Image: Armed police in Harare. Photo: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP
By BO Staff Writer
On Wednesday the two main cities of Zimbabwe, Harare and Bulawayo, witnessed a shut down following a call for a stay away strike called by what the country’s Minister of Education, Professor Jonathan Moyo, called “faceless people.”
Foreign media, led by The Guardian, enthusiastically proclaimed, “Zimbabwe shuts down in peaceful protest against corruption” and reported that the stay away was “fronted” by social media campaigners under the banner, #ThisFlag.
The BBC ran the headline, “Zimbabwe ‘shuts down’ due to economic collapse”. Unlike its Guardian brethren, BBC claimed ignorance about who the organizers were. It reported, “the protests were organised through the messaging site WhatsApp but it is not clear which group is behind it”.
The immediate triggers of the stay away seem to be the worsening economic situation in Zimbabwe which has been complicated further by currency shortages, late salary payments to civil servants and a crippling drought which has affected most of southern Africa, forcing South Africa to surrender its main food supply to the USA. Currently South Africa’s food is supplied by the GMO contaminated maize and cancer causing chicken from the USA.
Taxi drivers in Zimbabwe complained of police officers continuously demanding money when they stop vehicles to check whether they are roadworthy. This led to clashes in Harare between taxi drivers and police on Monday. The clashes where then opportunistically seized by the #ThisFlag campaigners to call for a national shut down on Wednesday, which was enforced through violence by gangs of youths in many townships around Harare. This has led to accusations of paid lumpen elements to terrorise the community into observing the stay away.
The demands of the strikers are orchestrated to carry out regime change, which is not different from the narrative used to justify the toppling and murder of Gaddafi in Libya. The campaign seems to be part of the West’s plot to get rid of the Mugabe government as punishment for taking land from whites.
London wants Mugabe gone and it’s a recorded fact that Lord Robin Renwick, who met the South African opposition party the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) last October, seeks ways to realise his mission. It is therefore not surprising that soon after meeting Renwick, EFF leader Julius Malema launched a scathing attack on Mugabe and denounced the radical land redistribution of Zimbabwe.
The #ThisFlag campaigners are using the economic crisis created by the West to blame the revolutionary government of Zimbabwe for a crisis created by imperialism. The use of violence by the youth is meant to paralyse the state and delegitimise it when it uses force to impose peace. The strategy is to project the Zimbabwean government as irrational and abusive of power in order to justify regime change calls.
The biggest supporters of the strike were the foreign owned banks which promptly closed their doors to observe the strike and to try precipitating the crisis further.
What is remarkable about the strike is the limited public show of support. This comes shortly after one of the biggest pro-Mugabe demonstrations had been seen in Harare.
The Western agenda driving the stay away can be seen in how the crisis is projected as the creation of Mugabe and not the West with its permanent sanctions against Zimbabwe. Furthermore there is silence on how the drought is a direct outcome of the West’s disruption of the weather through high carbon gas emissions for which it continues to refuse to pay reparations.
The Zimbabwean people have now been under ongoing and often worsening economic hardship created by the West. The people are hungry and now added to their perilous situation is the drought. This is seen as a great opportunity to turn the people against the revolutionary government of President Mugabe.
Zanu-PF has to find a lasting solution. Zimbabwe must now delink from the Western capitalist and monetary system. The only solution is a people centered socialist reorientation of both society and the economy. But Zimbabwe can’t do it alone; it urgently needs the SADC countries, in particular South Africa, to play a big role in supporting a kick start of a new economic system. Zimbabwe has to get the BRICS bank to bankroll a new brave path to prosperity based on a different economic model. The crisis has to be turned into an advantage.
The enemies of land redistribution and decolonisation want regime change to in order to realise colonisation restoration in Zimbabwe. The current strikes and social media campaigns are driven by the same forces that destroyed Libya to give its oil fields to America and France.