Today the people of Mozambique commemorate the anniversary of the death of founding President Samora Machel. Machel died in a fatal plane crash in 1986. On the day of the crash President Samora was returning from an African leaders’ summit in Zambia and he perished with 33 other passengers, when their Tupolev 134 plane crashed into the Lebombo mountains, near Mbuzini in South Africa.
Machel dedicated his life to fighting colonialism, exploitation and injustices and he is undoubdetdly one of the most significant African leaders in the struggle for independence and racial equality.
During his lifetime, he played a critical role in advocating for independence, African unity, freedom, peace and economic freedom, and he also fervently advanced the Pan-Africanism ideology.
“The Emancipation of women is not an act of charity, the result of a humanitarian or compassionate attitude. The liberation of women is a fundamental necessity for the revolution, a guarantee of its continuity and a precondition for its victory.” Samora Machel.
To celebrate his legacy, we remember President Samora through these quotes from various people about his beliefs, and enduring legacy, which elucidate what he stood, fought and died for.
1. “Samora was for peace and social justice, and because of his charisma, he was murdered barbarously. We Mozambicans should embrace Samora’s values by putting into practice a just system in our society. That is, we must avoid the deep inequality that we see here in our country. We must avoid bloodshed and armed conflict. We can immortalise Samora by living as brothers and sisters,” Father Pinto Cuna, Archdiocese of Maputo.
2. “From President Samora Machel we learnt that the task of the African revolution is to invent a new society whose cornerstone is the welfare of all, not the exploitation of one by another. He unconditionally welcomed liberation fighters in Mozambique and dedicated his life to the complete emancipation of Southern Africa”. South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, 30th anniversary of the Mbuzini crash.
3. “President Samora Machel was a great revolutionary, a resolute and fearless fighter, military commander an astute politician, above all, a unique diplomat and a noble statesman whose contribution to the fight against colonial subjugation and exploitation will remain legendary”. President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe.
4. “In Samora Moises Machel the peoples of Mozambique and all of Southern Africa, had a leader of great intellect and courage, a general with strategic grasp and unwavering commitment to freedom and justice; a visionary for whom the interdependence of the countries and peoples of our region meant that none could enjoy freedom while some remained oppressed”. President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki.
5. “He (Samora Machel) continues to inspire us to build a society free of prejudice, racism, patriarchy and exploitation”. South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, 30th anniversary of the Mbuzini crash.