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signs of united front mass action against elite settlement
International Socialist Organization of Zimbabwe
The situation in Zimbabwe
has reached unprecedented levels of crisis. As we have been saying
for the last few years, such a crisis was climaxing and with a number
of possibilities arising. First and most likely was the likelihood
of the bourgeois elite politicians in [President Robert Mugabe's]
Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) uniting together
in an elitist government of national unity in which ZANU-PF would
be the senior partner around a Western- and capitalist-supported
neoliberal economic agenda. The MDC's popularity would be used to
pacify the urban working people from rising up.
The strong possibilities
of this happening has been shown with the MDC's willingeness to
accept the crumbs offered by the ZANU-PF and endorsed by the regional
Southern African Development Community in which Mugabe would remain
with virtually all his executive presidential powers with MDC leader
Morgan Tsvangirai acting as a prop.
Indeed the cynicism of
the whole plot was shown in that as the MDC signed Constitutional
Amendment 19 with ZANU-PF, Mugabe was appointing Gideon Gono for
another five years as governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe --
the same Gono who has been the central figure in the ZANU-PF's and
the ruling class' neoliberal onslaught against working people for
the last five years. He is the virtual de facto prime minister of
Zimbabwe, unelected and unaccountable to the people, accoutable
only to his equally unelected and illegitmate masters.
However, we also argued
that if the elites did not quickly resolve their differences through
an elitist government of national unity and if the country did not
descend into a failed state like Somalia, there was a real possibility
of uprisings from below led by the working class, but critically
involving a united front of labour and radical civic groups and
social movements, and militant rank and file activists from the
MDC. We have consistently called for the urgent formation of such
a united front to lead united mass action, centrally demanding a
people-driven and anti-neoliberal constitution.
In the last
few weeks the tensions and fights between the elites in the ZANU-PF
and the MDC over the share-out of power and the continuation of
sanctions, and the economic crisis has accelerated the crisis and
brought greater political disllusionament among the ordinary people,
leading to an increasing wave of discontent in the last few weeks,
with strikes and protests by teachers, nurses, doctors, members
of the National
Constitutional Assembly (NCA), women and students.
And most decisively
in the last few days, riots by lower ranks of the army in Harare
beating up cash vendors sent by Gono, as well as shops selling in
foreign currency. Yesterday they ran in the city centre singing
and followed by scores of people denouncing Gono and the government.
The situation is now extremely delicate ahead of the protests called
for December 3 by civic groups led by the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions and also involving he Zimbabwe Social
Forum and the National Constitutional Assembly.
The International Socialist
Organisation (ISOZ) is centrally involved in the demonstrations
through the Zimbabwe Social Forum (ZSF), where many of its leading
cadres are playing a critical role. We welcome the demonstrations
as the first sign of united front mass action that we have been
calling for as the alternative to the elitist political parties'
Please find below the
statement issued by the chairperson of the ZSF, Munyaradzi Gwisai,
who is also the general co-ordinator of ISOZ, calling for local,
regional and international mobilisation and support for the mass
action tomorrow on December 3, 2008.
We shall continually
update comrades on developments whilst we call for your support
on what could be a decisive day of action. The resolution among
the leadership of the ZCTU, ZSF and NCA is that we are going all-out
no matter what the dictatorship throws at us and we are confident
that hundreds will turn up for the demonstration.
No to Dictactorship! Viva Socialism!
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