Frelimo's 1977 Guidelines for a People's Democracy

Document prepared for the Mozambican liberation movement's 3rd congress in February 1977


The following is the full text of the theses put forward by the FRELIMO leadership for discussion prior to the holding of the third congress last February:


Synthesising the causes of our victory in his speech on January 8, 1975, to the 24th session of the OAU Liberation Committee, Comrade Samora Machel explained that in the present phase of imperialist domination, the national liberation movement can carry out its historic task only when it assumes, practices and creatively develops the scientific ideology of the labouring classes and integrates the liberation struggle in the general struggle against the system of exploitation.

Tue experience of our struggle proved to us the interdependence be­ tween the liberation struggle against colonialism and imperialism and the class struggle against the new exploiters.

The successes on the front of class struggle created greater trust of the masses in FRELIMO and its leadership, permitting as a result a greater engagement of the masses in the fight against the colonialist oppressor, ensuring that their sacrifices are enriching a better future.

Tue impetus of the struggle against the new exploiters develops para­llel to the growing defeats of colonialism ·and imperialism, these new exploiters being more and more deprived of the support_ of their accomplices and masters.

The positive solution of the antagonistic class contradictions in our midst, the elimination of the new exploiters in leadership posts, in­ crease the popular dimension of the struggle and transform the struggle for national liberation into a People's Democratic Revolution , the patriotic war reaching the dimension of people's liberation war.

lt was these transformations in the nature of the struggle waged which enabled us to expose, resist and defeat the attacks of the enemy , their manouevres and their subversive notions. It was these transformations which enabled us to carry out the process of national liberation and to prevent defeated colonialism from being replaced by neo­ colonialism, blocking the internal bourgeoisie's chances of acceding to power after the defeat of the colonial bourgeoisie.

Thus the masses' sacrifices were not in vain and the dynamic of the revolutionary process was maintained.


The winning of power by the Mozambican working masses intensified the class struggle at national level and at the same time increased the aggressiveness of imperialism against our country.

The internal reactionaries and imperialism, the permanent enemy, cannot resign themselves to defeat and therefore, although they are on the defensive, they multiply their subversive and provocative acts against the evolutionary power and the sovereignty of our state.

As Comrade Samora Machel explained, faced with an enemy whose nature is to commit crimes and aggression against us, the proper strategy is to combat reaction while it is weak, prevent it from consolidating, disorganising it while it is still concentrating to attack us, organise the people to smash the enemy.

The class analysis of our society shows us that the overwhelming majority of our people, who belong to the worker-peasant alliance, are in radical and frontal opposition to the handful of old and new exploiters.

The exploiting classes can be classified by origin in two groups:

1. the colonial bourgeoisie, demobilised and in disarray because of the defeat of Portuguese colonial-fascism, is systematically abandoning the country;

2. the small and middle internal bourgeoisie, numerically small and with a very weak economic base, but which are desperately trying to replace the colonial bourgeoisie as an exploiting force and intermediary of imperialism.

Joined in an alliance with these forces, one in full decadence (the colonial bourgeoisie) and the other extremely feeble (the internal bourgeoisie), are marginal elements from the labouring classes, corrupted by the process and crimes of the colonial war (former GE, GEP, Flechas and OPV, delinquents and professional criminals, etc.).

Collectively they are weak , but their penetration in the apparatus of the state and the economy and above all their situation as internal representatives of imperialism make them highly dangerous . Likewise their cultural values and tastes, being those of the colonial-capitalism which used to dominate society , still predominate and pervert society , especially the urban zones and the disorganised strata of worker and student youth.

Strong because of its support from the broad masses, strengthened by the prestige of its victorious struggle against the aggressors in our country , FRELIMO unleashed powerful offensives and delivered mortal blows against the forces of ·reaction and the bourgeoisie :

  • starting the process of dismantling and destroying the colonial­ capitalist state apparatus and setting up the bases for the worker­ peasant state;
  • taking control of the principal financial instruments and the main industries, blocking economic sabotage and imposing state control on the vital sectors of the economy;
  • nationalising the land and rented buildings, principal economic base of the forces of the internal bourgeoisie;
  • nationalising education and creating a new justice, uprooting the bourgeoisie's power in these sectors, uprooting its control of the Mozambican's mind.
  • nationalising health, the funeral agencies and eliminating the trade in sickness and death.

These blows against the class enemy permitted us to consolidate power, accelerate the disintegration of the colonial bourgeoisie, block the growth of the internal bourgeoisie , disorganise it and demoralise it.

The broad masses resolutely support these gains which were immediately materialised in the taking of the cities by the people, the substantial lowering of house rents, the increase in school attendance, the increase in the number of people using hospital establishments, etc.

Using various direct or indirect attempts at sabotage, the enemy tried to neutralise, pervert or empty of their content the new popular victories. The enemy here and there managed to spread confusion and impede the process of materialisation of the achievements, but taken as a whole, the capitalists„ actions were a failure, the victories were consolidated and became irreversible.


The conditions for building People's Democracy in our country have been created:

  • the country has been liberated;
  • the worker and peasant .class is imposing its power in the state and society.

People's Democracy is for our people the historic stage in which we consolidate the ideological base and ·build the material base for the passage to socialism. lt is the stage in which the whole of society, under the leadership of the worker-peasant alliance -

  • strengthens the power of the labouring class;
  • consolidates ideological and class unity;
  • carries out the liquidation of the vestiges of feudal and colonial-capitalist society , destroying in particular the exploitation of women and youth , and the decadent and corrupt values of the old society;
  • breaks definitively with dependence on, and integration in, the imperialist system; .
  • constructs a powerful system for the defence of national sovereignty and the Revolution;
  • builds heavy industry, starting poin t for an advanced and strong industry ;
  • leads the broad masses to win and exercise power on the fronts of education, science, culture and health;
  • definitively establishes the principle of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his work."

In this stage the ideological struggle is accentuated , so as to build the New Man, the socialist Man, the Man free from all superstitious and obscurantist subservience, the Man who dominates science and culture and assumes the fraternal and collective relations and duties of society.


The undertaking of this task presumes the creation and organisation of the vanguard Party of the worker-peasant alliance, guided by the scientific ideology of the proletariat.

In his message of September 25, 1970, Comrade Samora Machel referred to the task of organising this force. Without a revolutionary Party and without revolutionary ideology it is impossible for the revolution to advance. .

This presumes the transformation of FRELIMO into a vanguard Party of the worker-peasant alliance, a Party armed with the scientific ideology of the proletariat.

At the same time, the broad patriotic, anti-imperialist and popular front , which will mobilise and organise the broad masses in the glorious task of building the New Society , must be preserved, consolidated and expanded.

While the class vanguard is organising itself in Party Committees, the broad masses will be organised in the democratic mass organisations, under the leadership and in the framework of the Party - FRELIMO.


Taking agriculture as the base and industry as the dynamising factor, making the building of heavy industry the decisive factor in the battle to break with misery and imperialist domination, we will build the material base of People's Democracy.  ·

The battle for the cooperatives and the communal villages will create the conditions for the socialisation and industrialisation of our vast agricultural potential.

Getting the best out of, and utilising, our natural resources, parallel to the maximum utilisation of existing industrial capacity and taking advantage of our situation as a maritime country on a route essential to the world economy, will enable us to give decisive support to agriculture and promote the rapid economic growth of the country.

The transformation of the whole of our country into a school in which everyone learns and teaches, everyone raising their potential, technical, scientific and cultural knowledge, will guarantee the training of the cadres necessary to the development and putting into practice of our class's power in science, culture and technology.

To preserve and expand the gains of the revolution against imperialism and reaction, to support the advance of the revolutionary liberation struggle it is necessary to continue the drive for the building of powerful and modern armed forces, rooted in the mobilised and organised People.


The Mozambique Revolution is an integral part of the world proletarian Revolutiion. Internationalism is a major and fundamental constant of our revolution, explains President Samora Machel.

At international level we struggle to strengthen the natural alliance that unites us to the w-0rkers' and peasants' parties, to the progressive and national liberation movement in the rest of the world, to the world democratic movement.

This vast anti-imperialist front should be continuously consolidated and expanded in the common fight for independence and freedom , for justice and progress, for peace.

The task of FRELIMO is to act so that the unity of workers and peasati.ts, fundamental weapon in the battle, is continuously reinforced in the process of the struggle. In its methods and criticism, FRELIMO will always distinguish between the errors of a friend and the action of the enemy, and will avoid any confusion being created about who is a friend and who is an enemy , no matter how serious the friend's errors.


As the leading force·of society and the state, the Party must guide, mobilise and organise the broad masses in the task of building People's Democracy, carry out the construction of our state apparatus which materialises the power of the worker-peasant alliance and serves as an instrument for the construction of the ideological, political, economic, cultural and social base of the socialist society.

Source: African Communist (published by the South African Communist Party), no. 69, Second Quarter 1977

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