Lucien van der Walt, October 1998, “‘This is Class Warfare’: the struggle for democracy in Zimbabwe,” South African Labour Bulletin, volume 22, number 5, pp. 85-90.
This was one of a number of pieces I wrote on popular struggles – often led by trade unions – in Zimbabwe. At that time, neo-liberal Structural Adjustment, high levels of inequality, and the repressive regime of the wealthy ZANU-PF party-state was facing a fierce challenge from below.
Zimbabwean unions – notably the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) – were among the fastest growing in the world; neighbouring countries had seen a series of corrupt and repressive post-colonial regimes toppled. Zimbabwe seemed next. The self-serving and false mythology of ‘radicalism’ around ZANU-PF and its lifelong leader, Robert Mugabe, seemed about to break.
Matters would not, however, prove so simple …
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