Armando Emílio Guebuza (born 20 January 1943 in Murrupula, Nampula Province) is a Mozambican politician and the President of Mozambique since 2005.
Guebuza is a former member of FRELIMO's (Frente de Libertação de Moçambique - Mozambique Liberation Front) Politburo and served briefly as part of a 10-member collective head of state after the unexpected death of Samora Machel in 1986. He joined FRELIMO at the age of 20, shortly after it began Mozambique's war of independence against Portugal. By the time independence was achieved in 1975, Guebuza had become an important general and leader in FRELIMO. He became interior minister in the Samora Machel government and issued an order forcing certain Portuguese residents to leave within 24 hours, known as the "24 20" order because the residents in question were restricted to 20 kilograms of luggage. During the 1980s Guebuza developed an unpopular program known as "Operation Production" in which jobless people from urban areas were moved to rural areas in the northern part of the country. Following Machel's death in a plane crash in South Africa, he was part of a committee investigating the circumstances of the crash, which came to no certain conclusion. He represented FRELIMO at the peace negotiations with the RENAMO guerilla group that led to the Rome General Peace Accords, signed in Rome on 4 October 1992. During the transitional phase towards the first general elections in 1994, he represented the Government of Mozambique in the joint Supervision and Monitoring Commission, the highest implementing body of the General Peace Accords.
Following the abandonment of socialist economic policies by President Joaquim Chissano, which included the privatization of state companies, Guebuza became a successful and wealthy businessman, particularly in the construction, exports and fishing industries.
He was chosen as FRELIMO's presidential candidate in 2002 after a tough struggle within the party. He became Secretary General of the party in the same year.
Guebuza was the candidate of FRELIMO for the December 2004 presidential elections, in which he won with 63.7% of the vote. He became president of Mozambique on 2 February 2005 and was re-elected for a second five year term of office on 28 October 2009. Guebuza is the first man to enter the Mozambican presidency with a non-Marxist party programme and ideology.
International observers to the elections criticized the fact that the National Electoral Commission (CNE) did not conduct fair and transparent elections. They listed a range of shortcomings by the electoral authorities that benefited the ruling party – FRELIMO.
Armando Guebuza is one of the richest men of Mozambique, hence the nickname Mr Gue-Business:
- He is an important shareholder of Laurentina, Mozambique's second largest brewery
- He is one of the main shareholders in the Banco Mercantil de Investimentos, one of Mozambique’s largest banks
- He controls the traffic of containers in the Port of Beira, the second largest port in the country and a main gateway for Zimbabwean exports
- He also has several business interests in the fisheries, construction and tourism sectors as well as in import-export trading firms, consultancy, media, publishing and publicity companies, among others.
- Guebuza hopes to boost Mozambique's economy, IOL News, February 2 2005
- Scott Bobb, Mozambican President Guebuza to be Sworn-In for Second Term, Voice of America, January 13, 2010
- African leaders gather at Mozambique president inauguration, Afrol News, February 2, 2005
- Special Report on Mozambique 2004 Elections by the Carter Center
- Final Report of the European Union Election Observation Mission
- Marcello Mosse, ARMANDO GUEBUZA, The new Frelimo candidate