Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist Workers Party

Who the “Friends”of the Zimbabwean People Are and How They Fight the Zimbabwe Revolution

“RC”P: Turn the Guns Against Mugabe and ZANU

First Published: Workers Viewpoint, Vol. 5, No. 10, March 22, 1980.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The counterrevolutionary sect, the “Revolutionary Communist” Party (“RC”P) has attacked the heroic fight of the Zimbabwean people. Blinded by their chauvinist faith in the strength of the two superpowers, the Trotskyite “RC”P does not believe that a third world country can fight off imperialism. In their March 7 ragsheet, the “Revolutionary” Worker, they call ZANU’s election victory a “shameless capitulation and sellout of the struggle of the Zimbabwean people.” This is nothing new. “RC”P is following the Progressive Labor Party’s (PLP) beaten path of Trotskyism. Right after the Sandinista National liberation Front (SNLF) had waged armed struggle, kicked out U.S. imperialism and had formed a national front government in Nicaragua, PLP jumped out and called for ̶-;turn the guns against the SNLF.” This is exactly what ̶-;RC”P is saying. When ZANU needs the most support, “RC’P shouts “turn the guns against Mugabe and ZANU”!! The only difference between PLP and “RC”P is that “RC”P is afraid to openly drop Mao Tsetung Thought and the need to support struggles for democratic and anti-imperialist governments in third world countries.

“RC”P Can’t Take The Guns from ZANU

They consciously lie that the masses in Zimbabwe do not control the guns and that the cease-fire agreement virtually disarmed “the bulk of ZANU guerillas”; that the bulk of the guerilla forces went to the assembly points; that they are “surrounded by large numbers of heavily armed ’monitoring forces’ made up of Rhodesian and Muzorewan troops”; and that the Patriotic Front forces are “sitting ducks for the imperialists guns.”

What are the facts? After seven years of armed struggle prior to the cease-fire, ZANU already controlled 2/3 of the countryside. As long as South African troops remained and Britain failed to implement their part of the agreement, Mugabe told his soldiers not to hand over their guns. ZANU kept most of its soldiers in the countryside and concentrated its troops only in the assembly centers where the mercenaries and South Africans were weak. In fact, wholeheartedly supported by the masses, tens of thousands of villagers reported to the assembly points in ZANU’s place. Ladies and gentlemen of the “RC”P, if ZANU is “sitting duck for the imperialists” and the imperialists “are holding a gun to Magabe and ZANU’s head”(“Revolutionary”Worker, p. 2), why didn’t Britain and the fascists of Smith and South Africa wipe ZANU out during the election? They could not, precisely because the balance of military forces as well as the support of the masses is on ZANU’s side! The Trotskyite “RC”P, is true to its habit, is chauvinist to the bone. They cannot bring themselves to believe that ZANU out-maneuvered the British and Rhodesian troops on the military front.

Like their mother, Leon Trotsky, “RC”P spits at the Marxist-Leninist line of being unyielding in principles but flexible in tactics. They whine that Mugabe has “capitulated”because Lt. General Walls of the Rhodesian forces will head the military of the new national front government. On the contrary, this shows the mature political level of the ZANU central committee. They know that the morale in the Rhodesian army is low. It is disintegrating, and this is a better condition to disintegrate it even faster. Even more, this is the best condition to try to control them and at the same time build up ZANU’s independent military forces by furnishing it with newer and better weapons.

Continuing with their conscious nest of lies, “RC”P writes that Mugabe of ZANU is the same as Allende of Chile. First, Allende politically believed in peaceful transition to socialism and that was his strategy. Mugabe led seven years of armed struggle. Through protracted peoples war, he consolidated armed bases is the countryside. Today, the Zimbabwean masses are still armed!

ZANU Engages Imperialists on All Fronts

It is true that “During the election campaign hundreds of Zimbabwean people were massacred and several ZANU leaders were killed and injured including two attempts on the life of Mugabe himself.” (“Revolutionary” Worker, p. 2). Faced with these imperialists’ attacks, the conclusion is not to “retreat back to the bush.” Just the opposite. ZANU maintained its military position and engaged the British on the political front (i.e., the elections). Guided by their hatred of third world peoples and countries, “RC”P’s Great-Nation chauvinism jumps out. Their unstable Chairman Avakian and Co. are crying: “ZANU, go back to the jungle. Don’t take-up the new tasks ahead because you will inevitably capitulate!” “RC”P fails to see the relation between the military and political fronts. ZANU’s years of sacrifice and armed struggle give them the overwhelming mass basis to speak for Zimbabwe on the political front. Seizing the political front has definitely created conditions for them to gain worldwide and domestic legitimacy and support for their military fight. Now for the first time in their struggle, ZANU can recruit and arm tens of thousands and even millions of Zimbabweans into their armed forces, under ZANU’s immediate command. It is at the local units – that’s where the real political power of the gun barrels is really at.

During the course of the revolutionary struggle, communists engage the enemy on all fronts: the military and the political, protracted peoples’ war and elections, independent work and the united front tactic. Chairman Mao himself entered three united fronts during the Chinese national liberation struggle.

Mao continuously emphasized the need for and the relationship between the three magic weapons: the communist party, armed struggle and the united front.

“RC”P Gives Imperialists the Initiative

Following their line that third world peoples are too stupid to wage class struggle in complicated situations and the imperialists are all powerful, Trots like PL (Progressive Labor Party) and “RC”P see the imperialists cutting ZANU’s throat. In reality, the ceasefire allowed the Patriotic Front to do organizing in the cities. ZANU was able to strengthen its bases, particularly in the urban areas. Over 600,000 Zimbabweans have been released from Ian Smith’s “protested villages” and now have direct contact with ZANU. Mugabe is lifting Muzorewa’s martial law, curfews and emergency regulations. All these directly aid the freedom of organizing deeper among the muses. The more contact with the people, the better conditions to strengthen ZANU’s independent military forces and arm the people. ZANU can now use the national broadcasting stations to put forth its line and to mobilize and consolidate the people. It now has access to more medical supplies, food, and different types of weapons to face the challenge ahead.

Yes, there is co-existence of two armed forces as before. The thing that has changed is that ZANU has access to more masses both in the countryside and in the cities. Through its initiative of armed struggle, ZANU created the new conditions of the ceasefire and the elections. The new conditions have crested new tasks for ZANU. The question is: Should ZANU continue to fight given the new conditions and meet the new tasks or should they not?! Is there a guarantee for victory in the national front government or New Democracy? No. There is no guarantee even under the dictatorship of the proletariat. ZANU has achieved great success in the armed struggle and in outmaneuvering the imperialists and fascists. Given the new tasks, they must continue to fight. And we have to give them even more support at this key point.

The landslide election victory gives ZANU great political initiative. It thoroughly exposes the Smith/Muzorewa/British clique. It proclaims ZANU the sole leadership and spokesman for Zimbabwe. Even if s right wing coup comes, who speaks for Zimbabwe is settled. Now with even more legitimacy and authority, ZANU has the right to organize the resources of the government and of the country. It can also take an offensive on the diplomatic front internationally.

At the crucial time that ZANU and the Zimbabwean people need the most support, the Trot “RC”P stabs them in the back by speculating on who are the revolutionaries and who axe the capitulates. “RC”P is serving both superpowers. By echoing U.S. imperialists’ lies of the “new Mugabe,” by attacking ZANU’s political line and continued revolution under the present situation, “RC”P is in effect saying that either there is no possibility for third world countries such as Zimbabwe to have a national democratic revolution against imperialism or for socialism, or that ZANU is not capable of doing it. They are saying in effect that ZANU might as well give it up and stay in the bushes or they have to become either sell-outs to the U.S. imperialists or to the Soviet social-imperialists. Mugabe has stated the policy of “We are our own liberators”, and no reliance on any foreign powers. Zimbabwe has charted a course out of the sphere of contention and war preparations of both superpowers. The chauvinist “RC”P cannot see how a third world country can fight both superpowers and aid the U.S. people.

Screaming, gnashing its teeth on the sideline, the “RC”P continuously prays like a broken record to its guru, Avakian, imitating the outworn Trotskyism and PL’s reactionary line: “There can never be a worker-peasant alliance/national front government, there is only the pure, proletarian revolution in one straight path...”

Never having fought or worked a day in their fives, it is the nature of Trotskyites to sit comfortably in an imperialist country, attack the revolutionary fighters, try and split the national liberation and impose Trotskyite demoralization on the masses.