Eric Draitser: Zimbabwe, The Revolution Continues!

The coming elections in Zimbabwe are no mere referendum on the leadership of the coalition government. Instead, the decision before Zimbabweans is a clear one: continue on the revolutionary path of Mugabe and ZANU-PF or follow Prime Minister Morgan Tsangirais MDC-T and their pro US, neoliberal economic agenda. While much of Africa has been turned into a chaotic, war ravaged continent, stuck in the destructive cycles of violence, terrorism, and dependence on imperial powers, Zimbabwe has managed to maintain the fierce independence on imperial powers, Zimbabwe has managed to maintain the fierce independence and commitment to revolution espoused by President Mugabe, stretching all the way back to the post colonial liberation struggle. However, in order to fully understand the sustained campaign of destabilization and subversion by the Western imperialist ruling class, one must first examine the policies of Mugabe and ZANU-PF, that have earned them the ire of Washington and London. Mugabes Crimes: Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party emerged from the post independence conflict as the dominant political party in Zimbabwe, promising to finally address the most pressing issues facing black Zimbabweans who, despite making up the vast majority of the population, continued to be mostly landless, while the white, landowning class maintained their grip on the most arable land. This gross disparity in land ownership, a vestige of the colonial system, became one of the primary needs that the new leadership intended to address. However, the terms of the negotiated settlement of the war of liberation in 1979, known as the Lancaster House Agreement, essentially allowed the white farmers to retain their land, if they chose to do so under the willing buyer, willing seller principle. The system continued until 2000, when President Mugabe shifted the policy to a fast track land program, that sought to unseat white privilege, and restore ethnic balance to land ownership. It was precisely this policy shift, that earned Mugabe the ire of the imperial powers, particularly the British, which then sought to punish Mugabe and the people of Zimbabwe, by instituting crippling sanctions that destroyed the Zimbabwean economy. However, this only strengthened the resolve of ZANU-PF, teaching them a number of important lessons. As Francis Chitsike of Midlands State University in Zimbabwe points out: What the Zimbabwean government learned from its own experience, is that in an agriculturally based economy, no development program will succeed if people are not given access to land.

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