I think most readers of the news are aware of the current situation in Zimbabwe today. Indeed, there has been a long dialogue over at Bermuda Sucks on just this topic. On a negative note there are some who, in their opposition to the PLP, make reactionary, irresponsible and extremely superficial comparisons of PLP Bermuda with ZANU-PF Zimbabwe.
I think it is obvious that most people however are sympathetic to the plight of ordinary people in Zimbabwe, and while there are those who have their concerns about the Opposition MDC, most would agree that right now the MDC is certainly the lesser of two evils.
Personally, this blog would like to echo the sentiments expressed by the SACP concerning the current situation in Zimbabwe, especially their view that:
“…current day Zimbabwe represents a post-colonial aberration of national democratic objectives of transformation, in which popular aspirations are deferred, in the interest of narrowly elitist accumulation projects of a small bureaucratic stratum and the most parasitic sections of the ruling class.
The SACP remains convinced that the principal cause of the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe is that of a degenerating national liberation movement, which once fought a heroic struggle, but is now paying the price of being trapped in state power that is not buttressed by the people’s will.”
This blog is also heartened by the actions of solidarity expressed by members of COSATU recently, especially the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) in refusing to unload and facilitate the transportation of weapons destined for Zimbabwe. These weapons included over three million rounds of AK-47 ammunition and 1500 RPGs. In the words of SATAWU General Secretary: “As far as we are concerned, the containers will not be offloaded. The ship must return to China. If they [the Mbeki government] bring replacement labour to do the work, our members will not stand and look at them and smile.” Credit should also be given to the South African Police Trade Union which sided with SATAWU, warning the ANC-led government not to use police to either serve as scab workers to unload the cargo or to take action against SATAWU for defying the Government. The COSATU news section currently has links to media reports of this incident, such as the New York Times or the Sunday Herald.
The current crisis in Zimbabwe has the potential to accelerate the developing ‘next liberation struggle’ in southern Africa, a struggle moving beyond the paradigm of race and towards a class based movement. The Tripartite Alliance of the ANC, SACP and COSATU is increasingly coming under strain due to what is widely percieved by the grassroots as a selling out of the revolutionary potential of the liberation movement that brought down Apartheid, with the ANC adopting increasingly neo-liberal positions. New social movements, grassroots in nature, are forming and challenging ANC hegemony. The situation in Zimbabwe, though obviously of a different nature, has some similarities to this situation in South Africa, and change in Zimbabwe could serve as a catalyst for deepening the revolutionary movement in South Africa itself, as well as strengthening solidarity among the peoples of southern Africa.