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Lets get free or die trying! 

STAY AWAY 9 & 10 June

Briggs Bomba, Zimbabwe Social Forum (Youth Council)


The resistance is building up! On Thursday and Friday this week, progressive forces are calling for a nationwide shut down in an operation code named ‘Povo Yaramba’. The NCA chairperson Dr Madhuku has already announced through the weekend papers, the resolution of the Broad Alliance, which he chairs, and comprising of the MDC, ZCTU, ZINASU, Crisis and other civic groups. The resolution reached was to call for the stay away and then to follow it up with a series of actions in the coming week.


We met with Dr Madhuku (Chair of the broad alliance) this afternoon as a team that had been meeting and mobilizing for resistance against Mugabe’s ongoing attacks on the poor, comprising the Zimbabwe Social Forum Youth Camp, young workers from Engineering and Commercial Workers Union of Zimbabwe (CWUZ), ISO, Woza activists, the Chamber of the Informal Economy Association (CIEA), CBO, students, individual township activists from Highfield, Mbare, Mabvuku, Glenview/Budiriro, Kuwadzana etc. We all agreed on united front resistance and to throw ourselves all out in mobilization for the 8 and 9 June Stay away.


We are calling upon the masses of Zimbabwe to fully support the calls for the stay away and ensure a total shut down come this Thursday and Friday. We are convinced that Mugabe can be stopped if the poor masses of this country are united and the showdown starts this Thursday. Mugabe has only been able to continue for this long because he attacked at a time when the progressive forces were scattered, disoriented and at their weakest in terms of leadership, mobilization and organization. Matters were made worse by the dillydallying of those who should have most logically taken up leadership and mobilized for the resistance. The majority of those affected are the urban poor who have loyally supported the MDC for the past six years in the face of extreme repression from the Mugabe regime. As such the MDC has a duty to defend its constituency. It’s unbelievable that the MDC leadership could only repay this support with the confused statements issued by Tsvangirai in which he said the MDC was not exactly opposed to the clean up campaign but it’s the ‘how’ they disagree with. What a tragic repeat of the mambo jumbo of the MDC’s position on the land question!  Most in the MDC ranks have proved to be cowards not ready to lead a serious resistance to Mugabe, all they care about now is their privileged positions and perks. Genuine leaders will be seen leading their people in this struggle. MDC is part of the broad alliance and as such the party leadership must come out clearly mobilizing and leading their people.


Hardest hit as well is the working class. The majority of workers were staying in cabins and they are now homeless with their property destroyed. The burden on the workers has also been worsened because they now have to support their families and relatives who were in the informal sector whose livelihood has been destroyed. As such it is an obligation on the ZCTU and trade unions to mobilize and lead workers in this struggle.


At the core of the so-called ‘operation murambatsvina’ or ‘restore order’, is Gono’s drive to rebuild a full-scale neo-liberal economic order. He wants a new socio-economic culture to support this new order. He wants every economic activity to be taxed; in a sense he wants to be the best (worst) tax collector there is. So when you want to buy a tomato you go into a registered supermarket. Already the cross border traders have come under attack losing goods and their money at borders. While he is mercilessly attacking the poor, Gono is doing everything to defend and protect the interests of capital. He has already said salary increments should not be more than 85%, he has removed levies on tobacco farmers and is giving handout to business left right and center, and is giving cheap money to businesses in the so called productive sector support scheme. Since the elections prices of almost every basic commodity have more than doubled and this month residents were shocked with rates running into millions. It is therefore crucial for the social movement opposed to neo-liberalism and capitalism to be part of the resistance. The lightning we are seeing now announces the thunder of the carnage of the neo-liberal project. As such it is as a matter of duty that every genuine fighter against neo-liberalism must join the resistance and fight alongside the masses in this struggle.


Thursday it’s a complete shut down and we demand an immediate end to Gono and Mugabe’s ‘operation attack the poor’, release of all those arrested, return of all confiscated goods, reopening of all flea markets and informal trading areas, an end to harassment of commuters and compensation to all those whose property was destroyed in this madness.


Rise up the poor masses! Rise up against dictatorship and neo-liberalism!





June 2005


For Socialist Unity ~ For Internationalism ~ For Peace ~ For Justice ~ For Unity ~ For Socialism