The new Zimbabwe culture

This is the eighth part in our series of reminders of what ZANU said they stood for 41 years ago:

Eighty years of colonisation have warped the minds of our people and shaken their confidence in themselves by a process of cultural alienation. The settler stage, screen, mass media, literature, school and church have combined to produce a false impression that a foreign culture was good and our own was bad. Consequently, our rich cultural heritage has been lost and at times despised by the young generation, which has been indoctrinated and intoxicated with western cultural values.

In a free, democratic, independent and socialist Zimbabwe the people will be encouraged and assisted to build a new culture, derived from the best in what our heritage and history has given, and developed to meet the needs of the new socialist society of the 20th century. Our culture must stem from our own creativeness and so remain African and indigenous.

Mental decolonisation is a necessary part of our struggle, as is the complete political and economic independence we are fighting for. The armed struggle itself re-educates the participants, laying stress on the strength of their own value systems and the weakness of foreign ones. Many ingredients go into the making of a nation such as a common history and culture but above all a common striving for a common ideal against a common enemy. War trenches have made a nation out of diverse peoples. “Chimurenga” forms an important part of our programme of re-educational mental decolonisation and nation-building. Killing of the white enemy in battle has a therapeutic value and gives confidence to the black participant in the struggle.

The emphasis of Zimbabwe’s new culture will be on the community. While individual citizens must be self-reliant, at the same time they must be active members of flourishing, self-contained communities to whose welfare and general security they must contribute generously.

End Racial Discrimination

The abhorrent policy of racial segregation has been the hallmark of settler policy since 1890 and was strengthened in 1930 when a Labour Party government in Britain gave permission for the enactment of the Land Apportionment Act.

Racial discrimination may be consonant with capitalism but it is completely incompatible with true socialism. A free, democratic, independent and socialist Zimbabwe will treat every person as a human being entitled to full human rights and dignity. Racial segregation and discrimination will be outlawed and those who have practiced it in the settler era will face trial in open court for their crimes against humanity as Nazi leaders did at Nuremburg.

In urban areas the factory and office workers who have been subjected to slave labour conditions will have their position completely transformed. They will own directly and indirectly the factories for which they work. All discriminatory labour and trade union legislation will be repealed and all other exploitative practices terminated. An equitable system of wages and salaries will be introduced with pensions for aged workers and compensation for the disabled.

Persons who cannot work because of old age or physical handicap will be the charge of the state. A social security system will be introduced to care for and assist all workers and labourers, and especially mothers during times of illness or childbirth. Emphasis will be on improving the living and working conditions of all workers and labourers, their families and their children “from the cradle to the grave”.

Zimbabwe cannot be free, socialist and democratic in any true sense of these words if it permitted or condoned any form of discrimination whether racial, ethnic or regional. Existing racial and ethnic divisions are the work of the oppressors. They must be removed and measures taken to ensure the freedom and full security of all tribal, regional and religious groups.

Workers, civil servants and labourers in the cities will be promoted and paid according to their ability, without any reference to their tribal or regional origin. Tribal organisations and political parties based on tribalism will be banned. However, national or tribal minorities will be free to engage in cultural pursuits and tribal celebrations provided they remain consistent with the goal of national unity.

Our national unity will be built on a common struggle and common purpose to build a socialist, democratic, independent and free Zimbabwe; and to fight against exploiters of whatever colour and race, and imperialists and their supporters who have enslaved our people for the greater part of this century.

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *