Mozambique is expected to have general elections (presidential, provincial and legislative) on the 15th of this month. The elections will be observed by a SADC observer mission led by Zimbabwe’s Minister of Defense, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri. Below are some key points to notes as the country conducts its elections.
Mozambique is set to become a top global gas exporter thanks to projects being led by Total and Exxon Mobil Corp in its extreme north.
A group of militants killed hundreds in attacks on villages in the gas-rich region which is a Frelimo stronghold. Little is known about the militants. Human Rights Watch researcher, Zenaida Machado reports that the group increased attacks in the run-up to the elections, making campaigning impossible in some districts.
Frelimo which has governed Mozambique since independence in 1975 fought a 16-year civil war against the former guerrilla movement, Renamo that killed around 1 million people before a truce in 1992. Violence often resurfaced every election time.
Mozambique is also battling to recover from a debt crisis after lending more than $1 billion to state-run firms in 2016. This resulted in dwindling financial support from international financial institutions.
Mozambique was hit by Cyclone Idai and Cyclone Kenneth in less than two months this year, killing hundreds and wreaking destruction across central and northern regions.