22 November 2017
The South African Communist Party welcomes the resignation of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, tendered on Tuesday 21 November 2017. The underlying problems facing the people of Zimbabwe are systemic economic problems and their consequent politics. There are structural forces both in Zimbabwe and internationally, including the (former) colonial power, Britain, and imperialist exploiters, that actively dominated Zimbabwe and supported the measures that underdeveloped the country. The anti-democratic role played by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in ruining the economy of Zimbabwe through an imposed neoliberal policy regime must not be ignored and has to be addressed in the way forward. However, much as Zimbabwe`s problems were not created by one individual leader acting alone, it is important to recognise that Presidents and governing party leaders are powerful. At times their actions can save the trajectory of countries, but at times they can contribute to, or be complicit in, causing serious problems. We know this from our own unfolding South African situation and cannot deny it.
What lessons can we learn from the situation?
We must relook at the powers of Presidents, with a view of curbing situations where they are more powerful to be held just in time decisively accountable for their actions. The SACP calls on the working class of Zimbabwe to unite and build democratic working class power and ensure that they are part of the way forward. No other class can play this role and serve the interests of the working class except the working class itself. It is crucial to address the underlying economic problems as a key aspect of the way forward. Colonial and imperialist forces that exploited and underdeveloped Zimbabwe should not be allowed to get away with murder. They must be held accountable for the damage that they have caused. The same should apply to international institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank.