Samora Moises Machel
(29 September 1933 - 19 October 1986)
Samora Machel was born in Gaza, a province in the north of Mozambique, at that time a colony of Portugal. He became the leader of the liberation movement that led Mozambique to independence and he was the first President of the country.
In 1970 he was chosen as the president of the liberation movement Frelimo, that stood up in 1964 to fight the Portuguese domination. While other colonial forces handed over the power to the people they dominated, Portugal - then with a fascist government - persevered in the continuation of colonialism. Machel succeeded Eduardo Mondlane, who was murdered by the Portugese rulers shortly.
At the moment Machel was elected as president of Frelimo, the movement was divided about the direction of the liberation struggle. Some felt the aim was to get rid of the Portuguese. They saw the struggle as a struggle against the whites, and this turned also against the white members of Frelimo. Others tried to use the liberation struggle for personal interest only: to gain power or wealth. There were also contrasts that were rooted in rivalry between different peoples.
Under the leadership of the liberation movement returned to unity and a new strategy was adopted. Frelimo develops into a movement with a new vision on how to create a new society.
On 7 September 1974 in the Zambian capital of Lusaka a treaty was signed between the Portuguese government and Frelimo. It was decided that Mozambique would gain independence on 25 June 1975. In their anger about the loss of their immense riches, the colonialists destroyed everything that could be used on their departure: machinery was destroyed, tractors were driven into the sea. The destruction, the lack of education of the population and the results of a 10 year war, made the young independent state one of the poorest countries of the world. The Dutch ambassador in Maputo said in 1983: "This country is too poor to keep statistics to show how poor it is."
The new independent state of Mozambibique supported forces in Southern-Africa that opposed Apartheid. The regime of Ian Smith in Zimbabwe and the apartheid regime in South Africa made Mozambique pay for its policy not through economic measures only, but also by supporting the creation of the counter rebel movement MNR, to overthrow the Frelimo government. Mozambique was - once again - in the eighties plunged into a civil war.
The meddling of other states was fatal for Machel.. His plane crashes above South Africa in the evening of Sunday 19 October 1986, just after 21.00 h and shortly before its arrival in Maputo. Samora Machel and 33 other people, including 2 members of the government die. Ten people survive the crash. The circumstances of the crash were never clarified completely. (See the report of the TRC)
The way Samora Machel inspired Mozambicans and his non-racial policies are the reasons why I chose the name of my company.