Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Mugabe Extends Dictatorship to 2010 as bosses declare war on the poor - Jambanja only way forward!!

At its December Conference, the Zanu PF regime,
resolved to cancel the presidential elections due in
2008 and defer them to 2010, ostensibly to harmonise
them with the parliamentary elections, purportedly to
cut costs. Yet this is the same regime that only six
months ago imposed a hugely unpopular and costly
senate election on the country! Similarly the regime
has extended Sekesai Makwavarara‘s term as unelected
Mayor of Harare for a fifth record term.
What is clear is that the regime has been emboldened
to do this by a cowardly and weak opposition movement
led by the MDC and its hangers on in civic society
and the labour movement. As late as November the
Tsvangirai MDC, through its de facto shadow prime
minister Eddie Cross, announced that it was convinced
that Mugabe was retiring in 2008 and elections due
and that it was therefore renouncing mass action or
the jambanja route or the “winter of discontent” that
Tsvangirai had promised, in favour of mobilisation for
the coming presidential elections! In view of such
cowardice and in the context of a worsening economic
situation with official inflation rates over 1 200% the
regime has decided to dispense with any pretences of
democracy rule but go into open dictatorship as it
launches, in conjunction with the bosses, a virtual
war on the poor, workers, peasants and the middle
classes through Gono’s IMF endorsed neo-liberal
economic turn-around programme or ESAP 2, to try
and survive.
There is no doubt that the Zanu PF dictatorship
and the bosses have declared a virtual war on the
poor and majority of this country. It started with
Reserve Bank Governor Gono in his last Monetary
Policy announcing the removal of price controls and
all subsidies on goods and services offered by the
government, local authorities and parastatals. They
were ordered to charge market rates and survive on
their own. Thus ZINWA and ZESA have increased
water and electricity charges by over 1000% whilst
local councils across the country have massively hiked
rates, by as much as 5 000%, and schools allowed
school fees to be increased at the inflation rate, i.e. 1
On its part business has imposed savage
unprecedented increases on the prices of basics like food, clothing, education, drugs and health services,
farming inputs and transport. Transport by combis has
trebled from $300 to $1000 in less than two months. The
Poverty Datum Line is now over $360 000 a month for an
average working class family, yet workers on average earn
not more than $60 000.
Of course the state and parastatal fat cats and bosses
are doing well. Gono splashed half a trillion dollars on a
Mercedes Benz – enough to supply 10 000 AIDS patients
with ARV drugs for six months. Judges and MPs have
been given increments of over 1 000% when teachers,
nurses and doctors on less than $60 000 have been given
a miserly 300%. The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange was
reported amongst the top three performers across Africa
in the past year, meaning bosses made huge profits as
they give workers peanuts.
But the bosses and the state have gone too far, and
have provoked a rising anger amongst the masses. The
opposition parties seeking to hijack our struggles only in
order to sell out to Zanu PF and bosses in the near future.
A democratic united front of activists and social
movements under accountable and recallable leadership
must be built with a clear anti- ESAP, anti-capitalist, antidictatorship
and anti-imperialist programme to push
forward the emerging struggles. The social forum provides
a powerful platform to start this. On the other hand in
unions workers must boot out cowardly and sell –out
leaders and replace them with militants and push for action,
strikes, leading to general strikes and demonstrations
against the bosses and the state, working hand in hand
with the social movements. We must seek to build regional
and international solidarity from other movements of the
poor and oppressed of the world, starting with the World
Social Forum in Nairobi in January.
Jambanja Ndizvo! Smash the Dictatorship! Smash

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