Monday, January 19, 2009

Statement

National Central Committee Statement on Recent Happenings in ISO

1.        The National Central Committee of the International Socialist Organisation (Zimbabwe) met in an emergency meeting on Wednesday 13th January 2009 to look at recent events in the country and organization including the purported expulsion from the organization of the ISO general co-ordinator, Munyaradzi Gwisai, as announced at a press conference on 11th January, by a section of the ISO national leadership led by the national co-ordinator Ady Mutero and national treasurer, Fortune Tigwe.

2.        The National Central Committee (CC) is the supreme decision-making body of ISO in between its National Members Conferences. The meeting was attended by 18 of the body’s 25 constitutional members, and apologies given by two.[1]

3.        After receiving reports and exhaustive debate the National Central Committee noted that:

a.        The press conference and expulsion were unproceedural and illegal having been done outside the parameters of the organisation’s constitution by a small clique within the recently elected national leadership.  Contrary to press reports that the expulsion had been authorized by a National Members Conference on 9 January 2009, no such meeting had occurred, but what had taken place was a kangaroo factional meeting of the National Co-ordinating Committee, the executive arm of the Central Committee, attended by less than five of its ten members and convened without due notice to the other members, as had similarly been the case with the press conference.

b.        The accusations against Gwisai are incompletely unfounded and without substance: Whilst one of  its longest serving and most  experienced members, Gwisai has never in fact occupied the highest position in ISO of national co-ordinator as alleged, but has been a member of ISO’s collective leadership as its librarian; regular elections have been held with office holders properly elected, with the previously elected national co-ordinators of ISO being: Briggs Zano, Luke Bhukarin, T Sando, Tom Msvhaya, Briggs Bomba and Mike Sambo. At the latest National Members Conference in Novemebr 2008, Gwisai was nominated by virtually all the branches to occupy the newly created position of general co-ordinator of ISO, but due to time constraints the exact terms of the position were deferred to the National Central Committee. Subsequently the full National Co-ordinating Committee, chaired and attended by members of the Mutero-Tigwe clique placed Gwisai in the position of general co-ordinator, pending the National Central Committee. This position was endorsed by all the branches of ISO.  No property of the organisation has been seized by Gwisai, nor was the organisation’s e-mail passwords changed by Gwisai. Problems there are in ISO, like in many other organizations in these trying times in Zimbabwe, but the ISO collective leadership in the National Co-ordinating Committee had agreed to refer all such problems to the higher organ of the National Central Committee in mid January 2009. Yet before such meeting, the Mutero-Tigwe clique calls a public press conference before the bourgeois press to give lies and falsehoods – a practice most inconsistent with revolutionary socialist traditions.

c.        That the real reason behind the little rebellion, shown in the purported expulsion of Gwisai and threatened expulsions of other longstanding members, is the reactionary and counter-revolutionary alliance the Mutero-Tigwe clique has entered into with a cross-section of right-wing and imperialist-funded NGOs. The later along with similar-minded elements in the opposition  MDC leadership, have historically opposed the ISO for its resolute and consistent position that the struggles against the Zanu PF dictatorship must be fought from an anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist and anti-neoliberal basis that prioritises both the political demands and the bread and butter demands of the poor. And that the way forward is direct mass action from below and not talks or sanctions or fake elections before a new people driven constitution. These forces insist that the struggle must be solely restricted to the regime-change - “Mugabe must go” agenda of their paymasters and not raise the anti-neoliberal demands of the poor, and they oppose the militant route of peoples power or jambanja.  They hate us for insisting that the western imperialists and capitalists who fund and control these NGOs in civic society and the political opposition are not genuine allies of the democratic movement. This is why there were sharp differences between them and us at the Peoples Convention in February 2008 and ongoing in the social forum processes, and before that in the MDC, when we expelled in 2003.  In its political perspectives the Mutero-Tigwe clique now argues the same class nonsense and clap-trap as these right-wing forces, arguing that the  ISO must re-orientate to “these comprador bourgeoisie organizations” and abandon all ideological fights with them “for the sole objective of removing Mugabe, thereafter we renew our different fight(s), ideological fights.”  In other words they seek to liquidate the ISO as a revolutionary socialist organization and abandon its principled united front approach whereby it can work in alliance with other groups around agreed minimum demands but never renouncing its right to articulate its ideological positions for socialism and criticisms of capitalism and reformist - reactionary leaders. Instead they want to turn ISO into a compliant nominally left but well paid lackey in a popular front run by the right-wing NGOs and right wing opposition leaders in MDC,  where we hide our politics, ideology and criticism of capitalism and the reactionary reformist leaders. In other words they want to follow the old Left Wing position of returning the ISO to MDC hegemony, even when the role and space of working people and militants has become even much less now than when it was in 2003 with the capitalists and imperialists in much greater influence. We rejected this in the MDC in 2002 -3 when it was being pushed by the now defunct Left Wing splinter group, and reject it now, especially when the MDC leadership has shown such contempt for its ordinary membership and civic society partners by going into an elitist deal with the Zanu PF dictatorship without consulting them. We acknowledge the very significant contributions Mutero and Tigwe have made to ISO and the revolutionary struggle over time, but it is clear that now they have succumbed to the temptations of opportunism, whether because of the dollars being flushed in their faces by the right-wingers or because of mere exhaustion, or both, we do not know. Either way they have today become renegades in the struggle, working with and under the control of the class enemies of the working classes and the poor in general.

d.        This is why it has become necessary to expel Gwisai and other longstanding leaders of ISO as has been threatened, for without that this the renegades cannot succeed in their designs to liquidate the ISO into popular front politics and opportunism.  Indeed so crass has been their betrayal that the press conference was facilitated and mobilized by the imperialist-funded Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-Zimbabwe) through Thabani Moyo, formerly of the Crisis Coalition. The very same MISA whose executive director Takura Zhangazha vigorously led the opposition of the  inclusion of anti-neoliberal and anti-capitalist demands in the Peoples Charter and who despite being a leading figure in the Peoples Convention still went behind everyone’s back to join the MDC-T technical team in the MDC-Zanu PF talks in South Africa despite that such talks had been roundly rejected by the Peoples Convention as a useless elitist platform. Today it is a network of such forces that have become the closest friends of the Mutero-Tigwe clique, funding them and pushing their propaganda. We ask whether it is a mere coincidence that the Mutero-Tigwe clique seeks to destabilize ISO, so conveniently near the elective Zimbabwe Social Forum annual strategic meeting where Gwisai is being supported by ISO and many progressive movements to stand as chairperson, but being massively opposed by the very same right-wing NGOs?

e.        These renegades had assumed that in the context of escalating massive poverty of ordinary people, including our membership and a relatively largely new membership recruited in the last three years and not yet fully familiar with socialist politics and traditions, the few crumbs of bread they were offering from their paymasters, would turn the membership against its principles, values and politics and sell out its soul to the capitalist enemies, but they have received a rude shock by the   resoluteness and class solidarity the overwhelming membership of the ISO has shown in rejecting them and their naked attempts to destroy the only functional revolutionary socialist organization in Zimbabwe. It is not for nothing that the slogan of ISO is “Shinga Mushandi!”; “Qina Msebenzi”! Even in the most difficulty and adverse of positions, including such crass betrayals, we will preserve in the struggle against dictatorship, capitalism and for socialism.

 

RESOLUTIONS

4.        Taking the above into account the National Central Committee resolved by an overwhelming majority of EIGHTEEN votes in favour of and ZERO against that:

a.        The five under-mentioned persons who convened the unconstitutional press conference and responsible for various counter-revolutionary activities are hereby and immediately expelled from the International Socialist Organisation, and that the ISO shall  henceforth not be responsible or liable for any actions, statements or activities arising from them – :

                                                               i.      Ady Mutero, formerly the national co-ordinator;

                                                              ii.      Fortune Tigwe, formerly the national treasurer;

                                                            iii.      L. Manjo, formerly the national youth co-ordinator;

                                                            iv.      E. Chida, formely the national gender co-ordinator;

                                                              v.      S. Shere, formerly, the Harare Province gender co-ordinator.

 

b.        The meeting affirms that Munyaradzi Gwisai is and remains the General Co-ordinator of ISO and that Mike Sambo and Sando shall act in the capacities of National Co-ordinator and National Treasurer, respectively, pending the next National Members Conference.

c.        That the ISO reaffirms its support for the candidature of Munyaradzi Gwisai as chairperson of the Zimbabwe Social Forum at its coming January 2009 elective Annual Strategic Meeting and calls upon all progressive movements and organizations to continue their support of the same despite the falsehoods and insinuations made by the expelled clique and their allies.

 

Smash the dictatorship! Smash capitalism! Viva Socialism!

 

ISO National Central Committee[2]

15th January 2009, Harare

 

 



[1] The meeting was held at the ISO National Offices and was attended by: of the ten national heads of departments in the National Co-ordinating Committee – NCC, six attended; of the eight members of the Harare Provincial Executive Committee  five attended and two gave apologies;  of  the seven branches of the ISO of Mbare; Highfields-Glen Norah; Chitungwiza; Kadoma and Mutare, five were represented by their branch co-ordinators, whilst the co-ordinators of the Budiriro-Glen View and Bulawayo branches sent apologies but were represented by members of their branch committees.

44 comments:

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