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Extends Dictatorship to 2010 as bosses declare war on the poor
January 24, 2007
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. 1,280%!
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.
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.
Ndizvo! Smash the Dictatorship! Smash Capitalism!
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