Zimbabwe: Presidential Election and its Significance

Zimbabwe held its presidential election over the weekend of 9-10 March. The result, declared on 13 March, produced a resounding victory for the incumbent – President Robert Mugabe, who secured 1,685,212 votes, as against the 1,258,401 secured by his challenger, Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). In percentage terms, while Mugabe’s share of the vote amounted to 56%, that of his opponent was far behind at 42%. The voter turnout of very nearly 3 million was as high as in previous elections.

Following the declaration of the result, observers from South Africa and Nigeria endorsed it as legitimate. Nigeria’s official observers issued a statement to the effect that there had been “no incidents sufficient to threaten the integrity and outcome of the election in areas monitored by the team.” For its part the South African observer group, while acknowledging the existence of some violence during the election campaign, insisted that the rules of voting, counting and transparency procedures were closely adhered to, adding that the MDC’s active participation had legitimised the outcome of the election. The ruling ANC in South Africa warmly endorsed Mugabe’s convincing victory, characterising it as a genuine expression of the will of the people of Zimbabwe. The presidents of Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia too sent their congratulations to Mr Mugabe. The vice-president of South Africa travelled to the Zimbabwean capital Harare and congratulated Mugabe with a warm embrace.

The Commonwealth Obervers Group reported on 14 March that the polling and counting had been peaceful, with the secrecy of the ballot assured, stating that it had been “impressed by the professionalism and conscientiousness of the majority of the polling staff” – a very different picture from that conjured up by the imperialist media and press agencies, with their lurid stories of ballot rigging, ballot box stuffing, the dead rising from the grave, walking to the polling stations, voting for Mugabe and dutifully returning to their eternal slumber until the next election.

At the same time, the Commonwealth Observers Group farcically stated that there was “a high level of politically motivated violence and intimidation, which preceded the poll.” Any violence during the elections in Zimbabwe pales into insignificance with that which accompanies elections in South Africa and yet no one has ever said that either Nelson Mandela or Thabo Mbeki stole the election and, therefore, ought to have stepped aside. The Commonwealth Observers Group refused to look at the real reasons (of which more later) behind the tensions in Zimbabwe. Ignoring the powerful intervention on the side of the opposition by the imperialist media and the privately-owned print media within Zimbabwe, which continued to pour a ceaseless stream of perniciously poisonous propaganda against Mugabe and his government, the Commonwealth Observers Group noted “the Government’s near monopoly of the broadcast media”, which, it said, was not offset by the pro-MDC bias of the Zimbabwean privately-owned print media. The Commonwealth Observers Group came to the conclusion, astonishing in view of the flimsy evidence, that “conditions in Zimbabwe did not adequately allow for a free expression of will by the electors.”

Predictably, the leading imperialist countries, their stooges and press organs, condemned the outcome of the Zimbabwean presidential election as fraudulent and a product of wholesale violence and electoral malpractice. The US, in a clear attempt to put pressure on the South African government and to sway the latter’s verdict on the outcome, strongly condemned the election as “fundamentally flawed” and in flagrant violation of the SADC (South African Development Council of 14 nations) electoral code.

“Supreme Court rulings were cast aside, the constitution was flouted, the independent media was persecuted, civil society was marginalised and the will of the people was the chief casualty” said Walter Kansteiner, the US assistant secretary of state for Africa.

Colin Powell, the US secretary of state, condemning the Zimbabwean poll as “neither free nor fair”, said that the US was considering sanctions “against those responsible for undermining democracy in Zimbabwe”. This really takes the palm, considering that he has struck a close relationship with General Musharraf who hijacked Pakistan bourgeois democracy at gunpoint, that he spent a week in Israel/Palestine supervising the massacre at Jenin by the war criminal and butcher of Sabra and Chatila notoriety – Sharon, that he has little difficulty cosying up to the medieval gulf autocracies which hold no elections at all, and that he serves in the administration of George W Bush, who really did steal the US presidential election and whose election was neither free and certainly not fair.

Without a shred of evidence, the Financial Times in its leading article of 14 March attributed the result to “gross intimidation and blatant ballot rigging”. Calling it a “travesty and a tragedy”, the Financial Times went on to issue warnings of the dire consequences for the people of Zimbabwe if they did not get rid of Mr Mugabe through strikes, taking to the streets and “through open rebellion”. Not being content with threatening the people of Zimbabwe, and expressing its rage at the endorsement by the Nigerian and South African observers of the Zimbabwean presidential elections as ‘legitimate’, the Financial Times warned the governments and leaders of these two countries that unless they joined in the imperialist attempts to isolate and destabilise the Zimbabwean regime, their attempts to attract foreign and domestic investment under the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) would be in jeopardy. The Financial Times called for the suspension of Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth and called upon South Africa and Nigeria to lend their support to such suspension – which they have since done.

Before 1997 Zimbabwe was portrayed as an “African lion” and as an emerging powerhouse of economic development in southern Africa. Robert Mugabe was described in the imperialist media as a great, educated and sophisticated statesman with a love for learning and surrounded by educated advisers and ministers. This is true even today. What then has happened for imperialism to change its mind overnight, as it were, and to paint Mugabe and his regime as the incarnation of the devil himself? What is it that impels imperialism now to characterise Mr Mugabe as “senile”, “power hungry” and a “mad man”, and assign pariah status to his regime? Imperialist statesmen and leading imperialist organs assert that this is because Mr Mugabe has betrayed democracy, violated the rule of law and used ‘intimidation’ and ‘thuggery’ leading up to, and during, the election for the sole purpose of staying in power. Such is their passionate love for democracy that the imperialists, outraged by the flouting of the rules of fair play by this “ageing dictator” are determined to be rid of this unpleasant character – all in the interests of the people of Zimbabwe and the people of Africa, in the interests of the Commonwealth and those of humanity at large. In other words, it is a humanitarian mission guided by the most altruistic of motives.

But it cannot possibly be so in view of the fact that the imperialist powers have consistently given their full backing to every murderous regime – from the genocidal and racist Zionist regime in Israel to the Pakistani military junta, the brutal Turkish regime and the medieval gulf states; that they had little problem supporting the apartheid South African regime until only the other day; that they had a direct hand in overthrowing democratically elected regimes in Indonesia, Chile, Turkey and many other countries through military takeovers, which claimed the lives of millions of people; that only last month the US was caught red-handed for its part in the unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the popular and democratically-elected president of Venezuela – Hugo Chavez. One could go on for several pages detailing the crimes of imperialism and exposing its fraudulent claim to be the champion of freedom and democracy. But enough we think.

What, then, are the real reasons for imperialism’s ‘humanitarian’ crusade against the regime of Robert Mugabe? Basically there are three reasons. First, the attempt of the Zimbabwean authorities to solve the land problem, which is of crucial importance for the millions of poor Zimbabweans. Out of 13 million Zimbabweans, the white population accounts for a mere 70,000. Of the latter, a mere 4,500 control half of the country’s 81 million acres of arable land, while close to a million black farmers are crammed into the rest. Not only does this tiny number of whites continue to be in ownership and control of this vast quantity of land stolen from the people of Zimbabwe by the colonial settlers, the land they occupy is the most fertile, with the Africans left to eke out a miserable existence from the least fertile soil.

Crucial to the armed struggle for liberation, which claimed 40,000 lives, was the question of land distribution. The Lancaster House agreement and constitution, leading to independence, apart from guaranteeing a parliamentary quota to the whites, tied the hands of Zimbabwe’s incoming government, in that under these arrangements the government was barred for 10 years from requisitioning land from the white farmers, except on the basis of purchase from those willing to sell. However, Britain and the US had promised to donate $2 billion to fund such a land purchase scheme. Besides, the new regime was keen to promote reconciliation with the former white minority rulers. Therefore at independence, Robert Mugabe reached out to the white minority and went out of his way to extend to it the hand of friendship. “The wrongs of the past must be forgiven and forgotten,” he declared at independence. He went on: “It could never be a correct justification that because the whites oppressed us when they had power, the blacks must oppress them today because they have power.” But this hand of reconciliation was rejected by the whites who went so far as to collaborate with the South African regime’s failed attempts at assassinating Mugabe. Britain and the US reneged on their promise to fund land acquisition by the government of Zimbabwe. The latter, having failed in all its endeavours aimed at persuading Britain and the US to keep their promise, was obliged to embark on a programme of land confiscation and thus solve this long-overdue problem. This enraged the white farmers and their imperialist backers. The latter are particularly worried that Zimbabwe’s example might prove infectious and be copied by the black masses next door in the Republic of South Africa.

Second, the imperialist powers were incandescent with rage when Zimbabwe decided to send several thousands of its soldiers to the Democratic Republic of Congo in support of the Congolese regime, which is engaged in a mortal struggle against the Rwandan and Ugandan forces. These invaded the Democratic Republic of Congo at the behest of the principal imperialist powers, especially the US, who want to grab the fabulous mineral wealth of Congo by installing a puppet regime in Kinshasa.

Third, Zimbabwe has refused to go along with the IMF’s austerity programme. As a result, imperialist countries have applied economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure on Zimbabwe, in the hope that scarcity, hand in hand with rising prices, will provoke widespread popular protest and political upheaval, or at the very least mass migration across the border into South Africa. At the behest of the US and Britain, international financial institutions have refused to provide budgetary support or loans to Zimbabwe, while the white farmers have been busy sabotaging crop planting and, as a consequence, creating scarcity. All this on top of the severe drought that has inflicted Zimbabwe.

The food shortages, which are the product of a combination of sabotage on the part of imperialism and the white farmers in Zimbabwe, on the one hand, and the conditions of drought on the other, are blamed by imperialism on the Zimbabwean government’s management of the economy – in particular its land distribution programme. Zimbabwe, however, is not alone in being the victim of drought. Nor is it alone in suffering food shortages. Drought affects Malawi and Zambia as well. As a result they are short of food, although they have no programme of land distribution. The World Food Programme (WFP) feeds 2.6 million people in southern Africa, of whom 300,000 are in Malawi and 1.3 million in Zambia. In 2001, SADC countries imported 1.4 million tonnes of maize. This year they will require 3.2 million tonnes to make up the shortfall in domestic production. This being the case, why single out Zimbabwe and call it an economic disaster? There can only be one answer, namely, that it is because the government of Zimbabwe refuses to accommodate imperialist demands in the conduct of its domestic and foreign policy. That is why the Financial Times fulminates against the War Veterans Association, which is leading the struggle for land seizures in Zimbabwe, accusing it of “theft, extortion, blackmail, fraud and vandalism” (25 April). Reading this piece of vituperation one gets the feeling that the leader writer of the Financial Times is exceptionally annoyed at the skill with which the blacks of Zimbabwe have begun to learn from, and copy, the methods adopted by Cecil Rhodes and his followers when they stole the land from the ancestors of the present-day blacks of Zimbabwe.

As soon as it was clear that Zimbabwe was determined to pursue a policy of national independence, which brooked no external interference, various imperialist powers, with the US and Britain in the lead, began to sharpen their knives and they were out to get Robert Mugabe at any cost. They initiated a virulent and systematic campaign designed to discredit his regime, present the country as an economic disaster. At the same time they managed to stitch together an opposition party – the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which received lavish support from the US, Britain and many other countries of the EU. The British and other imperialist governments organise their sabotage through two organisations with rather innocuous-sounding names – the Zimbabwe Trust and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy. Together with the white farmers and big corporations, they fund and provide political support for the MDC because of the latter’s commitment to the free market, restoration of Zimbabwe’s land to the tiny group of white farmers, and withdrawal of Zimbabwean troops from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Westminster Foundation gets 95% of its funding from the British government. Represented in it are the leading figures from the three major bourgeois parties at Westminster – Labour, Tories and Lib-Dems. This imperialist outfit is devoted to the development of “democratic institutions”, that is, the sabotage of any independent development across the world. The Zimbabwe Democracy Trust, whose avowed aim is to promote private ownership and unbridled pillage by finance capital, includes, among many other equally odious figures, 4 erstwhile British secretaries of state, a former US secretary of state for South Asia and Africa, Chester Crocker, a notorious lover of the former South African apartheid regime.

These two instruments of imperialist sabotage have over the last four years intensified their interference in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe through every conceivable means, ranging from the MDC and conducting propaganda on its behalf, to using international and regional bodies and institutions for isolating Zimbabwe and bringing pressure to bear on her government and people. By the efforts of these two agencies, working through the British government and senior British political figures, the EU was persuaded in 1998 to institute a study on Zimbabwe. This study, presented to the EU’s Africa Working Group, blatantly demanded the removal of Robert Mugabe. As to the method of his removal, the study recommended the systematic building up of the NGOs and the Zimbabwe Trade Union Congress as alternative poles of attraction and centres of power, supported by strikes, demonstrations, urban unrest, food riots and carefully engineered dissension within the ranks of the government, the ruling party and the country’s armed forces. The EU study was candid enough to state that Zimbabwe had earned the EU’s ire because of her programme of land distribution and her decision to send her armed forces to the Democratic Republic of Congo to aid the Kabila regime against foreign aggression.

The EU’s report was quickly followed by a meeting held under the auspices of the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London. This gathering, under the rhetorical title ‘Zimbabwe – Time for Mugabe to go?’, did not leave much to the imagination. It too advocated ways for removing Robert Mugabe, similar to those propounded by the EU study. Like the latter, it too singled out land reform and Zimbabwe’s involvement in the Democratic Republic of Congo as areas of serious concern to the imperialist powers.

Barely two months after the London meeting, the State Department in Washington convened a seminar entitled ‘Zimbabwe at the crossroads’, at which Zimbabwe’s involvement in the Democratic Republic of Congo was singled out as the main problem and various means were suggested for “strengthening civil society” to render Zimbabwe ungovernable. As to the means to achieve this end, reliance was to be placed on NGO’s, ethnic divisions between the Shona and Ndebele were to be fomented and exacerbated, every attempt was to be made to sow dissension within the ranks of the ruling ZANU-PF, and all opposition parties were to be assisted and encouraged to merge and help in creating unrest in the country.

From the foregoing it is clear that Zimbabwe has become the target of imperialist threats, sanctions, intimidation and a violent campaign of lies because it is presenting a hurdle to imperialist designs in the region of Africa, so richly endowed by nature with unbelievable quantities of mineral wealth. Further, it is flouting imperialist commands and setting a dangerous precedent by its programme of land distribution from colonial settlers to the local poor and destitute, from whom the land was stolen in the first place. Such settling of historical accounts can hardly be expected to appeal to imperialism or the settler fraternity. Imperialism will not forgive Robert Mugabe for having become the ideological spokesman of sub-Saharan Africa and having won the grudging support of his fellow heads of state for his belief that reliance on imperialism has brought Africa nothing but poverty, corruption, chaos and brutality.

On the other hand, Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC have become the darlings of the settlers and imperialism alike because they are prepared to go along with everything demanded by imperialism. Their economic programme has the support of the World Bank, the IMF, international bankers, the OECD, and the imperialist governments, not to speak of the white settlers. To use the apt expression of the Australian Vanguard, they are perfect for the role of an African Lech Walesa and an African ‘Solidarnosc’. Precisely for this reason, imperialism has lavished praise on the MDC and supplied it with the financial, material, diplomatic and political support which has enabled it to become a force to be reckoned with in Zimbabwe within months of its emergence. In less than a year after its formation, the MDC spearheaded the defeat of ZANU-PF’s constitutional referendum in February 2000 and came close to winning the June 2000 parliamentary elections when it won 58 out of the 120 seats.

Imperialism had placed high hopes on Tsvangirai defeating Mr Mugabe in the presidential elections. It used every fraudulent device – from black propaganda against the Zimbabwean regime to the question of monitors – to secure the victory of its stooge. Just before the presidential election, David Frost, the television presenter, in an interview with the Foreign Office minister Baroness Amos, glibly talked of 100,000 people killed by Mugabe supporters during the previous two years. The reality, however, is that during that period there were 160 deaths, most of which cannot be attributed to Mugabe’s supporters. Having uttered a foul lie, his dirty work done, Mr Frost moved on, leaving his audience with the impression that Mr Mugabe is a sadistic mass murderer.

At the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting which took place in the first week of March (a week before the Zimbabwean election) in Coolum, an exclusive Australian beach resort north of Brisbane, Tony Blair, the British prime minister, tried to secure Zimbabwe’s immediate suspension from the Commonwealth but found himself in total isolation. Zimbabwe hit back, accusing Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand of stoking racism by their attacks on Mugabe. In the words of Jonathan Moyo, Zimbabwe’s information minister, “It is racism, is it not? It is so obvious they are doing this because they are unhappy at the redistribution of land that is taking place in Zimbabwe” (quoted in the Financial Times of 4 March 2002).

With breathtaking hypocrisy, monitors are routinely used by powerful imperialist states as tools for interfering in the internal affairs of weak states and for de-legitimising candidates not to the liking of imperialism and vice versa. Why not allow observers from Asia, Africa and Latin America at elections in the imperialist countries? After the presidential election, Nigeria’s Abdulsalam Abubakar read out the Commonwealth’s condemnation of the democratic process in Zimbabwe. His democratic credentials are that this same gentleman was the military ruler of Nigeria from 1998 to 1999 and now faces accusations of stealing $2 billion from Nigeria’s foreign reserves. As a member of the Nigerian top brass, he was responsible for the cancellation of elections in 1993. Robert Mugabe, by contrast, has never been interested in the accumulation of riches and has never cancelled elections. He did not fight against a democratic regime – he fought for black majority rule. There are regular elections in Zimbabwe and there is an opposition. His is a government of educated and sophisticated people with a certain sense of obligation towards the Zimbabwean people, as opposed to the semi-literate soldiers who have ruled Nigeria and several other countries in Africa.

The EU withdrew its monitors before the election and imposed targeted sanctions. The chief of the EU Group of Observers, Norwegian Kare Vollan, denounced the Zimbabwe poll, first because of alleged pre-poll violence. The same Mr Vollan was an observer on behalf of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe at the Ukrainian parliamentary elections in 1998. He declared that those elections “were managed with professionalism” and he did not call into question these results despite, in his own words, “violence, intimidation and harassment during the run-up to the elections”. The reason? The Ukraine was the darling of the OSCE – Vollan’s employer.

The second reason for Vollan’s denunciation of the Zimbabwean election was the control of the media by Zimbabwe’s government. But such considerations caused no concern to the OSCE during the Montenegrin parliamentary elections in 1998, when Milo Djukanovic received tens of millions of dollars from imperialist countries – huge sums considering the population of his province is half that of Birmingham. He utilised these vast sums for his 30,000-strong police force to ensure total control of the media. He regularly makes sure that only his election posters go up. But since he was an opponent of the Yugoslav leader, Milosevic, his conduct was not only tolerated but actively encouraged.

The behaviour of the counter-revolutionary Russian ruling clique can hardly be held out as a model of democracy. It shelled the Russian parliament in 1993 to suppress the parliamentary opposition. It practised massive fraud in the subsequent constitutional referendum which drastically reduced the powers of the Russian parliament, without in the least disturbing the democracy-loving OSCE. Tory minister, Kenneth Baker, declared the poll a resounding success even before it had closed. It was later revealed that millions of fictitious voters had been added to render the vote valid. Throughout the 1990’s, imperialist observers turned a blind eye to the government’s total control of the broadcast media. The OSCE and the Council of Europe was not bothered that 17 people were killed during the election campaign of 1995. During Putin’s election in 2000, all the imperialist countries turned a blind eye to the reports that millions of votes had been falsely added to arrive at the desired result.

In 1998, imperialism, acting through the OSCE, was determined to unseat Vladimir Meciar, even though he is the most popular politician in Slovakia. The reason put forward by the OSCE was the alleged bias of state television in favour of Mecior, while it ignored, through the OSCE chief Vollan again, the even greater bias of a far more popular foreign television station (funded by foreigners) in favour of the opposition candidate. An Italian media-monitoring organisation proved that the state-run station was a model of neutrality compared with the grossly partisan conduct of the private station. Faced with these facts, Vollan could only say: “May be your interpretation is different.”

The third reason given by Vollan was that there were long queues at polling stations in Harare. There were similarly long queues at the Italian parliamentary elections last May. There the socialist government had reduced the number of polling stations by as much as a third, resulting in chaos such that the last Italian to cast his vote did so at 5 in the morning. No one then accused Francesco Rutelli’s friends of trying to prevent Italians from voting for Berlusconi.

The whole process of election monitoring has become such a corrupt farce that it has forced even a bourgeois journalist to characterise it as the “political equivalent of an Arthur Andersen audit” and to call for its abandonment.

Despite imperialist threats and the shameful conduct of the EU monitors, Robert Mugabe survived the fiercest electoral challenge and secured a convincing victory. The white minority, most of whom had supported the MDC candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, manned his telephones and organised transport in the unsuccessful campaign to oust Robert Mugabe, and were as shaken by, and bitterly disappointed in, the result as were the political representatives and press organs of the main imperialist countries. The British foreign secretary, the execrable Jack Straw, waxed hysterical about Mugabe having rigged the election. Their stooge in Harare, the despicable Mr Tsvangirai, called the result a “stolen election” and demanded its re-run under international (i.e., imperialist) supervision. The truth is that no result other than the defeat of Robert Mugabe would have been acceptable either to the white minority or imperialism. And this for the reason that Robert Mugabe’s regime does not meet the criteria of legitimacy sought to be imposed by imperialism on the rest of the world.

In an article full of biting sarcasm and withering wit, a certain Terry Jones, writing in the aftermath of the failed coup to overthrow president Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, has, inter alia, this to say:

“Since its ground-breaking experiments in vote-counting in Florida two years ago, the United States has been universally recognised as the chief innovator in the field of democratic principles. Therefore, one of the factors that must surely convey legitimacy on any democracy would be approval by the United States.”

He adds sarcastically: “It is no good people blindly voting in any Tom, Dick or Hugo if they are not acceptable to Washington” (Observer, 21 April 2002).

According to the ‘Florida Rules’ of democracy, the landslide election victories of Chavez no more confer legitimacy on his presidency than does the overwhelming predominance of his party in the Venezuelan parliament give the latter any authority to pass whatever legislation it want to. Another reliable measure of democracy, according to these rules, is the introduction of ‘interesting variations’ into the voting system – from confusing ballot design, difficulties with the punch-card system, installing roadblocks to prevent voters reaching polling stations, or just not collecting some of the ballot boxes.

In fact, according to the Florida Rules, elections do not serve democracy at all. Precisely for that reason, the Bush administration so quickly endorsed the presidency of Carmona Estanga (chief of the most significant business association in Venezuela), who had vowed not to stage any elections for a year. To the bitter disappointment of the US, Chavez, who had been “ousted in a free and fair democratic coup” was returned to office within 48 hours by “little more than the whim of the people”, forcing the ‘Free World’ to “reconsider the nature of democracy”.

Passing legislation to benefit the masses will confer no legitimacy on any government. Chavez reformed the discredited and corrupt political system he inherited, did his best to redistribute land to the landless and poor farmers, awarded land titles to those who had built homes in the barrios, increased the minimum wage and enabled a million extra children to attend school. Far from conferring any legitimacy on him, all these endeavours simply served to make his record as president look ‘terrible’ in the eyes of imperialism. Any claims he might have had to legitimacy were irrevocably destroyed by his ‘ill-judged’ meetings with the likes of Fidel Castro, Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein. Thus, in the words of Mr Jones, “If democracy is to live up to the high expectations placed on it by the President of the United States and his team, it will have to conform to the principles established in Florida”, failing which the claims of the states such as Venezuela to democracy will continue to ring hollow in the ears of George W Bush and other imperialist politicians.

In view of what has been said above, it may sound a little strange that people calling themselves ‘left’, ‘socialist’, even ‘revolutionary’ should find themselves firmly on the imperialist side of the barricades in Zimbabwe. Most of the Trotskyist organisations in Britain and elsewhere find themselves in this shameful situation. For instance, the Trotskyist Weekly Worker approvingly cites the following words of the national co-ordinator of the International Socialist Organisation – a Zimbabwean Trotskyist grouping with links to the British Socialist Workers Party: “Mugabe is compromising with the bosses at the expense of workers – not only the local capitalists, but with foreign investors. Sometimes he speaks left, but his policy is pro-capitalist” (Weekly Worker no. 415, 17 January 2002).

If Mugabe’s policy is pro-capitalist, if his government is indeed compromising with international and domestic capital, this is certainly one of the most guarded secrets as far as the capitalists are concerned, for they continue to oppose his government notwithstanding its alleged pro-capitalist and anti-working class stance. Would it not be truer to say that it is the Trotskyists whose ‘left’ phrases are intended merely to camouflage their truly reactionary and pro-imperialist position across the board? The long counter-revolutionary activity of Trotskyism, and the actions of the present-day Trotskyists, furnish sound proof of this our proposition. The Zimbabwean Trotskyite went on to call on the workers to vote for Tsvangirai and then encourage them to stage a rebellion against him after the elections. Imperialism is very happy to receive such help and disregard the empty rhetoric about rebellion afterwards, which is after all only meant to dupe the simple Simons among the Trotskyist rank and file as well as to deceive the workers.

Since the presidential election, through successful arm-twisting of certain countries, imperialism has been able to secure for one year the suspension of Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth (this took place on 19 March). Imperialism is continuing with its ongoing attempts at destabilising and overthrowing the regime in Zimbabwe. The proletariat and the proletarian parties in the imperialist countries must expose and oppose these attempts of their own governments and give fraternal support to the Zimbabwean government and its people in their hour of need. Those who do not are no socialists. Nay, they are not even democrats, but scoundrels of the most despicable variety.