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Zimbabwe

from Michael Sozinyu

The crisis in the country has reached acute levels, which clearly Mugabe has no solution to. Up to June this year local capitalists and the imperialists powers had managed to create a total economic crisis .A crisis, which allowed them to make super profits at the expense of ordinary poor people. Prices were going up almost twice a day in a way designed to try and make the country ungovernable as much as possible so that by December the inflation rate would have reached unprecedented levels in the world.

This was likely to trigger massive uprisings against Mugabe, just like the late 90s food riots,

Mugabe was quick to realize this and did his usual way. In 2000 to survive a total defeat by MDC Mugabe had to make some partial concessions with capital and adopt an anti ESAP stance giving land to peasants, introducing price controls and etc. This ensured his victory against MDC, which was a party, formed out of working people’s fights against neo-liberal ESAP The same he did now, he had to urgently come in and stop the capitalists from making super profits by introducing price controls and even threatening to nationalize intransigent companies.

For Mugabe had no control over production and distribution of goods bosses easily sabotaged and stopped production-causing shops to run on empty shelves. We are almost back to the same situation before price controls. Goods are now only available on black market on even higher prices than before. Queues for a few still available basics have resurfaced.

Over the past weeks the government has gradually been backtracking on prices allowing shops to increase prices of most goods to what they call reasonable levels. But at the same time the government has passed as law a bill makes it impossible for capitalists to increase prices without the approval of the incomes and pricing commission, which he set. Wages and salaries have been frozen at very low levels than the current poverty datum line.

Mugabe has now got breathing space from both regional and local pressure he used to get .SADC talks aimed to bring sanity in Zimbabwe recently failed with South African president Mbeki who has been behind the initiative describing the Zimbabwean situation as an exaggeration of reality .The region is now recognizing Mugabe as a genuine anti imperialist with recently the Zambian President Mwanawasa who once described Zimbabwe as a “sinking titanic”, having to deport hundreds of Zimbabwean activists who wanted to attend SADC Summit in Zambia and demonstrate against Mugabe. Mugabe had a standing ovation when he got in Zambia as a living hero against imperialism yet people are suffering in Zimbabwe.

Despite all this Mugabe has no solutions to the economic crisis affecting the country now , as the country is going through massive imperialist sanctions coupled with local capitalist economic sabotage .This might still lead people to revolt against him , but he needs to survive up to March next year elections .

Hoping that he will win the elections and forge an elite settlement with the MDC elites and proceed with neo- liberal policies. This makes him eager to keep an eye on prices even on a less radical position up until elections and thereafter he lets the cat out.

The opposition is blind on this they are rushing on parliamentary seats to contest for they are only interested on peripheral personal benefits entitled to MPs . as we have seen recently some MDC MPs receiving some tractors and farming implements from Mugabe If ever there is a time when the regime is at its weakest this is the time .It is clear that Mugabe has no solution to the economic crisis of this country only what he wants is ensure 2008 victory at any costs hence all these political maneuverings.

The opposition is failing to take advantage of Mugabe`s impotence in resolving the economic woes of this country and mobilize people in townships. There is no water and electricity in townships, people are not happy, this is the opportunity to link such demands and build a powerful movement against Mugabe around bread and butter issues.

It is not only us who sees an imminent dismal electoral defeat of MDC , but some of their long time supporters in the NCA and some of its rank and file who attended a recent public meeting organized by ZimRights where our was a speaker . It turned out to be more or less an ISO meeting as speaker after speaker agreed with our position on the elections saying there is need to boycott the elections as participating will be legitimizing Mugabe victory.

This is the time rather than wasting energies and resources in preparing for elections, which Mugabe has already won, the MDC should now unite with other forces in building a genuine united front movement. A movement that unite all progressive civil society groups labour, socialists, human rights groups, NCA, and other social movements including ZSF. Organize demonstrations around bread and butter issues including the right to ARVs and food. This is the only way to bring back confidence in people than to hope an electoral victory over Mugabe.


Mike sambo

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