Former SA ambassador examines the land question

Paulo MndlovuJustice Piitso says the question of the ownership of the economy is the nerve centre of the struggles of the people

A revolution will remain incomplete without the resolution of the fundamental question of land ownership.

Next week the people of Zimbabwe will have an opportunity to exercise their democratic right to elect the government of their choice when they will be going to the polls.

This will be the most historic elections paving way for the end of the power sharing unity government between the ZANU -PF under President Robert Mugabe and the MDC under Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

This complex transitional arrangement is unfolding under the auspices of the watchful eye of the international community. The recent past elections were marred by allegations of state sponsored violence and intimidation of voters that made it difficult for a conducive environment of a free and fair elections.

It will therefore be in the best interest of the people of Zimbabwe that the forthcoming elections take place within the enabling framework of a free and fair environment. The people of Zimbabwe, Southern African region, the continent and the world need peace and stability.

The elections are taking place against the background of protracted forms of struggles between the government of Zimbabwe and the former colonial power Britain, over the historic land ownership question.

The political tensions escalated when the government under the leadership of ZANU-PF, embarked on a programme of seizure of land from the hands of the few white into the hands of the vast majority of the black people of Zimbabwe.

The state led radical programme for seizure of land from the white Zimbabwean community, sparked a fierce reaction that prompted the international community to impose sanctions against the government under the leadership of President Mugabe.

The imposition of the economic sanctions by the international community was a confirmation that colonial societies are ordered by imperialism. The reason why we say the Zimbabwean revolution fiddled with the nervous system of the forces of imperialism and colonialism.

It is from this context that revolutionaries openly debate on the important question of the complexities of the post colonial transitional periods, and how they affect the struggles of our people in the former colonies and semi colonies.

Equally we need to appreciate this as a metamorphosis of how the post colonial contradictions manifest themselves in the arena of the struggles of our people, against imperialism and neo colonial domination.

In the year 1980 Zimbabwe was declared an independent state after decades of protracted forms of struggles for national liberation against British colonial domination and the racist South African apartheid regime.

The declaration of the independence of the former colonial state of Rhodesia, was a historic breakthrough in the struggles of our people for the liberation of the Southern African region.

The declaration of the independence of the former colonial state of Rhodesia was a product of a negotiated transitional political arrangement. The transitional negotiations culminated into the former colonial master Britain and the liberation movement of Zimbabwe signing the historic Lancaster Agreement.

At the heart of the watershed agreement was the unwavering commitment by the British colonial government to assist in ensuring equitable transfer of land back to the overwhelming majority of the people of Zimbabwe. It was agreed that the process should be completed within the first decade of the transitional period.

Historical records prove that the British colonial government rescinded by not expediting the process of the transfer of land as agreed at the Lancaster house. This is the fundamental problem that has aggravated the present socio economic crisis.

The Zimbabwean land ownership question is a living testimony of how complex post colonial transitional period can be in the context of the history of the struggles of our people in the former colonies and semi colonies. It also relates to the nature and the character of the struggles, between the oppressor and the oppressed nations, post colonial transitional period.

At the core of these struggles is the fundamental question of how do we involve the oppressed people in the former colonies and semi colonies into the mainstreams of our economy. The primary issue remains to be how do we resolve the fundamental question of the ownership of the economy.

The scientific historical realities have proven that the question of the ownership of the economy is the nerve centre of the struggles of our people. The basic reason why it has become the most contentious issue after every war of the independence of our people.

The pertinent question is how do we understand the interrelationship between the primary and secondary contradictions. The mistakes we must avoid is to elevate secondary contradictions at the expense of primary contradictions.

Imperialism is trying to confuse our people by elevating the superficial issues of human rights at the expense of the fundamental question of the ownership patterns of the economy.

We must therefore refuse the attempts by imperialism to reduce the role of the people in the former colonies and semi colonies into being praise singers of national anthems and hoisting of National flags.

The most fundamental question is how do we take forward the common struggles of our people to create a new world social order. Our immediate task is to implore our collective responsibility to resolve the contradictions of poverty, disease and underdevelopment inflicting the poor people of the world.

We therefore have to ask ourselves the most important question as to what are the lessons and experiences we have learned out of the contradictions of the Zimbabwean post colonial transition.

We have to ask ourselves the most important question as what is the role and influence of the phenomenon of imperialism and colonialism during the transitional period of the post colonial nation states.

The essence of any revolutionary phase is about generations of mankind making sacrifices. The people of Zimbabwe have made sacrifices during the struggles for liberation against British colonial rule, and they are still making sacrifices today as they continue with the struggles for the socio economic transformation of their country.

The struggles of the people of Zimbabwe are still consistence with the values, culture and traditions of the progressive movement of the world. Its posture is still anti colonial in form and content.

The only task confronting the collective leadership of the ZANU-PF is how to polish their understanding of the scientific revolutionary concept of the role of an individual in the making of history.

The collective leadership of the ZANU-PF will go into the annals of history, having been the first generations of the people of the former colonies and semi colonies to have fiddled with the nervous system of the forces of imperialism and colonialism.

Phatse Justice Piitso is the former Ambassador to the republic of Cuba and the former provincial secretary of the SACP.