They were hampered for a time in their money-making efforts by the high-octane business ambitions of former president Armando Guebuza and his family. As a result, they distanced themselves from him and gave all their support to Nyusi in the October 2014 presidential elections. Since then, they have been looking to capitalize on their support for the head of state by claiming access to the rewards available from mining and gas contracts. They are not all equally successful in this but clearly model themselves on the MPLA generals who got their hands on Angola’s oil and mining spoils. This way of accumulating wealth is not proper to these former nationalist generals but, in Maputo as in Luanda, they are a key part of the governing class.
In addition to this inner circle of Maconde generals, two other figures have close links with President Nyusi: Jose Muaria Mateus Katupha, who comes from northern Mozambique but belongs to the Macua ethnic group, and transport minister Carlos Mesquita, who is a childhood friend of the head of state. Both have extensive business interests.