Mozambique since independence

Started by <k>, June 13, 2017, 01:02:46 PM

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<k>

Mozambique flag 1974-75.png

First Mozambican (pre-independence) Flag (1974-1975).


From Wikipedia:

Mozambique became independent after ten years of sporadic warfare in Mozambique and Portugal's return to democracy through a leftist military coup in Lisbon on 25 April 1974 (partly as a result of the expenses from the wars in the overseas territories in Africa). FRELIMO took complete control of the territory after a transition period, as agreed in the Lusaka Accord, which recognized Mozambique's right to independence and the terms of the transfer of power. Within a year of the Portuguese coup, almost all the Portuguese population had left the African territory – some expelled by the new government of independent Mozambique, some fleeing in fear. Mozambique became independent from Portugal on June 25, 1975.

It was agreed that Mozambique should be given independence on 5 September 1974. Initially a FRELIMO (Front for Liberation of Mozambique) flag was adopted as the temporary flag for the country. FRELIMO was the party that led the struggle for independence from Portugal.  On that day a truce between Portugal and FRELIMO was agreed upon, the FRELIMO flag flew alongside the Portuguese flag. The flag was green over black over yellow fimbrated white, and with a red triangle in the hoist. It was used until 25 June 1975 when independence was formally granted.
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<k>

#1
Mozambique flag 1975-83.jpg

First official Mozambican flag (1975-1983).



Prior to independence, Mozambique was a Portuguese colony and it used the Mozambican escudo.

See also: Portuguese Empire: Coats of Arms of the 20th Century.
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<k>

Independent Mozambique's first coinage set is dated 1975. The Royal Mint (UK) prepared the set, consisting of eight denominations, in late 1974. The proposals for this alternative coinage were discussed in an atmosphere of great secrecy because of the Portuguese situation at the time. The Mint could not produce the full amount agreed in time because of various difficulties, but some hundreds of thousands of coins were minted. It is my understanding that the minting of these coins was contracted out to the Birmingham Mint (England). The designs, however, were created by English artist Geoffrey Colley, who was under contract to the Royal Mint. Mr Colley also designed the first decimal circulation coin set of Nigeria, as well as the first circulation set of the United Arab Emirates.

The new currency was to consist of 100 centimos to the metica. The metica was to be equal in value to one Mozambican escudo.
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<k>

#3




Samora Moisés Machel (1933 – 1986) was a Mozambican military commander, revolutionary socialist leader and eventual President of Mozambique. Machel led the country from independence in 1975 until his death in 1986, when his presidential aircraft crashed in mountainous terrain where the borders of Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa converge.

See Wikipedia: Samora Machel.

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<k>

#4
Mozambique 1975 obverse.jpg



Samora Machel, who was the leader of the FRELIMO black independence movement, established a one party Marxist state in Mozambique, and it is his portrait that can be seen on the obverse of all the coins. This set is dated 1975.
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<k>



The coin designs depicted plants, flowers and agricultural products of Mozambique.

The 1 centimo coin featured an Angolan protea: Protea angolensis.
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<k>

#6
Mozambique 2c 1975.jpg

The 2 centimos depicted the Rain daisy: Dimorphotheca pluvialis.
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<k>

#7
Mozambique 5c 1975.jpg

A purple dissotis flower - Dissotis princeps - appeared on the 5 centimos.
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<k>



The 10 centimos featured sugar cane.
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<k>



A tea plant graced the 20 centimos.
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<k>



Cashew nuts were depicted on the 50 centimos.
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<k>

#11
Mozambique 1 metica 1975.jpg

The 1 metica coin featured a sisal agave.
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<k>



The highest denomination, the 2½ meticas, depicted a cotton plant.
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<k>

In the event, this unusual set was never issued. Some say that Mozambique was not ready to switch to the new currency, because of the difficulties of the transition to independence and the civil war that began in 1977 and lasted until 1992. Others say that the Mozambican Communist Party objected to the 1975 coins, because they showed Machel's portrait. They apparently regarded this as a sign of "the cult of personality" - i.e. dictatorship.

In any case, it is an attractive set. For a long time nobody was sure about the species represented on some of the coins, until I asked the Royal Mint and got a definitive answer. Even so, some botanists I asked were highly critical of some of the designs. Some were puzzled by the cotton plant. One said that it looked like a cotton plant, except that the sepals were wrongly portrayed.

In later years some of these coins started appearing on the market. For more information and some comments from forum members, see: Mystery Mozambican Coins of 1975.
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<k>

Eventually independent Mozambique did issue its first coinage.

From Wikipedia:

First metical (MZM)

The metical (MZM) replaced the escudo at par on 16 June 1980. It was divided into 100 centavos. The metical underwent severe inflation. After the revaluation of the Romanian leu, the metical briefly became the least valued currency unit, at a value of about 24,500 meticais per USD, until the Zimbabwean dollar took the title in late August 2005.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.