18 Aug



The months of July and August have witnessed a growing number of protests in Zimbabwe. Both in terms of the number and groups of people participating in the protests a well as the rate at which these have been held. Such regular protests where probably last witnessed in the late 1990s save for the fact that only now we have seen a large and unprecedented number of the middle class participating. What has been the real nature of these protests and the objectives? Who are the leaders of these actions and have the intended objectives been achieved? These and some of the coincidental issues are some of the areas that this article seeks to explore and answer.


The public sector workers, early in July, staged a major stay away for three days that forced the state to back down on some of it measures. This was a result of the failure by the government to pay salaries on time and yet demanding a lot from the same workers. Previously, informal cross border traders had staged a major blockade and protest at the countries’ major border post. Commuter drivers and conductors clashed with the police in the eastern suburbs of Harare over a large number of road blocks and corruption on the roads. Also there had been groups such as the radical Tajamuka, Occupy Movement which had staged sporadic but publicised protests against corruption and government policies. The main opposition party the MDC-T also held marches across the country trying to force the state to institute electoral and political change. Other citizens notably a Baptist pastor, Evan Mawarire, initiated social media based campaigns aimed at forcing the government to curb corruption and demanding that Mugabe steps down.


All these actions and protest can only be correctly understood in the context of the international and national political economy. Globally, since 2008 we have been living in one of the most severe economic crisis dubbed the great recession that has affected the profitability of major industrial nations and recently the so called emerging nations such as Brazil and South Africa. Naturally this has by and large affected the vulnerable and dependent economies of semi colonial countries like Zimbabwe which depend on the major imperialist countries for trade and aid. This economic downturn lead most developed states to adopt austerity measures which attacked the working and living conditions of the poor and workers. In Zimbabwe the current economic crisis has its roots in the austerity measures forced on the government by the IMF since the early 1990s and which were made worse by the sanctions imposed on the country by the major western imperialist nations trying to force the ZANU-PF government to reverse the land reform programme it had embarked on in 2000.Ever since the country has hovered between a recession and sluggish growth resulting in untold suffering for the poor.


In spite of occasional left rhetoric, the ZANU-PF government has administered a brutal attack on the worker and the poor in society. This has resulted in workers working in difficult conditions and receiving meagre salaries. Economically the workers are at a receiving end with the 2015 landmark Supreme court ruling allowing employers to retrench workers on notice being the most recent and aggressive expression of the attacks. The majority of the able bodied people who are self-employed are not faring any better due to constant harassment from the state. Politically the workers and the poor have not fared any better. The unions are in a very sorry state with the leaders compromised by the mainstream reformist political dynamics as well as bribes by bosses. All of the major political parties’ programme are anti -workers and this has resulted in general apathy.


As a result of this all of the recent protest have not been led by workers and the general poor. The workers and the poor have been used as cannon fodder in the interests of the elite and the middle class that focuses on superficial political issues and misplaced economic agendas. All major political parties are agreed that Mugabe and his party have failed and must leave office. These have been joined by the emerging so called citizen movement comprising of the Tajamuka, #thisflag and others whose core focus Is the political and corruption issues. In all these initiatives the workers are not in direct or independent control and their real interests are not being promoted. The civil servants have promised to strike come month end over the continued delays by the state to pay salaries on time. All the major opposition parties are muting staging a “mega” demonstration against the ZANU-PF government with the emergent cyber based activist groups calling for a national shutdown on 31st August.


For workers and the poor to benefit from the current wave of protests there is an urgent need for an independent and active workers and poor people’s platform that utilises the methods of the working people. We have similar fake lefts who cry about the corrupt politicians but ignore or downplay the structural crisis of capitalism. They sound militant but they create illusions in a regulated and a capitalism run under a higher morality. Workers need to learn from South Africa where the popular front of the ANC/SACP/COSATU has spearheaded the attacks on the workers and poor in that country. Zimbabwe is an integral part of southern Africa and any initiative by workers and the poor should learn from and inform the struggles in the sub region


Thus when the masses are mobilized against corruption the underlying message is that, “if we could get rid of the corrupt politicians the economy would run just fine.” This is the message from Kiev to Brasilia to Harare.  We have to place the blame for corruption on the impunity the capitalist state allows its lackeys to operate under.   This is the price the capitalist class allows its enforcers (police, fixers, & politicians) to extract from the fringes of the state coffers.



A revolutionary worker’s government based on the popular organizations of the poor, the peasants, and workers would maintain a policy of immediate recall that would eliminate corruption by oversight of the economy by a worker’s militia deputized to enforce the worker’s planned economy by workers’ assemblies.  The planned economy will assure production based on social need not profit for a few and the imperialist overlords.  When the worker’s plan is enforced transparency will eliminate corruption.


To win the workers’ economy we fight for:


Free Quality Health Care for All!  For clinics in every township. For socialized medical care under the control of medical service providers: nurses, staffers, & doctors.


Free Quality Education for All!  From pre-school and 24-hour day care through elementary, secondary school, college, university. For social education run by students, educators and parents councils.


For Jobs for All!  For full unionization of the work force.  For contracts that provide living wages and benefits. For safe job sites with health and safety protections that eliminate speedups and provide for personal protection and safe work practices.  Share the work.  Thirty hours work for forty hours pay!


For workers council control over prices and wages.


For easy credit terms with highly regulated non usurious rates for small businesses, cottage industries and street vendors.


Land for the landless!


Open the books of the corporations and businesses of the capitalists and imperialist companies which do not provide the benefits the masses require.


Nationalization of industries owned by imperialism and native capitalists who do not provide the needs of the masses.


For workers control of nationalized industries.


For popular assemblies to establish workers led militia to expropriate the commanding heights of the economy and enforce the workers plan.


For the workers and poor farmers government that expropriates the expropriators.


For the revolutionary workers party that fights for socialist revolution internationally building the world party of socialist revolution.


For regional alliances of workers states that make socialist revolution permanent.



18 August 2016

Revolutionary Workers Group of Zimbabwe (RWG-ZIM, LCC in Zimbabwe)






    […] The following is reprinted from our comrades of the Revolutionary Workers Group of Zimbabwe (RWG-ZIM, LCC in Zimbabwe): […]

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