Matsangaissa joined FRELIMO in 1972, and after FRELIMO's victory in 1975 he became a quartermaster stationed at Dondo, near Beira. He was punished for theft by being expelled from the Mozambican Army (Forças Armadas de Moçambique, FAM) and was placed in a re-education camp at Gorongosa. He was freed during an attack on the camp by Rhodesian forces, and was taken to Rhodesia. In 1977 Matsangaissa was appointed by the Rhodesians as leader of the Mozambican National Resistance, later called RENAMO, in an effort to indigenize the rebel group.
Matsangaissa died in a 1979 raid against FRELIMO in Sofala Province, Mozambique. His lieutenant, Afonso Dhlakama, then took nominal control of RENAMO. His leadership was backed by both Rhodesian and South African security forces.
In 2007, a municipal square in the city of Beira, Mozambique was renamed after Matsangaissa by the Beira Municipal Assembly (source: Beira Square Receives Rhodesian Agent's Name). Beira remains a stronghold of the RENAMO party, and many Beira residents consider Matsangaissa a national hero.
- Mozambique (1975-1992) from USC.edu
- Conflict Resources Mozambique timeline
- Fauvet, P. (1984) Roots of counter-revolution: the Mozambique National Resistance