Like ones family members, a neighbouring state is a given to any country. In the same way the Republic of Mozambique is a given neighbour to the Kingdom of Swaziland.
INTRODUCTION The Diplomatic Mission of the Kingdom of Swaziland in Mozambique, commonly know as Maputo Mission was established in 1975 under the leadership of the late Dr. Msindazwe Sukati. The move to establish diplomatic relations was hailed by both nations as something which was long over due since their historic ties and background dates to time immemorial. For lack of space we will not delve on the royal connection in marriage through the late Her Royal Highness Princess Myingili. To this date the traditional Swazis still refer to Mozambicans as Myingilis off-springs.
HIGH COMMISSION OBJECTIVES
The responsibility of the High Commission is to develop and further strengthen already existing relations between the Kingdom of Swaziland and the countries of accreditation, namely Mozambique, Malawi, Angola, Mauritius, Seychelles, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. The Mission makes an effort to regularly consult with the Government of Mozambique as well as with the 70 Diplomatic Missions and International Organizations resident in Mozambique on issues of mutual interest, ranging from political, economic, social and cultural.
The High Commission also works especially closely with the Missions of Algeria, Angola, Brazil, Egypt, France, India, Italy, Spain, Malawi, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Tanzania and Zimbabwe which are accredited to Swaziland.
GATEWAY: More than anything else, Mozambique is one of the only two gateways of Swaziland to the world. As a landlocked country, Swaziland found herself forced to respect logic and pragmatism by establishing this Mission at the most appropriate period.
BILATERAL RELATIONS WITH MOZAMBIQUE
Relations between the Republic of Mozambique and the Kingdom of Swaziland are still maintained. On several occasions, His Excellency President Armando Guebuza invites the High Commissioner to be part of his delegation to the different Provinces during his “Open Governance” tours.
Working relations also established include those in the Tourism Sector and cultural exchange programmes. This is witnessed in the number of Swazi musicians who are invited to perform in Mozambique and those from Mozambique who perform in Swaziland. The City Councils of Mbabane and Matola have also made it a tradition to hold annual gatherings with a view of sharing experiences and engaging in activities of mutual interest.
POLITICAL CONSIDERATION: It will be remembered that the 1960s/70s were the years of political struggles for independence in Africa in general and particularly so in Southern Africa. These were the years when freedom fighters from Mozambique took shelter in Swaziland in their numbers. Among many of those political asylum seekers were the late President Samora Machel, his eventually second wife Josina Machel and the incumbent President Armando Emilio Guebuza; to name a few. In that way Swaziland became a strategic player in the history of Mozambique on establishing a full fledge Diplomatic Mission.
SOCIO-POLITICAL FACTORS: The wars of liberation of Mozambique were followed by the civil war, which is preferably termed the war of destabilization here, resulted into the highest figure of political refugees Swaziland has ever seen in her recorded history. She answered this challenge by creating Ndzevane and Malindza refugees settlement centres, which became homes for Mozambicans for many years. Providing peace, food and shelter to the refugees did not prove to be the total solution, as starvation hit Mozambique hardest; warranting large convoys of all sorts to cross over into Swaziland to buy food stuff.
TRADE AND INVESTMENTS: As much as trade and investments between Mozambique and Swaziland is not up to the mark, owing to the fact that the two countries are of small economies, it subsists where it matters the most; and that is at the level of small traders. Hope should not be lost though, because at the highest level of leadership the two Governments are encouraging trade and investments of one country to the other. Of late there is an increase in the number of Swazi nationals who visit the Mission to seek investment opportunities in Mozambique.
CROSS-BORDER CRIME: Cross-border crime which entails stock theft from Swaziland into Mozambique most of the times, is one scourge which cannot be wished away. To the relief of all, the problem seems to decrease, though not without having claimed many lives in the process.
MISSION UNIQUENESS: If there is any country which stands together with Swaziland in various local, regional and international fora, it is Mozambique. Mozambique is one neighbour which gives Swaziland political peace of mind in many ways to enumerate here. She is a true neighbour in times of need because peaceful co-existence is one commodity aid grants and loans cannot buy. Fortunately the Government of Swaziland moved way ahead by establishing full fledged diplomatic ties with this vital neighbour right on time and now we are enjoying the fruits.
From April 2010 to date, a total of 401 Visas were issued to different nationals, 95 of which were Diplomatic. The Mission continues to experience a problem in handling stranded Swazis in Mozambique. With the crime rate being very high, Swazis often find themselves being robbed in the streets of Maputo. Although the Mission does not have a budget to cater for such incidentals, it often find itself having to pay for accommodation as well as transport to take them to Swaziland. Emergency Passports also end up being issued free of charge in some cases.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation