Written by Boaventura Mandlate
Translated by Francisco Chuquela
External partners, including International Monetary Fund and World Bank, have given Mozambique a noble opportunity to learn how to live by relying on its own resources.
This opportunity not to be wasted is due to the suspension of direct support to the Budget, and the country is surviving, there is considerable time, and that is how we will continue through 2018, as promised by the Monetary Fund.
The partners’ positioning, it is to be underlined, is an opportunity that challenges the Mozambicans’ intelligence to prove that they can survive this challenge (they have survived many cruelties), reminds us of what is being taught in good schools. Man thinks how he lives and does not live as he thinks. Two expressions that poorly analyzed can terminate the same thing. Thinking about how to live means that according to the resources you have, few or many, man must find a way to live with dignity. Living as you think concludes certain conformity, that is, because he has few resources, assumes to live without worrying about the minimum of dignity, on the pretext that he has no resources.
It is to this fatal conformism that renewed the position of IMF to which many partners are affiliated; the Mozambicans cannot give in. The future is in everyone’s hands.
It may be important to revive the memory of many, recalling that over time the reason for the positioning of IMF and partners towards Mozambicans has changed. Initially, in February 2016, the partners began by alleging, in a formal communication to the Government, that they suspended support because Mozambique had violated human rights. They said at the time that the support would only be resumed after the Government proved that it had not violated these human rights. Soon the partners changed their argument. In March/April 2016 as well, support was suspended due to hidden debts!
With things this way, it remains to be seen whether the IMF and the other partners’ stance is in fact about human rights abuses or so-called hidden debts. By the way, the IMF has already assured that Mozambique will continue not to deserve the sympathy of its partners in 2018.
Regarding the so-called hidden debts, since it is the new battle horse, we are pleased to note that partners, affiliated with the IMF, and the Government, converge on the need to clarify their contours. Eventually the only difference lies in the speed the parties understand that should be printed to clarify the situation. At some point one can feel like from one of the parties, the will of the so-called hidden debts being cleared at any price, by burning steps including with sentences without judgment.
Everything for Mozambique to see the external support doors open again! Do not matter other evils that can be created with this burning of steps and sentences without judgment.
A system of justice is urgently required, and the partners refused to support its modernization when, in 1987, Mozambique initiated the implementation of the Economic Rehabilitation Program (PRE). The major milestone of this reform, by the way, was precisely the exclusion of the reform process from the judicial area, through the imposition of external partners. The “lack of sovereignty” of the Mozambicans came from above to decide on their priorities. During this period, there was a dogma on the part of the international partners in supporting the judicial sector.
Mozambique had a budget with an external dependency of more than 60 per cent and it was not possible to make a necessary investment in the judicial sector, be it in the police, the courts, the Ministry of Justice, and as a consequence these areas did not follow the same pace of economic reform of the remaining sectors. Later, Mozambique paid more for the refusal of external partners to finance judicial reform, when the country had the banking crisis, problems of security and public order, all due to the delay that this component had from the point of view of reforms which in the meantime occurred in other sectors.
IMF and World Bank imposed an economic reform conceived in Washington, which resulted in the dismissal, in a settlement, of more than 120 thousand workers in various sectors of activity. It is widely believed that the World Bank failed to impose policies out of phase in time and space. It has, for example, implemented identical policies imposed on other countries, like Croatia, completely ignoring the fact that these are totally different realities, all to guarantee external support!
It was the World Bank that determined the destruction of the cashew industry in Mozambique at the same time as it also imposed other disastrous reforms, completely outdated in the context
of the country. Mozambique still has the consequences, which although Bretton Woods acknowledged the subsequent failure, nor deigned to resent the country.
What should be clear is that if the Mozambicans survive this, surely the discomfort of some circles will be total. It is that what is expected, in truth, is that the country collapse, not necessarily for the reasons alleged for the present situation, but for other obscure agendas to fulfill.
It should also be made clear that it is in the interests of all Mozambicans that the issue of hidden debts be clarified and that no one is available to agree on illegalities, and if confirmed in proper forums, those responsible should be punished judicially and exemplarily. What can no longer be accepted is the use of these so-called hidden debts to other obscure agendas.
For now, the partners should be greeted by the fact that they awaken to Mozambique the need not to perpetuate the habit of an extended hand, devoid of dignity and self-esteem, by making the country a beggar and an eternal beggar. All help free of hidden agendas is welcome and at no time will the country dare to waive.
On the other hand, a simplistic check from the convenient advertisement may lead to the erroneous conclusion that is also convenient for some that the environment is a knife-slip in relations between Mozambique and the International Monetary Fund. A similar scenario is created in the ties between Mozambique and the rest of the cooperation partners. Such a scenario is justified by the so-called “hidden debts”. Yet as far as propaganda is concerned, let’s welcome the IMF the day it decides to extend the invitation to the Media to its headquarters in Washington.
Now, in the corridors in which all the inherent files are settled, it can be seen that, in the end, such an environment of knife-cutting is merely the will of certain circles of interest, which in the meantime is very distant from the partners of Mozambique, that in the end do everything to maintain a friendly relationship.
There is even a strong convergence between the country and the partners in the approach to all processes, and at no time has hostility been reached in any way whatsoever. The parties maintain mutual respect for the sovereignty of Mozambique while the country, in turn, consolidates its stance following the standards that govern the relationship between the cooperation partners and the assisted countries.
When at some point the temperature in the discussions approached the scorching levels it occurred within the norms, it did not exceed the standards of good manners. It is normal in dynamic processes and at the end of the day no exchange of hugs was dispensed without the least cynicism.
Mozambique is thus challenged to rely on its own resources, a vision that could ever be found while continuing direct support to the Budget. The future lies in the hands of all Mozambicans, who must not waver in the face of sacrifices that are imposed, but in the meantime justice is demanded in the sharing of expected results!
What if we survive on this more? (x)