City Management, Getting the News Out/Managing Expectations, Balancing the Central and Local
Building citizen support, Making services accessible, Organizing a municipal center of government, Revenue generation
FRELIMO, RENAMO, depoliticization, municipal reform, mayor
When Daviz Simango took office in 2003 as the mayor of Beira, Mozambique’s second most prominent city, the odds were stacked against him. A member of the Resistência Nacional Moçambicana (RENAMO, or the Mozambique Resistance Movement), Simango was one of just five opposition mayors in the country. Mozambique’s long and bitter civil war between RENAMO, a guerrilla movement at the time, and the ruling party, the Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (FRELIMO, or the Liberation Front of Mozambique), left a legacy of hostility and distrust between the parties. Soon after Simango became mayor, the central government began delaying the transfer of funds to his administration, harassing his officials with inspections and publicly undermining his leadership. He responded by strengthening the city’s financial independence through a series of reforms. In addition, he worked through the media to make the public aware of the city’s difficulties with the central government. Simango also took his complaints directly to central-government ministers. Through these efforts, he bolstered the capacity of the municipal administration to tackle the city’s urgent problems of recurring cholera outbreaks and poor sanitation.
Itumeleng (Tumi) Makgetla drafted this case study on the basis of interviews conducted in Beira and Maputo, Mozambique, in January 2010. Case published October 2010.