Indra - Chapter 04
This is a paper I did not want to write because I would be happier if the data did not exist. Graburn (1987: 211)
The inception of this chapter dates to a day in 1990 when I was sitting
in a hot and dusty town in Central Zambezia, Mozambique. The town had
just been retaken by the Frelimo governmental forces after having been
under rebel Renamo control for several years. Renamo was credited with
the majority of human rights abuses during the war, and the Renamo
commander in charge of this town had a particularly brutal reputation.
During Renamo's occupancy, the town center had been destroyed, and a
sea of small mud huts spread in all directions on the outskirts of the
city ruins. I arrived shortly after the first Frelimo administrator.
Disease and starvation were rampant; town leaders estimated that
twenty-five people were dying each day. This was in part due to the
fact that both Renamo and Frelimo used forced resettlement tactics to
control the population, with the result that civilians were frequently
denied access to farmlands. Virtually all trade routes had been
destroyed by the war, and what resources did exist were often plundered
by soldiers and armed bandits. The town's dirt runway allowed emergency
cargo planes to land, so this town was the recipient of a one-week
feeding program administered by several Western NGOs working with
Mozambican emergency relief programs. The pilot of a cargo plane had
given me boleia-a free ride.