Basic Principles

                                                     PREAMBLE

At zero hours on 25 June 1975, the Central Committee of the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) solemnly proclaimed the total and complete independence of Mozambique and its establishment as the People's Republic of Mozambique. This was the culmination of a centuries long process of resistance to colonial rule. It was the unforgettable victory of the armed national liberation struggle, led by FRELIMO, which united, under the same ideals of freedom, unity, justice and progress, patriots from all levels of Mozambican society. The Constitution, as then proclaimed, recognized the determinant role of FRELIMO as the legitimate representative of the Mozambican people. Under its leadership, the process of the exercise of state power as an expression of the people's will was begun. The State that we created has made it possible for the Mozambican people to strengthen democracy and, for the first time in its history, to exercise political power and to organize and direct social and economic affairs at a national
level. The experience of the operation of State institutions and the exercise of democracy by citizens has created the need for change and new definitions. After 15 years of independence, the Mozambican people, in the exercise of their inalienable right to sovereignty and determined to consolidate the nation's unity and to respect the dignity of all Mozambicans, adopts and proclaims this Constitution, which shall be the fundamental law for all political and social organization in the Republic of Mozambique. The fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution are the achievements of the Mozambican people's struggle to build a society of social justice, where the equality of citizens and the rule of law are the pillars of democracy. We, the Mozambican people, determined to strengthen our country's political order, in a spirit of responsibility and pluralism of opinion, have decided to organize society in such a way that the will of the citizens shall be the most important precept of our sovereignt . 

                                           CHAPTER I. THE REPUBLIC

Article 1
The Republic of Mozambique is an independent, sovereign, unitary and democratic state of social justice.

Article 2
1. Sovereignty is vested in the people.
2. The Mozambican people shall exercise their sovereignty in the manner provided for in the Constitution.

Article 3
1. The territory of the Republic of Mozambique is unitary, indivisible and inalienable, comprising the entire land surface, territorial waters and air space delimited by the national boundaries.
2. The breadth, limits and legal order of Mozambique's territorial waters, the exclusive economic zone, the contiguous zone and seabed rights shall be fixed by law.

Article 4
1.The territory of the Republic of Mozambique shall be subdivided into provinces, districts, administrative posts and localities.
2. Urban zones shall be classified as either cities or towns.
3. The characteristics of each of the levels of territorial organization and the creation of new levels, as well as the areas of authority within the political and administrative organization shall be fixed by law.

Article 5
1. In the Republic of Mozambique, Portuguese is the official language.
2. The State recognizes the value of the national languages and shall promote their development and increased role as languages which are used in the daily life and in the education of citizens.

Article 6
The fundamental aims of the Republic of Mozambique are:
a) the defense independence and sovereignty;
b) the consolidation of national unity;
c) the building of a society of social justice, and the achievement of material and spiritual well-being for its citizens;
d) the defense and promotion of human rights and the equality of citizens before the law;
e) the strengthening of democracy, freedom and social and individual stability;
f) the development of the economy and scientific and technological progress;
g) the affirmation of the Mozambican character, its traditions and other social and cultural values;
h) the establishment and development of relations of friendship and cooperation with other peoples and
states.

Article 7
1.The Republic of Mozambique upholds the values of the heroic struggle and centuries of resistance by the Mozambican people against foreign domination.
2. In the building of the Mozambican nation, in the strengthening of national unity, and in the promotion of the democratic participation of citizens, the State shall retain as a national heritage the decisive role played by the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) in the victory over colonialism and in the winning of national independence.

Article 8
1. The Republic of Mozambique acknowledges and shall honour the sacrifices made by those who gave their lives for the national liberation struggle and for the defense of the country's sovereignty.
2. The state shall guarantee the special care and protection of both those who suffered permanent injury in the national liberation struggle and in the defense of independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as the orphans and other dependents of those who died in this cause.

Article 9
1.The Republic of Mozambique is a secular State.
2.The activity of religious institutions shall be subject to the law.
3.The State recognizes and values the activities of religious denominations which promote a climate of social understanding and tolerance and strengthen national unity.

Article 10
The symbols of the Republic of Mozambique shall be the national flag, emblem and anthem.

                                             CHAPTER II. NATIONALITY

                                        SECTION I. ORIGINAL NATIONALITY

Article 11
1. Mozambicans are persons born in Mozambique who:
  1. are children of a father or a mother who was born in Mozambique;
  2. are children whose parents are unknown, stateless or of unknown nationality;
  3. were domiciled in Mozambique at the time of independence;
  4. established their domicile in Mozambique within 90 days of the proclamation of independence;
  5. have been previously granted original nationality by the President of the Republic.
2. Persons referred to in 1(c) above, insofar as they are children of a foreign father and a foreign mother, do not have Mozambican nationality if, within 90 days of the proclamation of independence, they declared for themselves, if over 18 years of age, or through their parents or guardian, if younger than 18, that they did not wish to be Mozambican.

Article 12
1. Mozambicans are those persons born in Mozambique after the proclamation of independence.
2. This rule shall not apply to children of a foreign father and a foreign mother, if either of them is in Mozambique in the employ of the government of his or her country.
3. The persons referred to in 1. above, if born of foreign parents, shall only have Mozambican nationality if they declare, for themselves if over 18 years of age, or through their parents or guardians if younger than 18, that they wish to be Mozambican.
4. The time limit for the declaration referred to in the previous paragraph is 90 days, to be counted from the date of birth where the declaration is made by a parent or guardian, or the eighteenth birthday where the declaration is made personally.

Article 13
Mozambicans are persons not covered by other legal provisions, who took part in the national liberation struggle, have declared that they wish to be Mozambican, and have expressly renounced any other nationality.

Article 14
Mozambicans are the children of a Mozambican mother or father who took part in the national liberation struggle, even though born abroad before the proclamation of independence.

Article 15
Mozambicans are persons who, although satisfying the prerequisites for original nationality, did not acquire such nationality due to a choice made by their parents or guardian, provided they personally declare, within a year of reaching the age of 18, that they wish to be Mozambican.

Article 16
Mozambicans are those persons not covered by the previous articles who had been living in Mozambique for at least 20 years prior to the date of independence, provided that they declared, within 90 days of the proclamation of independence, that they wish to be Mozambican.

Article 17
Mozambicans are those persons not covered by previous articles who were less than 40 years old at the time of independence and who were domiciled in Mozambique for a period of time longer than half their life, provided that they declared, within 90 days of the proclamation of independence, on their own behalf if they were older than 18, or through their parents or guardians if younger, that they wished to be Mozambican.

Article 18
Mozambicans are the children of a Mozambican mother or father working for the Mozambican State outside the country, even if born abroad.

Article 19
Mozambicans are the children of a Mozambican mother or father even if born outside the country, provided that they expressly renounce, on their own behalf if they are older than 18, or through their parents or guardians if younger, any other nationality to which they may be entitled.

Article 20
Mozambicans are persons to whom the President has previously granted original nationality in recognition of relevant services to the cause of national liberation.

                                           SECTION II. NATURALIZATION

Article 21
A foreign woman who has married a Mozambican citizen acquires Mozambican nationality if she meets all of the following conditions:
a) she renounces her previous nationality;
b) she declares that she wishes to acquire Mozambican nationality;
c) she establishes domicile in Mozambique; and
d) she meets the other requirements set by law.

Article 22
Mozambican nationality may be granted by naturalization to foreigners who, at the time of their request, meet all the following conditions:
a) they renounce their previous nationality;
b) they have resided habitually and regularly in Mozambique for at least ten years;
c) they are over 18 years old; and
d) they meet the other requirements set by law.

Article 23
Mozambican nationality may be granted by naturalization to the unmarried children, under 18 years of age, of a naturalized citizen.

                                      SECTION III. LOSS OF NATIONALITY

Article 24
Mozambican nationality shall be lost by any person who:
a) voluntarily acquires a foreign nationality;
b) without authorization from the Government, agrees to provide services to a foreign State which may prejudice the higher interests of the nation or the sovereignty of the State;
c) being also a citizen of another State, duly declares, that he or she does not wish to be Mozambican, or having attained the age of majority, behaves in fact as a foreign national;
d) having as a minor obtained Mozambican nationality by virtue of a parent's or guardian's declaration, renounces, in accordance with the requisite procedures and within one year of reaching the age of majority, his or her Mozambican nationality, provided he or she can demonstrate possession of another nationality; or
e) expressly renounces Mozambican nationality.

                        SECTION IV. REACQUISITION OF NATIONALITY

Article 25
1. Mozambican nationality may be granted to persons who have first lost and now wish to reclaim such nationality, provided that they meet all the following conditions:
  1. a) that they renounce their previous nationality;
  2. b) that they establish domicile in Mozambique; and
  3. c) that they meet the other requirements set by law.
2. Such reacquisition of nationality shall restore the legal status held prior to the loss of nationality.

Article 26
1. A Mozambican woman who has lost her nationality through marriage may reclaim it:
  1. a) if she has not acquired any other nationality, by furnishing ordinary proof of this; or
  2. b) if she has acquired another nationality, by the express renunciation thereof.
2. Such reacquisition of nationality shall restore the legal status held prior to the loss of nationality.

                               SECTION V. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

Article 27
Any other nationality of persons who are Mozambican nationals under the terms of Mozambican law shall not be recognized nor have any legal effect internally in the Republic of Mozambique.

Article 28
The registration and proof of acquisition, loss and reacquisition of Mozambican nationality shall be regulated by law.

Article 29
1. Naturalized citizens shall not be eligible for a career in the diplomatic or military service or any such equivalent.
2. The law shall define conditions under which naturalized Mozambican citizens and foreigners may exercise public functions or private functions of public interest.

        CHAPTER III. PARTICIPATION IN THE POLITICAL LIFE OF THE STATE

Article 30
The Mozambican people shall exercise political power through electing their representatives by universal, direct, secret and periodic suffrage, through referenda on major national issues, and through permanent democratic participation by citizens in the affairs of the nation.

Article 31
1. Parties are the expression of political pluralism, competing to form and express popular will, and are the fundamental instruments for the democratic participation of citizens in the governing of the country.
2. The internal structure and the operation of political parties shall be democratic.

Article 32
1. In profound respect for national unity, political parties are bound by the principles enshrined in the Constitution and in the law.
2. The formation and operation of political parties shall, in particular:
  1. be national in scope;
  2. uphold national interests;
  3. contribute to the formation of public opinion, especially on major national issues; and
  4. strengthen the patriotic spirit citizens and the consolidation of the Mozambican nation.
3. Parties shall contribute, through the political and civic education of citizens, towards peace and stability in the country.
4. The formation, structure and operation of parties shall be regulated by law.

Article 33
Political parties shall be prohibited from advocating or resorting to violence in order to change the political and social order of the country.

Article 34
1. Social organizations, as associations of citizens having joint interests and affinities, have an important role in promoting democracy and in the participation of citizens in political affairs.
2. Social organizations contribute to achieving the rights and freedoms of citizens, as well as towards the raising of individual and social consciousness in the fulfilment of civic duties.

                   CHAPTER IV. ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATION

Article 35
1. The ownership of natural resources located in the soil and the subsoil, in interior and territorial waters, on the continental shelf, and in the exclusive economic zone is vested in the State.
2. The public domain of the State shall also include:
  1. the maritime zone;
  2. the airspace;
  3. archaeological heritage;
  4. nature conservation zones;
  5. hydro-power resources;
  6. energy resources;
  7. other property and assets classified as such by law.
Article 36
The State shall, with regard to the national interest, promote the inventory, the knowledge and the development of natural resources and shall determine the conditions for their use and enjoyment.

Article 37
The State shall promote efforts to guarantee the ecological balance and the conservation and preservation of the environment for the betterment of the quality of life of its citizens.

Article 38
Through the participation of citizens and the efficient use of human and material resources, the objective of State economic policy shall be to lay the fundamental bases for development, to improve the living conditions of the people, to strengthen the sovereignty of the State, and to consolidate national unity.

Article 39
1. In the Republic of Mozambique agriculture is the basis of national development.
2. The State shall guarantee and shall promote rural development in order to meet the diverse and increasing needs of the people and to ensure the economic and social progress of the country.

Article 40
In the Republic of Mozambique industry has a dynamizing role in the development of the national economy.

Article 41
1. The economic order of the Republic of Mozambique shall be based on the value of labor, on market forces, on the initiatives of economic agents, on the participation of all types of ownership, and on the role of the State in regulating and promoting economic and social growth and development in order to satisfy the basic needs of the people and to promote social well-being.
2. The national economy includes the following complementary types of ownership:
  1. state ownership;
  2. cooperative ownership;
  3. joint private-state ownership;
  4. private ownership.
3. The State shall ensure that economic activities conform with the Constitution and the law.

Article 42
1. In satisfying the basic needs of the people, the family sector plays a fundamental role.
2. The State shall support and provide incentives for family sector production, and shall encourage peasants as well as individual laborers to organize themselves into more advanced forms of production.

Article 43
The State shall promote and support the active participation of the national business sector in the development and consolidation of the country's economy.

Article 44
The State recognizes the contribution made by small scale production to the national economy, and shall support its development as a way of making good use of the capacities and creativity of the people.

Article 45
1.Foreign investment shall operate within the framework of State economic policy.
2.Foreign ventures shall be permitted in all economic sectors, except those that are exclusively reserved for State ownership or development by the State.

Article 46
1. Ownership of land is vested in the State.
2. Land may not be sold, mortgaged, or otherwise encumbered or alienated.
3. As a universal means for the creation of wealth and social well-being, the use and enjoyment of land shall be the right of all the Mozambican people.

Article 47
1.The State shall determine the conditions for the use and enjoyment of land.
2.The right to use and enjoyment of the land shall be granted to individual or collective persons, taking into account its social purpose.
3.The terms for establishment of rights in respect of land shall be governed by law and shall prioritize direct users and producers. The law shall not permit such rights to be used to favor situations of economic domination or privilege to the detriment of the majority of its citizens.

Article 48
In granting titles for the use and enjoyment of land, the State shall recognize and protect rights acquired through inheritance or occupation, unless there is a legal reservation or the land has been legally attributed to another person or entity.

Article 49
1.The State shall promote and coordinate economic activity, acting directly or indirectly to resolve the fundamental problems of the people and to reduce social and regional inequities.
2.State investment shall play a dynamizing role in promoting development.

Article 50
Taxes shall be established or altered by law, and shall be set according to criteria of social justice.

Article 51
1.Labor shall be protected and dignified and shall be the driving force of development.
2.The State shall promote the just distribution of the proceeds of labor.

Article 52
1. The Republic of Mozambique shall promote an educational strategy which has as its objective national unity, wiping out illiteracy, mastering science and technology, and providing citizens with moral and civic values.
2. The State shall organize and develop education through a national educational system.
3. Education provided by collective and other entities shall operate in accordance with the law.

Article 53
1. The State shall promote the development of national culture and identity, and shall guarantee free expression of the traditions and values of Mozambican society.
2. The State shall promote the dissemination of Mozambican culture and shall take action to enable the Mozambican people to benefit from the cultural achievements of other peoples.

Article 54
1. Medical and health care for citizens shall be organized through a national health service which shall benefit all Mozambicans.
2. To achieve the goals of the national health system, the law shall regulate the delivery of medical and health care.
3. The State shall promote the participation of citizens and institutions in the raising of the level of public health care.

Article 55
1. The family is the basic unit of society.
2. The State recognizes and shall protect, in accordance with the law, marriage as the institution that secures the values of the family.
3. In the context of developing social relations based on respect for human dignity, the State shall guarantee the principle that marriage is based on free consent.

Article 56
1. Motherhood shall be protected and is dignified.
2. The family shall be responsible for raising children in a harmonious manner, and teaching them moral and social values.
3. The family and the State shall ensure that children receive a comprehensive education, bringing them up in the values of national unity, love for their country, human equality, social respect and solidarity.
4. Children may not be discriminated against on grounds of their birth, nor subjected to ill treatment.
5. State and society shall protect orphans and abandoned children.

Article 57
1.The State shall promote and support the emancipation of women, and shall provide incentives to increase the role of women in society.
2.The State recognizes and shall honor the participation of Mozambican women in the national liberation process.
3.The State recognizes the value of, and shall encourage, the participation of women in the defense of the country and in all spheres of the country's political, economic, social and cultural activity.

Article 58
1. Youth, upholding the patriotic traditions of the Mozambican people, played a decisive role in the national liberation struggle and constitute a force for the renewal of Mozambican society.
2. The objectives of State policies shall include in particular the harmonious development of the character of young people, helping then acquire a taste for freely creative work, developing their sense of social consciousness and providing appropriate conditions for their entering into active life.
3. The State shall promote, support and encourage young people's initiatives in consolidating national unity and in the reconstruction, development and defense of the country.

                                              CHAPTER V. NATIONAL DEFENSE

Article 59
The objective of the State's defense and security policy shall be to defend national independence, preserve the country's sovereignty and integrity, and guarantee the normal functioning of institutions and the security of citizens against any armed aggression.

Article 60
1. The defense and security forces shall be subordinate to national defense and security policy, and shall owe allegiance to the Constitution and to the Nation.
2. The oath taken by members of the defense and security forces shall establish their duty to respect the Constitution.

Article 61
Citizens shall be encouraged to join civil defense units, particularly for protection of economic, social and production infrastructures.

                                           CHAPTER VI. FOREIGN POLICY

Article 62
1.The Republic of Mozambique, as a non-aligned country, shall establish relations of friendship and cooperation with other states on the basis of the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, equality, non-interference in internal matters and reciprocity of benefits.
2.The Republic of Mozambique shall accept, observe and apply the principles of the United Nations Charter and of the Charter of the Organizations of African Unity.

Article 63
1. The Republic of Mozambique shall be in solidarity with the struggle of the African peoples and states for unity in respect of their freedom, dignity, and right to economic and social progress.
2. The Republic of Mozambique shall seek to strengthen relations with countries engaged in the consolidation of their national independence and the recovery of the use and control of their natural resources for the benefit of their peoples.
3. The Republic of Mozambique shall join with all states struggling for the establishment of a just and equitable international economic order.

Article 64
1. The Republic of Mozambique shall support and be in solidarity with the struggles of peoples for their national liberation.
2. The Republic of Mozambique shall grant asylum to foreigners persecuted because of their fight for peace, democracy, national and social liberation, or their defense of human rights.

Article 65
1. The Republic of Mozambique shall pursue a policy of peace, and shall only resort to force in the case of legitimate defense.
2. The Republic of Mozambique shall support the primacy of a negotiated settlement of conflicts.
3. The Republic of Mozambique shall support the principle of general and universal disarmament of all states.
4. The Republic of Mozambique shall advocate the transformation of the Indian Ocean into a nuclear free zone of peace.