JOHANNESBURG – Zimbabwean President, Emmerson Mnangagwa’s recent promise to compensate the country’s displaced white commercial farmers is some form of class solidarity in which “black capitalists” are extending the hand of friendship to a “section of white capitalists” while simultaneously trampling on the rights of the workers and peasants, said the Zimbabwe Communist party Monday.
Mr Mnangagwa recently revealed his government would begin to pay part of the US$3billion estimated to cover the costs of compensation for improvements made on the land from which about 4,000 farmers were displaced at the turn of the millennium.
He said it was part of government’s ways of seeking to close the highly divisive issue while also trying to boost its re-engagement efforts with the international community.
“We are not opposed to white farmers who want to return being leased land on the basis of one family ― one farm, in which case they will contribute to production and the rebuilding of the economy,” said the ZCP in a statement Monday.
“The argument that we are only paying for ‘improvements to the land’ is spurious. Those improvements were made by the labour of the workers and the surplus value which they produced. The compensation of former white farmers, an outflow of a large quantity of money to those already rich represents a form of class solidarity in which the black capitalists of Zimbabwe are extending the hand of friendship to a section of white capitalists while simultaneously trampling on the rights of the workers and peasants.”
The ZCP said the statement by Perence Shiri, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, that money would be raised to compensate white farmers from the beneficiaries of land reform, would not help, as that would see valuable capital being diverted from growing crops and moved out of Zimbabwean agriculture. It said this would probably be used as an excuse to remove the poorest of the beneficiaries of land reform who are unable to pay.
“The friendly attitude shown by the government towards white farmers is clearly utterly different to that shown to doctors, nurses, teachers and street traders,” said the ZCP.
“The working-class and the poor are now clearly seen as the enemy. To these sections we must now add the peasants who are now systematically being removed from land where, only a few years ago, they were being resettled. The ZCP has been saying consistently that the coup of November 2017 represented a division within the ruling élite between those on the one hand who wanted to continue looting while hiding behind anti-white and anti-imperialist rhetoric and those who were interested in reviving production through becoming agents for foreign capital and receiving a steady income on the other. The first we call parasitic capitalism, the second we call comprador capitalism.”
The ZCP accused the new Zanu (PF) leadership under Mnangagwa of doing its very best to please foreign capital, of which the mooted payments of compensation to white farmers was part of that process, “as is the campaign to destroy the labour movement by arresting trade unionists in order to keep down wages and attract Foreign Direct Investment”.
“It was Eddie Cross who guided a formation founded by workers in the 1990s known as the Movement for Democratic Change towards the reactionary policy of neo-liberalism. It is no accident that Cross is now an adviser to Emmerson Mnangagwa. The difference between Zanu PF) and MDC is purely one of faces. There is no discernible difference in their economic policies. The announcement of the plan to compensate former white farmers represents another step in the convergence of two neo- liberal parties.”