THERE are three effective but painful strategies that could (in various combinations and sequences) begin the process of forcing this failed and foul regime out — ultimately via negotiations/talks and a supervised, free and fair election:
l Peaceful, street demonstrations; non-partisan, under an umbrella organisation, staggered over at least one month, coordinated with weekend demonstrations by exiles in, for example, Johannesburg and London. The price would initially be bloodshed in the streets of Zimbabwe’s cities, of course.
l A stay-away by the majority of Zimbabwe’s workers for at least one full week — accepting the brutal violence from the army this would cost us in the high-density suburbs.
l Sadc, especially South African and Mozambican, sanctions or go slows — unofficial of course — covering, for example, fuel port/rail imports and/or electricity.
None of these three is easy to sell or achieve and is unlikely to occur in the immediate future. The first two strategies will require effective mobilisation and leadership of Zimbabwe’s working class together with a portion of the middle class. The third may demand successful implementation of at least one of the first two strategies.
As we saw in the pre-Movement for Democratic Change era, a strong and effective Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions leadership is a vital component of these strategies.
These strategies have worked in other countries. There is nothing extraterrestrial about us Zimbabweans or our country.
We may be “domesticated”, resourceful and buffered by what was once a strong and relatively sophisticated economy and a significant population of educated exiles sending money home — but these features are not unique to our situation.
However, usually for self-serving or shortsighted reasons, all three strategies have been and will continue to be opposed elsewhere within Zimbabwe’s family of classes.
Ian Smith’s downfall was his fanciful dream of maintaining a minority, racist white regime in the middle of black Africa. President Robert Mugabe’s may well turn out to be his fanciful dream that an economy (including, for us, its agriclutural base) can be bludgeoned, arm-twisted, quick-fixed, talked or bribed into serving his personal political needs first and foremost, rather than serving certain basic economic laws and pre-requisites for success.
In this respect, given the output from the first years of Mugonomics, there are signs that we have entered a period of greater opportunity to implement the first two strategies.