Thursday, June 24, 2010

End Chattel Slavery in Zimbabwe

We seriously need to re-think our whole system of agriculture. Having huge land-holdings of commercial farms that are dependent on cheap, exploitable labour is regressive and counter-productive. An egregious mistake was made by the ruling govt when it allowed the system of commercial farming to continue, albeit under black ownership.

The liberation struggle was over land, and nothing else! The colonial regime of Ian Smith was buttressed and fortified by the white, commercial-farming sector. And these commercial farms could not exist without the masses of (mostly) foreign-origin African labourers working in conditions approaching chattel slavery. The Land reform program was a glorious chance to smash this inglorious system and make sure -- once and for all -- that it NEVER reared its ugly head again. But, alas, that opportunity was wasted.

We now have an agricultural-system where Africans have replaced Europeans as the main beneficiaries of an exploitive commercial-farming system. These new commercial farmers think that "paying workers" is a foreign concept. All the dead bodies of freedom fighters lying unmarked in Chimoio and Nyadzonia must indeed be spinning in their shallow graves. Is this what the Liberation Struggle was fought for?

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