Remembering Samora Machel

It is exactly 25 years to the day that one of Africa’s most important freedom fighters and revolutionaries died.

On 19 October 1986, Samora Moisés Machel, the first president of Mozambique’s life was taken away when his presidential aircraft crashed on the mountains where Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa converge. It is a widely held belief that this was at the hands of sabotage by South Africa’s apartheid

Samora Machel

Machel was a visionary whose ideas helped bring independence to both Mozambique and Zimbabwe. One of his driving quotes was this

The rich man’s dog gets more in the way of vaccination, medicine and medical care than do the workers upon whom the rich man’s wealth is built.

At a time when wealth distribution has become such an issue, the late Machel’s words can serve to galvanise those working against a greedy system.

Said Mozambique’s current president Armando Guebuza

He lives in each of us, through his ideals and his vision, through the justice of the causes he defended, through his example of determination and perseverance, and through his unshakeable belief in the strength of a united people to overcome the challenges facing them.

It is his revolutionary spirit that we seek inspiration from. Yes, some would call him a radical but that was the same thing that made people believe in their self-worth. He refused to live in a world run by minorities. He was not prepared to have those who call themselves masters continue to exploit the masses.

Even in the backdrop of the CIA, Rhodeisan and South African nationalist-backed RENAMO assault on Zimbabwe and Mozambique Machel remained resolute, fighting against forces that waged war on right to self-determination.

His contributions to the fight against colonialism and racism in the region may seem to have been localised at the time, but they lent towards the struggle for human equality.

The legend that is Samora Machel still lives, still.

  • Zabethz

    Machel was a dictator who banned all opposition, censored the press and put around 200 000 Mozambicans into re-education camps where thousands died of neglect.

    He destroyed the country’s economy and Mozambique only revived with his death, when a true visionary, Joachim Chissano took over as president.

    In Maputo one hears reports that Frelimo murdered Machel because of his Stalinist policies that were harming Mozambique.

    Let us remember heroes of Africa, not those who harmed their people.


    • That is an unfortunate view. Your view of history is a bit silly. Mozambique’s economy only started improving after the end of the war with RENAMO ended. Don’t get it twisted.

      Note that the whites destroyed all infrastructure when they left Mozambique. Also note his assisting Zimbabwe and South Africa in their fight for independence and the end of apartheid respectively.

      Mozambique was a more equal society after independence because of his efforts and the people if Mozambique loved him to the day of his death.

      Learn your history

      • Khumalo

        I am African, I do know history and have spent a lot of time working in Mozambique.

        You can’t claim people loved someone when they had no choice. That’s like saying the Libyans loved Gaddafi because his state-controlled TV showed them worshiping him.

        Machel banned all opposition along with free speech. Good guy? Are these things you would welcome in your country?

        If he had held a free and fair democratic election, the war with Renamo would have ended, just as the war in Rhodesia ended when an election was held and Mugabe was elected (though he did not maintain democracy in Zimbabwe).

        Dictators are dictators, no excuses. Hitler, Stalin, Franco, Mao, Castro, Pinochet, Gadaffi, Machel, Mugabe et al. Politics and colour make no difference: these are tyrants who deny people like you and me a free choice.

        They have no place in the hall of fame.

        • Obviouslyt u dont know what u are talking about. RENAMO was a proxy for the Rhodesians and the South African nationalist. They had the CIA on board to fight communism because the CIA believed that communism was a threat the to the region.

          Don’t get that twisted. An election would not have sorted that out. Dhlakama lives to this day but he can’t win an election because of RENAMO policies.

          • Khumalo

            That’s like saying the ANC were stooges because they were aided by Zambia, Tanzania and Moz, armed by the Russians and had Stasi and KGB advisors.

            Do you believe in the UN declaration of human rights and in freedom for all people, regardless of colour?

            Or do Africans deserve a lesser degree of freedom than people in Europe or America?

            Dhlakama would find it hard to win an election because he comes from the Ndau tribe which represents a minority. Mozambique is not a single society and had divisions based on language and religion. It is a very complex place.

            But either you believe that people deserve freedom, or you don’t.

            To me the Mozambicans deserved a lot better than Machel, and eventually they got it in Chissano.

          • You are mixing two unrelated issues here. I presented fact and you speculated.

          • Ngololombe

            Machel was a bloody tyrant and genocidal criminal.