Sunday 25 August 2019

1494. 🇲🇿 Known Knowns And Unknown Unknowns Of Mozambique.

🇲🇿 In some recent Blogs I have mentioned some issues from Correios De Moçambique about which I was not previously aware but which I recently came across. In 2002 the US Secretary of State, Donald Rumsfeld, generated much discussion, much of it uncomplimentary with his ‘Known knowns’ speech.

  I always thought that Rumsfeld was being very reasonable and logical in what he said and it indeed applies very much to the new stamp issues of the Mozambique postal service where the thousands and thousands of philatelic products poured out by the notorious philatelic agency known as Stamperija represent the known knowns and we know that the Mozambique postal service must be producing some stamps for use on mail - the known unknowns - but items turn up apparently having been issued some years before and those are definitely the unknown unknowns. 
  Up until 2002 Mozambique issues were generally known knowns first appearing with publicity and accessibility to collectors when issued by Correios de Moçambique up to 1998 and then in the form of agency issues which culminated in the numerous horrors which we always got to find out about from Stamperija. Meanwhile the Mozambique authorities continued to issue naively designed and poorly printed and gumless stamps for use on the public mail with some philatelic publicity and then with no philatelic information being given at all - the unknown unknowns.
  I have done my best to accumulate information about these fascinating unknown unknowns. In addition to the standard stamp issues there have been numerous surcharges some of which are known knowns but most are extremely unknown unknowns and exquisitely hard to track down.
  I have put together here as full a list as possible from 2002 onwards of the unknown unknowns which of course are now known but not ventured into the surcharges and of course ignored the sadly very well known known put out by Stamperija.
  Rest assured, there are bound to be a number of unknown unknowns still out there waiting to become known knowns.

2 December 2002 - Pottery - 8 stamps. The 2000MT value was surcharged 6000MT probably in 2005.

11 July 2003 - Commemoration of Justine Chemane, composer of the national anthem - 1 Stamp.

30 April 2004 - Minerals - 4 stamps. 1 value, the 5000 Mt was later surcharged 33,000MT. The issue is dated ‘2003’.

25 June 2005 - 30th anniversary of China-Mozambique diplomatic relations, probably a gift from the Chinese government - 2 different stamps, sold perforate and imperforate.

11 August 2005 - 25th anniversary of the Southern African Development Community- 1 stamp.

31 August 2015 - Traditional African Medicine Day - 1 stamp.

9 October 2005 - World Summit on the Information Society, Tunis - 1 stamp.

10 June 2006 - 25th anniversary of Mozambique Telecommunications Company - 1 stamp issued and shortly after reissued with 33m surcharge applied.

9 October 2006 - Presidential campaign against AIDS - 3 stamps.

November 2007 - 50th year of the reign of the Aga Khan (philanthropist) - 5 stamps.

26 December 2007 - Inauguration of the Cahora Bassa Dam - 3 stamps.

2008 - Olympic Games, Beijing, possibly a gift from the Chinese government - 4 stamps without surcharge and 4 stamps with surcharge.

10 April 2008 - Centenary of Minerva Central (publishers and bookshop in Maputo) - 3 stamps.

20 June 2008 - 40th anniversary of the 2nd FRELIMO (Political Party) conference in Maputo - 1 stamp.

2008 - Mozambique gastronomy - 3 stamps. The quality of printing of this issue is very poor and designs are barely discernible.

2008 - World Vision - 1 stamp.

21 January 2009 - Commemoration of Nomenagen A Lordes Mutula, Olympic athlete - 1 stamp.

20 June 2009 - Commemoration of Eduardo Chivambo Mondland, revolutionary leader - 1 stamp.

15 February 2010 - World Wide Fund For Nature - 4 Stamps in a se-tenant strip and 1 single stamp miniature sheet. Originating from Stamperija but catalogued by Stanley Gibbons.

14 March 2010 - 30th anniversary of LAM (national airline) - 3 stamps.

31 March 2010 - FIFA World Cup, South Africa - 1 miniature sheet containing 4 different stamps. Imperforate. This item is listed by Stanley Gibbons. I think it is dubious.

10 November 2010 - 20th anniversary of AICEP - 1 stamp.

28 February 2011 - 30th anniversary of Mozambique television - 2 stamps 66MT and 92MT.

2011 - World Vision - 1 Stamp.

11 November 2012 - Lubrapex 2012 Philatelic Exhibition, Saõ Paulo, Lusaphone writers (Ungulani Ba Ka Khosa of Mozambique - 1 stamp.

2013 - Chinese New Year, Year of the Horse - 1 stamp, printed in sheets of 25. I have no proof but I suspect this item may have been available for public postal usage given the practical format in which it was printed (perhaps for the use of Chinese working in Mozambique on projects there).

2013 - 30th anniversary of World Vision in Mozambique - 1 stamp.

9 October 2014 - 800th anniversary of the Portuguese language - 1 stamp.

2015 - 25th anniversary of AICEP (International Organisation of Lusophone Communications) - 1 stamp.

2016 - Aldeias de Crianças (charity) - 1 stamp.

2017 - World Vision - 1 stamp.

2017 - 25th anniversary of INCM - 1 stamp.

2018 - World Vision - 1 stamp.

2018  - Opening of Maputo-Katembe Bridge, joint project with China - 24 stamps (issued as 2 blocks of 12 different stamps with 3 identical labels).


  1. A must-read. Congratulations for this careful study over the years. An example to many new issue collectors.

  2. Thank you for your kind comments, Sébastien.

  3. On a related note, Linn's Stamp News reports that the new 2020 Volume 5 lists for St Thomas 50 "new" surcharges that were issued in the late 90's using stamps that were originally issued in the 89's. Not a Commonwealth country, but shows just how long it can take for the unknows to become knows (although I wonder if Michel might have already listed some of them as Scot takes a more conservative approach to listing new things as they fear listing things that turn out to be bogus).

    1. Thank you, eyeonwall. It’s all very interesting isn’t it? There must be a large number of stamps out there which are currently unknown unknowns. Collectors, I suppose, will eventually identify them though it may take some time. This is one of the things that makes ‘new issue’ collecting so interesting. Modern catalogues can not really keep up with new issues particularly when their editors have no real interest in them yet new issues remain immensely accessible to collectors and provide them with the opportunity to buy really quite rare stamps at a reasonable price. It just a matter of being alert to what might be out there.