “a tool that allows news organisations to create a mobile-optimised platform for aggregating, verifying, publishing and rewarding citizen journalism”.
A photo album by António Silva on Sapo illustrates the widespread use of bicycles as taxis in the flat city of Quelimane, in Mozambique, a place where there the lack of public transports has opened the path for a healthier environment.
This a guide to Mozambique from Bankelele blog:
Language: Portuguese is the official language of communication in Mozambique, and you will have no choice but to learn a bit of it. The average person you meet will speak little English, and probably not fluently. All communication and signage is in Portuguese for the most part, and there are no English newspapers. So when you visit Mozambique, don’t be one of those tourists who doesn’t care to learn a word and expects everyone else to communicate to them in English.
A community page on Facebook, Língua Portuguesa: Uma Língua Global? (Portuguese Language: A Global Language?) [pt], provides a diversity of materials to promote the debate about the expansion of Portuguese language and its consequences. Several critical issues on the policies of this language of around 200 million speakers are addressed, such as minority languages, multilinguism and linguistic colonialism.
Brazilian blogger Marcio Pessoa comments [pt] on personalities from Portuguese language countries who have been featured on the list of the world's most influential Africans of the magazine The Africa Report: the Angolan Manuel Vicente, former president of the state oil company (Sonangol), and the Mozambican Daviz Simango, the founder and President of the Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM) and the current mayor of Beira.
On a short series of posts, professor Carlos Serra writes about some of the reasons why Mozambique's blogsphere is fading away. One reader comments that blogging requires a load of work in order to ensure updates and quality. Whereas Serra says that social media may need to be blamed, despite the pros of its usage.
Johannes Myburgh shared on Twitter the Mozambique Media Landscape guide, which he helped produce with Infosaid media project. Radio is considered the country's “most important channel of communication”, but Infosaid highlights independent and electronic newspapers – such as Faísca, Whampula Faz and Global Voices partner @Verdade [pt] – as “innovative ways of producing and distributing” news.
Lucas, a Brazilian journalist in Mozambique, on his blog A voz de África (Voice of Africa), wrote a story [pt] that describes peculiar and funny situations one may come across while travelling with the local transport called chapa. A photo report on Demotix illustrates these over-busy minibus taxis in the crowded streets of Maputo.