Friday, March 01, 2013

Boycott the Referendum! Smash the Popular Front! Statement of the RWG (Z)


Zimbabwe is still reeling under the effects and impact of the more than a decade long socio- economic crisis that has impoverished the working people and the ordinary poor. Most workers were thrown out of employment with those few in employment facing starvation wages and increased attacks on their conditions. Students have witnessed the erosion of the right to education whilst the poor residents face the wrath of expensive and unavailable social services. Inspite of the so called land reform poor peasants continue to suffer with no meaningful provision of inputs. Those in the informal sector are being harassed on a regular basis by the police and authorities for exercising the right to earn an income.

With the global economic crisis showing no sign of abating, the hope that the GNU will provide respite to workers and the poor has been shattered as the civil servants and workers in the private sector are still earning way below the living wage and face intensification in the attacks on their working conditions and livelihood. Instead all the parties in the GNU have shown their true colours and intentions to intensify the attacks in order to stabilise the capitalist system and semi colonial dictatorship on behalf of their imperialist masters through putting the burden of paying for the crisis on the shoulders of workers and the ordinary poor. The draft constitution finally agreed upon by the three parties together with their imperialist masters as well as the coming elections will act as the political basis to further entrench exploitation and brutality on the masses.

The draft Constitution, a result of a long imperialist scheme, was finally agreed upon in January this year paving the way for a referendum on the 16th of March 2013. It is clear to everyone that the final document is a result of negotiations and compromises by the parties on secondary political aspects after having agreed on the basic capitalist nature of our society and their mission to manage the capitalist state through oppression of the masses and outright lies reflected by the initial July 2012 draft. Both parties are claiming that the constitution is a product of the people’s views but at the same time promise their supporters to change it once elected into office. So the three political parties in the GNU and an array of civic organisations in tow are calling for a Yes vote on the draft as the best way forward in terms of resolving the challenges facing the country.

This is not surprising, the civic groups aligned to ZANU (PF) who have benefitted from the patronage system and those aligned to the MDC receiving funds from the same imperialist donors are clamouring that the people accept the charter so that they protect their privileges and also continue to receive donor funds. That the imperialist masters have agreed to raise funds for the referendum and the elections testifies as to whom the draft seeks to protect and the capitalist nature of the political regime that is a popular front of the national bourgeoisie and petit bourgeoisie.

On the other hand the NCA,ISO,PTUZ,ZINASU,ZCTU and other civic organisations are calling for the rejection of the draft through a No vote at the referendum and they have formed a ‘United Front “ for the purpose. Their main contentions are that the draft is a result of an elitist driven process and besides this the draft itself is not a reflection of what the people said as well that the draft is not democratic and further does not protect the interests of the workers and the masses. Instead they are calling for the government to facilitate the convening of an independent commission to spearhead the drafting of a “people driven” constitution. On top of that the NCA is challenging the referendum date saying it does not offer the people enough time to look at the draft and make an informed decision.

As the Revolutionary Workers Group(RWG) we strongly reject both the call for a Yes or No vote meant to hoodwink the workers, poor peasants, students and youth, informal workers and the poor masses into believing that a good constitution can ,in a capitalist society , advance or even protect their interests. A No vote simply suggests that proposed draft is not good for the ordinary poor and therefore must be rejected so that pressure is put on the government to incorporate the wishes of the people or that a new so called people driven process is instituted. This is utterly wrong and misleading to the working people and the poor masses that have to be told that a constitution will not offer them a living wage or a decent life but only an independent struggle by the workers and the poor can conquer their interests.

Our position from the inception of the constitutional reform process has been to urge for a boycott of the whole process calling for the setting up of independent working class action organs to fight for jobs, land, free education and real democracy. The reform process has been used by both the national bourgeoisie and their imperialist backers to stabilise the capitalist regime using the popular front government supported by various civic groups and pseudo leftist groups who have been exposed by their participation in the process and now are calling for a Vote No and thereby seeking to protect the basis of the popular front and capitalist oppressions. We call on all struggle organisations to meet as soon as possible and constitute a United Front to spearhead the demand for an active Boycott of the referendum. 

The RWG calls for these demands:

1) Active BOYCOTT against this referendum!

2) Break with the MDC and ZANU (PF) popular front that serves in Zimbabwe the plans of the imperialist super exploiters!

3) Build an independent organisation of workers, students, poor peasants and urban poor based struggle committees coordinated nationally to prepare for a National Congress of Delegates of all organisations in struggle.

4) Forward to a national General Strike and Workers and Poor Farmers government based on struggle committees.

5) Forward to the expropriation without compensation and under workers control of all the assets of imperialism and the national bourgeoisie.

6) Forward to a Federation of Socialist Republics of all Africa.


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