Constitution

Mozambique 2004 Constitution (reviewed 2007)

Table of Contents

Preamble

Meeting the age-old desires of our people, the armed struggle for national liberation, whose purpose was to liberate the land and Man, brought together all the patriotic sectors of Mozambican society in the same ideals of freedom, unity, justice and progress.

When national independence was won on the 25th of June 1975, the Mozambican people were given back their fundamental rights and freedoms.

The Constitution of 1990 introduced the democratic rule of law, based on the separation and interdependence of powers and on pluralism. It laid down the structural parameters for modernisation, making a decisive contribution to the beginning of a democratic climate that led the country to its first multiparty elections.

This Constitution reaffirms, develops and deepens the fundamental principles of the Mozambican State, and enshrines the sovereign nature of the democratic rule of law, based on pluralism of expression and partisan organisation and on respect for and the guarantee of fundamental rights and liberties of citizens.

The extensive participation of citizens in making this basic law conveys the consensus to strengthen democracy and national unity, which flows from the collective wisdom of the people.

TITLE I. BASIC PRINCIPLES

CHAPTER I. THE REPUBLIC

Article 1. Republic of Mozambique

The Republic of Mozambique is an independent, sovereign, democratic State of social justice.

Article 2. Sovereignty and Legality

  1. Sovereignty is vested in the people.
  2. The Mozambican people shall exercise their sovereignty in the manner provided for in the Constitution.
  3. The State is subordinate to the Constitution and is founded on legality.
  4. Constitutional rules shall prevail over all other rules of the legal order.

Article 3. Democratic Rule of Law

The Republic of Mozambique is a State governed by the rule of law, based on pluralism of expression and democratic political organisation and on the respect for and guarantee of fundamental human rights and freedoms.

Article 4. Legal Pluralism

The State recognises the different normative and dispute resolution systems that co-exist in Mozambican society, insofar as they are not contrary to the fundamental principles and values of the Constitution.

Article 5. Nationality

  1. Mozambican nationality may be by origin or it may be acquired.
  2. The requirements for the attribution, acquisition, loss and re-acquisition of nationality are determined by the Constitution and regulated by law.

Article 6. Territory

  1. The territory of the Republic of Mozambique is a single whole, indivisible and inalienable, comprising the entire land surface, maritime zone 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 7. Territorial Organisation

  1. The territory of the Republic of Mozambique shall be subdivided into provinces, districts, administrative posts, localities and settlements.
  2. Urban zones shall be classified either as cities or as towns.
  3. The definition of the characteristics of territorial divisions, the creation of any new units, as well as the power to decide on politico-administrative organisation shall be fixed by law.

Article 8. Unitary State

The Republic of Mozambique is a unitary State, which respects the principles of autonomy of local authorities (autarquias locais) in its organisation.

Article 9. National Languages

The State shall esteem national languages as cultural and educational heritage, and shall promote their development and increasing use as languages that convey our identity.

Article 10. Official Language

The official language in the Republic of Mozambique shall be Portuguese.

Article 11. Fundamental Objectives

The fundamental objectives of the Republic of Mozambique shall be:

  1. the defence of independence and sovereignty;
  2. the consolidation of national unity;
  3. the building of a society of social justice and the achievement of material and spiritual wellbeing and quality of life for its citizens;
  4. the promotion of balanced economic, social and regional development in the country;
  5. the defence and promotion of human rights and of the equality of citizens before the law;
  6. the strengthening of democracy, freedom, social stability and social and individual harmony;
  7. the promotion of a society of pluralism, tolerance and a culture of peace;
  8. the development of the economy and scientific and technological progress;
  9. the affirmation of the Mozambican identity, of its traditions and other social and cultural values;
  10. the establishment and development of relations of friendship and cooperation with other peoples and States.

Article 12. Lay State

  1. The Republic of Mozambique shall be a lay State.
  2. The lay nature of the State rests on the separation between the State and religious denominations.
  3. Religious denominations shall have organisational freedom, freedom to carry out their functions and freedom of worship, and they shall conform to the laws of the State.
  4. The State shall recognise and esteem the activities of religious denominations in order to promote a climate of understanding, tolerance and peace, the strengthening of national unity, the material and spiritual wellbeing of citizens, and economic and social development.

Article 13. National Symbols

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

Article 14. Age-old Resistance

The Republic of Mozambique shall esteem the heroic struggle and age-old resistance of the Mozambican people against foreign domination.

Article 15. National Liberation, Defence of Sovereignty and Democracy

  1. The Republic of Mozambique shall acknowledge and esteem the sacrifices made by those who gave their lives to the national liberation struggle and to the defence of the country’s sovereignty and democracy.
  2. The State shall ensure the special protection of those who were disabled in the national liberation struggle, as well as the orphans and other dependants of those who died in this cause.
  3. The Law shall determine how the rights established in this article are to be made effective.

Article 16. War Disability

  1. The State shall ensure special protection to those who were disabled during the armed conflict that ended with the signing of the General Peace Agreement in 1992, as well as the orphans and other direct dependants.
  2. The State shall likewise protect those who have been disabled in the performance of public service or a humanitarian act.
  3. The Law shall determine how the rights established in this article are to be made effective.

CHAPTER II. FOREIGN POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL LAW

Article 17. International Relations

  1. The Republic of Mozambique shall establish relations of friendship and cooperation with other States on the basis of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, equality, non-interference in internal affairs and reciprocity of benefits.
  2. The Republic of Mozambique shall accept, observe and apply the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and of the Charter of the Organisation of African Unity.

Article 18. International Law

  1. Validly approved and ratified International treaties and agreements shall enter into force in the Mozambican legal order once they have been officially published and while they are internationally binding on the Mozambican State.
  2. Norms of international law shall have the same force in the Mozambican legal order as have infra-constitutional legislative acts of the Assembly of the Republic and the Government, according to the respective manner in which they are received.

Article 19. International Solidarity

  1. The Republic of Mozambique shall be in solidarity with the struggle of the peoples and States of Africa, for unity, freedom, dignity and the 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, democracy and the recovery of the use and control of their natural wealth for their respective peoples.
  3. The Republic of Mozambique shall join with all States struggling for the establishment of a just and equitable economic order in international relations.

Article 20. Support for Freedom of Peoples and Asylum

  1. The Republic of Mozambique shall support and be in solidarity with the struggles of peoples for their national liberation and for democracy.
  2. The Republic of Mozambique shall grant asylum to foreigners persecuted on the grounds of their struggle for national liberation, for democracy, for peace and for the protection of human rights.
  3. The law shall define political refugee status.

Article 21. Special Ties of Friendship and Co-operation

The Republic of Mozambique shall maintain special ties of friendship and cooperation with the countries of the region, with countries whose official language is Portuguese and with countries that host Mozambican emigrants.

Article 22. Policy of Peace

  1. The Republic of Mozambique shall pursue a policy of peace and shall only resort to the use of force in the case of legitimate self-defence.
  2. The Republic of Mozambique shall support the primacy of negotiated solutions to conflicts.
  3. The Republic of Mozambique shall uphold 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.
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