Kwame Nkrumah, first president of post-colonial Ghana, said: “It is far easier for the proverbial camel to pass through the needle’s eye, hump and all, than for an erstwhile colonial administration to give sound and honest counsel of a political nature to its liberated territory.”
Applied to the current situation in Zimbabwe, this means that the statements of the British government and press cannot possibly give an honest and objective view. The British ruling class, defeated in no uncertain terms by the revolutionary uprising of the Zimbabwean people under the leadership of Zanu-PF, still maintains considerable financial holdings in Zimbabwe, and it certainly has not given up hope that its influence might be re-established there. Put bluntly, British finance capitalists cannot wait to get their grubby mitts on Zimbabwe’s natural resources once again. Hence their ‘advice’ to Zimbabweans is shaped by neo-colonial interests.
Another very important lesson to learn from Nkrumah – a nationalist who, because of his honesty and his love for his country, gravitated over the years towards communism – is that he was overthrown by the CIA. Just like Patrice Lumumba in Congo (or, for that matter, Saddam Hussein in Iraq), Nkrumah was forcibly deposed because he posed a threat to the interests of imperialism.
Nothing has changed in this regard over the decades. Let no-one suffer under the illusion that any imperialist state has the slightest interest in democracy or the will of the people. As Lenin observed, “finance capital strives for domination, not freedom” . (Imperialism and the Split in Socialism)
This fact is proven by the actions of the imperialist armies and governments across the world. They have wantonly deprived, or attempted to deprive, the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Korea, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Grenada, Congo, Ghana, Somalia, Guatemala, Colombia, Chile, Nicaragua, Indonesia, Burkina Faso and scores of other countries of their freedom.
Nobody should doubt that Britain and the US would dearly love to see Mugabe and his government deposed by any measure – ‘democratic’ or otherwise.
Recent events and British/US response
Zimbabwe has hit the front pages of the mainstream British press in recent weeks, with journalists and politicians queuing up to denounce the Zimbabwean state for its allegedly brutal behaviour towards various activists from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), in particular Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of one of its two main factions.
BBC News Online reported on 12 March 2007 that “Mr Tsvangirai was arrested on Sunday along with several colleagues after riot police broke up a public meeting … One activist was shot dead at the rally, described as a prayer meeting, in the capital, Harare.”
There have been a number of other confrontations between the police and MDC supporters.
As expected, the British and US governments jumped to denounce the Zimbabwean state’s actions. US spokesman Sean McCormack stated: “The United States government condemns the brutal and unwarranted actions of the government of Zimbabwe [on] March 11 in attacking its citizens peacefully gathered to exercise their legitimate democratic rights. We hold President Robert Mugabe and the government of Zimbabwe accountable for the government’s actions today, and for the safety and well-being of those in custody”. (Ibid)
The BBC and other imperialist news agencies have been deafeningly silent about what actually instigated the confrontations. In the light of a high level of political tension in recent weeks, the police had ordered a blanket ban on rallies and demonstrations by all political parties, including Zanu, in the Mbare, Harare Central, Harare South and Chitungwinza districts. According to the Zimbabwe Herald, “the police ban came after the MDC engaged in an orgy of violence in Highfield” . The ban was implemented on the basis of the Public Order and Security Act, which empowers the police to issue bans if they have reasonable grounds to suspect that violence might break out in any particular area.
The MDC were meeting in defiance of the ban and, according to all reports from inside Zimbabwe not emanating from MDC headquarters, did not hesitate severely to assault police officers trying to break up the meeting. According to Assistant Commissioner Bvudzijena, “the three police officers, who were in a group of some 26 police officers, were attacked by an unruly mob of some 200 MDC thugs who were using children as shields”. (Cited in stephi.blog.co.uk)
As Stephi, a popular British political blogger points out: “The Herald is a Zimbabwean government owned Newspaper and the BBC is a British government owned broadcaster. The Herald’s version is pro Mugabe and pro police but at least they were there, the BBC’s weren’t, their version is MDC propaganda, with a little bit of British imperialism chucked in, ‘Zimbabwe has had to rely on food imports as agricultural production collapsed after the seizure of white-owned farms was speeded up seven years ago’. So Zimbabwe’s economic problems are down to ‘lazy niggers’, they need good old whitey to run their country for them – crippling sanctions, civil war and British meddling had nothing to do with it!” (Ibid)
Edmore Hukuimwe, in a letter to the Herald, describes some of the violence being perpetrated by MDC thugs: “A gang of MDC Tsvangirai youths unleashed a reign of terror last Friday, grounding the ever busy Cameroon Street in downtown Harare to a temporary standstill.
“I watched the street being turned into a virtual battle zone from the comfort of my office, rekindling memories of the 1998 ZCTU-led looting sprees in the capital, which left a trail of wanton destruction never witnessed before in this country.
“The rampaging gang ransacked several shops leaving many observers at a loss of words. Ordinary bystanders were not spared from the onslaught as the youths grabbed any valuable within reach, snatching handbags and cellphones from bewildered pedestrians. A proprietor of one of the targeted shops who requested anonymity expressed disgust at the indiscriminate and rather puzzling attacks on private properties in the name of the quest for ‘democratic space’.
“‘What political benefit is derived from looting my shop’, he quipped, as he assessed the damage …”
Further attacks by MDC were reported in the Sunday Mail of 18 March 2007:
“Suspected opposition MDC activists petrol bombed three houses at the police station at around midnight on Tuesday leaving three police officers injured, two of them seriously. They had to be admitted at Parirenyatwa Hospital where they are receiving treatment after suffering extensive burns during the attack.
“Constables Busani Moyo and Pretty Mushonga suffered first degree burns, while Constable Brenda Makamba escaped with burns on her chest.
“The attack on Marimba Police Station on the outskirts of Mufakose high density suburb followed another attack on two police officers who were on duty at Gazaland shopping centre in Highfield on March 11.
“The first attack took place when the MDC decided to proceed with a banned rally that was allegedly being disguised as a church meeting under the auspices of the so called Save Zimbabwe Campaign …
“Earlier on Tuesday last week, Nehanda Police Post in Gweru’s Mkoba 16 high-density suburb was also petrol bombed but no casualties were reported.
“Isolated incidents of violence have also been reported in Nkulumane township in Bulawayo where a rowdy group of suspected opposition supporters tried in vain to barricade roads.”
Robert Mugabe, speaking at a ceremony to commemorate International Women’s Day in Harare (why are such ceremonies not held in Britain and the US?) stated that “scores of innocent people going about their legitimate business have fallen prey to terrorist attacks that are part of the desperate and illegal plot to unconstitutionally change the government of the country”. The editorial comment continued: “The President added that the government advocates peace, highlighting that one could freely form a political party in Zimbabwe. He pointed out that the MDC had, however, taken to violence after the electorate spurned its advances.” (Sunday Mail, ibid)
It is clear from the foregoing that the anti-Zanu reports that have appeared in the British press have reflected, at best, unquestioning sympathy for the MDC (which, as we have demonstrated before, is a thoroughly reactionary, pro-imperialist organisation) and complete antipathy towards Zanu-PF, the party that led both the historic Second Chimurenga (the liberation war that ousted the fascist Ian Smith regime and ended British colonialism in Zimbabwe) and the land reforms that have settled at last the question of land ownership in that country. That the BBC and other imperialist hirelings should act as a mouthpiece for imperialism is not in itself surprising; however, there is no harm exposing the extraordinary lack of journalistic integrity displayed by such ‘respectable’ organisations.
It’s telling that the recent clashes in the Democratic Republic of Congo between pro-government forces on the one hand and militias associated with Jean-Pierre Bemba (a ‘rebel leader’ given behind-the-scenes support by western imperialists) on the other received nowhere near as much press attention as the beating of Tsvangirai, in spite of the fact that these clashes left 150 dead. Such a double standard can only be explained in the light of the propaganda war that is being waged against the government of Zimbabwe.
Preparing the ground for ‘regime change’
Why has the MDC, its popularity waning fast and split down the middle into two factions (one pro-British and the other pro-US), suddenly stepped up its propaganda and trouble-making activities? No doubt it has been spurred on by its imperialist backers, but surely even the shady characters in Whitehall aren’t stupid enough to think that the MDC would be able to lead a successful uprising against a popular and legitimate government?
The Zimbabwe Sunday Mail explains as follows: “The plot was to turn the gatherings convened in the name of prayer into rallies where riots would create enough confusion and panic to allow a third force to massacre people, blame the massacres on the State, invoke a UN Security Council vote on the matter and justify direct external intervention if possible. The purpose of the foreign intervention would be either to install the dying puppet MDC as a government or to force the ruling Zanu-PF to accept the MDC into coalition government which would save the latter from its impending collapse.” (18 March 2007)
Given the media uproar in Britain and the US, and recent statements by the MDC, this seems a very plausible explanation. In a remarkably candid article in the Daily Telegraph, Con Coughlin writes:
“There is an important parallel to be drawn between the impact Biko’s death had on South Africa, and the implications of the brutal treatment recently meted out to Zimbabwe’s opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai. Just as Biko’s death led to the collapse of apartheid, the latest abuse of power by Zimbabwe’s equally malevolent security forces may prove to be a similar tipping point in the removal of Robert Mugabe’s dictatorship …
“The most trenchant criticism of his latest excess has come from America, which in itself is surprising, given that Africa’s unpleasant little local difficulties have been low down the pecking order of Washington’s priorities. But now the Bush Administration seems determined to apply as much pressure as possible against Mugabe, in the hope that it can succeed in achieving its ultimate goal of effecting regime change in Harare.
“… [T]he South Africans have failed to deliver, and with Mugabe threatening to run for another term of office, it falls – once again – on Washington to provide the muscular leadership that is necessary to deal with deranged dictators.” (‘Will America deliver the final shove that topples Mugabe?’ 23 March 2007)
The comparison between Steve Biko and Morgan Tsvangirai is nothing short of obscene. Steve Biko was a heroic representative of the oppressed majority; he was incarcerated and killed by a fascist client state of western imperialism. Morgan Tsvangirai is a cowardly representative of a would-be oppressor minority; he has been given every freedom to put forward his neo-liberal views and whip up anti-government hysteria, and only now has he received a few blows from the police in response to his own incitement to violence. One might as well draw a comparison between Mandela and Mobutu!
The Guardian of 23 March 2007 continues in the same vein:
“Britain is making contingency plans for the post-Mugabe era in Zimbabwe in the belief that the president – under increasing pressure from within his own party as well as from the opposition and a plummeting economy – may not last the year.
“A senior Foreign Office official said that 2007 would be ‘a pivotal year … There will be significant change this year. Time is critical. If there is one thing Zimbabwe does not have, it’s time.’
“Even if President Mugabe were ousted by a palace coup and replaced by someone from the ruling party tainted by its corrupt and brutal track record, Britain would be prepared to lift Zimbabwe’s isolation on condition that the new government showed a commitment to reform, the official said …
“‘The economy and party will be the two main drivers of change,’ the Foreign Office official said. ‘If one faction succeeded in easing him out and wished to re-engage with the international community, we would look closely at what that faction stood for.’” (‘Britain prepares for life after Mugabe’)
Don McKinnon, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, commented in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s World Today programme that “We’ve all worked very hard to try and create a better life for Zimbabwe people [eg, by imposing sanctions with a view to starving them into submission! Talk about being cruel to be kind!]. We’ve all failed. Now, short of launching battalions, which I’m not sure the world is ready for, I don’t see an easy change to what is happening.” That is, what we’d really like to do is invade, but the people of the world won’t accept it.
Such is the arrogance of the imperialists. In the minds of Bush and Blair, the Zimbabwean state’s roughing up of an imperialist stooge provides ample political ammunition to call for the overthrow of an elected government. Perhaps Zimbabwe could call for the overthrow of the British government on the basis of the 100+ deaths in police custody every year? Perhaps the US would concede that the treatment of Rodney King and others at the hands of the LAPD justifies the intervention of a multinational military force to implement regime change?
The hypocrisy of the British government knows no bounds. Ministers don’t hesitate to label Zimbabwe a dictatorship when its police defend themselves from attacks by imperialist stooges, but they fail to mention Britain’s extensive record of political repression. How about the British state’s treatment of striking miners in 1984/85, when pickets were routinely attacked by soldiers in police uniform (and in which two strikers, David Jones and Joe Green, were killed by police)? How about the torture and murder of hundreds of Irish freedom fighters and civilians? How about the indiscriminate arrest and rough treatment of anti-war demonstrators? Why has the British state expressed more disgust at the death of an MDC activist in Zimbabwe than it did at its own murder of Jean Charles de Menezes? Why is the British government more concerned about the treatment of prisoners in Zimbabwe than about the treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, where the US – the world’s most violent and aggressive country – holds hundreds of innocent people in open-air prisons and refuses them a fair trial?
Several commentators have pointed out that, if anything, the Zimbabwean government has been far too lenient with the opposition, which has been involved in assassination plots, campaigns of violence against police and civilians, dissemination of misinformation, and which has spent seven years preparing the ground for imperialist intervention.
Steven Gowans comments that “Zimbabwe is not … a one-party state, and nor is it a country in which those with money power are prohibited from buying mass media or funding opposition political parties to oppose the government. For this, Zimbabwe too, along with Venezuela, can be criticized for failing to be repressive enough, and yet it is revolutionary and national liberation movements that fail to repress their enemies with sufficient zeal and that allow ample opportunity for their enemies to marshal a counter-strike that are often the most vigorously reviled by the soft Left (and perhaps because part of the counterstrike is PR campaigns mounted in the West to discredit the regime in question – campaigns the soft Left has always shown a particular vulnerability to.) Whatever repressive measures ZANU-PF takes toward its opposition must be understood in the context of the history of the struggle for national liberation and of the alliance of the main opposition party, the MDC, with Britain and the White settlers.” (gowans.blogspot.com)
Mugabe himself admitted: “We have given too much room to mischief-makers and shameless stooges of the West. Let them and their masters know that we shall brook none of their lawless behaviour.” (Zimbabwe Sunday Mail, 18 March 2007)
Western diplomats exposed
In a total breach of diplomatic protocol, ambassadors from Britain, the US and other countries, have made clear their support for the opposition in Zimbabwe, and were very quick to rush to the assistance of the MDC in the aftermath of the recent disturbances. We are re-printing excerpts from the statement made on this matter by the Zimbabwean foreign affairs minister, Comrade Simbarashe Mumbengegwi (who, incidentally, addressed a meeting of the CPGB-ML two years ago in his (then) capacity as Zimbabwean ambassador to the UK). We think the statement speaks for itself:
“I would like to make it very clear that the Government of Zimbabwe will not hesitate to invoke the above provisions of the Vienna Convention should at any time in the future any ambassador or member of any embassy violate the provisions of the laws of Zimbabwe or interfere in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe.
“Ambassadors from eight western countries visited the police stations where some MDC faction leaders were being held and frantically demanded to be given immediate access to the faction leaders.
“They also had the nerve to instruct the police to immediately release the MDC leaders and bring them before the courts …
“There was also the spectacle where these same ambassadors were observed falling over each other in their frantic efforts to take food and water to the hospital ostensibly on humanitarian grounds. The hospital has food. Their families have food. Water is available. So one is compelled to ask: What ‘food’ and what ‘water’ were the ambassadors taking to the hospital?
“Let me remind you that not so long ago we had a national disaster here in Harare at a railroad level crossing killing nearly 40 people and leaving many more in hospital. Let me now ask you: how many of these ambassadors or even their third secretaries took food and water to the hospital?
“The answer, as you all know, is none of them even thought of it.
“The complicity in the orgy of violence by these same ambassadors is that none of them has condemned this orchestrated violence by the MDC factions nor have they expressed any sympathy for the police officers who were brutally assaulted by MDC thugs as they exercised maximum restraint as they undertook their legal and constitutional responsibility to maintain law and order …
“There has been no word of condemnation for these acts of terrorism. There has been no word of sympathy from these ambassadors nor have they offered them any food or water. Surely shouldn’t these self-appointed guardians of democracy, good governance and the rule of law be taking the lead in directing the MDC factions to pursue the democratic and lawful route to power?
“The message was not clearly meant for their dwindling support here in Zimbabwe but for some of the western capitals, who have long been openly calling upon the opposition to confront government in the streets since they had failed to dislodge the ruling party from power by legal and constitutional means.”
Zimbabwean opposition is funded by, and represents, British and US imperialism
The so-called Movement for Democratic Change has been thoroughly exposed as a proxy for neo-colonial interests. With its roots in the discredited colonial White Farmers’ Union, it was rebranded with a few black faces as the MDC in the 1990s. Since its peak in 2000, however, the MDC has been in a state of rapid decline, as its pro-western policies, IMF-backed economic programmes, open calls for privatisation and liberalisation, and imperialist financial backing have brought it disgrace in the eyes of the Zimbabwean masses. The relationship between the MDC and both the ‘Zimbabwe Democracy Trust’ and the ‘Westminster Foundation for Democracy’ – both ostensibly non-governmental organisations with substantial US/British capital and government-level support – is widely known about in Zimbabwe.
“One of the more active NGOs in Zimbabwe is the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), which defines its purpose as providing ‘assistance in building and strengthening pluralist democratic institutions overseas.’ As always, terms such as ‘pluralist’ and ‘democratic’ actually signify parties and organizations that are willing to take orders from Western leaders and give primacy to Western corporate interests. The Westminster Foundation currently receives around $6 million from the British government, and is also tasked with ‘selected extra-budgetary technical assistance projects,’ so the true scale of government funding is much higher. The WFD may be the most perfect example of an NGO that is a government operation in every way except name. Sitting on its Board of Governors are representatives from each of the three major British political parties, along with representatives of business and other sectors of the society. Staffed and funded by the British government, it is no surprise that its policy happens to coincide with that of the British government. WFD has been involved in over 80 projects aiding the MDC, and helped plan election strategy. It also provides funding to the party’s youth and women’s groups … The Foundation considers ‘the development of political parties as one of the key areas for our support and assistance,’ … and in 2000 it provided the MDC with $10 million.” (‘Zimbabwe under siege’ by Gregory Elich, www.swans.com, 26 August 2002)
Most significantly, the MDC has consistently opposed the fast-track programme of land reform implemented by Zanu – a programme that has been genuinely successful in reclaiming Zimbabwe’s land for its native population.
The MDC website states:
“While the MDC has some sympathy with the need for reform in the commercial farm sector it rejects completely the illegal and destructive manner in which this reform exercise has been carried out by the regime.
“The MDC will respect all legal land title deeds and ensure that the financial and legal rights of such landowners are fully respected and enforced. Existing landowners will be encouraged to resume farming as soon as possible and will be given every assistance to do so. Special Courts will be set up in all major centers to assess compensation claims for losses incurred during the ‘fast track’ land reform operation and the State will be responsible for such claims. These Courts will also deal with disputes over land rights.”
In other words, in power the MDC would do its best to reverse the transfer of land from large settler commercial farms to landless black peasants.
Meanwhile, the historic success of Zimbabwe’s land reform programme speaks for itself. The Zimbabweans have addressed, and solved, a problem that still faces many countries in Africa. In an article for the Herald, Sifelani Tsiko writes that “recent moves by the South African government to acquire farms to speed up land redistribution to landless black peasants amply demonstrates why Zimbabwe took the route it took in its land reforms in the face of formidable resistance by the white land-owning class. SA’s softly-softly approach of the ‘willing-buyer, willing-seller’ model failed in Zimbabwe, which is why it is now collapsing down south as people are becoming impatient over the sluggish pace of the process …
“Zimbabwe faced a backlash from the West over its radical approach to land reform but the events in South Africa confirm that entrenched white land interests need some force for whites to accept to share land with the majority of the landless blacks.”
Tsiko cites Professor Sam Moyo, director of the South Africa-based Institute of Agrarian Studies, as saying: “I say to you, South Africans, study the Zimbabwe situation better. Despite the fact that Zimbabwe’s land reforms did not have the structure technocrats would have liked it to have, it has developed greatly expanded production.”
Current economic difficulties
There is no denying that Zimbabwe is experiencing significant economic difficulties. It is very difficult to know the full extent of the problem, as so many of the ‘statistics’ cooked up in the western press are designed specifically to paint the government in a bad light.
What is certainly true is that the economic difficulties are not, as is alleged, the result of ‘economic mismanagement’ by the Zimbabwean government; rather they are the result of the following: extensive economic sanctions imposed by western governments; the stopping of food aid; continuing fallout from the IMF structural adjustment programme to which Zimbabwe was a prisoner in the early 1990s (for example, the government was forced to sell its stockpiles of maize in order to service its debt, leaving it a net importer of that crop in drought years); the destruction of farmland by settler farmers; hoarding of food and other vital commodities by big business in order to create a black market and put pressure on the government; and severe drought conditions that have affected not just Zimbabwe but all countries in the region.
Zimbabwean government officials freely admit that they had previously placed far too much faith in the goodwill of the IMF and World Bank, and that the Zimbabwean economy is still suffering from the repercussions of the structural adjustment programme adopted in the 1990s.
According to Dr Simbi Mubako, the Ambassador of Zimbabwe to the United States, “Zimbabwe is a long-standing member of both organisations [IMF and World Bank], and had come to rely on them for its vital development projects. We thought that we had rights in these institutions, provided that we followed the rules and paid our dues. However, we have since discovered, to our cost, that we were deluding ourselves. We are only insignificant pawns, that can be cast away at the whim of the great powers … Even if you are a member of the IMF and the World Bank, you should not build your economy on the IMF prescriptions. Young and poor nations should rely on their own meagre resources. Then you will not be blackmailed politically. This is a surer way to steady economic development, even if it is slower economic development. We thought we had good partners abroad and did not know that we were killing ourselves with this dependency. Now we are weaning ourselves from dependency and we want to be independent both politically and economically. No longer will Zimbabwe be an appendage of the industrial capitalist system.” (Cited in ‘Zimbabwe – the struggle for land, the struggle for independence’ by Rob Gowland, published by the Communist Party of Australia)
The scale of the crisis is nowhere near as bad as is being portrayed. As Connie White points out in ‘Sanctions on Zimbabwe: Africa under attack’, “in Zimbabwe today, we are not seeing food shortages and economic crisis engendered by famine and civil war as was/is in Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and Afghanistan. Not at all!” (www.nathanielturner.com)
Interview with the BBC World Service on 15 March 2007, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, Zimbabwe’s Information Minister, had this to say on the ‘statistics’ that are published by the BBC and other ‘news’ organisations:
“The statistics that you are quoting in relation to HIV/AIDS and the economy are concocted by you. Our economy is turning around, our people are happy. The statistics are incorrect. You concoct figures to paint Zimbabwe as a country that is in dire straits. Our people are very happy, except the malcontents that you are sponsoring here. Please don’t lecture to me on the economy, because you don’t have the information. What you have is a flight of imagination. You are trying to tell us to change our president. We don’t tell any other countries to change their presidents, and the only people who can change the president of Zimbabwe are the people of Zimbabwe, not yourselves. You say that it’s the people of Zimbabwe that don’t want Mugabe, but it’s you who doesn’t want Mugabe, because we’ve taken a stand to take over our land and take over our economy … There is a very vigorous economic turnaround, despite inflation being very high due to sanctions.”
Despite its various imperialist-engendered difficulties, Zimbabwe has attempted to resolve the economic situation through developing indigenous industry and by forming trading partnerships with countries that are willing to trade on an equal basis, such as China and Venezuela.
Outlook not good for MDC and its backers
In spite of the predictions of disaster that have been sounded in the British press for years, Zimbabwe has still not collapsed, and the government is still popular. In a country with a legal opposition, mainly anti-government independent press and an anti-government movement with ample access to foreign funds, it is implausible that the Zanu government could have remained in power without the overwhelming support of the masses of Zimbabwe.
And Mugabe and Zanu are not just popular at home in Zimbabwe. Throughout Africa, the successful struggle to reclaim the land and the willingness (sadly not often seen on that continent) to stand up to imperialist diktat are celebrated by the downtrodden masses. As recently as August 2004, Mugabe was voted at number 3 in the New Africa magazine’s poll ‘100 Greatest Africans’ (Mandela was at number 1; Nkrumah at number 2).
The desperate attempts by Britain to isolate Zimbabwe from its neighbours are not meeting with much success. It was hoped that that the various countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) could be persuaded to speak out against Mugabe. Britain had its hopes pinned on Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete giving Mugabe a stern warning when the two leaders met in Harare on 16 March this year. In the event, the meeting appears to have been very friendly. Kikwete commented: “We have agreed on the way forward, but it is between me and Mugabe.” (www.mg.co.za, 16 March 2007)
A few days later, Angola and Zimbabwe signed a joint security agreement, acknowledging the threat from Britain and the US. According to the Financial Times of 22 March 2007:
“General Roberto Leal Ramos Monteiro, Angola’s minister of interior, delivered a clear signal of defiance to the west, which has urged the region to confront Mr Mugabe over the political and economic crisis in his country.
“‘Angola will do everything in its power to help the Zimbabwe police force and will not allow western imperialism to take over Zimbabwe,’ he said according to Zimbabwean state radio.
“‘President Robert Mugabe and I have agreed on a law and order maintenance agreement that will see Angolan police helping with the situation in the country.’” (‘Zimbabwe signs security deal with Angola’)
There is a possibility that Britain and the US will try to force UN military intervention in order to topple the Zanu government. However, their success is by no means guaranteed. The Zimbabwean people have stood up to imperialism before and they will stand up to imperialism again. In the words of Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, Zimbabwean Information Minister:
“Zimbabwe is a sovereign country, which brooks no interference from any quarter in its own internal affairs. It rejects outright and as duplicitous attempts by erstwhile colonialists who have now turned themselves into violent invaders of other countries, to seek to use Zimbabwe to salve their consciences and rebuild their images by playing guardians of democracy worldwide.
“Let them look at their heinous past as colonisers, indeed look at their present bloody record in the Middle East and elsewhere, and ask themselves whether they still have any lessons on democracy to give to anyone …”
“Zimbabwe prides itself for a clean ballot and an electoral system which has been a model for many in the region and beyond.” (www.newzimbabwe.com, 18 March 2007)
We call on all communists, socialists and progressives to join with us in demanding an end to imperialist interference in Zimbabwe.