Mozambique’s second elections in December 1999, heralded as a sign that democracy was firmly rooted in what is widely viewed as one of Africa’s emerging post-conflict economic success stories, unexpectedly triggered a national crisis. The poll, which saw the governing Frelimo party win a second term on a narrower mandate, was bitterly disputed by the leading opposition party, Renamo. Having won a majority of the votes in six provinces, Renamo’s legal challenge of the electoral process, boycott of parliament and call for some form of representation in governing structures met with obstruction by the government. Their subsequent national campaign of protest brought temporary havoc in some areas and, following a violent response by the police, the death of dozens of its followers in jail in November 2000. Adding to the uncertain climate was the assassination of veteran Mozambican journalist Carlos Cardoso in the midst of his investigation into the multi-million dollar theft that accompanied the privatisation of a state bank, which served to highlight the frailty of legal system, economic crimes and a rise in criminality.