The land and the people

This 7th instalment of MWENJE 2, Zanu’s 1972 policy statement, states that all the natural resources of Zimbabwe belong to the citizens - today and forever. Forty one years ago the party stated:

Therefore there can be no private ownership of the land, minerals, water, flora and fauna – because they belong to the people as a whole. The state holds the land as administrator and trustee for the benefit of present and future generations.

Landlordism and estate farms owned by capitalists will be abolished. Landlordism is inconsistent with freedom and equality for all. Individuals and groups of peasants may lease land for a specified length of time under conditions which will ensure maximum utilisation. Chiefs and their followers who have been forced to leave their traditional homelands in order to give way to settler farmers can return to their homelands and the usurpers be expelled.

Each peasant will be allotted enough land to meet his requirements for food. Where possible land will be made available to peasants who want to engage in commercial farming. Extension and research services will be provided by the state. It will be the responsibility of the peasants to organise themselves and to work together for their own good as they have always done in traditional society.

It should be stressed that the fertile land is a national asset given by Almighty God. It is the duty of every user of the land and every generation to hand it over to the next generation in the condition in which they found it or even better. Soil erosion, indiscriminate cutting of trees, grass fires that destroy large tracts of bush and overgrazing of cattle must be avoided at all costs.

Educating the nation

Every worker and peasant is entitled to a good education. In a free, democratic, independent and socialist Zimbabwe they will be given every opportunity to acquire education commensurate with their capacity and desire to learn, and consistent with the manpower needs and capacity of the nation. Adult and youth education centres will be established outside the school and where possible financed by the government. Stress will be laid on physical education.

The discriminatory practices in the present system of education, in which schools and hospitals are segregated on racial grounds and where settlers spend only £9 on each African child but £103 for a European child per year, African schools run by voluntary mission bodies while European schools are state-run, technical education is denied to African children and secondary school education severely restricted, will all be abolished.

In a free, democratic, independent and socialist Zimbabwe the state will take over the administration and financing of all education. Technical and science education will be stressed throughout the primary and secondary school systems in order to provide skilled manpower for our state-owned industries and commercial undertakings for general development.

The education of a nation is a continuous and complex process. It means changing people’s attitude and outlook about beliefs they have held for many years or generations. In fact, a scheme of national education has already started in “Chimurenga” itself.

In camps, villages, caves, mountains, cornfields and cities, the guerrillas and other members of ZANU and the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) have started re-educating themselves about the needs of the nation. As they come into contact with workers and peasants they endeavour to raise their national consciousness by example and education. The entire guerrilla zone of operation is a vast school where the felt needs of the peasants and workers are discussed, analysed and solutions found. “Chimurenga” is an educative project.

As soon as the settlers have been dislodged from an area, the guerrillas assisted by the home guards and political cadres establish a free and independent school which immediately admits all children of peasants and workers in the locality. Peasants and workers themselves are taught in homes or at a central “dare”. Several independent schools already exist in the home front. As the revolution succeeds, the first schools of national education will spread throughout the country and the continuous process of education and change will start. A University of Zimbabwe will be established to train men and women who will serve the peasants and workers by doing fundamental research and apply the results to the concrete situation in the village, town, mine and factory. It is not the aim of university education to laze and lounge in white-collar jobs, but to reach the village and the factory with technical advice for development.

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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