Letter to my compatriots.
The 17 November 2017 coup ushered what has been popularly touted a new dispensation by both the local mass media and a good section of the international media. The objective of labelling the current political order “new” was obviously to mass manipulate the conscience of the majority. It is now crystal clear that we did not break away from the vices of the past but we are now trapped under the leadership of a cartel which seeks to appropriate the labour of the proletariat towards profiteering of the ruling elites. The proletariat is on the verge of completely losing on two fronts; losing both political rights and the little socio-economic rights which kept us surviving over the years. The question is how do we step up and avert the looming catastrophe?
The new Finance Minister has drastically slashed civil servants’ salaries, slashed annual bonuses. Introduced a 2% tax and is working on modalities of mass retrenchments. These measurers have induced unprecedented suffering among the working class and this has set the stage for antagonism between the working class and the ruling elites.
The working class has been quick to act, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, ZCTU, calling for a day of national protest, the doctors calling for a crippling job action and the teachers embarking on a historic Salary Caravan. All these actions were aimed at reversing the austerity crusade which has pushed the proletariat down the poverty index.
The State as was expected was quick to summon its institutions of violence and mass communication. The ZCTU planned protest was banned and the leadership was incarcerated, the state media was in overdrive condemning the ZCTU for pushing a regime change agenda. In the case of the doctors they have been suspended and are set to face more punitive measures. The State media has also gone ballistic on doctors’ case to the extent of issuing contradictory messages as the State desperately seek to set the people against the striking doctors. The marching teachers were arrested twice in a space of two days facing the same charges. The State media has not spared the teachers, the teachers have been portrayed as hired protestors who had no clear agenda.
It is clear that the State has a solid and efficient machinery in place to counter the efforts of the working class. They might fail to provide us with health care, education and other social services but they are more than ready to generously fund repression. Preserving their hegemony in pursuit of more profits.
How do we respond as a people? We are on the verge of losing both our limited political freedoms and our scarce socioeconomic rights.
It is refreshing to note that we are not alone in this struggle, workers are rising across the world, the yellow vests in France and anti-government protests in Sudan. There are a lot of lessons from these contemporary struggles and even more lessons to learn from our mistakes of the past.
The first big lesson is the power of Unity across all sectors. The proletariat cannot afford to fight from silos when we really know the mighty of the state. The State will work around the clock to keep the working class divided. Sections of the working class are made to feel more superior compared to others through preferential treatment and material rewards. The state media also consistently churn out highly divisive propaganda messages.
At this point citizens should unite across sectors by any means necessary. The peasants should spend more time in planning meetings with the workers. The unemployed should also come in fully appreciating that the coming revolution will guarantee employment opportunities for the unemployed and protect them from exploitation at the workplace.
This is a time for new heroes. Heroes who can unite the people into a solid unit to fight and defeat austerity.
The second lesson is the imperative of engaging in nonviolent action. The Sate commands institutions of brutal force, it will be naïve to engage in stone throwing in a bid to avert the looming catastrophe. We should never give them a reason to shoot at our defenseless citizens. The morality of our struggle will be judged by how much we can resist provocation and remain loyal the principal cardinal of nonviolent action.
Thirdly we should make use of social media to counter the propaganda of the State. We can only win the battle of the hearts of the people if we keep the people fully informed of the true nature of our struggle and our broader goal. The young women and men of our generation should take the lead on social media countering state propaganda and conveying the truths to our people.
Lastly we should all assume the role of mobilisers.” Mobilise or die!” We have to traverse the length and breadth of this country and engage the populace to bring them on board the revolutionary train. Let’s meet at the workplaces, in the villages, in commuter omnibuses and collectively strategize on how we can avert the impending catastrophe.
Our immediate task is to get rid of the worst enemy of the people Professor Mthuli Ncube. He is now is the face of austerity in Zimbabwe. To that end we invite all citizens to Professor Mthuli’s office on 07 January 2019 at 0900hrs. We will spend the whole day demanding either an end to austerity or Mthuli’s resignation. Out of courtesy we will notify the police.
Compatriots let’s get down to work to avert the looming catastrophe of completely losing both political and socioeconomic rights.
Teacher and President of Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe, ARTUZ.
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