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Bond, Patrick (2010) Can Zimbabwe finally progress?. Eye on Civil Society : -.

‘Progress in Zimbabwe’ was the title of an historic Bulawayo conference
last week, gathering mainly academics but also leading civil society
strategists. It was organised by University of Johannesburg political
economist David Moore and by Showers Mawowa, who while completing
doctoral studies at the UKZN School of Development Studies also works
for the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development.

Said Moore, “For many analysts, the end of progress is signified in the
political projects of Robert Mugabe and Zanu(PF) – not to mention the
Government of National Unity”. It’s been two years since SA’s outgoing
president Thabo Mbeki negotiated dysfunctional power-sharing between
Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Just before the deal took effect in early 2009, the local currency
collapsed entirely. On the upside, that reversed hyperinflation and
empty shop shelves. The tiny elite is happier. But without any ability
to earn hard currency, what’s a peasant or the unemployed (90 percent of
the workforce) to do?

A related problem: monetary policy is now set in Washington and
Pretoria, since the US$ and South African Rand are now Zimbabwe’s core
currencies. The Reserve Bank cannot stimulate the sickly economy,
because its governor, Gideon Gono, gave Zimbabwe ‘monetary gonorrhea’, a
corrupting disease transmitted from his overworked printing press to the
economy as a whole.

A $2 billion bill for Gono’s leftover Zimdollar debt is being
negotiated, and another $5+ billion in foreign debt remains unpayable.
Civil society demands a debt audit before World Bank and IMF loans are

Politically, progress is fragile. Since intense paramilitary violence
forced Tsvangirai to pull out of the mid-2008 run-off presidential
election (after winning the first round – but, claimed Mugabe’s
vote-counters, with less than 50%), a constitutional rewrite outreach
process has provided space for 4000 meetings. True, many were marred by

Worse, a mid-2011 election announced by Mugabe promises a return to bad
habits: intimidation and thieving. The most likely scenario, said
leading commentator John Makumbe, is that “The MDC will win and Zanu(PF)
will again refuse to concede power”. So back they will go into the
cul-de-sac of renewed power-sharing talks.

Mugabe justifies power grabbing with the ‘Chimurenga’ (liberation war)
narrative, and still accuses the MDC of being a Western puppet. Sorting
out this politico-ideological confusion requires, according to
Sheffield-based Zimbabwean Ian Phimister, a ‘distinct paradigm of
radical historiography’. But Muchaparara Musemwa lamented that their
discipline still lacks cohesion and purpose. Phimister recommended the
new book Becoming Zimbabwe – featuring work by Alois Mlambo, Brian
Raftopoulos and younger historians – which treats contemporary
degeneration in historical context.

The main challenge in an era of state-sponsored ‘Patriotic History’ – a
mirror of Rhodesia’s racist settler history – is recovery of the
liberation tradition from damage done even before Independence in 1980,
a task aided by the coming publication of Wilf Mhanda’s autobiography.
Mhanda’s leadership of the Zimbabwe People’s Army offered an
alternative, genuinely liberatory trajectory, one Mugabe violently
suppressed in 1978.

Mugabe’s overarching need, it seems, is to control the telling of
history as a way to remind his subjects there was once a time when
Zanu(PF) was indeed a popular force, like fish swimming in the sea of
the people. Regurgitation of that memory is what motivates the ‘Talk
Left, Walk Right’ project of crony nationalist capitalism, which Mugabe
and so many other post-colonial despots adopted, as Frantz Fanon
predicted in his 1961 book The Wretched of the Earth.

Another memory is of a time indigenous Zimbabweans controlled their
land. According to Blessing Karumbidza, recently awarded a UKZN
doctorate in economic history, there will be “a truly restructured and
dynamic farming sector IF and only if the support mechanisms and
institutional regimes necessary for land and agricultural
rationalization are put in place.”

That’s not happening. Insists University of Zimbabwe (UZ) geographer
Esther Chigumira, “Bifurcated land ownership continues, not by race but
by class, favouring elites who are politically connected.” Those
nationalists, recalled former war veteran and now UZ sociologist Wilbert
Sadomba, emerged from internecine liberation movement feuds, and
“hijacked that revolution, in connivance with international capital. We
war vets are opposed to both Zanu(PF) elites and MDC elites. We see
neither being able to take the country forward.”

Added leading liberation-era intellectual Ibbo Mandaza, “There was a
Zanu(PF) that we were part of, the liberation movement, and then there
was Mugabe’s Zanu(PF), which is very different. Mugabe is essentially
rightwing, notwithstanding the anti-imperialist rhetoric.”

As for his own role, Mandaza confessed, “We helped in many respects
dress up an essentially rightwing regime in leftist clothing.”
Raftopoulos agreed: “This discourse threw off many African scholars,
most importantly in the Mamdani debate in December 2008” – referring to
the great Ugandan political scientist Mahmood Mamdani’s London Review of
Books defense of Mugabe.

The two most prominent scholars supportive of land redistribution,
Mamdani and Sam Moyo, were invited but could not attend. Ben Cousins of
the University of the Western Cape promoted the post-2000 land reform’s
“changing structures of ownership and new agrarian structure,”
concluding that “The positives probably outweigh the negatives.”

In the main A1 land programme, he said, “About a third of the new
farmers are succeeding, a third getting by, and a third getting out.”
The negatives in Cousins’ list include “the collapse of Large Scale
Commercial Farms which contributed to wide-scale economic decline; the
motor force of land reform was the Zanu(PF) power grab; the decline of
the rule of law; violence.” Added Zimbabwean human rights advocate
Elinor Sisulu, “food security, environment, HIV-AIDS, and the gender and
class dimensions.”

How, then, can progress emerge against Mugabe’s fake populist language
and violence-prone delivery, short of awaiting his death – but then a
new Zanu(PF) power struggle that could be even more disruptive? For
Raftopoulos, a renewed “international labour solidarity discourse is one
of the best antidotes to Mugabe’s rhetoric”, especially the ‘exemplary
solidarity’ shown in April 2008 when in Durban, transport workers
refused to unload three million bullets destined for Mugabe’s army from
the Chinese ship An Yue Jiang.

As I think all agreed, a new surge of such solidarity will be needed
next year, when regress again trumps progress in Zimbabwe.

(Patrick Bond is on sabbatical from the UKZN Centre for Civil Society.)

Kungenzeka iZimbabwe ibe nenqubekela phambili?
NguPatrick Bond
Yahunyushwa nguFaith ka-Manzi

‘Inqubekela phambili eZimbabwe’ bekuyinqgikithi yombuthano owumlamdo obukwaBulawayo kungekudala-nje, lapho bekubuthene kakhulu izifundiswa kanye nabaholi abahlonishwayo bezinhlangano zemiphakathi. Lombuthano wawuhlelwe ngumhlaziyi wezemnotho nezombusazwe uDavid Moore waseUniversity of Johannesburg ngokuhlanganyela noShowers Mawowa, oqedela izifundo zakhe zobudokotela eUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal eSchool of Development Studies futhi abuye asebenzele iZimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development.

Ngokusho kukaMoore, “Ngokwabahlaziyi abaningikucacile ukuthi akukho, ukuba khona kwenqubekela phambili ezinhlelweni zombusazwe zikaRobert Mugabe ne Zanu(PF) – singakakhulumi-nje ku”Hulumeni woKubusa Ngokuhlanganyela”. Sekuyiminyaka emibili owayengumongameli waseNingizimu Afrika uThabo Mbeki azama ukwenza ukubuyisana okwahluleka kokubusa ndawonye phakathi kukaMugabe no Morgan Tsvangirai weMovement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Ngaphambi kokuba lesisivumelwano siqale ukusebenza ekuqaleni kuka2009, imali yakhona yavele yaphelelwa amandla okusetshenziswa. Lokhu kwenza yonke imikhiqizo yanyuka kakhulu lapho futhi kungekho okudayiswayo. Abambalwa ababusayo bajabula kakhulu. Kodwa ngaphandle kokuhola imali ethengisayo, kufanele abasebenzi kanye nabangasebenzi (ababalelwa kumaphesenti angamashumi ayisishagalolunye) benzenjani?

Inkinga ecishe ifane: kunomgomo wemali obekwayo ePitoli naseWashington,njengoba phela iDola laseMelika kanye neRandi laseNingizimu Afrika kuyizona mali ekuhwebwa ngazo manje eZimbabwe. IBhange Eligcina izimali zakuleliyazwe ( Reserve Bank) liyahluleka ukuqalisa kabusha lomnotho onomkhuhlane, ngoba umphathi walo, uGideon Gono, wafaka ‘igciwane lemali’, isifo esinokukhohlakala esithelelwe ukwenza kwakhe sadunga umnotho wonke.

Amabhiliyoni amabili amadola aseMelika ($2 billion) ayisikweletu esidalwe nguGono esikweletini esisasele seZimdollar okusalungiswa sona, kanye namabhiliyoni amahlanu amadola aseMelika ($5+ billion) yezikweletu zamazwe angaphandle ezingeke zikhokheke. Izakhamuzi zakuleliyalizwe zifuna kuhlaziwe ngokusobala ngaphambi kokuba izikweletu zeBhange Lomhlaba kanye neIMF (International Monetary Funds) zikhokhelwe.

Ngokwezombusazwe, inqubekela phambili intekenteke. Ngenxa yokuthi ukungenelela kakhulu kwezombutho ngodlame kwaphoqa uTsvangirai ukuthi aphume ngokhetho lukamongameli phakathi kuka2008 (emva kokuba ehlomulile kumzuliswano wokuqala – kodwa, lwaphikiswa yilaba ababevotela uMugabe ngamavoti ayengaphansi kwamaphesenti angamashumi amahlanu), ukulokhu kubhalwa kabusha komthethosisekelo sekudale kwabakhona imihlangano eyizinkulungwane ezine mayelana naloludaba. Futhi kuyiqiniso, amavoti amaningi, awavelanga obala ngenxa yokusatshiswa.

Okubi kakhulu ukuthi, ukhetho oselumenyezelwe nguMugabe oluzoba maphakathi no2011 luthembisa ekubuyeleni emikhubeni emibi: ukusabisa kanye nobusela. Isithombe esingasibona yilesi, ngokusho kukaJohn Makumbe omunye wabahlaziyi ohlonishwa kakhulu, ukuthi “IMDC iyophumelela bese kuthi iZanu(PF) inqabe futhi ukudlulisa amandla ombuso”. Okusho ukuthi kuzolokhu kugidagidwa ndawonye ngezinkulumo zokuhlanganyela ngokubusa.

UMugabe ukubusa ngendlovuyangena ukugcizelela ngokuthanda ukukhuluma ngolwimi lwempi yenkululeko i‘Chimurenga’, bese futhi ebeka icala iMDC ngokudonswa ikhala noma ukuba incelebane yamazwe aseNtshonalanga. Ukuxazulula lenhlobo yokuphithanisa ezombusazwe nangendlela ekufanele kubuswe ngayo, ngokusho kwesakhamuzi saseZimbabwe esesihlala eSheffield uIan Phimister, kudinga, ‘indlela enohlonze ezokwenziwa ngesibindi sokushintsha umlando walelizwe’. Kodwa uMuchaparara Musemwa ukhala ngokuthi ukungahleleki nokubanhlakanhlaka kwabo ikona okungakaphumeli obala futhi okungembandela. UPhimister uncoma ukuthi incwadi entsha iBecoming Zimbabwe – enomsebenzi kaAlois Mlambo, uBrian Raftopoulos kanye namabhala ngezomlando abasafufusayo – ibhekana ngqo nesimo salelizwe esingenayo inqubekela phambili.

Inseleleo ababhekene nayo kakhulu lapho bephila esikhathini somlando obhekene kakhulu nomlando womzabalazo wenkululeko – oyisithombe sokufika kwabamhlophe ababenobandlululo eRhodesia – ukunqandwa komlando womzabalazo emaphutheni enzeka ngaphambi kweNkululeko yango1980, umsebenzi osizwe ukushicilelwa kwempilolando kaWilf Mhanda(autobiography). Ubuholi bukaMhanda iZimbabwe People’s Army kwenza kube khona enye indlela, indlela yangempela yokuzabalazela inkululeko, futhi uMugabe ayigcindezela ngesihluku ngo1978.

Into ehamba phambili kuMugabe, kubonakala sengathi, ukuphatha ngendluzula ngokulokhu etshela abantu bakhe ngomlando ukuthi kwakhukhona isikhathi lapho iZanu(PF) lwaluyiqembu elalinedumela, njengenhlanzi ibhukuda lapho kugcwele khona abantu. Ukulokhu kuphindaphindwa lokhu ikona impela lokhu okunomthelela wokuthi ‘Bakhulume kahle, kodwa benze okunye’ (Talk Left, Walk Right) okuwumkhuba owenziwa ababusi abangabangani nongxiwankulu, uMugabe kanye nabanye ababusi bamanye amazwe ababusa ngobumkhandalimtshelo kwakhe nobundlovukayiphikiswa abakwenzayo emva kokuzimela, njengoba uFrantz Fannon asho ngencwadi yakhe ayishicilela ngo1961 iWretched of the Earth.

Okunye futhi abakhumbuza khona ingesikhathi izakhamuzi zaseZimbabwe bengakafiki abamhlophe besabusa umhlaba wabo. Ngokusho kukaBlessing Karumbidza, osanda kugqoka ijazi eUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal lobudokotela kwezomlando zomnotho, “indlela eyosebenza kabusha yamafama iyokwenzeka uma kufakwe abantu abafanelekile futhi uma bexhaswa ngezindlela kanye nangezidingogqandi zokulima umhlaba kanye nokutshala”.

Kodwa lokhu akwenzeki. Kugcizelela uchwepheshe wezezwe (geographer) wasesikhungweni semfundo ephakeme yaseZimbabwe iUniversity of Zimbabwe (UZ) uEsther Chigumira, “Ukunikezwana komhlaba okungenabulungiswa buyaqhubeka, hayi ngebala kodwa ngokuthi uphezulu kangakanani emphakathini, futhi okubhekelelana abacebile abasondelene nabezombusazwe.” Lababusi, kusho omunye owayesempini eyayilwela inkululeko manje osengugqondongqondo kwezomphakathi (sociologist) wase UZ uWilbert Sadomba, baqhamuka ekuxabaneni kwamaqembu ezenkululeko, futhi base “bethatha ngobugebengu umzabalazo, bexhaswa izimali zamazwe aphesheya. Thina esasilwa impi yenkululeko siyaphikisana nababusi bezicebi beZanu(PF) kanye neMDC.Sibona singakwazi ukuyisa izwe lethu phambili.”

Sekunezelela omunye wabaphambili oyisazi sesikhathi sokulwela inkululeko uIbbo Mandaza, “Kwakukhona iZanu(PF) esasiyingxenye yayo, inhlanganno yomzabalazo, kwase kuba khona iZanu(PF) kaMugabe, ehluke kakhulu. UMugabe akakaze abe isishoshovu, ngaphandle-je kokukhuluma ngokukhulumela futhi njengesazi esimelelne nokubuswa yintshonalanga.”

Ngendima yakhe, uMandaza ugeqe amagula wathi, “ Sisize ngezindlela eziningi ukuvikela umbuso obungabhekelele abantu sigqokise okwezishoshovu.”URaftopoulos uvumile naye: “Lengxogo le yathusa abaningi ikakhulukazi izifundiswa zaseAfrica, ikakhulukazi ngenkathi yenkulumo mpikiswano kaMamdani ngoZibandlela ka2008” – echaza ukubuyekezwa kwencwadi eyayivikela uMugabe yiLondon Review of Books ngungoti wezombusazwe waseUganda uMahmood Mamdani.

Izifundiswa ezimbili ezihlonishwa kakhulu ezazixhasa ukusabalaliswa komhlaba, uMamdani no Sam Moyo, bamenywa kodwa abazange bafike kulombuthano.UBen Cousins waseUniversity of the Western Cape waxhasa ukubuyekezwa kokusabalaliswa komhlaba emva kuka2000 “ njengokushintsha izinhlaka zobunikazi bomhlaba nokudala uhlaka olusha kwezokufama,” esho nokuthi “okwuzokwenzeka okuhle kuzogcina kukumbozile okumbi ukuze kutholakale umhlaba”.

Kuhlelo lokuqala lomhlaba wathi, “Cishe abayingxenye engaphansi kukahafu bayaphumelela, enye ingxenye iyazama, enye ithi khumu.” Okubi okwenzekile ngokombiko kaCousins “ukuwa kwamafama amakhulu akade ephakele leliyalizwe, okuholele ekuweni komnotho; abantu ababeshayela ukubuyiswa komhlaba kwakuyiZANU (PF) futhi ikwenza ngempoqo; ukushabalala ukubusa ngokulawulekayo, udlame.” Sekujobelela nesishoshovu sommeli wamalungelo abantu baseZimbabwe uElinor Sisulu, “ukutholakala kokudla, ezemvelo, HIV-AIDS, kanye nezimo ezibhekene nobulili kanye nangamazinga empilo.

Manje-ke, kungenzeka kanjani kubekhona inqubekela phambili uma ngabe kubhekenwe nokubusa ngobumbulu kukaMugabe enza sengathi unabalandeli abaningi okuhambisana nesihluku osekwenze kwalindelwa ukuthi aze afe – kodwa mhlawumbe ukubangwa kwezombusazwe yiZANU (PF) engaqhamuka nayo ibhebhezele lesimo phambili kubangwa umbuso? NgokukaRaftopoulos, ukuqalakabusha “ngokuhlanganyela nomhlaba wonke nezinhlangano zabasebenzi ezingxoxweni ikona okungaba umuthi wokulapha ubuphixiphixi bukaMugabe”, ikakhulukazi ‘ukuhlanganyela okuyisibonelo esihle’ okwakhonjiswa ngoApril ka2008 eThekwini, lapho abasebenzi bezokuthutha banqaba ukuthulula izinhlamvu zezibhamu eziyizigidi ezintathu ezazibabele embuthweni wempi kaMugabe ziqhamuka emkhumbini waseChina iAn Yue Jiang

Njengoba sonke sivumelene, ukuhlanganyela okusha okunomfutho okunjalo kuzodingeka ngonyaka ozayo, lapho ukuqhubeka njalo kokubusa ngobuqhinga kungavimba inqubekela phambili eZimbabwe.

(UPatrick Bond uSolwazi ngaphansi kweSchool of Development Studies eUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal eCentre for Civil Society.)

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