Head of government Luisa Diogo
Death penalty abolitionist for all crimes
Population 22.9 million
Life expectancy 47.8 years
Under-5 mortality (m/f) 162/144 per 1,000
Adult literacy 44.4 per cent
Police used excessive force during demonstrations and to apprehend suspects. Thirteen detainees died of asphyxiation in an overcrowded police cell; two police officers were held responsible for the deaths. A senior police officer was convicted of murder for an extrajudicial execution committed in 2007.
At least 120 people died as a result of cholera between January and March. In March, the Red Cross suspended its activities in Mongicual district in the northern province of Nampula after three Red Cross workers and two police officers were killed by residents in a violent protest over cholera treatment. Residents accused the Red Cross workers, who were putting chlorine in wells, of contaminating their water supplies with cholera.
A new political party, the Democratic Movement of Mozambique (Movimento Democrático de Moçambique, MDM), was formed in March when the Mayor of Beira city, Daviz Simango, split from the main opposition party, the Mozambique National Resistance (Resistência Nacional Moçambicana, RENAMO). Daviz Simango was one of three presidential candidates in elections held in October, which were won by the incumbent, President Armando Guebuza, and the ruling party, the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frente da Libertação de Moçambique, FRELIMO). There were sporadic acts of violence during the election campaign, most involving the destruction by party activists of their opponents' campaign material. Two police officers were fined by the Murrupula District Court for destroying election posters belonging to RENAMO, and police were criticized for failing to respond to acts of violence by members of FRELIMO. International and national election observers noted irregularities during the elections, including incidents of ballot box stuffing and invalidation of votes cast for opposition candidates. The European Union observer mission, however, believed this did not significantly affect the results.
One of the country's biggest corruption trials started in November. The former Minister of Transport and four former officials of the Mozambique Airports Company, ADM, were accused of stealing nearly US$2 million from the company between 2005 and October 2008.