Monday, October 25, 2010

Zimbabwe: the new ISOZ fights for workers' democracy

                                           Mining diamonds in Zimbabwe

The global crisis is intensifying the international class war as the imperialist ruling classes fight to survive by defeating their rivals and making the workers pay for their crisis. In Africa this class war is expressed as a growing rivalry between the US and its EU partners UK and France, and the increasing influence of China. The national bourgeoisies are lined up behind one or other of the two blocs or trying to play off one against the other. 

At one extreme we see in the DRC the intervention of Rwanda and Uganda used by the US as proxies to plunder the minerals in the North East of the DRC causing terrible wars and mass murder for 20 years. In other countries we see a division between the bourgeois factions creating the conditions for proxy wars. This is most developed in the Sudan and most recently Somalia. In Nigeria, China has made inroads into the traditionally US and UK dominated oil industry with its massive loans for oil, but is being resisted by the US but has yet to break out into open war. 

At the other extreme, in Zimbabwe the Mugabe faction of the ruling class is entirely dependent on China for funding the bankrupt and derelict economy arising from the US/EU economic embargo. The MDC was formed by a business faction aligned to the US/EU bloc. But it had no influence while this bloc embargoed Zimbabwe. Their historical differences have been overcome by the prospect of sharing the spoils of Zimbabwe’s ‘blood diamonds’ and other minerals, and by the need to unite to contain the exploited masses in a patriotic, popular front. The dominant role of China in mining in Zimbabwe is reinforced by the strategic partnership established between South Africa and China. Zimbabwe’s fate is inevitably tied to that of the whole of Southern Africa, and of course beyond that to the global economy,  in which China is now the rising imperialist power.

International resistance to imperialism in Southern Africa

The ANC paints its strategic relationship with China as one in which both partners ‘win’. This is because China is regarded as a successful developing country that has managed to escape the clutches of US imperialism. It is therefore seen as a partner in economic development that will provide aid and low cost loans as well as build infrastructure in exchange for oil and other minerals. However, the ANC’s strategic relationship with China comes a long time after China began investing in other Southern African states like Mozambique, Angola and Zambia.  In those countries China’s role is no less exploitative and oppressive than that of the older Western imperialist powers. China is in Africa for cheap raw materials and labour. The national bourgeoisies in those countries are the junior partners of China in sharing some of the profits. These national bourgeosies form popular front regimes to tie the working class through its unions and political parties to ongoing subservience to Chinese imperialism or its main rival US imperialism.

This is true also of Zimbabwe. The current power sharing regime unites the national bourgeois factions into one unstable regime to form a more powerful popular front to contain the Zimbabwe masses who are among the most oppressed and exploited in Southern Africa. Their historical differences are subordinated to a ruling class united front to contain the popular masses in a patriotic, popular front. The question then is who on the left can fight this popular front with Chinese imperialism and break the masses from the fake left bourgeois project of the new constitution. The reformist left including the old leadership of the ISOZ around Gwisai fully participates in this popular front. The ISOZ split over Gwisai and the popular front with a large section breaking from the international IST line of backing the MDC popular front party. This faction entered talks with the FLTI of which the CWG and HWRS were part at the time over the 23 points of the FLTI program

However, before any democratic agreement of the comrades in Zimbabwe could be reached, a leader of this faction, Ady Mutero, formed a secret faction with the WIVL leader Shaheed Mahomed and joined the FLT, amending the national committee minutes to say that the group (unilaterally named the International Revolutionary  League by the WIVL) agreed to join the FLT (now the FLTI after the adherence of the South African WIVL and US HWRS in July 2009), on the basis of agreement with the 23 points, and the FLTI majority line that China could not become a new imperialist power and that it was no more than a semi-colonial stooge for the US.

The unprincipled fusion of the IRL with the FLTI led to the majority of the faction that has broken with the ISOZ rejecting this fusion and then holding a special congress in August to repudiate the RIL leadership of Mutero and the unprincipled politics of the FLTI. The congress reconstituted the faction of the ISOZ on the basis of workers democracy as the new ISOZ. It vindicated its break with the popular front of the MDC and of the rotted politics of the international Cliffite line in Zimbabwe, and also repudiated the politics of the FLTI. The FLTI and Mutero responded with a scurrilous slander that the new ISOZ had misappropriated funds and were petty bourgeois stalinists. The new ISOZ replied rebutting these slanders and accusing Mutero and the FLTI of forming an unprincipled international bloc against the majority of the former ISOZ. (see document below).

The new ISOZ, which has been supported on the basis of elementary principle of workers democracy by our Liaison Committee (HWRS and CWG – as the former minority of the FLTI on China), has undertaken to produce a provisional program and enter into formal discussions over our historic differences between Trotskyism and Cliffism. We salute the new ISOZ in its fight to restore democracy in the only working class organisation in Zimbabwe that can seriously fight the constitution process and the formation of a new popular, patriotic front to subordinate and subdue the Zimbabwe exploited masses. 

The FLTI has now tasted the bitter fruit of its unprincipled opportunist fusion with the IRL. It has now broken with the Mutero leadership of the RIL because it has re-entered the popular front and is holding a classic Cliffite ‘Marxism’ conference at the end of October in which speakers from the MDC popular front party are invited. But this break comes with no public accounting by the FLTI of its secret faction with Mutero to split the ISOZ. If you fuse with opportunists who then become right wing renegades, what does that make your fusion? It makes it an unprincipled bloc with opportunists when then rapidly expose themselves as internationalists only insofar as they can attract funds from the ‘mother ship’.  We predict that what is left of the RIL will be no more than an appendage of the WIVL and the FLTI and faithfully reproduce the vast tracts of ultraleft propaganda pouring out of the FLTI full-timers in Buenos Aires and Cape Town. Any former ISOZ workers who are caught up in this charade should immediately join the new ISOZ!

We look forward to building a fraternal relationship with the new ISOZ on the basis of serious discussion and voting on our different histories, fundamental principles and programmatic points such as the character of China, blocking with them facing the global crisis as it impacts Zimbabwe on the principle of workers democracy, and jointly fighting to build a Trotskyist vanguard of the masses for the first time in Zimbabwe’s history, and regrouping with the militant vanguards in all of the Southern African states. 

For a new vanguard World Party of Socialism founded on the basis of the 1938 Transitional Program!
For workers and peasants councils and defence committees! 
Break the ranks of the military from the officers! 
Smash the popular front in Africa that ties the masses to imperialism! 
Break from imperialism and its bourgeois lackeys, for a socialist revolution!
For a general strike to bring down the regime and put workers in power!
For workers and peasants governments in Zimbabwe and South Africa!
For a Federation of Socialist Republics in Southern Africa!


Reply of new ISOZ to FLTI
October 2010


We have decided to respond to the document by the FLTI ,never nind the signatories.We thought it important to involve as much as possible our membership on this crucial issue and the consutations have neccesitated the delay not to mention the investigations we held on issues pertaining our Chairperson which we felt had to be clarified and responded to.Despite that we have instructed comrade Tigwe to respond in person to the particular charges being made against him.However we are encouraged by the feedbacks we have received from individuals and organisations especially those familiear with the FLTI who have clearly identified its strong hand in the response from the IRL.

Since its formation in the late 80s ISO has been based on a post Trostkyst or Cliffite  ideological platform arising esentially from the modifiation of Marxist methodology by Tony Cliff as he sought to have a theoretical basis for a syndicalist and popular front approach
despite the left sounding politics even as depicted in the where westand column.This basis formed theframework for ISOs perspective and as such its program after the mid 90s when it transformed from being a study group into a semi agitational body working among the students,workers and the urburn poor.Seen from the background of the demise of he USSR and also the participation in nascent post independent democratisation struggles ISO appeared not only proggressive ut indeed revolutionary to all those in search of meaningful way at changing society.

The policy of Entrism adopted in 1999 in relation to the MDC remains the clearest proof of the concrete manifestations of the Cliffite approach. Despite differences between the ISO and the SWP dominated IST over tactical issues the basis of political practise remained the same with the recent proofs being the articipation in the ZSF and the capitulation to the political parties driven Constitutional reform process by the group still alighned to the IST. At our 2009 NMC  though no fundamental theoretical questions where touched on the members agreed make a call for a represantative working  peoples convention to lead the constitutional making agenda as well as continue working with the workers and student groups opposed to the proccess in a bid to agitate for the demands of the working people and the poor.

Through the contradictions in society as well as our recent ideological experience ISO can claim to be on a sure path from a Cliffite approach to a Trostksty assessment and engagement of society.

We have noted with interest the response to our Declaration from the FLTI (never mind the signature of IRL and the so called comrades who signed,we are used to it) and wish to put a lid to the issue.Comrade mkwasi did not attend the so called meeting but instead phoned Manjonjo satating that and we wonder as to the other names provided as delegates.Yes it was important to deal with the organisational issues as this will provide an honest and firm basis for participation in the struggles.

Comrade Mutero did not type the minutes written by Tigwe but typed his own version as he had left those written by Tigwe on his way to South Africa and no minutes of the NMC where put to the people as that could only happen at an NMC or congress. Manjonjo never phoned  caomrades in Argentina as it is costly to do so but comrades there called him updating on the proccedings and asking about the situation at Mutero's home,about which they had been lied upon by Mutero. Is it a coincidence that the name claimed to have been suggested by Kadoma branch also appears on a lost of proposals from comrade Mo [hamed] .

Upon arriving from Argentina comrade Mo,who was with Mutero and believing his side of the story,phoned Manjonjo complaing that Mutero's wife had not received any money upon which Manjonjo procceded to hand over the money despite the fraudilent nature it had been acquired.We know that either Mutero lied to the FLTI about the outcome of the NMC or they conspired as Mutero was desperate to alter our identity and guarantee an income as a member of the so called African secretariat.This is confirmed by the fact that Mutero is still staying at his previous home.

We delegated a commitee to look onto the allegations made against comrade Tigwe and the commitee had meetings with the MDC leadership in Glen Norah, the local MP, Housing Cooperative in question and the police at Glen Norah police station. The MDC in Glen Norah stated that Tigwe or Fortune Rera is not the secretary of the area and the MP advised us that Tigwe had been working in his office because he had been delegated by Parliament as a civil servant until he left early this year seeking greener pastures. The housing cooperative intimated that Fortune Rera was the founding Chairman of the cooperative who stepped down at the inaugral congress as he had promised after leading the cooperative through its difficult formative period and is still a member. As to the allegations of frauding members of US $6000 the cooperative made it clear that there was no such thing and the police in Glen Norah had no knowledge of a warrant of arrest claimed by the IRL-FLTI.We are not suprised by such activities and those familiar with the FLTI have indicated the same.

The most important issue which proves the political intentions of the FLTI is the fact that no mention was ever made of the key 23 points agreed at the first FLTI Congress as the basis for intergration to the ISO let alone any decision on them. How then can ISO became a member? If anything this proves beyond any doubt the scandalous nature of the so called ISO integration into the FLTI. But worse of all for a formation claiming to be the repository of healthy  Trostkysm its indeed obscene that it should secretely sponsor a reformist agenda in Zimbabwe. Mutero has been helped to launch an organisation called Zimbabwe Action Trust which has leading members of the MDC and civic society as Board members and persuing a reformist program.This is political hypocrisy at its best and proves the role of the FLTI in Zimbabwe politics whilst it claims to be revolutionary formation.

We remain focused on our goal despite these distructions. We are sure of our place in history that despite all our shorcomings we are prepared to fight for a truly revolutionary organisation that fights alongside the workers and the exploited for a better society.


NB:The document has been endorsed by comrades Manjonjo, Chidavaenzi, Tigwe, Yousof, Makoto, Gozho, Muringani, Mumanyi, Rusere, System, Chrispen, Maraicho, Munhenga, Tsikira, Zvidzai, Mataure, Dread, Muchemwa, Tsitsi, Daika, Esther, Loice, Diamond, Frank, Chisango, Steven, Makoni, Chisepo, Maria, Ellen, Tecla and Maxwell


smplcv said...
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Anonymous said...

glad there was clarification on the co-operative issue regarding comrade tigwe