spotCampaigns

spotOrganisations

spotArguments for socialism

spotPeople

spotInternational

spotEvents

spotAround the UK


All keywords


All International subcategories:

* Africa

Americas

Asia Pacific

Europe

Middle East

South Asia


Africa keywords:

Africa (149)

Angola (1)

Burkina Faso (3)

Burundi (2)

Cameroon (4)

Chad (2)

Congo (7)

Darfur (15)

Democratic Republic of Congo (4)

Ethiopia (4)

Guinea (7)

Ivory Coast (3)

Kenya (8)

Libya (36)

Mali (1)

Mandela (5)

Marikana (10)

Mozambique (2)

Nigeria (56)

Rwanda (5)

Somalia (9)

South Africa (116)

Sudan (33)

Tunisia (34)

Uganda (3)

Zimbabwe (14)

Zimbabwe


Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 155, 28 April 2000: Strike Back at Jobs threat

Search site for keywords: Zimbabwe - Mugabe - Farmers - Capitalist

Zimbabwe: A Desperate Regime

ON 18 April Zimbabwe marked 20 years of independence but most Zimbabweans had little to celebrate. The economy is in ruins, there is mass unemployment and poverty. But there is also a growing opposition to president Robert Mugabe's increasingly repressive rule.

Dave Carr

Having suffered a humiliating defeat in last February's constitutional referendum Mugabe faces defeat in the expected general election.

In a desperate bid to cling to power he adopted a populist posture, orchestrating the occupation of white-owned land by 'war veterans' of the liberation struggle. At the same time opposition activists have been targeted and five murdered in the last two weeks.

After years of collaborating with the white farmers in the capitalist Commercial Farmers' Union, Mugabe has now denounced them as "enemies of Zimbabwe".

Yet Mugabe, by implementing the International Monetary Fund's austerity programme of cuts, shares responsibility with imperialism for the savage decline in Zimbabweans' living standards.


"We are yet to enjoy our liberation"

WHILE THE killings of two white farmers grabbed the headlines in Britain, little is said about the murders of leading black opposition activist Talent Mabika and his partner.

Mabika, a former Chemical Workers Union leader, was the driver for Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

The MDC is challenging Robert Mugabe's 20-year rule. "We fought for our liberation and the victory of 1980 has been stolen from us. We are yet to enjoy our liberation", declared MDC vice-president Gibson Sibanda.

At its founding conference on 29 January, 3,200 delegates danced and sang: "Mugabe is a murderer. He has been killing our fathers and brothers. Mugabe is a thief. He has stolen the Treasury of Zimbabwe. Mugabe is a liar..."

In last February's referendum, the MDC helped defeat (by 55% to 45%) Mugabe's proposed constitutional changes which would have given his regime new sweeping repressive powers.

MDC emerged from the working-class struggles of the Zimbabwean Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) including one-day general strikes in 1997 and 1998 against the desperate economic conditions (see box) and the costly sending of troops into the Congo.

Potentially it could have developed into a new mass workers party with a socialist programme but its leaders have moved to the right.

Its programme remains vague on key issues such as land ownership and creating jobs and doesn't challenge capitalist interests in Zimbabwe nor that of foreign imperialism.

Nonetheless, if elections proceed, the MDC, by uniting opposition to the government and with Mugabe's ZANU-PF split, could end Mugabe's reign.


Who owns the land?

LAND OWNERSHIP has dominated Zimbabwe's history, especially in the century since reactionary adventurer-capitalist Cecil Rhodes marched in and seized control of the country.

In 1960 settlers of European origin (around 5% of the population) controlled over 70% of the arable land. Today whites account for less than 1% of the 12 million population but still hold one-third of the land, including 75% of the best farm land which is owned by 4,500 white farmers.

After the 15-year liberation struggle to achieve independence from the colonial regime of Ian Smith's Rhodesia, Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF government failed to tackle land redistribution. Only 70,000 families were resettled, typically without title to the land and with no money to invest.

Most of the 44 million obtained from Britain - the former colonial power - appears to have benefited the 400 ZANU-PF supporters who in 1990 gained 400,000 hectares of land bought for the resettlement of poor black farmers.

A socialist government would confiscate land and redistribute it to the peasants but within the overall context of a comprehensive land reform programme.

That means nationalising big commercial farms, mines and major industry under the democratic control and management of the working class and rural workers. This would lay the basis for a socialist reorganisation of society under a workers' government supported by the peasantry.

To succeed, this revolution would need to spread to the workers and peasants throughout southern Africa.







Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999