Below is abridged from an April 11 statement by the Zimbabwean International Socialist Organization (ISO). A much longer version can be read at http://links.org.au.
The March 29 election in Zimbabwe is very likely to result in President Robert Mugabe winning, by hook or by crook, a slim majority so as to avoid a run-off.
The Zimbabwe Peoples Convention met in mid-February, attended by nearly 4000 delegates from civic groups, trade unions, the Zimbabwe Social Forum and the left.
On June 6, around 20 members of Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA/MOZA) were arrested while conducting a peaceful, silent march through Bulawayo to launch their 10 Steps to a New Zimbabwe. Two groups of people began the march from different locations towards the offices of The Chronicle, a government-owned newspaper, but both were stopped and beaten by riot police along the way. Several people required medical attention. The march was organised to highlight the unfairness of current negotiations in Zimbabwe that only involve politicians who, WOZA reports, will not be addressing issues of social justice the bread and roses Zimbabweans need. For more information, visit http://www.wozazimbabwe.org.
HARARE On May 15, members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police bashed vendors in the Eastgate area and arrested leaders of the Progressive Youth Movement and the Zimbabwe Youth Movement, charging them with inciting vendors to resist arrest. Some 60-80 Harare vendors have been rounded up and arrested by the state police for illegal selling of products on the black market. Massive inflation and more than 80% unemployment have created harsh conditions for those in the informal sector to make a living. The youth were charged with assaulting police and are in custody with the vendors at the central police station. The Free-Zim Youth Movement called on President Thabo Mbeki to comply with human rights legislation and demanded that the Pan African Parliament send a fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe immediately.
Munya Gwisai, a member of the national coordinating committee of the International Socialist Organisation (Zimbabwe) as well as the deputy chairperson of the Zimbabwe Social Forum considers issues facing the democratic movement. He writes in a personal capacity.
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions has declared it will go ahead with an April 3-4 “stay away” by workers despite the wave of repression suffered by opponents of President Robert Mugabe’s regime and authorities’ threats to crush the ZCTU strike. Already ZCTU members have been arrested, their offices raided and material relating to the stay away confiscated.
Sekai Holland, a long-time leader of Zimbabwes liberation struggle and a champion of womens rights, was detained by police on March 11 in the latest violent crackdown by President Robert Mugabes increasingly unpopular regime. Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai was also arrested and later taken to the intensive care unit of a Harare hospital with severe injuries resulting from police beatings.
The following report is by a correspondent in Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe’s political situation has suddenly become pregnant with the possibility of uprisings, as ordinary people begin to defy police brutality. Unlike in the past when people were very scared of the police, now the situation seems to be different, with events bearing testimony to the mood of resistance. Just a drive around Highfield Township on February 18 was enough to see the return of the late ’90s fighting spirit among the poor people.