may-july 2003>>

1. Dangers of the Social Movements Indaba [SMI]
2. Imibuthu Yezokuhlala –Ingozi echwechwela abasebenzi!
3. Zimbabwe working class on the rise without revolutionary leadership
4. Abasebenzi base Zimbabwe Baphakama Ngaphandle Kwe Nkokheli Zomzabalazo Wotshintsho
5. Wivl position on the ‘Anti-terrorism’ Bill
6. On the Congo
7. Kwelase Congo
8. AWC speech at the anti-Bush march 9 July 2003
9. AWC memorandum to govt 9 July 2003
10. AWC memorandum to the US regime 9 July 2003
11. Bits and bites


Dangers for workers of the SMI

Imperialists attacks locally and internationally

Social Movements Indaba- a looming danger for the working class! [24.07.03]

The ANC regime and its alliance has become the mainstay of African reaction, publicly assuming the role of international gendarme [policeman] for imperialism in Africa. The ANC government has championed and led the establishment of counterrevolutionary structures and policies of world imperialism in Africa, like the AU [African Union] and NEPAD [New Partnership for Africa’s Development].

It has taken the ‘work’ of strangling the South African proletariat through the opportunist leaders of labour movements by various means including the prospects of parliamentary seats. The plan is to enforce and implement the programs of the world imperialism on the working classes of South Africa and the rest of the African continent, which exploit, starve them to death and which dump them into destitution. The organised working class has been demoralised by the reformist leaderships in COSATU and the so-called ‘communist party’ of South Africa by not seriously fighting the daily attacks imposed by the bosses and the ANC capitalist regime.

If COSATU is claiming to be the defender of their members in the work place [how far does it really do so is questionable] then it is also their members who are evicted by the banks, their electricity is cut off everyday because they cannot afford it and who have no land because all the land is in the private hands and are who are unemployed as a result of privatisation.

Under Bourgeois Democracy the capitalist maintain control of the working classes through the reformist leadership in the working class movements and through reformist social movements. After the 1994 elections the ANC regime managed to demoralise the working class especially the working class youth saying that freedom has been achieved. They use the COSATU leadership and the Youth Commission to keep the working class and the lower middle class youth under control. Now the COSATU bureaucrats are largely exposed in the eyes of the working class. It is much clearer now which side they are really on, that is, now they are talking the language of the bosses. The COSATU leadership’s role in controlling the working class has been considerably weakened. The more openly pro-capitalist role of the COSATU leadership, through their support of the ANC, has led to the spontaneous rise of social movements such as (APF, AEC, AWC, TAC, the landless Peoples Movement, etc). This shows that leadership of working class struggles is shifting out of their hands. The state of the working class movement shows the absence of a revolutionary leadership.

But these social movements are just pressure groups on the state only asking for reforms, temporary changes or concessions on particular issues not fundamental social change. Nowhere it is explicit explained that their aim is for fundamental social change in the society as a whole. For argument sake, let us say, privatisation or evictions is stopped, etc, what will happen to the social movements? Are they are going to change their names? The unfailing answer is they are going to disband.

Although the stated aim of the department of public works appears to be different, the nett result is to also keep working class anger within the capitalist system. They are doing this by providing two – three months projects saying they are providing jobs. Then after that period people are put back onto the street, facing the same starvation and unemployment. In fact unemployment is a characteristic of the capitalist system and can never be abolished by reforms. Those who are evicted are not those who stay in Bishops Court or Sandton but the working classes who have lost their jobs, our old aged, who sometimes receive small grants from the ANC government, and the youth who have just left school and cannot find jobs.

The working class has nothing to lose but the life long chains of capitalist exploitation. The political aim of the social movement is to bring these structural changes within the capitalist system, not to abolish the private ownership of the means of production, which would put the ownership into the hands of society as a whole. There must be a concrete program put in place to realise the fundamental social change i.e. overthrow the capitalist system.

Social movements who only ask for reforms can be hijacked and be used by the capitalist. In the absence of a revolutionary programme the Social Movements could play a counter-revolutionary role by directing struggles to stay within the capitalist framework.
Now there is a looming war on certain NGOs and on Social Movements where imperialism wants to buy the silence and complicity of mainstream humanitarian and religious groups by offering aid packages. The present case is the Churches, Media and TAC, etc. At the same time this war is to marginalize and criminalize more independent- minded NGOs and Social Movements by claiming that their work is a threat to democracy. The man in charge of handing out the carrots is Thabo Mbeki and Mluleki George is wielding the sticks, which in this case, is the Anti-Terrorism Bill. In reality they are all wielding the sticks.

In the early 1980’s when spontaneous mass struggles were developing against the state and imperialism, there was a flood of funding into the country. This was to steer the direction of the struggles to remain within the capitalist framework. This was done by boosting organizations like the UDF [United Democratic Front], which could then impose ANC politics onto the workers’ movement. Other movements were made dependent on funding so that at the critical moment funding could be cut and their operations cut down. The flood of funding led to a ‘dependency syndrome’ in the working class – if there was a struggle – instead of depending on our own strength, the working class leaders sought foreign funding. This took the destiny of our struggle out of the hands of the working class.

The social movements can be united on an independent basis raising issues of revolutionary changes and also they can be united on principles but have one program, to fight imperialism-capitalism in all fronts. The social movements must unite with the workers in COSATU with the aim of achieving fundamental social change and side by side with this; build the revolutionary working class party. If the leaders of these Social Movement rejects the idea of a revolutionary working class party saying you do not need a class organisation for fundamental social change, as the capitalist are saying, then they do not want a change at all, only to waste the peoples already finished energy by toy toying. There is no such thing as Anti capitalism and Anti socialism at the same time, which means ‘ the aim is nothing but the movement is every thing. This means the struggle remains within the framework of the current dominant order, ie capitalism.

McKinley and others want the Social Movements Indaba to be completely open, i.e. to mean all things to all people, i.e. to have no clear program against capitalism. Wittingly or unwittingly this limits the program to keeping the struggle within the capitalist framework. The SMI will then play a counter-revolutionary role, capturing the mass discontent with the ANC, SACP - COSATU and leading it in a reformist direction. There may even be an MDC-like / or mass workers party formation arising out of this. The question then arises: Is there the hand of imperialism operating behind the scene to promote the SMI? Suddenly there is R90 000 available for the SMI Conference in Cape Town – October.

Is this aco-incidence? We need to draw the lessons of the MDC in Zimbabwe and the UDF in South Africa, which also started off from within the discontented masses. [See our article on Zimbabwe for more on the MDC]

There is a need for a working class resistance organisation. That these struggles need to be united and strengthened is obvious. Not to smother the anti-capitalist movement, nor to direct it onto a parliamentary road. But side by side with this we need to build a revolutionary working class party precisely to lead the struggles beyond the reformist limits of the APF, AEC, etc

Imibutho Yezokuhlala [Social Movements Indaba]
–Ingozi echwechwela abasebenzi!

Urhulumente we ANC nobumbano lwakhe basuke babazintshatsheli ezinkulu e Afrika ekubeni ngabachasi, baphume ekuhleni bathatha indima yokuba ‘lipolisa’ lehlabathi longxowa-nkulu e Afrika. Urhulumente we ANC ugqwesile yaye wakhokela ekusekeni imibutho nemithetho echaseneyo notshintsho yongxowa-nkulu behlabathi e Afrika, njenge MANYANO ye AFRIKA (AU) ne NEPAD[New Partnership for Africa’s Development]. Uthathe ’umsebenzi’ wokukrwitsha abasebenzi base Mzantsi Afrika ngo gqada- mbekweni benkokheli zemibutho yabasebenzi ngokuzithembisa amarhewu aluhlaza, singabalula izihlalo e Parlamente. Injongo kukunyanzela yaye amilisele Imithetho (programs) yongxowa-nkulu behlabathi kubasebenzi base Mzantsi Afrika nakwi Afrika iphela, leyo ibaxhaphazayo, ibalambise bade bafe yaye ibatyale endlaleni. Abasebenzi abasemibuthweni bapheleliswa umdla zinkokheli ezingenamqolo eziku COSATU nalento bayibiza ukuthi ngu ‘Mbutho wama Komanisi’ase Mzantsi Afrika ngokungalwi ngokuzimisela kuhlaselo lwabaqashi nangurhulumente wongxowa-nkulu we ANC.

Ukuba u COSATU uzingca ngokuba ngumkhuseli wamalungu akhe emsebenzini [ukuba uyenza kangakanani lonto ishiya umbuzo] ngoko ke ikwangamalungu akhe la akhutshwa ezindlini yimizi egcina imali, acinyelwa imibane yonke imihla ngenxa yokungafikeleli yaye angenamhlaba kuba wonke umhlaba usezandleni zabantu babucala yaye angasebenziyo ngenxa yokuthengiswa kwamashishini karhulumente kubantu babucala (privatisation).

Kwi Demokrasi yengcungcu ongxowa-nkulu baqinisa ulawulo lwabasebenzi ngenkokheli ezingenamqolo ezikwimibutho yabasebenzi nangale mibutho yezokuhlala ingenamqolo. Emva konyulo luka 1994 urhulumente we ANC ukwazile ukuphelisa umdla abasebenzi kwezopolitiko ngakumbi ulutsha lwabasebenzi esithi ‘inkululeko’ ifunyenwe. Basebenzise inkokheli zika COSATU kunye ne Khomishini Yolutsha ukubamba ulutsha lwabasebenzi nolukumgangatho ophakathi luselulawulweni. Ngoku kwingcungcu zika COSATU umqolo uphandle kuzo emehlweni abasebenzi. Kucace gca ngoku ukuba leliphi icala abakulo, ukuthi, ngoku bathetha ulwimi lwabaqashi. Indima yokukhokela ka COSATU ekulawuleni abasebenzi yehle ngokumandla. Njengokuba zisiba sekuhleni ngakumbi kwindima yokuba kwicala longxowa-nkulu inkokheli zika COSATU, ngokuxhasa i ANC, kwakhokelela ngokungabhungisanga ekuphakameni kwemibutho yezokuhlala enjenge Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF), Anti-Eviction Campaign (AEC), Anti-War Coalition (AWC), TAC, Landless Peoples Movement (LPM), njalo njalo. Oku kubonisa ukuba ukukhokela imizabalazo yabasebenzi kuyaphuncukana nezandla zabo. Imeko yemibutho yabasebenzi ibonisa ukungabikho kwenkokheli zotshintsho.

Kodwa le mibutho yezokuhlala ngamaqela nje afunzelisayo kurhulumente efuna nje kuphela inguqulelo, inguqu zethutyana okanye izivumelwano kwizinto ezithile hayi utshintsho olululo ekuhlaleni.
Akukho apho kucacisiweyo khona gca ukuba imizamo yayo yeyotshintsho olululo ekuhlaleni jikelele. Ukubiza ingxoxo, masithi, uthengiso lwamashishini karhulumente kubantu babucala okanye ukhutsho lwabantu ezindlini, njalo njalo, lunqunyanyiswe, kuzakuqhubeka ntoni kule mibutho yezokuhlala? Izakutshintsha amagama ayo? Eyona mpendulo ingenakubalekwa yeyokuba izakubhanga. Njengoko injongo ezibekiweyo lisebe lika rhulumente leze Misebenzi Yasekuhlaleni (Public Works) zibonakala zahlukile, iziphumo ezigcweleyo nazo kukugcina umsindo wabasebenzi kwalapho kubungxowa-nkulu.

Bakwenza oku ngokuvula i project zenyanga ezimbini-ntathu besithi bavula imisebenzi. Ngoko emva kwelo xesha abantu baphindele ezitalatweni, bajongane kwanalandlala nokungaphangeli. Phofu ukungaphangeli kuzalwa ngaxeshanye nobungxowa-nkulu yaye abunakupheliswa zinguqulelo. Abo bakhutshwa ezindlini ayingaba bahlala e Bishops Court okanye e Sandton kodwa ngabasebenzi abaphulukane nemisebenzi yabo, ngabantu bethu abadala, abafumana imali encinci yendodla ngamanye amaxesha kurhulumente we ANC, nolutsha oluphume ezikolweni alafumana misebenzi. Abasebenzi abanakuphulukana nanto kuphela ngamatyathanga oxhatshazo ababopheleleke kuwo ubomi babo bonke ngongxowa-nkulu. Ezona njongo zopolitiko yale mibutho yezokuhlala kukuzisa ezinguqulelo kwakule nqubo yobungxowa-nkulu, hayi ukuphelisa ulawulo lwezinto zokuphila kubantu babucala zibeselawulweni lwabahlali bebonke. Kufuneka kubekho imigaqo eqinileyo ebekwayo ukuze kufumaneke olona tshintsho lululo ekuhlaleni, ukuthi ukubhukuqa inkqubo yobungxowa-nkulu.

Imibutho yezokuhlala efuna kuphela inguqulelo inganako ukuthinjwa yaye isetyenziswe ngongxowa-nkulu. Ekungabikhweni komgaqo wotshintsho le Mibutho Yezokuhlala inokudlala indima yokuchasana notshintsho ngokukhokela imizabalazo ihlale kwalapha kubungxowa-nkulu. Ngoku kukho imfazwe eza kweminye imibutho engekho kurhulumente (NGOs) nakwi Mibutho Yezokuhlala apho ongxowa-nkulu bafuna ukuthenga ukuthula nokungathath’ icala kwemibutho evelana noluntu neyezenkolo ngoku zinceda ngezipho zemali. Singabalula icawa, amaphephandaba, neka gawulayo (TAC), njalo njalo. Kwanga xesha nye lemfazwe yeyoku chwethela bucala nokunyemba njengabaphuli mthetho yonke imibutho ezimeleyo neyezokuhlala ngokuthi imisebenzi yayo iyingozi kwi demokrasi. Amadoda asentloko ekukhupheni iminqathe ngu Thabo Mbeki yena u Mluleki Goerge uphethe uswazi, kulemeko, olungu Mthetho Wokulwa u Bunqolobi (Anti-Terrorism Bill). Ngeliphandle bobabini baphethe uswazi.

Ekuqaleni konyaka ka 1980 ngexa imizabalazo yesininzi yayikhula ingabhungisanga nxa mnye norhulumente kunye nongxowa-nkulu, kwabakho indyweba yoncedo lwemali engena kwelilizwe. Lo nto yayenzelwa ukuqhuba ukhondo lomzabalazo ukuba luphelele apha kubungxowa-nkulu. Oku kwenzeka ngoku xhasa imibutho enjenge UDF [United Democratic Front] leyo ngoko yayi nokwazi ukunyanzela ezombangazwe ze ANC kwimibutho yabasebenzi. Eminye imibutho yenziwa ukuba ixhomekeke eluncedweni ngezimali ukwenzela ngexesha lengxakeko inxaso izokupheliswa yaye inqubela yayo ime. Le ndyweba yoncedo ngezimali yakhokelela ‘ekuxhomekekeni’ kubasebenzi -ukuba kukho umzabalazo-endaweni yokuxhomekeka emandleni ethu, inkokheli zabasebenzi zakhangela uncedo ngezimali kumazwe aphesheya. Lo nto yathatha ikamnva lemizabalazo yethu ezandleni zabasebenzi.

Imibutho yezokuhlala ingamanyana ngokwahlukeneyo iphakamise imiba yotshintsho olululo yaye inokumanyana ngokungajikiyo kodwa ibe nomgaqo omnye, ukulwa ubungxowa-nkulu macala onke. Imibutho yezokuhlala mayimanyane nabasebenzi abaku COSATU ngenjongo zokuzisa olona tshintsho ekuhlaleni, yaye ngamxhelo mnye koko, kwakhiwe umbutho wabasebenzi wotshintsho. Ukuba ezinkokheli zale mibutho yezokuhlala ziyayikhaba imbono yombutho wabasebenzi wotshitsho ngokuthi akukho mfuneko yambutho wabasebenzi ukwezela utshintsho olululo eluntwini, njengokuba ongxowa-nkulu besitsho, ngako oko azifuni tshintsho konke-konke, kuphela ukudlala ngamandla abantu asele egqitywe kukuthatha intshukumo (toyi-toying). Ayikho into ekuthiwa kukungahambisani nobungxowa-nkulu nokungahambisani nobu Soshali kwanga xesha nye, ithethe ukuthi ‘injongo azibalulekanga kodwa umbutho ubalulekile’. Oku kuthi umzabalazo uyakujikeleza phakathi kule nqubo ilawulayo, ukuthi kubungxowa-nkulu.

U-Mackinley nabanye bafuna imibutho yezokuhlala ivuleleke ngokupheleleyo, ukuthi zonke izinto kumntu wonke, ukuthi kungabikho mgaqo wokulwa ubungxowa-nkulu. Izinjongo okanye ingezo njongo oko kuyakuwulinganisela umgaqo ukugcina umzabalazo ujikeleze kwalapha kubungxowa-nkulu. I-SMI ke ngoko iyakudlala indima engumqobo kutshintsho olululo, ibe yintlambo yokufela amahashe, yababesakuba ngamalungu e ANC, SACP nawe COSATU ibakhokelele kukhondo lwenguqulelo. Kungasekeka ne nto enjenge –MDC okanye umbutho wesininzi wabasebenzi usekeke kule nto. Umbuzo kengoko uyafuneka: Ingaba akukho sandla songxowa-nkulu esisebenza ngasese ukuxhasa I –SMI? Ngesaquphe sele kukho amashumi asithoba amawaka (R90000) akhoyo ukulungiselela inkomfa ye SMI ezakuba se Ntshona Koloni – ngo Okthobha. Ingaba le nto iyothusa? Kufuneka sithathe isifundo kwi MDC e Zimbabwe kunye ne UDF e Mzantsi Afrika, nayo eyayiqale ngabantu abanganelisekanga.
[Bona elinye inqaku lethu nge Zimbabwe ngokuzeleyo nge MDC]

Kukho imfuneko yombutho wabasebenzi ophikisayo. Kuyabonakala ukuba oku kufuneka kumanyenwe yaye kuqiniswe. Hayi ngendlela ezakuthibaza imibutho elwa nobungxowa-nkulu, okanye ikhokelelwe kwindlela eya epalamente. Kodwa ngamxhelo-mnye kule nto kufuneka sakhe umbutho wotshintsho wabasebenzi ukukhokela ngenene imizabalazo ngaphaya kwemilinganiselo yaba banganamqolo ye APF, AEC, njalo njalo.

Zimbabwe Working Class On the Rise Without A Revolutionary Leadership [June 2003]

The Zimbabwean working class has been fighting a long struggle without a revolutionary leadership among their ranks. The developing revolutionary leadership have made serious mistakes that have negatively affected the struggles there. It is important that the ISOZ [International Socialist Organization-Zimbabwe] makes a balance sheet of their history in the MDC so as not to repeat the same errors in future. The working class struggles have been mostly spontaneous in reaction to the hardship they have been facing under the yoke of imperialism.

Every time they rise up their leadership put forward a parliamentary solution to them as means to stop them from overthrowing the capitalist system. Most of their struggles have been heroic and have been encouraging to the working classes of the world. However a lot needs to be clarified about Zimbabwean political and economic situations.

Firstly the national liberation struggle for independence
The national liberation struggle was led and directed by black nationalist leadership, who was motivated by its narrow middle class interest of establishing a black bourgeoisie. All that they “fought” for was the development of the black nationalist bourgeoisie, which could only grow at the expense of the working class in Zimbabwe. The Lancaster House agreement was signed in order to ensure that the hand over to the black political elite does not undermine the interests of local capitalists and imperialists. The reconciliation policy of government was only possible by guaranteeing security of the properties of the settler colonialists and to stop any meaningful redress from taking place. It was in the same spirit of reconciliation and the Lancaster House agreement that the government did not redistribute land. Mugabe brutally crushed the Ndebele uprisings for land to show his masters (i.e British capitalists in particular) that he will defend their interests even if it means killing his own people and constituency.

The period after the ‘liberation’ struggle
For all this Mugabe was the best cowboy for the imperialists. Once they realised the extent that Mugabe was prepared to go to in order to crush the working class struggles, the imperialists praised Zimbabwe and Mugabe in particular as the best models for Africa. They pumped more Aid and loans to Zimbabwe to further colonise its economy. They then enforced Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs), which allowed them total control over the economy of Zimbabwe. The SAPs were implemented through the hostile environment of government intimidation against independent political action. The huge suffering that the SAPs caused provided an excuse for Mugabe and his economic advisors to motivate for the further extension of SAPs to bring about the economic benefits for “all”. The escalating crisis of SAPs was regarded as temporary shocks, which will turn into opportunities for the working class in the future.

Getting the feeling that “Sekwanele” (i.e enough), the Zimbabwean working class spontaneously embarked on a political struggle against the government. They concluded for themselves that they have been misled with the type of the government they have, they unleashed a series of political struggles in the second half of the 1990s. The government workers such as teachers, doctors, and nurses took to the streets in 1996 in protest against the effects of SAPs. Their strike sent shock waves to the trade union bureaucracy and their leaders, who have been protecting the Zimbabwe bourgeoisie and imperialism for so long. This treacherous trade union leadership did all in its power to stop the strike from becoming a general strike.

It was during this time that there was a growing revolt among working class against the Zimbabwe government. Realising that this could threaten very system of exploitation, the middle class, the trade union leadership, the church, and other elements of the Zimbabwe bourgeoisie diverted this revolution in the making into parliamentary party politics. They fooled the Zimbabwean working class by saying that the problem was Mugabe and ZANU-PF, and not the capitalist system. They sidetracked the uprisings by putting forward a parliamentary option, which was the MDC. The working class support of the MDC formation was a set back for the Zimbabwean working class. The struggles were now taken off the streets under the pretext that the MDC should liberate them by taking over the government through parliamentary elections. What a betrayal!

Since its formation, the MDC has been demobilising the Zimbabwean working class for the interests of imperialists or foreign capitalists. It takes a reactionary stance on issues such as land redistribution, international relations etc and argues for the opening up of the economy to imperialist plunder and makes all sorts of appeals to the Western imperialist countries in dealing with Mugabe. The Zimbabwean working class have lost total control of the organisation they thought is theirs, the MDC. Their claim of the MDC is based on the fact that the MDC was formed out of the strikes by the Zimbabwean working class. In fact it was formed to stop those strikes from leading to a revolutionary overthrowal of the system. The trade union leadership channelled all the militancy and revolutionary strength of the working class towards the support for the formation of the MDC, and their (mis)leader, Morgan Tsvangarai was elected the first general secretary. Of course the working class outside the trade union movement also hoped for the better out of the MDC. What the working class of Zimbabwe did not understand was that the MDC was a counter revolutionary movement from the start. This was due to its programme and policies being limited to the capitalist framework and putting its faith in the bourgeois parliamentary process. Beware South African working class of non-class movements such as the current SMI!

As long as capitalism continue to exploit the Zimbabwean working class to such an unprecedented scale such as now under the ESAPs and the boot of imperialism, the Zimbabwean working class will continue to put the pressure on their sell out leaders and organisations. The recent week of demonstration to “unseat Mugabe” came against the advice of Thabo Mbeki and Nigeria’s Obasanjo, desperately attempting to try and cool off the ever steaming working class by “bringing the two sides together” and with Mugabe announcing his willingness to step down as the country’s leader. Since the demands of the Zimbabwean working class have been reduced to the demands to unseat Mugabe and to have the MDC in government, the week of mass action could not have met the needs and aspirations of the masses. In fact the week of action was called for the working class to blow off steam and for the MDC to maintain their leadership of the struggle in order to side track and defeat it. The entire revolt was directed to the middle class aims of the MDC, namely to get it into power so that they can be the new servant for imperialism. The bourgeoisie must be shocked from the extent of the revolt of the masses. Luckily for the bourgeoisie, they had the MDC to control the masses. The Zimbabwean working class will stop at nothing but at satisfying their material needs which is far beyond the demands of the MDC and trade union bureaucrats. What the working class lack is a determined and resolute revolutionary leadership that is capable of leading a revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist system.

The call for the week of mass action in June was no contradiction from the side of the MDC as the bourgeiosie analysts said. It is the direct reflection of the state of the Zimbabwean working class who is spontaneously rising against the coming sell out deal to be made by ZANU-PF and MDC. The MDC and Tsvangarai had to adapt to the level of the working class to try and regain control over the situation that was fast developing into a state of revolution. Should the working class rise to revolt, the MDC would have been faced with having to choose to side with Mugabe in crushing the working class or stand on the sideline. Both options would have cost the MDC enormous support that it is currently enjoying among the industrial working class.

This would jeopardise the quest for Tsvangarai and the MDC to get to power as they rely on the working class support to get the political power they need. The support the week of mass action was nothing more than an attempt by the MDC to manage the situation that could have turned against it. It is not the intention of the MDC to remove Mugabe through revolutionary means. One must have observed that the week of action was not politically prepared for. The MDC knew through its own experience that it could not have called for mass action to topple Mugabe without preparing for measures to counter state violence. They exposed the workers deliberately in that process hoping that they will become tired and disillusioned. In other words the MDC assisted Mugabe in crushing the Zimbabwean working class during the week of mass action by not preparing for the protection from the state orchestrated violence of those who participated in the action. By the end of the week Tsvangarai was no longer talking of toppling the government but of negotiations and already giving in compromises.

What the MDC and ZCTU leadership are doing is what the COSATU leadership and SACP and SMI are doing in South Africa- that is, their role is to rechannel the working class anger to be limited to the capitalist framework. They are the real policemen and women of capital. In the case of the SMI, the majority of the members and supporters are not even aware of this.

We understand that Mugabe has been doing a good job for the imperialists at the moment as far as his control over the Zimbabwean working class since 1980. Imperialism’s problem is the might of the working class in Zimbabwe and that in recent years Mugabe and the Zanu-PF have increasingly been unable to continue their stranglehold - there is no guarantee at all that the working class will be tamed by the MDC in power. It is this might of the working class that forced the rhetoric from Mugabe. The rhetoric ‘against imperialism’, for land ‘redistribution’, and for “championing” the cause of the Zimbabwean people. Without this rhetoric ZANU-PF would have been out of power in the last five years or so.

The challenge falls heavily on ISOZ to put up a fight for the independence of the working class from the treacherous leadership of the MDC and the trade unions. As part of this the ISOZ should be bold enough to publicly admit their errors in entering the MDC, which had helped create illusions that a ‘reformed’ MDC would lead the Zimbabwe working class to liberation. At no stage could the MDC programme ever have been a platform for the advance to Socialism. The ISOZ had been fooled by the appearance of the MDC which on the surface seemed to be coming from within the workers’ movement.

The fact that the RDP came from Cosatu did not mean that it’s role was revolutionary. In fact, having the cover of coming from within the workers’ movement gave its counter-revolutionary aims legitimacy in the eyes of the working class. We must not ignore the possibility that imperialism calculated that Mugabe was no longer doing the job and that they needed to prepare a successor. It is likely, in our eyes that imperialism could have initiated a move from within the ZCTU, whose leaders were by no means Socialist, to set the MDC in motion. Imperialism has been known to back several horses and to ignore this possibility is the height of naivety. The balance sheet by the ISOZ is also important due to similar possibilities in SA, through the SMI. In fact this is the duty of the ISOZ to the international working class.

The project to build an independent revolutionary working class party in Zimbabwe is posed right now. This revolutionary working class party needs to develop within the working class right now while it is still actively seeking alternatives. We must warn the Zimbabwean working class against seeking parliamentary solutions and emphasise the might of its action as a class. This parliamentary illusion was created by the formation of the MDC and holds similar dangers for the South African working class. The current movement for constitutional changes is no different from seeking a parliamentary solution. It is the same counter revolutionary measure. The revolutionaries in Southern Africa must start taking active steps in assisting the revolutionaries and working class in Zimbabwe in their revolutionary project. The working class in Britain, and US in particular must be actively engaged in giving solidarity in action to the Zimbabwean working class. Of most importance is the raising of consciousness to the level of realising the necessity for the building of the revolutionary party in taking forward their struggles. Let us rise to the occasion and not leave the heroic struggles of the Zimbabwean working class to be led into a dead-end.

Forward to the rebuilding of the Fourth International!

Forward to Socialism! top


home |about |gallery | newsletter | contact_us

Workers International Vanguard League Copyright© all rights reserved 2003 All information is public domain and is available to copy unless otherwise indicated, provided this website URL is acknowledged in all such cases.

The WorX 2003 report broken links