Building a socialist economy 

We continue with the 6th instalment of MWENJE 2 – Zanu’s 1972 policy statement: The economy of a free, democratic, independent and socialist Zimbabwe will be designed to meet the basic needs of each peasant and worker according to what he needs to live happily and to develop to the fullness of his ability.

Zimbabwe is endowed with rich natural resources capable of supporting a large population and providing for their basic needs. All the means of production will be placed firmly in the hands of the people of Zimbabwe as a whole. The present capitalist economic system which benefits a few settlers in Rhodesia and capitalists in South Africa, Britain and America at the expense of the labouring masses will be abolished.

A truly socialist, self-supporting economy will be established and organised on broad principles enunciated by Marxism-Leninism. ZANU has been guided by these principles in its policies and in applying them to the concrete conditions obtainable in Zimbabwe, bearing in mind the need to put peasant and worker contributions to means of production and distribution beyond any reasonable doubt. There are many varieties of socialism practised in Africa today but nearest to the ideal are the ones that provide for the greatest dominance of worker-peasant interests in the entire economic system of Zimbabwe. It will be a self-supporting economy, not an extension or an enclave of the economies of Britain and South Africa or the West.

The greatest assets of the 5 million people of Zimbabwe are their bare hands and labour. Man’s labour is an expression of his personality as much as it is a means of sustaining existence. Labour in our country must be used for the fulfilment of the personality of every Zimbabwean enabling him to lead a decent life. It must be employed in the production of goods in industrial and commercial enterprises in which the worker has a definite stake and interest.

In the existing system, African labour is employed for the benefit of capitalist investors elsewhere and is therefore alienated. Such alienation destroys the human personality of the worker and does not always make it possible for him to live decently or develop his full capacity. Furthermore each individual worker is part of the community in which he lives and works. His labour contributes to the general welfare and well-being of the community as a whole. A socialist economy will enable every worker and peasant to make the greatest possible contribution to his own and the country’s development. Labour recruiting agencies, labour gangs and all the oppressive labour laws will be abolished.

Exploitation and class privilege will not be allowed by any. State power will be used to organise the economy for the greatest benefit of all citizens and to prevent the emergence of a privileged class of any kind. The present system is designed to create large gaps between the elite and the masses, one tribe and another, and to create the so-called middle-class African. A truly socialist Zimbabwe will remove these social and economic gaps, and, at the same time, take measures to prevent the emergence of new classes.

An important factor in class formation is the ownership of property. In a free, socialist, democratic and independent Zimbabwe, property as a commercial and exploitative factor will be abolished.

The participation of the people in all phases of the development of the national economy will be full and continuous. The people will participate by being owners and controllers of the means of production and distribution, which are either owned by the state or by co-operatives. In addition, by their control of the government they also have a general control of the economy covering the state-owned enterprises, the co-operatives and even the private sector while it continues to any substantial degree.

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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