By BO Staff Writer
The following are notes of the input of Andile Mngxitama, President of Black First Land First, during the live broadcast on the Zanu PF Youth League Zone on FaceBook on 27 August 2019:
The question of the border is of critical importance. The African National Congress (ANC) government, continues to unleash the brutality of the police on the people. It does so under the guise of fighting so called illegal immigration and in defence of white monopoly capital (WMC) interests.
A Pan Afrikanist response to the border question is needed. This must include economic integration; protection of the rights of all including immigrants; documentation of all without asking questions; and strategic economic investment in the African Region by SA to promote economic stability. To this end the economies of the SADC region, including Zimbabwe and South Africa, were supposed to be better integrated than they are. It’s shocking that Zimbabwe should be facing shortages when SA has the capacity to provide it with assistance.
The main causes of our current problems are not the approximately 1.5 million African immigrants (about 3%) living in SA. Our problems are caused by colonialism, which continues today.
The DA has called for the closure of South Africa’s borders as a “solution” to the issue. It further demands more SANDF presence at our borders. We reject the proposal to close the borders and to increase the number of soldiers at borders. Militarizing the borders amounts to inciting a genocide against blacks. We have demanded that the SA government keeps the borders open (as a short term solution) and tightens its regulations to address the crisis of undocumented immigrants and potential criminality. We have proposed that the government documents all who enter the country as a free service. This will effectively minimize the necessity of people coming into the country “illegally”. Especially those who want to seek refuge from political unrest but do not comply with the necessary requirements precisely because of the conditions in their country that they are fleeing from. We have further proposed that a minimum wage be applicable for all employed people in SA irrespective of immigration status; and no employer be allowed to employ more than 30% non-South Africans.
On how to deal with criminal elements gaining access to the country, BLF has called for the SA government to strengthen its relations with the criminal justice agencies of other countries as well as with Interpol. We have further demanded that the Department of Home Affairs regularly update its records of all people in the country. This will enable the government to properly monitor threats and any potential threats; and to allocate resources sufficiently. Regarding those that manage to slip into the country “illegally” and are therefore undocumented – we have proposed that the Department of Home Affairs enforces the existing punitive measures. However mechanism must be put in place to assess each case on its own merits.
Zimbabwe has the strategic advantage of education. We are in deep trouble in South Africa (SA) in critical areas in mathematics, Physical Science and English. We need to turn the colonial education crisis around through a four-year intervention so as to put the whole education system on a new footing. In furtherance of Pan-Afrikanism and recognition of the excellent Zimbabwean education system, a process of co-teaching with the O and A levels Zimbabwean graduates must be embarked upon in the public schools that have shown the worst results. We need to build capacity in all the schools including in villages and informal settlements. So these are things that we can do almost immediately so that we can ameliorate the economic crisis.
But all these things cannot happen unfortunately until we have resolved the big political questions. We are satisfied with the proposal that we are making as BLF and we are going to send a letter to the Zimbabwean Embassy making these proposals around the transitional government, general amnesty, and on sitting down with Mnangagwa and talking. On our part, we will call on our government to intervene meaningfully regarding the normalization of the Zimbabwean economy. There cannot be normalization of the economy without resolution of the big questions.
We have serious difficulties understanding the contemporary ZanuPF project. Be that as it may, we still think that we have a big responsibility to get Zimbabwe to work. If Zimbabwe doesn’t work, for those of us who are interested to resolving the colonial question in SA, we won’t succeed. Over and above that, you in Zimbabwe may not see there is a crisis there, but we in SA know that there’s a crisis in Zimbabwe because every second person we meet on the street, in the workplace in SA is a Zimbabwean who left the country because of the economic hardship which offcourse comes from the attack of the radical project under President Mugabe. But today, why must Zimbabwe suffer. Your suffering is no longer consistent, in my view, with the legacy of the black nationalist project brought by President Mugabe. We can’t be beating each other in the street. We can’t be arresting each other. We say, don’t suffer for nothing. Sit down and talk. Mnangagwa (Zimbabwean President) must talk with Chamisa (MDC leader). There’s nothing that stops you.
We don’t share the notion that Mnangagwa is anti imperialist, he’s not. This government of ZanuPF is not anti imperialist whatsoever. It’s a false notion to claim today that there’s a fundamental ideological difference between Mnangagwa and Chamisa. ZanuPF has to listen to all the voices of Zimbabwe and get back on the revolutionary path. And Chamisa must stop going to America and calling for sanctions. No one should go to America to call for sanctions. We condemn the sanctions against Zimbabwe. No country, no matter what difficult internal processes it may be undergoing, should be subjected to sanctions.
ZanuPF doesn’t accept that there’s a crisis in Zimbabwe. That’s a shocking thing. We must not be held behind by bureaucratic dictates. We have to be creative, brave and make the hard proposals. Zimbabwe must work. There’s no question about that, but it must work with these two questions – politics and economics – in an intertwined manner. Yes, the politics and the economics of Zimbabwe cannot be disaggregated and resolved outside of each other. They belong together. So normalize the politics, and normalize the economics together. In SA we argue very hard that we have a role to play and our role is to bring financial help to Zimbabwe.
Mnangagwa must make peace with Chamisa under an anti imperialist program that puts blacks first. He must cease attacking the Mugabe loyalists who fled Zimbabwe after the coup. He must allow all exiles to return and grant a blanket amnesty to those accused or convicted of politically motivated crimes. A revolutionary transitional government of national unity, which will put the people first, must be formed. All police brutality and state violence must end!
To give clarity on the Zimbabwean situation – SA must advance conditional financial support to Zimbabwe, without delay. SA must give financial support on condition that Zimbabwe does the following immediately:
1. Transitional Government of National Unity
2. Amnesty to all and let the exiles return.
3. Release all political prisoners
In the long term, we need economic stability via economic integration. South Africa must show in figures what its contribution is to the front-line states.
Let’s do the Chimurenga! We must get back on the revolutionary path.