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Western sanctions weakened labour which were key in MDC formation

by Stephen Jakes
07 Aug 2017 at 08:58hrs | Views
Zimbabwe Commiunist Party Secretary General Ngqabutho Mabhena has said so the American sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, which sought to weaken and collapse the Mugabe regime, instead, have weakened and collapsed organised labour which was key in the formation of the MDC in 1999.

He said while the President Robert Mugabe regime continues with its patronage system , by engaging the services of the military, war vets, youths (who are promised residential stands) , organised labour can no longer bring the country to a stand still through demonstrations and stay aways as was the case in 1997/1998.

"When the opposition leadership called for the imposition of sanctions, did it ever occur to it that, the very sanctions will work against it? Since 2013, the opposition has been boycotting by- elections hoping for electoral reforms to no avail. Now that it is clear to everyone that, the 2018 elections will be held under the same 2013 conditions, what are the options for the opposition other than to legitimacy the 2018 elections by participating through a coalition?," he posed the questions.

"The opposition can never call for a mass protest as was the case 20 years ago. The young people who were active in organising protests in the ZCTU 20 years ago , are today social media activists who shout strategies from the Diaspora. Those who stayed back in Zimbabwe are not involved in any production as they sell imported goods in the streets as vendors koKhothama (94% of the workforce is in the informal sector)."

Mabhena said with +-68% of the 210 contested seats located in the rural areas, ZANU(PF) does not need to use massive violence to attract international condemnation as was the case with the recent Venezuela elections.

"It just has to scare off its opponents by telling villagers through traditional leadership, that the BVR system will make it easier for the regime to know who voted for the opposition, this (the regime will claim as a scaring tactic) will result in the lose of freebies & violence against those who do not follow orders (by voting correctly). Given the state of our economy, the majority of villagers will "seek" voter assistance when casting their votes (this means a vote for the regime) as a way of assuring the regime through the traditional leadership, that they are loyal," he said.

"In Matabeleland, particularly in Bulawayo, a cosmopolitan city, that brings together different ethnicity groups, the regime simple needs to stock tribal tensions as is the case with the employment of KFC staff in Bulawayo. The Mthwakazi activists , will seek to mobilise the residents (read Ndebele speaking) to boycott KFC until the reversal of the newly employed , without realising that, the majority of the customers of KFC in Bulawayo are not Ndebele speaking. I mean, if you have the Shona speaking constituting the majority in few industries left in the city, in the informal sector, at NRZ, in government departments, with the majority of the Ndebele in Hillbrow, who do you think will boycott Bulawayo KFC when your strategy of boycott is based on the ethnic question?"

He said but this works in favour of ZANU in that, the opposition will be busy trying to reach some consensus with the Mthwakazian activists while ZANU will be calling on young people to register for residential stands at Davies Hall.

"As the opposition gathers in Harare tomorrow, it has run out of options to force the regime to implement the electoral reforms as contained in the 2013 constitution. Zimbabwe will not be discussed in Pretoria when the Heads of State and Government gather on the 19th & 20th August 2017. Secondly, the opposition will not boycott elections as elections in Zimbabwe are a source of employment," he said.

"Assuming Tsvangirai were to call for an election boycott, his own MPs will stand as independents next year or, they will contest under the banner of one of the many political parties that get formed everyday. So the question of Zimbabweans coalescing and taking a common position on electoral reforms does not arise."

Mabhensa said the only option left is to contest ZANU (PF) on the ideological front as opposed to 2018 elections ( something that the opposition will not agree on until it disintegrate post 2018).

"This requires the building of the vanguard of the working class, the building of a broad left movement (lead by the vanguard) in the struggle against imperialism and the parasitic bourgeois. I know my dear brother Mr Rejoice Ngwenya will say to me ," Ngqabutho , people do not eat ideology ", but equally, people do not eat democracy. What the people of Zimbabwe need are jobs, shelter, education for their children, access to health care, access to clean drinking water ,etc. How do we address the issue of jobs - the answer is in the ZCP Red Book!" he said.

Source - Byo24News