Issue 182 - SPECIAL ISSUE by sdsdfqw21

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									                      African
                      Communist
4th Quarter 2010                                            Issue Number 182

1    Introduction to the special issue – Chris Matlhako
3    Conference Declaration
6.   Address by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
     – Maite Nkoana-Mashabane
12 SUDAN: The politics and ideological practices of democracy in Africa:
   strengths and weaknesses for the Left’s programme
   – Elshafie Mohammed Elmakki
15. ZAMBIA: The state of Zambian Democracy: left organisations and their
    role in political struggles
    – Neo Simutanyi
22. KENYA: Political reforms and the struggle for national cohesion and
    social liberation in Kenya – Mwandawiro Mghanga
34. DRC: Experience and conception of people’s power in DRC
    – Tony Busselen
37. UGANDA: State of politics in Uganda and the struggle for democracy –
    Weijagye Justus
41. LESOTHO: Neo-colonialism and the new trade regimes
    – Tennyson Saoana
44. SWAZILAND: A case study of democracy in Africa
    – Siphasha Dlamini
46. NAMIBIA: Swapo message of support
    – Salomon Ilovu
48. CHAD: Quelle Démocratie Pour Le Tchad Et L’afrique,Et Quels Intérêts De
    Classe Sert-Elle
    – Ley-Ngardigal Djimadoum
64. The Workers’ Party of Belgium
    – Tony Busselen
69. Conference Programmes
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                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

SPECIAL ISSUE: AFRICA LEFT NETWORK CONFERENCE

Conference of Left
Parties in Africa
The conference committed to take forward the on-going struggles to
liberate the whole of Africa from imperialism, neo-colonialism, war,
poverty, disease and famine. By Chris Matlhako




T
          he 1st African Participatory De-         deepen the African revolution beyond
          mocracy Conference (APDC)                de-colonisation and to build interna-
          took place in Johannesburg in            tional solidarity amongst progressive
          August 2008, with the support            left forces.
of the International Left Forum (VIF) of               This year marks 50 years since the
the Swedish Left Party (Vänsterpartiet),           commencement of de-colonisation in
as part of their series on participatory           Africa and is denoted by celebrations
democracy conferences. The conference              in those countries, which realised inde-
looked at theories of development, the             pendence half a century ago. Much has
relationships between development and              been achieved. But the post liberation
democracy, and practical manifestations            influences of neo-colonialism and the
of this based on country case studies.             Cold War, global trade inequalities, con-
The meeting, attended by delegates                 flict and fragile political systems have
representing about 30 African political            impeded the political and economic
parties and former national liberation             development of the continent. In many
movements resolved to establish an `Af-            African countries the climate of politi-
rican platform for left and progressive            cal tolerance, freedom of expression and
forces’. This led to the formation of the          association and mass activism has to be
Africa Left Network Forum (ALNEF).                 advanced. Poverty, inequality and un-
    The 2ⁿd APDC and the 1st ALNEF                 employment remain rife.
meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa                  For these and other reasons, the
from 19 to 21 August 2010, were the                process of fortifying an African left and
culmination of an intense and fruitful             progressive platform is timely and cru-
engagement, and constituted the collec-            cial. The meeting symbolised the unity
tive work of progressive and left forces           of all revolutionary forces committed to
who share a common agenda — to build               championing the complex fight for the
a continent that is developmental, peo-            African continent`s true independence.
ple-centred, people-driven and free of                 As President Nasser said in 1967
poverty and hunger. The conceptualisa-             whilst addressing a seminar on “Africa:
tion and realisation of this initiative also       National and Social Revolution”:
dovetailed with the SACP’s resolution to               “Contemporary African reality, the
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                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

problems Africa now faces, and the strong,         try analyses. The conference committed
vigorous currents flowing in Africa de-             to take forward the on-going struggles to
mand in the first place a clear vision; a vi-       liberate the whole of Africa from impe-
sion able both to take in the whole and to         rialism, neo-colonialism, war, poverty,
estimate correctly its component parts; so         disease and famine; to safe-guard and
as to gain renewed strength and ensure an          fortify independence; and to advance
uninterrupted revolution on African soil”          our people on the path to social progress
(AC No. 28, First Quarter 1967, p14).              and emancipation. The enthusiastic re-
    Overall the meeting, as the docu-              sponses from all quarters showed how
ments contained in this special issue              timely and necessary such a discussion
demonstrate, successfully assessed the             was felt to be.
state of democracy and development on                  Naturally, physical and practical con-
the continent and laid a strong platform           siderations made a comprehensive and
for united action for its transformation.          all-embracing gathering, covering every
The forms of, conditions for and impedi-           country impossible, but the number of
ments to participatory democracy were              country participants will continue to
unpacked.                                          grow over time. We hope the documents
    The definition, roles and responsibil-          here will be useful to all revolutionaries
ities of the Left were interrogated. Seri-         on the continent!
ous, scientific discussions were held on
the most burning issues and problems               Cde Matlhako is the SACP Politburo
of our continent, through detailed coun-           Secretary for International Relations




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                     AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

SPECIAL ISSUE: AFRICA LEFT NETWORK CONFERENCE

African freedom and unity
will never be delivered
from above, but through
the struggles of our people
Declaration by the African Conference on Participatory
Democracy and the Africa Left Network Forum Meeting
held in Johannesburg on 19-21 August 2010




W
              e, delegates to the Africa        us an important lesson — advancing,
              Conference on Participa-          deepening and defending the intercon-
              tory Democracy and Africa         nected objectives of national liberation,
              Left Network Forum Meet-          national unity, vibrant democracy and
ing representing 52 organisations from          social and economic advances require
28 countries, including three Youth For-        ongoing struggle, popular mobilisation,
mations and 28 political parties, meet-         organisation and vigilance.
ing from the 19 to 21 August 2010 in                Freedom and the unity of our peo-
Johannesburg, declare as follows:               ples and our continent will never be de-
                                                livered from above, but always through
The struggle continues!                         the struggles of workers and popular
As we mark 50 years of the decolonisa-          forces.
tion process in our continent, we note              In this context we reject manoeuvres
the wide diversity of experiences, of           from within some quarters of the African
popular and democratic advances, of             Union to impose a hasty and top-down
partial gains, of stagnation and even, in       single African government, a “United
many cases, of grave setbacks and the           States of Africa” cobbled together by
heavy oppression of progressive forces.         some heads of state, many of whom lack
Everywhere in our continent the strug-          a legitimate democratic mandate from
gle for the legitimate democratic, social       within their own countries. The unity of
and economic aspirations of our peoples         Africa, the unity of our peoples will be
continues.                                      built in struggle, bottom-up and on the
    Centuries of anti-colonial struggle,        basis of mobilisation against external re-
decades of national liberation mobi-            actionary forces and their local agents.
lisation, and 50 years of neo-colonial              Contrary to the liberal myth of a
plunder and manoeuvring, have taught            new world order and of a beneficent
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                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

north bent on offering our continent a             merely a product of the mismanage-
helping hand, everywhere imperialist               ment of the global financial system by
forces, their local neo-colonial agents            greedy bankers.
and their pay-masters, the transnational               The ongoing global economic insta-
corporations, are active in fostering the          bility is an inherent characteristic of
effective re-colonisation of our conti-            capitalism, and Africa may once again
nent. This persisting strategic agenda             be made to pay dearly for the inherent
assumes many forms – the expansion of              weaknesses and evils of the global capi-
external military interventions, notably           talist system.
the persistence of French military bases               We pledge to work to promote Af-
and the expansion of Africom, work-                rica’s full social and economic develop-
ing with local militarised regime; the             ment premised on the needs of the Afri-
continued and selective support of au-             can peoples and not private profits, with
tocratic regimes; the fostering of ethnic          the protection of Africa’s labour and
and regional divisions; the hypocritical           natural resources from a new round of
certification of deeply flawed electoral             global capitalist exploitation; as the glo-
processes; and the deliberate undermin-            bal capitalist system struggles to regain
ing of the capacity of African states and          its falling rates of profits. We view this
their public sectors to discipline capital         as integral to the struggle for democracy
and to advance development.                        and human rights in Africa.
    Our continent is rich in people and
natural resources, and yet everywhere              On climate change and the destruction
our people live in poverty. Our wealth             of our natural resources
continues to be plundered, while here,                 We have noted the growing inter-
as the Sotho proverb says, we are left “to         national scientific consensus that the
share the head of an ant”.                         present trajectory of global economic
                                                   growth is rapidly destroying the bio-
African development and the global                 physical conditions for human civilisa-
crisis of capitalism                               tion itself. We further noted that, while
Conference and the Network Forum take              it is the economies and consumption
as a starting point the reality that for the       patterns in the developed North that are
great majority of popular forces in our            the principal drivers of this deepening
countries, whether in times of so-called           crisis, it is the peoples of the South who
“boom” or bust, capitalism is a daily cri-         will bear the brunt of the crisis.
sis of grinding poverty, unemployment,                 At the heart of the ecological crisis
destruction of natural resources, hun-             is a global capitalist system premised
ger, and the bitter struggle for survival.         upon the expanded reproduction of pri-
There can be no stability, peace, real de-         vate profit. Our struggle for socialism is
mocracy and full human development                 a struggle to make social needs and not
under the dominance of capitalism — a              private profit the strategic priority. As
system which is predicated on the ex-              such, the struggle for socialism is and
ploitation and oppression of the great             has to be simultaneously a struggle for
majority of the world’s peoples.                   ecological sustainability.
We reject the simplistic view that the                 We pledge to support all efforts
ongoing global economic recession is               aimed at developing environmentally
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                     AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

sustainable renewable sources of energy          that Cuba has consistently provided to
and a just and democratic world social           our peoples, and we pledge to continue
and economic order.                              to expand our actions of solidarity in de-
   In the search for new sources of en-          fence of Cuban socialism.
ergy and protection of the environment,
we will always guard against manoeu-             Way forward
vres by imperialism to further under-de-         As this gathering we have resolved to
velop Africa and plunder its labour and          intensify our interactions. To this end,
natural resources.                               we will now meet on an annual basis. To
                                                 prepare for our annual meetings, and to
Global Left solidarity                           ensure continuity and ongoing work, we
Across the world, not least in the global        have established a secretariat of the AL-
South, progressive and popular forces            NEF. Among other things, we will con-
are once more realising that their di-           solidate ALNEF and its website to act as
verse struggles are inextricably linked          a repository of our ongoing discussions
to the struggle against capitalism. We,          and debates.
progressive forces from the African con-            Apart from our annual meetings, we
tinent, pledge to work closely with and          will also convene meetings focused on
learn from the rich experience of social         sectoral struggles. To this end, we have
movement, women, youth, indigenous,              resolved to convene in February next
labour and party political anti-capitalist       year an international conference on
struggles.                                       Women in Africa.
    As the Africa Left Network Forum we             Collectively, as a network and in-
will work to forge more active links with        dividually as separate formations, we
like-minded forces, not just within our          pledge to carry forward into our mass
continent, but also with those in Latin          base the ideas, perspectives and cam-
America, Asia and everywhere else in             paigns that we have resolved upon over
the world.                                       these past days.
    We are encouraged by important left          Amandla ngawethu! (Power to the
advances made in Latin America, and              people!)
we believe that diverse left projects in         Ya umaal alalm wa choub eithedu!
that continent, including in Brazil, Bo-         (Workers and peoples of the world
livia, Venezuela and Ecuador hold many           unite!)
important parallels and lessons for our          Mapambano! Bado yanaendelea! (The
own struggles on the Africa continent.           struggle continues!)
We reaffirm our deep appreciation for                                         Johannesburg
the outstanding internationalist support                                  21 August 2010




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                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

SPECIAL ISSUE: AFRICA LEFT NETWORK CONFERENCE

Challenges for the state in Africa:
tasks and opportunities for
progressives and the Left
Building progress through the six pillars we have learnt in struggle for
a better life for all, says Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane




A
           frica is at the crossroads today,       at this conference will not be confined to
           between the rich experience             the diagnosis of our situation and chal-
           of the 50 years since our inde-         lenges confronting us only, but will also
           pendence, and opportunities             attempt to reflect on tasks and concrete
and challenges ahead of us in our march            steps each one of us can take – individu-
to claiming the 21st century.                      ally and collectively through our or-
    The verdict of how we have per-                ganisations – to be part of our march to
formed as a continent over the past 50             claiming the 21st century as the century
years is out there for all to see. While           of Africa.
Asian countries like China and India are               My topic is: “Challenges for the state
on the rise, even taking a lead in pull-           in Africa: tasks and opportunities for
ing us out of the current economic crisis,         progressives and the Left”.
our continent is struggling to meet the                Indeed, the African state has been
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)                dismissed by some critics as preda-
aimed at combating poverty, disease and            tory because of its political elite whose
ignorance. While some Latin American               agenda is driven by what these critics
countries like Brazil count themselves             call “the politics of the belly”, instead of
among emerging global giants, our con-             serving the people. These critics even go
tinent is yet to reverse the tide of un-           to the extent of dismissing the legacy of
derdevelopment and poverty facing its              colonialism as a factor behind Africa’s
people.                                            current predicament. They argue that
    Many have blamed this situation in             the character of states on our continent
Africa on our governments (and the                 today mirror pre-colonial African em-
state in general) and what they perceive           pires whose governments it is claimed
as the lack of democracy. This confer-             feasted on the blood of the people, and
ence is therefore a platform for pro-              were used by their leaders to distribute
gressives and the Left in Africa and the           patronage and buy favours. What we
world, to engage this ongoing debate on            have today in Africa, according to these
the nature of the state in Africa, includ-         critics, are weak and failed states that
ing challenges of democracy.                       cannot perform the basics of a modern
    I am also encouraged that our focus            state to deliver on the needs of their
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                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

people.                                           toppling of governments that attempted
    At the other end of this debate are           programmes that were aimed at negat-
those who blame everything wrong                  ing the legacy of colonialism.
about our state on the colonial legacy                There is here both the objective factor
and neo-colonialism. To advocates of              of our neo-colonial reality, and the sub-
this position, African states are by and          jective factor of the relative weakness of
large led by a comprador bourgeoisie              African progressive forces compared to
whose role is to perpetuate neo-colonial          their counterparts in other parts of the
interests on behalf of their masters in           developing world.
the North. This self-serving comprador                Therefore in thinking about the 50
class, according to this view, enjoys the         years behind us and their impact on
protection of their masters and tran-             the nature and content of the African
snational corporations who stand to               state, we have to give prominence in our
gain from the underdevelopment of our             analysis to this twin heritage that is: the
countries.                                        legacy of colonialism and the Cold War
    To me, the answer to this difficult            context that sabotaged any progressive
question lies somewhere in the middle.            attempts on our continent.
Nothing can compare to what European                  We have indeed been trying to re-
colonialism did to our continent. Not             verse this legacy, especially over the last
only did it fail to develop our economies         10 years (or so) that gave birth to the Af-
and countries; it also could not build            rican Union and its programme of New
institutions on which to create a well-           Partnership for Africa’s Development
functioning, modern state capable of de-          (Nepad) and the African Peer Review
livering on its challenges. The wellbeing         Mechanism (APRM).
of our people, including their education-             The heritage of the legacies of colo-
al advancement, was also subordinated             nialism and the Cold War, and our ef-
to the interests of greed and plunder             forts of the last 10 years constitute the
whose legacy remain visible to this day           context within which we should exam-
in the road and rail infrastructure whose         ine the challenges facing states in Africa
sole purpose was to export raw materials          today and possible action areas for pro-
from our continent. No sensible person,           gressives.
in my view, can talk about challenges                 There are four competing perspec-
facing the African state today without            tives about the role of the state in Africa
invoking the painful memories of colo-            and other developing parts of the world
nialism. This is a fact that is difficult to       which should be taken into account
deny.                                             as we move forward and contemplate
    At the same time, however, we have            strategic interventions for progressive
to admit that had we had a strong con-            forces.
tingent of progressive and Left forces on             First is a perspective that puts nation-
this continent, perhaps the experience            building and economic development
of the last 50 years would have been dif-         before the promotion of democracy and
ferent. No one can deny that this would           the protection of human rights. This is a
not have been easy in a Cold War con-             perspective that wants to see strong and
text that was characterised by the assas-         effective states in charge of our coun-
sination of progressive leaders and the           tries, driving development and econom-
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                     AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

ic prosperity, while our people are de-          against however, is to romanticise these
nied the freedom of association and the          traditional institutions to the point of
right to speak out against injustice. This       turning a blind eye to their strategic and
is an approach that produced remark-             ideological weaknesses.
able results in other parts of the word,             Finally, is the perspective that is rife
but should not be encouraged on this             in some parts of our continent that is in-
continent. To us, the socio-economic de-         formed by an ambition aimed at build-
velopment of our countries and the pro-          ing a strong civil society as an alterna-
motion of socio-economic rights, cannot          tive to the state. There is nothing wrong
be at the expense of and separated from          with an active, strong and vibrant civil
the political rights of our people.              society – this should be encouraged. In-
    The second perspective reduces the           deed, this civil society was also central
complex challenges of the state to what          to the democratisation wave that trans-
is called “good governance”. I must say          formed the African state for the better
that there is nothing wrong with good            in the course of the 1990s. They are a
governance; and indeed we have spo-              positive force necessary for Africa’s re-
ken out in its favour as the South Afri-         newal. But civil society should partner
can government and in our work in the            with the state for our good cause, be-
Nepad and the APRM. But we cannot re-            cause what we want to achieve on this
duce the work of the state simply to aus-        continent cannot be the task of govern-
terity measures and other technocratic           ments alone.
variables of public management.                      In playing its role, our civil society
    This is what the Structural Adjust-          has to be rooted among the people, in
ment Programmes of the 1980s and                 communities. Unfortunately, and be-
early 1990s were trying to do, and they          cause of our relative weakness as pro-
failed in this mission with disastrous           gressives, the civil society movement on
consequences for our state institutions,         this continent is dominated by non-gov-
public service morale, and the delivery          ernmental organisation that are mostly
of public goods. From our perspective            funded from outside Africa, instead of
as progressives, the work of government          community-based organisations, trade
must be centred on the plight of our             unions, and peasants organisations (for
people for a better life.                        example). These progressive layers of
    The third perspective tries to har-          the civil society movement have to be
ness African traditional institutions to         strengthened by ourselves, not by out-
improve the functioning of the state             siders.
and reach out to communities in remote               This then brings me to the tasks fac-
parts of our respective countries. This          ing us as progressives and Left forces in
effort should be encouraged within the           the context of the theme of this con-
context of democratic principles under-          ference. We have to continue to build
pinning our progressive understanding            developmental states throughout our
of the state. Traditional institutions, if       continent – states that have the capac-
well positioned and resourced, can go a          ity to control their territory, consolidate
long way in assisting governments to de-         our nations and Pan-African unity, de-
velop local communities and deliver to           velop our economies, and deliver on the
the people. One danger we should guard           expectations of our people. These states
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                       AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

must be about and for the people.                   ward committee system to tackle chal-
    We should build on our experience               lenges such as its voluntary nature, their
and gains of the past. One lesson here              poor functionality and accountability to
is that we cannot hope to build sustain-            communities, the limited allocation of
able countries (and states) solely on the           resources for their establishment and
basis of resources from our external de-            operations, and their poor coordination
velopment partners. Our developmental               with other local structures like the Com-
states must be self-reliant and self-sus-           munity Safety Forums, School Governing
taining, supported by strong economies              Boards, and the system of Community
with a solid industrial base.                       Development Workers. Our objective is
    In this respect, it is our strategic task       to refine these ward committees to make
to develop our forces of production, in-            them more developmental, accountable,
cluding taking a lead in land and agrar-            participatory, and depoliticised.
ian reform and building our capacity                    The nature and content of states we
to beneficiate our raw materials for do-             want for our continent for a better Af-
mestic use and export. Continent-wide               rica and a better world will have to take
industrialisation, including taking con-            into account the likely impact that our
trol of our raw materials through benefi-            regional integration agenda will have on
ciation, will give impetus to our current           the sovereignty of our respective coun-
drive to improve intra-trade among Afri-            tries.
can countries.                                          At the continental level, the process-
    At the level of communities, we have            es of building an effective African Union
to build and strengthen institutions, sys-          will over time result in the surrender
tems and processes that promote local               of some of the functions of the state at
democracy and broad participation. In               national level to the continental body.
the case of South Africa, for example,              When the African Union takes decisions
the basic political pillar of the post-             or comes up with protocols that we rat-
1994 democratic state is that of people-            ify, these have to be respected by all of
centred and people-driven government.               us and domesticated in our countries.
Our definition of developmental local                The same applies to Regional Economic
government is informed by the principle             Communities like our Southern Afri-
of what we call “working with citizens              can Development Community (SADC).
and communities”. Our long term vision              Some of these organisations have even
of the democratic state is developmental            taken bold steps towards the creation of
in nature.                                          free trade areas and custom unions with
    Our ward committee system is aimed              the long-term objective of building an
at giving expression to people-centred              African Economic Community.
government and deepening commu-                         In the case of SADC, we have just
nity and public participation at a local            concluded a successful summit in Wind-
level. Presently, there are 3 895 wards             hoek where (among others) we commit-
demarcated across municipalities in the             ted ourselves to renewing our collective
country. This is likely to increase to over         energy and resources towards the full
4 200 wards after the 2011 local govern-            implementation of the SADC Trade Pro-
ment elections.                                     tocol, in support of the consolidation
    We are currently improving on our               of the free trade area. We have already
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                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

achieved much in terms of trade liberali-           some call “capture the state”. We cannot
sation in this region, but relatively little        remain forever on the margins of socie-
in production and industrial develop-               ty, in protest groups and other organs of
ment.                                               civil society. We have to enter the state,
    We noted with concern the huge                  be in government, through democratic
amount of work required by SADC in ef-              means.
fectively overcoming the daunting chal-                 Second, we have learnt that we enter
lenges faced by the region in bridging              government not as an end in itself, but
the limitations posed by low production             to serve our people for a better life.
capacity and lack of supporting infra-                  Third, when we are in government,
structure.                                          we have to transform state institutions,
    Our view is that market access alone            the society and the economy we inherit
is not enough to ensure the sustainable             in line with our progressive vision and
economic growth and development of                  mission. Those of us who failed in this
the Southern African region. It is im-              domain did so at their own peril. You
perative that it be supplemented by                 will recall that this is one of the reasons
the development of new industries and               singled out by Karl Marx for the collapse
regional value chains, specifically to ad-           of the short-lived Paris Commune in the
dress supply side constraints and spur              19th century.
diversification, as well as cross-border                 Fourth, that in transforming the
infrastructural development.                        state, society and economy we should
    Our success in overcoming this                  expect those who will be negatively af-
daunting challenge as SADC has serious              fected to resist – in some instances even
implications for states in our region, in           resort to violent counter-revolutionary
the long-term. This is not necessarily              acts of sabotage.
negative for us because, as progressives                These forces must be engaged
on this continent, we have always been              through democratic means, and where
Pan-Africanist and internationalist at              possible, be won over to our agenda.
heart.                                                  Fifth, our own cadreship and leader-
    We should also anticipate that the              ship have to be politically educated on a
expected rise in the next two decades               constant basis on what we stand for and
of countries of the South like China, In-           what we want to achieve so that they re-
dia and Brazil – coupled with the rela-             main focused on our mission. This will
tive decline of the west will tamper with           help discourage the tendency towards
the current global balance of forces.               using the state for self-enrichment and
This likely change in the global political          patronage. The loss of our moral com-
economy could be an opportunity for                 pass within our ranks can bring down
us if we have in place, in our countries,           our organisations and weaken our he-
progressive developmental states of the             gemony in society.
nature we discussed above.                              Finally, we must always remember
    There are six cardinal principles that          that we are not alone on this continent
hundreds of years of our struggle for a             or in the world; we are part of the Pan-
better life in all corners of the globe has         Africanist and internationalist move-
taught us.                                          ment for a better life. We therefore have
    The first is that we have to do what             to work hard, and together, to marshal
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                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

these motive forces for change, in Africa          prove our common understand of who
and globally. Our organisations must be            are the Left or progressives in Africa,
strong on the ground, with a leadership            and what these constituencies stand for,
that is time-tested and committed to our           what is our common platform. This is
cause. Our ideological orientation must            a weakness whose correction will help
help us respond to challenges before us            make it possible for us to work together,
and provide answers; and programmes                effectively, towards our common goal.
we opt for have to be sound and relevant               Two key issues should be considered,
to the tasks at hand.                              that is: the definition of the Left and
    However, organisational strength,              progressives in the African context, and
ideological sharpness, high-quality lead-          what could constitute our minimum
ership, and sound programmes of action             platform of action. This will go a long
are not sufficient on their own without             way in helping us identify the forces to
the support of our masses. We need all             mobilise and the programme to imple-
these pillars in place if we are to accede         ment, once we are in power.
to the state; let alone remain in political            The past 50 years of our independ-
office for a considerable period in order           ence have given us a peep into the fu-
to transform our countries profoundly.             ture. Our task now is to build this better
    We also need to know who and what              future that we all want for our people.
constitutes progressive and Left forces                As one Africa proverb says: “Smooth
in Africa, and what our consensus pro-             seas do not make skilful sailors”. Trying
gramme of action should be. For exam-              times are for the hardened and the time-
ple, while we have a common under-                 tested, for warriors like all of us gathered
standing of what social democrats in               here today!
Europe stand for, the same cannot be
said about the progressive agenda in               Cde Nkoana- Mashabane is the South
Africa.                                            African Minister of International
    We therefore need to continue to im-           Relations and Co-operation




                                              11
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

SPECIAL ISSUE: AFRICA LEFT NETWORK CONFERENCE

The politics and ideological
practices of democracy:
strengths and weaknesses
for the Left’s programme
The universality of market-economy policies in Africa is
not a popular choice but a manifestation of a lack of alternative
programmes, writes Elshafie Mohammed Elmakki




D
            iscourses on democracy and             elements of democracy is universal to
            democratisation in Africa are          all humans, the difference rests in the
            usually presented in the West          methods of attaining these goals.
            as though they are entirely                The extent to which a society “de-
new notions and practices to Africans.             mocratises” is incontestably dependent
Democracy is viewed, almost exclu-                 on its socio-cultural milieu, whether in
sively, as a western concept that African          African, European, or Asian societies. In
societies now need. Similarly, the pre-            analysing the prospect of democracy in
sumption has been that democratic val-             Africa it may be necessary to distinguish
ues and practices are alien to the African         between ultimate goals and necessary
continent.                                         instruments for achieving them. It would
    Given this mind-set, the West believes         make sense for Africa to distinguish be-
Africa’s concepts of democracy should              tween fundamental right, and instru-
be infused with “civilised” notions of             mental right. The right to vote, for ex-
western democracy. What has been con-              ample, is an instrumental right designed
sistently ignored is that democratic val-          to help us achieve the fundamental right
ues and processes have been indigenous             of governmental by consent. The right
to Africa’s traditional political cultures.        to a free press is an instrumental right
While the term democracy, now a west-              designed to help us achieve an open so-
ern buzzword for representative govern-            ciety and freedom of information. By the
ment, might have been borrowed from                same token we can distinguish between
the Greeks, democratic thought and val-            democracy as a means to an end and de-
ues have never been, exclusively, Greek            mocracy as a goal. The most fundamen-
or Euro-American preserve. The desire              tal goals of democracy are probably four
for representation, inclusion and par-             in number.
ticipation in public affairs as essential            Firstly, to make the rulers accountable
                                              12
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

and answerable for their action and poli-           problems. The experience was new to
cies.                                               many African countries because the
   Secondly, to make the citizens effec-            constitutions that were inherited from
tive participants in choosing those rules           the colonial powers were adopted in
and in regulating their action.                     a hurry without allowing people the
   Thirdly, to make the society and the             chance to look for alternatives that suit
economy as open, and as transparent as              African societies. For example, in former
possible.                                           British Africa, such as Ghana, Nigeria,
   Fourthly, to make the social order,              Kenya, Sudan and elsewhere, this meant
fundamentally just and equitable to the             the adoption of the Westminster model
greatest number possible. (Ali . Mazuri,            of parliamentary government. This was
Albert Schweitzer, Albert Linthnli and              the phase of high political imitative-
Andrew Diwhite 2001).                               ness as Africa imitated western forms
    If the goals of democracy are the               but not western substance. There was a
same, while the means of achieving                  major disconnect between the imported
them differ, are there African means of             institutions and the cultural realities of
achieving the same goals of accountabil-            Africa. This imported paradigm did not
ity of rulers, participation of the citizens        work.
and facing constitutional makers in Afri-                Democracy needs the prevalence of
ca? How can Africa keep the democratic              some essential conditions such as a fair
goals constant while looking for demo-              level of education and a minimum level
cratic means more appropriate to Africa,            of economic development for it to flour-
as noted by Manure?                                 ish. But African societies still suffer from
    The second and bigger issue about               illiteracy and lack of development.
democracy in Africa concerns its rela-                   Again, those who took power in colo-
tionship to development. One crucial                nised countries were not trained in the
question on this is whether Africa is un-           practice of democracy. Hence within the
derdeveloped because it is primarily un-            course of their first years in power Afri-
democratic? Or is Africa undemocratic               can leaders began to search for alterna-
because it is primarily underdeveloped?             tive systems that could lead to national
Which is cause and which is effect?                 unity, stability and development. Most
    The third dimension is stability,               African leaders therefore adopted the
which is treated either as part of package          one party system which they thought
of development or as part the package               would unite their people around one
of democracy, when it should, in fact, be           party within which they could practice
treated as a kind of independent vari-              democracy. These leaders found that
able. Alleviation of poverty is also one of         western-style democracy placed people
the fruits of democratised development              into artificial antagonistic boxes, created
and is one of the gains when democracy              enemies and aimed at arousing unnec-
and development are jointly stabilised              essary competition. Many of them con-
and truly humanised.                                sidered the western model of democracy
                                                    to be extremely narrow and even alien
Democratic practice in Africa                       to African cultures, and learned that de-
The experience of democratic practice               mocracy is not merely about the right to
in Africa has been faced with many                  vote and seize power. For them the mul-
                                               13
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

tiparty system served to plant conflict             The Left in Africa
in a society that is unstable and leads            The Left in Africa has taken many forms
to the disintegration of society. Some,            with different programmes. Some Afri-
like Nyerere, Nkrumah and others, have             can leaders during the 1960s and 1970s
even theorised about the advantages of             adopted the Marxist ideology and some
the single party on the grounds that Af-           were populists. There is currently no sin-
rica had no class interests that had to be         gle programme for the Left.
represented by political parties as is seen            The sudden collapse of the Soviet
the west. They maintained that African             Union was a serious blow for the Left
societies are democratic by nature where           in Africa. All forms of socialism, pop-
elders sat in the shade and discussed is-          ulism, and communism have failed to
sues until they reached agreement.                 serve their societies, and in the wake of
    Unfortunately, this turned not to be           the domination of the market economy,
so.                                                during the last decades, all Africa coun-
    Experience with the one party system           tries have turned to market-economy
proved to be a failure, and most coun-             policies. However, this was not a popu-
tries today have returned to multi-party           lar choice for all of them; rather it was
systems. However, this return did not              a manifestation of a lack of alternative
mean adapting to genuine democracies.              programmes.
The values of democracy are still absent,
freedom of organisation, human rights,             Cde Elmakki is a Central Committee
accountability as well as the culture of           Member of the Sudanese Communist
democracy are still lacking.                       Party




                                              14
                     AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

SPECIAL ISSUE: AFRICA LEFT NETWORK CONFERENCE

The state of Zambian democracy:
Left organisations and
their role in political struggles
The immediate task is to provide a class basis for political
mobilisation of the poor and working class – a party to
represent their class interests, writes Neo Simutanyi




S
        ince the great wave of democra-           political systems in the early 1990s and
        tisation began in the early 1990s         many have held at least three elections
        more than 100 episodes of po-             since then, the quality of this democracy
        litical reform have taken place           has been poor. A number of countries
around the world. Despite some democ-             have experienced reversals, backsliding,
racies surviving longer 15 fifteen years,          rigged elections or civil conflict. Military
many have faced backsliding or are at             coups have taken place in a handful
risk of reversals, if this has not already        of previously stable countries, such as
occurred. There may be many causes for            Ivory Coast, Guinea, Gambia, Madagas-
democratic collapse, but many observers           car and Congo Brazzaville. In others, the
agree that poor economic performance              new rulers did not adhere to the rules
and unequal distribution of wealth have           of the game: election results were rou-
provided the impetus for tyranny and              tinely manipulated to suit incumbents,
authoritarianism on the one hand; and             opposition forces were harassed or re-
provoked popular democratic struggles             pressed, human rights of citizens were
on the other hand. However, the nature            suppressed and internal democracy
of the political system has had different         rarely existed. Politics was personalised
impacts on political stability. For exam-         and highly dependent on patronage,
ple, during the early 1990s post-commu-           while many political parties lacked a
nist democracies of Central and Eastern           class character and were not well rooted
Europe experienced economic distress              in society nor linked to civil society or-
yet did not backslide from democracy;             ganisations. Many political parties were
while in Thailand robust growth did not           but instruments of ambitious politicians
prevent a military coup in 2006.                  to attain state power for purposes of ac-
    Democracy in Africa has had mixed             cumulation for themselves and their
experiences. The early optimism with              cronies, rather than political projects to
multiparty democracy has been re-                 advance class or social agendas for the
placed with scepticism, cynicism and              great mass of the population.
outright frustration. While the majority             The liberal democratic project meas-
of African countries adopted multiparty           ured by the formation of political par-
                                             15
                       AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

ties and regular elections may have                   nature and content of the multiparty
been achieved in many African coun-                   democratic systems we have in place.
tries. But in many cases this has not ad-             We have come to glorify the form and
vanced political rights of participation              not content of liberal democracy. It is
and representation. African democracy                 important that we pay attention to the
remains hollow, as masses of the people               content of democracy if political partici-
have been excluded from voting due to a               pation has to be meaningful.
number of factors,: extreme poverty and                   Democracy is only meaningful if
deprivation, bad constitutions, unrelia-              people reasonably participate and their
ble voters’ rolls, political repression, civil        elected representatives articulate and
war or political and electoral manipula-              represent their aspirations. Participa-
tion. There has been little alternation in            tory democracy is where the people con-
power, as political competition has been              tinuously engage in the political process
very low as opposition parties have of-               through voting, policy-formulation and
ten been weak, fragmented, factional-                 holding their leaders to account. It is a
ised and easily co-opted. Progressive op-             continuous process and involves con-
position groups have been criminalised                stant struggles over rights and duties.
or banned, and their leaders detained,                This African conference on participatory
exiled or eliminated. Other opposition                democracy could not have come at a
forces have been targets of constant har-             better time, when the democracy project
assment, intimidation and co-optation.                in Africa has seen so many reversals in
Many have lacked ideological clarity and              countries such as Uganda, Rwanda,
cohesion and lacked capacity to effec-                Kenya Madagascar, Zimbabwe and even
tively compete in multiparty elections,               Zambia. Power-sharing arrangements
either at presidential, parliamentary or              were externally imposed on Kenya and
local government levels.                              Zimbabwe after incumbents provoked
    It is important to take stock of the              violence and political stalemates. The
state of democracy on our continent and               liberal democratic project appears to
in specific countries. It is important to              have run its course. There is need to se-
interrogate the factors that have led to              riously examine why democracy has fal-
low institutional development and lack                tered and what the left can do.
of commitment to democratic values by
the leaders of our countries. Why, for ex-            State of democracy in Zambia
ample, have erstwhile democrats turned                Democratisation in Zambia in the last
dictators? Why are African leaders re-                few years can be described by its limita-
pudiating the constitutions they helped               tions. While Zambia was heralded as a
design? Why are African leaders extend-               model of peaceful transfer of power fol-
ing their terms or removing constitu-                 lowing the landmark elections of 1991
tional term limits? Why are our ruling                that saw the defeat of founding presi-
elites preoccupied with devising strate-              dent Kenneth Kaunda, it has regressed
gies of excluding large sections of the               into a semi-authoritarian and intolerant
population from political participation,              regime. The MMD (Movement for Mul-
intolerant of dissenting views and bent               tiparty Democracy) government that
on eliminating any forms of opposition?               came to power on the banner of promot-
The answer to these questions lies in the             ing transparency, good governance and
                                                 16
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

the rule of law has gone against most              groups into the ruling coalition.
of the lofty ideals on which the pro-de-               While the combined opposition seats
mocracy struggle was waged. The prob-              were slightly greater than that of the
lems facing Zambian democracy are lo-              MMD in both the 2001 and 2006, the
cated in an international context and set          MMD has continued to hold on to power
against the background of formal and               based on the winner-take-all electoral
informal institutional patterns carried            system. In addition to the deficiencies
forward from previous decades. While               of the FPTP system in Zambia which has
the multiparty system and holding of               privileged the ruling MMD and excluded
regular elections provides a veneer of in-         significant political forces from partak-
ternational legitimacy, 65% of Zambians            ing in political power. But importantly,
do not belong to a political party, while          the opposition in Zambia remains in-
less than 50% have participated in Zam-            stitutionally weak, fragmented and not
bia’s last major elections (1996, 2001,            well-rooted in the people. The major
2006 and 2008). In the 2008 presiden-              opposition groups, Patriotic Front (PF)
tial elections only 45% of registered vot-         and United Party for National Develop-
ers participated representing only 32%             ment (UPND) are not different from the
of the eligible electorate.                        ruling MMD in ideological orientation
    In addition to poor electoral partici-         and political practice. PF is now by far
pation, are issues of low weak political           the biggest opposition party and led by
parties that are largely personalised.             a populist leader whose only grievance
Zambia has about 45 registered politi-             with MMD was that he was not allowed
cal parties, with seven (MMD, Patriotic            to be selected as presidential candidate
Front, United Party for National Devel-            in 2001. He has been able to use popu-
opment, United Liberal Party, Forum for            list rhetoric to mobilise the political sup-
Democracy and Development, United                  port of the urban poor and unemployed.
National Independence Party, National              Without a clear ideological agenda,
Democratic Focus) represented in par-              Michael Sata performed reasonably well
liament. The MMD has dominated Zam-                in the 2006 and 2008 presidential elec-
bian politics since it came to power in No-        tions, coming second to Levy Mwana-
vember 1991. Between 1991 and 2001                 wasa and Rupiah Banda respectively. In
MMD was highly dominant and Zambia                 the 2008 presidential elections Michael
was described a one-party dominant                 Sata obtained 38% of the vote compared
system, like South Africa, Namibia, Bot-           to Banda’s 40%.
swana and Mozambique in the region,                    When one considers the performance
controlling 83-87% of the seats in par-            of the opposition in Zambia in 2006 and
liament. But the situation changed fol-            2008 there is a temptation to conclude
lowing the 2001 elections when MMD’s               that the country is consolidating as a de-
share of parliamentary seats dropped to            mocracy and that it can be described as
46% and the opposition had a majority              competitive. What is not often discussed
of seats. But because of the first-past-            is the content of this democracy.
the-post electoral system, coupled with                There are those who argue that de-
presidentialism, the MMD has retained              mocracy is only consolidated if there is
power and was able to use advantages of            change in power. When elections do not
incumbency to co-opt some opposition               produce alternation, it is argued that a
                                              17
                     AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

country cannot be said to be democratic           mobilised progressive forces who had
in any meaningful sense.                          hoped to achieve their goals through
    However, in the context of Zambia             the formal multi-party democratic insti-
the main political actors have no real            tutions. The newly created democratic
commitment to democratic values. Their            structures were dominated by reac-
parties are not only personalised and             tionary capitalist forces that re-defined
undemocratic, but are not well-rooted in          rights to suit the interests of a few.
society. The ruling MMD and main op-                  The dominance of capitalist insti-
position parties exhibit anti-democratic          tutions, such as the World Bank and
and undemocratic tendencies. The ma-              International Monetary Fund (IMF)
jor political parties lack internal democ-        in shaping economic and social policy
racy. There is widespread intolerance to          in Zambia has reduced policy space,
internal opposition and debate of party           captured the initiatives and reduced
policy (the PF leader has never been              internal capacity to devise economic
elected); competition for leadership is           policies that are in the interest of the
nominal and election for leadership re-           people. The dominance of capitalist ide-
sented; little or no mass involvement of          ology in government policy has meant
people in policy formulation; those who           that the country has formulated public
oppose the leadership or criticise party          policies that have been injurious to the
policy risk explusion or not adopted as           mass of the people. Liberalisation of the
parliamentary candidates; most posi-              economy and introduction of structural
tions filled by appointment and not                adjustment programmes has had the ef-
through elections and loyalty to the              fect of demobilising the working class
party leader as opposed to an ideology            through retrenchments, creating mass
defines relationship between leaders               unemployment through the closure of
and the rank and file.                             state companies, reduction of wages and
    Zambia’s party system is character-           other workers’ benefits, and mass depri-
ised by dominant personalities, lack of           vation of the poor.
funding, lack of organisational presence,             Liberalisation has also demobilised
absence of clear ideological orientation          the trade union movement and other
and incapacity to mobilise social groups.         popular forces that had derived some
Importantly, the main political parties           of their militancy from the existence of
espouse capitalism as the panacea to              a large number of state employees and
Zambia’s development predicament. All             a post-colonial social compact between
the major political parties agree on lib-         trade unions and the nationalist state.
eralising the economy and leaving the                   In Zambia today hundreds of peo-
allocation of resources to market forces.         ple are engaged in a permanent strug-
This consensus on ideological orienta-            gle for everyday existence. The country
tion, which dismisses socialist and so-           is littered with thousands of small-scale
cial democratic alternatives as unattain-         traders, known as tuntembas who eke
able and utopian, has complicated the             a living on barest of income. In 2008,
policy debate in Zambia. The defeat of            80% of the Zambian population lived
world socialism following the collapse of         below US$2 (about R 15) a day, while
the Soviet Union has de-legitimised the           life expectancy is one of the lowest in
debates on socialist orientation and de-          the world at 38. Living conditions have
                                             18
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

deteriorated to an extent that more than            of the trade union movement and the
70% of the population lack basic ameni-             Zambian working class has unasham-
ties such as water and sanitation. Social           edly promoted economic and social pol-
indicators have deteriorated in the last            icies that have destroyed jobs, reduced
10 to 15 years to the extent that they are          incomes, exacerbated inequality and
only comparable to a country engaged                favoured the capitalist class.
in war.                                                 The left in Zambia is small, fragment-
    However, in terms of performance                ed and without a coherent organisation.
on the liberal capitalist index Zambia is           Leftist political parties that emerged in
praised as an emerging economy. It has              the early 1990s have disappeared and
attracted more than US$- billion direct             those that still remain exist on the fring-
foreign investment in the last four years,          es of the Zambian political landscape.
inflation is at its lowest (9%) in the last          Since 1996 efforts have been made to
30 years, exchange rates are stable and             unify left forces into an organisation and
the copper mining sector has recorded               these efforts are still on-going. left and
unprecedented production. Yet very lit-             progressive organisations, such as trade
tle employment has been created in the              unions, cooperative associations, youth
economy; social and living conditions               organisations and civil society organisa-
remain precarious for the majority of               tion have been engaged in fighting for
Zambians; poverty remains unresolved;               democratic space to influence political
inequality in income and wealth is high;            and economic reform in the direction
infrastructure is in a state of disrepair;          that would benefit the majority of the
many parts of the country are inacces-              Zambian people.
sible and thousands of Zambians die of                  The Zambian trade union movement
preventable diseases such as malaria.               that had forged links with the MMD in
                                                    the early 1990s now finds itself in an
Left organisations and their role in                unenviable position of having to fight
political struggles                                 for workers’ rights from within. The in-
The future prospects for democracy in               tegration of the trade unions in the rul-
Zambia signal fatal erosion in the short            ing coalition in Zambia and the destruc-
to medium term. Participatory democ-                tion of the state sector have combined
racy is not possible without the involve-           to weaken their bargaining power and
ment of the left and other progressive              influence on public policy. Trade un-
or popular forces. As things stand the              ions have continued to wage consistent
dominant forces in our political sys-               struggles for workers’ rights and joined
tem are parties that do not represent               other progressive forces in voicing out
the popular classes – the poor, working             their concerns on matters that affect the
classes and the peasantry. While the all            majority of the Zambian people, who in-
the major political parties appropriate             clude the poor and working classes. In
the discourse of socialism by claiming to           the last five years the trade union move-
represent the interests of the poor and             ment has taken political positions on
put poverty as their main policy agenda             the nature of the government they de-
item, the content of their policies is anti-        sire and have worked to influence elec-
worker and anti-poor. The MMD govern-               toral outcomes.
ment that came to power on the back                     The challenge facing Zambia today
                                               19
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

is the construction of a viable left po-           gle, it will involve political and personal
litical alternative. Objective conditions          sacrifice and it will come with enormous
exist for the organisation of a coherent           cost. We are alive to the fact that organi-
left political alternative in Zambia. The          sational funds will be required and not
mass poverty facing the majority of                easily be provided by those organisa-
Zambian people and mass deprivation                tions and governments who subscribe
and destitution provide an opportunity             to capitalism. We know that it will take
for organisation. Levels of unemploy-              time and effort to change the conscious-
ment and underemployment, with only                ness of our people to realise that social-
10% of the labour force employed in the            ism is the only answer. Under the cur-
formal sector, provides another oppor-             rent political circumstances, a socialist
tunity for left and progressive forces to          alternative is the only one that can be
strategically intervene.                           popularly accepted. Only a left political
    While there is no political party in           formation will be able to provide content
Zambia that is expressly leftist in both           to popular struggles for democracy.
ideological orientation and mobilisation,
there are leftist-oriented and progressive         Conclusion: what is to be done?
organisations that have been advancing             There are several tasks that should oc-
a left agenda for the past 19 years. The           cupy the African left generally and the
Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) led by            Zambian left in particular. First, the im-
committed communists, who had origi-               mediate task of the Zambian left is to
nally formed a socialist formation, have           provide a class basis for political mobi-
been working in the last four years to             lisation. We believe that the poor and
create a left platform to propagate and            working class will need a political party
encourage a leftist political alternative.         to promote and represent their class in-
Its long-term agenda is to create an alter-        terests.
native society in Zambia that is social-           A party that represents the interests of
ist and to provide ideological content to          the capitalist class (such as the MMD)
policy debates. Specifically, CPD is com-           cannot be expected to promote interests
mitted, with other progressive forces in           of the poor and working class.
Zambia, to achieve the following:                      Second, there is need to address
   Create a platform for a left discourse          the national question to ensure that
on socialism as an alternative;                    the country does not end up in civil
   Provide socialist ideological content to        strife due to inequitable distribution
policy debates;                                    of national wealth. Since 2001, politi-
    Challenge capitalist policy prescrip-          cal mobilisation has tended to be eth-
tions in government public policies and            nic and regional. A closer examination
fight to influence policy orientation to             of the social bases of the main opposi-
ensure it reflects the interests of the             tion parties suggests that they have re-
poor and working class;                            lied exclusively on ethnic support. This
    Help form a left political formation           narrow nationalism can be dangerous
that would organise for political power;           for forging a stable nation-state and na-
    CPD is not naïve to the fact that              tionalism. There is a need to ignite class
organising the left is not an easy and             political mobilisation to drown narrow
trouble-free affair. It will require strug-        ethnic nationalism which in conditions
                                              20
                     AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

of poverty can act to destabilise national        working with other left forces in Africa
cohesion.                                         in creating a viable socialist alternative.
    Third, a left agenda for promotion of         We strongly believe that socialism is
democracy is to organise all the popu-            possible in our lifetime. We realise that
lar forces, including youth, student and          we need to analyse and understand the
women’s organisations. The struggles of           concrete economic realities that create
the poor and working people will need             and opportunities for a left alternative.
to be coordinated by ensuring that they           While others doubt the viability of the
have a common policy platform. Cur-               idea of socialism, we are convinced that
rently, these energies have not been har-         given the failure of capitalism to resolve
nessed and coordinated to create a criti-         the fundamental social contradictions of
cal mass of left forces for the country.          our time, we are convinced that social-
    Fourth, the left will need to coordi-         ism is the only solution.
nate their activities and network with                We believe that the SACP occupies an
international left forces and fraternal           important political space in galvanising
organisations to be effective. CPD wel-           left forces on the continent. This leader-
comes the establishment of the Africa             ship is invaluable and it will inspire us.
Left Network as timely and an impor-              We thank SACP for the invitation to par-
tant step in energising the African left.         ticipate in the Workshop on Participa-
Coming at the time of a crisis in world           tory Democracy and defining the tasks
capitalism, there is a need to put social-        and challenges of the African left. We
ism firmly on the political agenda. In             salute the Swedish Left Party (VIF) for
the spirit of this conference, we call for        their collaboration and generous sup-
the democratisation of the Africa Left            port in promoting the Africa Left Net-
Network by the creation of democratic             work.
structures that will include all the im-
portant the regions of Africa.                    Cde Simutanyi is the Director of the
    Lastly, CPD is fully committed to             Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Zambia




                                             21
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

SPECIAL ISSUE: AFRICA LEFT NETWORK CONFERENCE

Political reforms and the struggle
for social liberation in Kenya
Building national cohesion and an active campaign against
negative ethnicity are essential first steps towards socialism,
writes Mwandawiro Mghanga




T
          he Social Democratic Party of             Historically, in Kenya, the one-party po-
          Kenya (SDP) has always been               litical system has been used by the ruling
          part and parcel of the struggle           elite to suppress the civic and political
          for political and reforms in the          liberties of the majority of the citizens.
country. These include democracy and                Thus the struggle for democracy has
human rights. This is because, as a so-             been a struggle to achieve the demand
cialist party, SDP believes that reforms            for a multiparty system of democracy. It
for bettering the lives of the exploited            is now about 18 years since the multi-
and oppressed people are progressive                party system of political governance was
and necessary, even under the capitalist            established in the country. This came
system. In this we agree and collaborate            about after long, hard and concerted
with other political parties and civil soci-        struggles by the Kenyan people led by
ety organisations that are for democracy,           patriots and progressive forces. In the
human rights –civic and political liber-            process many patriots and democracy
ties. However, the SDP does not view                advocates were arrested, tortured, im-
political and social reforms as an end              prisoned, detained without trial, forced
in themselves. Neither does it believe              into exile, expelled from educational
that a bourgeoisie democracy is the al-             institutions, denied employment and
pha and omega of democracy. Our party               persecuted in all ways. Many died in
has no doubt that real freedom and lib-             custody and during mass demonstra-
eration of the working class and society            tions and actions demanding the end of
cannot happen under the capitalist sys-             the then Kenya African National Union’s
tem. For capitalism is a system based on            (Kanu) one-party dictatorship that was
exploitation and oppression of person               notorious for the violation of citizen’s
by person, which is in fact a violation of          freedoms and human rights. The one-
human rights. Only socialism can bring              party dictatorship also embodied the
true freedom and liberation to Kenya,               politics and culture of negative ethnic-
Africa and the world.                               ity. It was an impediment to national co-
                                                    hesion as is defined in the new constitu-
The history of the struggle for political           tion that will be launched on 27August
and social reforms in Kenya                         2010 at a large ceremony that will be at-
                                               22
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

tended by leaders from many countries               popular demands for social justice, equi-
of Africa and the world.                            ty, equality and participation in accruing
    The coming of multipartyism in 1992             benefits from natural resources around
was akin to a political revolution as it            communities and the nation at large.
started the liberation of the society from          But just like it did to multipartyism, the
the regime that was one of the most                 then Moi-Kanu regime resisted constitu-
brutal dictatorships in Africa. Freedom             tional reforms vehemently. Once again
of speech, freedom of association, free-            many Kenyans were arrested, tortured,
dom of press, civil and political liberties,        imprisoned, detained without trial and
recognition of the right of political par-          killed before the government acceded to
ties to exist and operate and the growth            the people’s popular demand for a new
and strengthening of the civil society are          constitution by forming the Kenya Con-
some of the concrete democratic gains               stitutional Review Commission (KCRC)
that Kenyans have achieved hitherto.                led by the famous professor of consti-
However, it took another 10 years before            tutional law, Yashi Pai Ghai. This led
opposition parties were able to remove              to the famous Bomas Constitution that
Kanu, the notorious party that had ruled            was frustrated by the reactionary forces
the country since independence, from                in power then, the National Rainbow
power. The defeat of Kanu then also                 Coalition (NARC) led by President Mwai
meant the defeat of the most reaction-              Kibaki, which managed to deny Kenyans
ary regime, led by the then President               a new national constitution in 2005.
Daniel Moi, that was certainly a stum-                  However, finally Kenya now has a new
bling block to the entrenchment and de-             national constitution. The constitution
velopment of the culture of democracy               adopted in the 4 August 2010 referen-
and human rights in the country. That is            dum is the culmination of several proc-
why Kenyans likened the defeat of Kanu              esses and struggles for social and politi-
in the 2002 elections as the second lib-            cal reforms. Like multiparty democracy,
eration.                                            the new Kenyan constitution is the col-
                                                    lective achievement of popular people’s
The struggle for the new national                   struggles from below. However, this fact
constitution                                        has not stopped members of the ruling
As soon as multipartyism started becom-             class who were only recently forced by
ing a reality in the country, Kenyans real-         mass struggles to give in to progressive
ised that it was also necessary to change           change to organise parties and celebra-
the national constitution inherited from            tions to claim that they are the ones that
colonialism. The constitution had ruled             have “given” the country the new con-
the country since independence from                 stitution. But sooner or later their true
British colonialism in 1963. It had only            colours will be revealed in the actual
been changed by successive regimes to               interpretation and implementation of
entrench dictatorship, corruption, viola-           the constitution that will be a matter of
tion of human rights and primitive ac-              the continuation of existing class strug-
cumulation, especially of land property.            gles in the nation. In this regard SDP’s
Kenyans required a new national consti-             position is “Katiba mpya mfumo mpya
tution to reflect and conserve the new               na viongozi wapya” (New constitution,
system of democratic governance with                new system and new leadership). We do
                                               23
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

not believe the existing leadership of the          with negative ethnicity while working
country has the will or ability to imple-           towards national cohesion, is progres-
ment the new constitution in favour of              sive.
progressive change and for the exploit-
ed and oppressed citizens who form the              Political parties and national cohesion
majority. They cannot do this because               The national question in Kenya has not
they continue to impose the capitalist              been resolved hitherto. The reactionary
system and neo-colonialism upon Ken-                politics of negative ethnicity continue to
yans. The path towards implementing                 dominate Kenyan society even after the
the progressive reforms embodied by                 end of one-party dictatorship and after
the new constitution is ultimately what             the coming of multipartyism. In fact,
will lead to socialism.                             negative ethnicity – so-called tribalism
                                                    – is one of the greatest impediments to
Institutionalisation of multipartyism               the development of democracy and so-
The institutionalisation of multiparty-             cial liberation in the country.
ism started by the removal of section 2A                The post-election violence of 2007-
from the present constitution in 1992 to            2008 killed more than 1 000 people and
allow multipartyism again 10 years later            displaced about 350 000. It shook Kenya
after it had been proscribed by the Moi             and shattered the myth that the country
dictatorship in 1982. Fifteen years later           is an island of democracy, peace, stability
multiparty democracy was further insti-             and development in a region bedevilled
tutionalised by the Political Parties Act           by conflict and war. As a consequence,
of 2007. The new constitution of Kenya              the violence became the concern of citi-
is the epitome of the institutionalisation          zens, government, non-governmental
of multiparty democracy in the country.             organisations (NGOs) and civil society
It declares, “The Republic of Kenya shall           organisations in Kenya and East African
be a multi-party democratic State found-            Community region. Concern was also
ed on the national values and principles            felt in the countries of the Horn of Africa
of governance referred to in Article 10”            and Great Lakes Region, the African Un-
(Proposed Constitution of Kenya, chap-              ion, the United Nations and the world at
ter two article 4.2).                               large. Thus the need for national cohe-
    For the purpose of this discussion,             sion cannot be overemphasised.
the national values and principles of                   According to the Oxford Illustrated
governance include “patriotism, na-                 Dictionary the word cohesion is derived
tional unity, sharing and devolution of             from the word cohering which means
power, the rule of law, democracy and               “stick together, remain united; be con-
participation of the people” (chapter               sistent, well-knit”. National cohesion
two article 10.2). In fact, the new con-            in the Kenyan context should therefore
stitution institutionalises the duty for all        mean national unity in the country com-
citizens and their institutions, including          posed of various ethnic groups including
political parties, to work towards nation-          religions, languages, cultures and races.
al cohesion. In a country that has to con-          It should also means providing space for
front the ugly face of negative ethnicity           peaceful co-existence of various and di-
and all its manifestation, the creation of          vergent political ideologies – in essence
organisations and institutions that deal            multipartyism. In this context national
                                               24
                     AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

cohesion is well defined in the proposed           ute to building national cohesion. Now
constitution of Kenya (chapter two arti-          that multiparty democracy is being in-
cle 10 that includes 10.2 quoted above).          stitutionalised in the country, political
                                                  parties are necessary in not only con-
Why Kenyans struggled for                         serving and building the culture of mul-
multipartyism                                     tiparty democracy in the country but
Kenyans struggled for multiparty de-              also in peace keeping and building. They
mocracy because the one-party sys-                should be in the forefront in the fight
tem imposed upon the country by the               against negative ethnicity and in the cel-
Kenyatta and Moi regimes failed to                ebration of diversity of ideas and ethnic
build national cohesion. The one-party            groups and cultures in the country.
system was used by the two regimes to                 Among the seven requirements for
institutionalise dictatorship, violations         political parties is that “Every political
of human rights, corruption, negative             party shall have a national character
ethnicity, nepotism and social and na-            as prescribed by an act of parliament”
tional exclusion. Land grabbing, looting          (such as Political Parties Act 2007 for
of state resources, destruction of state          example) (chapter 7 article 91, 1.ª).
institutions including state parastatals,             It is also states what a political party
inter-ethnic conflicts, etc. were nurtured         should not do: “A political party shall
by one-party system. Organised criminal           not be founded on religious, linguistic,
gangs have also had their origins in the          racial, ethnic, gender or regional basis
one-party state. In other words, Kenyans          or seek to engage in advocacy of hatred
struggled for multipartyism because it            on any such basis” (chapter 7 article 91,
would lead to the restoration of civic            2.ª); “engage in or encourage violence
and political liberties, national unity           by, or intimidation of its members, sup-
and social progress. The few years since          porters, opponents or any other person
the restoration of multiparty democracy           (chapter 7 article 91, 2.b;) “establish or
vindicated the Kenyan popular masses.             maintain a paramilitary force, militia or
Not only are those who gained fortunes            similar organisation (chapter 7 article
through working for the regime that               91, 2.c).
persecuted citizens for demanding res-                The spirit of the constitution and the
toration of multiparty democracy enjoy-           laws flowing from it is that political par-
ing the freedom it has brought, but even          ties should be institutionalised not only
Moi himself would not wish to go back             to play the role of building the culture
to one-party dictatorship when now he             of democracy and human rights in the
is not in power. In other words, Kenyan           country but of building Kenyan nation
society has moved so far into multipar-           and national cohesion based on the fact
tyism and is not nostalgic about the past         that Kenya is a nation composed of peo-
one-party era.                                    ple of various ethnic groups, languages,
                                                  religions, beliefs and ideologies.
What is expected of political parties
Political parties are expected by law (see        Classes and national cohesion
the Political Parties Act of 2003 and the         However, the SDP believes that there
proposed constitution of Kenya) to fight           cannot be true national cohesion in
against negative ethnicity and contrib-           Kenya under the capitalist system. Solu-
                                             25
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

tions to negative ethnicity that do not            used not for the benefit of the whole so-
genuinely deal with its root causes, par-          ciety but for increasing the wealth of the
ticularly the lack of distributive justice,        minority ruling elite.
will only postpone the solution. Wher-                In short, it is clear that the rich are far
ever there are classes there will, inevita-        better placed to exercise the citizen and
bly, be class struggles and class struggles        human rights denied to the poor. The
are in fact conflicts in the society. The           class and regional inequalities not only
conflicts manifest themselves in various            impede peace and social justice but also
forms at different times and places and            national unity. Under circumstances of
can either be passive or active, but as            such glaring inequalities, it is not easy to
long as there are class divisions they will        remove the bitterness, hatred, violence,
not disappear.                                     lack of patriotism and feelings and ex-
    Class divisions in Kenyan society that         pressions of negative ethnicity that en-
transcend ethnic identity are too sharp            gulf the country.
and obvious to be ignored by anyone
searching for sustainable solutions to             The struggle continues even after the
conflicts in the country. There are people          coming of the new constitution
who own land the size of districts while           The basic problem in Kenya has not
the majority of Kenyans eke out a mere             been the absence of good laws; rather it
living in small and unproductive pieces            has been the political will to implement
of land. There are citizens throughout             them. The new national constitution
the country, including those who live in           will be the mother of very good and pro-
the slums of urban areas, without any              gressive laws in the country, especially
right to land ownership, the so-called             as far as human rights and democracy
squatters. While the majority of the peo-          are concerned. The constitution is gen-
ple in the country live in abject poverty,         erally a good example for Africa in many
there is enough wealth concentrated in             ways. However, the challenge remains in
the hands of the privileged few which is           the interpretation and implementation
capable of bringing about development              of the laws. For in a country divided into
that can put an end to poverty.                    classes like Kenya, the interpretation and
    In the urban areas, the differences            implementation of the constitution and
seen in residential locations, living              all emerging laws will be a matter of the
standards and lifestyles clearly empha-            continuation of existing class struggles.
sise the brutal and shameless inequal-             In this regard, political parties, whether
ity in the society. The education sys-             in government or outside government,
tem does not offer equal opportunities             can play a big role in challenging the
to children and youth but instead it is            government to implement the laws de-
structured to increase the gap between             pending on their ideologies that shape
the rich and the poor, and rural and ur-           their vision for Kenya. Political parties
ban areas. The rich access the best social         can sensitise society to expose prac-
services, clean and safer environments,            tises of negative ethnicity and to work
political and economic power while all             towards national cohesion. Progressive
this is hardly accessible to the poor who          political parties should lead by example.
form the majority of the citizens. The             The SDP will interpret the new constitu-
natural resources of the country are               tion to help organise the masses to fur-
                                              26
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

ther legitimise their struggles for a new          not sat down to discuss and come to a
political and social order in Kenya where          consensus on the meaning and role of
every Kenyan has a right to access basic           parties generally and their individual
needs that are defined in the constitu-             parties in particular.
tion as economic rights. These include                 To be a political party people must sit
the right to water, health, housing, food,         down and tell one another why they are
education and social security. Our party,          a political party. And a political party is
among other progressive things prom-               in the very least a group of people who
ised by the constitution, will organise            are united by a common ideology, com-
the masses to demand the realisation               mon vision, common discipline, com-
of progressive constitutional rights in            mon moral values and common tactics
practise and for land reforms in favour            and strategies of their common struggle.
of squatters and the landless. In so doing         The ideology of a political party is sum-
we shall continue to remind Kenyans:               marised in the party manifesto while the
“Katiba mpya mfumo mpya na viongozi                party discipline and system of govern-
wapya” – New constitution, new system              ance is defined in the constitution. The
and new leadership.                                code of conduct summarises the moral
                                                   values that help to bind party members
Problems of political parties                      together in their common struggle of
Political parties are necessary for the            changing society for the better and in
process of institutionalising and sus-             line with their philosophy as a party.
taining democracy and building peace                   Consequently, a political party can-
and national cohesion. But creating and            not be a political party without a mani-
developing political parties in an under-          festo. It will remain a party without its
developed country like Kenya is a great            own stand and direction, a party that
challenge. Furthermore, negative ethnic-           reacts to events initiated by others with-
ity and politics driven by money, bribing          out being able to set its own agenda.
of voters and all forms of corruption, is a        Still, many registered political parties in
hindrance to growth of the culture of de-          Kenya remain without manifestos. And
mocracy. There are about 50 registered             those who have them, they are not really
political parties in the country with              party manifestos because they were writ-
seven of them represented in parlia-               ten by few individuals – and sometimes
ment. But the ‘political parties’ are more         even foreigners or donors – and are nev-
of conglomerates of individuals seeking            er studied, discussed, comprehended
presidential or parliamentary positions            and internalised by the vast majority of
than political parties.                            the members, including the majority of
    For political parties to play an effec-        the leadership.
tive role of contributing to building the              The basic elements that define politi-
culture of democracy and national uni-             cal parties are lacking. Kenyan political
ty, the need for their members, starting           parties tend to be created, dominated
from the leadership, to comprehend the             and sustained by powerful personali-
meaning of a political party cannot be             ties rather than informed and convinced
overemphasised. Many of the problems               members. Most of them become alive
within political parties seem to arise be-         only when national elections are an-
cause individuals who form them have               nounced. That is why although the
                                              27
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

leadership of all political parties is com-        other ethnic groups. And since it is the
posed of members from the diverse                  ideas of those in power that dominate in
ethnic groups of the country, they are             a given society at a given time and place,
distinguished not by ideologies but by             ordinary citizens also embrace the ide-
personalities who lead them, and by                ology of negative ethnicity that embod-
their ethnic base. Hitherto, political par-        ies hatred, jealous and discrimination
ties in Kenya hardly distinguish between           against other ethnic groups. The unre-
its members and its voters, between the            solved issues of land and land resources
party and the masses who identify with             that embody historical injustices, have
it, between holders of party cards and             always been used to perpetuate the re-
actual members of the party. To play an            actionary ideology that works against
effective role in nation building and na-          the unity of those who desire national
tional cohesion, “political parties” must          cohesion and social justice.
work to grow into true conscious and in-               On their part, the elites of all ethnic
dependent political parties and not just           groups who are part and parcel of the
registered entities represented in parlia-         problem, including that of land, are al-
ment and local government or under                 ways conscious of their interests and are
the supervision of legislations and the            not prepared to help bring about just
register of political parties. The SDP is          and progressive natural resources, po-
also working to address this challenge             litical, economic and social reforms in
in theory and practice; this is in fact the        the country aimed at empowering the
summary of its organisational work.                poor, eradicating poverty and inequal-
                                                   ity, bringing about national cohesion.
Comprehending the political economy                Doing so would mean compromising
of negative ethnicity                              their own interests, something they are
To contribute effectively in building na-          not prepared to do. Instead, they keep
tional cohesion, political parties should          on preaching falsehoods about seeking
not only address the manifestations of             political power to bring about develop-
negative ethnicity but, more impor-                ment, remove poverty and create a just
tantly, address the root causes. Negative          and equitable society. Yet year after year
ethnicity, so-called tribalism, has been           these promises prove to be elusive, leav-
used by the elites of Kenya to perpetu-            ing the country to continue simmering
ate them in power since the time of co-            and erupting into cycles of conflict that
lonialism. Just before, during and after           many a times develop into violence.
national elections, the political and eco-             One would expect that negative
nomic elites of various ethnic groups              ethnicity would be less than it was 47
deliberately provoke negative ethnic               years ago at the time of independence
feelings and even organise and sponsor             from British colonialism, and that there
violence against other ethnic groups to            would be more national consciousness
propel themselves to elective positions.           and unity in the country. On the con-
They do this by pretending to be cham-             trary, negative ethnicity has increased to
pions of the political, economic, cul-             become one of the greatest impediments
tural, land and land resource interests            to the development of democracy, hu-
of their ethnic groups and areas that are          man rights, peace, security and national
purportedly violated by the members of             unity. At the same time the recent his-
                                              28
                     AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

tory of inter-ethnic clashes and violence         themselves as only interested in amass-
has shown that the belief that youth are          ing land, money and wealth for them-
above negative ethnicity is a myth. The           selves, families, relatives and friends,
youth are at the forefront in the inter-          the national consciousness expressed in
ethnic clashes that have caused deaths,           the belief of a common nationhood be-
refugees and destructions of property. In         gan to crumble and disappear.
fact, the idea that negative ethnicity can            To perpetuate themselves in power to
disappear of itself without conscious ef-         continue amassing more and more land
fort from all Kenyan citizens and their           and wealth, the presidents increasingly
institutions that desire peace, security,         surrounded themselves with sycophants
national unity and sustainable develop-           composed of members of their families,
ment is also a myth. People have to be            friends and elites of their ethnic groups
deliberately educated to gain national            who grew into a notorious group of
consciousness. Once they gain national            breeding and nurturing the seeds of
consciousness then negative ethnic-               negative ethnicity. The reactionary trend
ity will begin to disappear and to be             has continued hitherto. The vacuum
replaced by demands for progressive               created by the disappearance of national
change that is beyond ethnicity.                  consciousness was gradually filled by
    During the struggle against British           negative ethnicity.
colonialism, Kenyans of various ethnic                The culture of competition for the
groups were united under the ideology             control of resources for individuals at
of positive nationalism – national lib-           the expense of society has contributed
eration, as they were oppressed together          to nurture negative ethnicity that has
as a nation by colonialism. In the early          permeated all classes, genders, ages,
years of post-colonial independence,              religions and geographical locations.
Kenyans were united by hope and the               Again, as the country implements neo-
prospect of better economic wellbeing             liberal economic reforms and as poverty
with apparent solutions to the problems           increases as a consequence among the
created by the colonialism oppression             majority of Kenyans, with the deteriora-
they had fought against. And indeed, in           tion of social services and security, peo-
the 1960s and 1970s the country could             ple tend to resort to their ethnic groups
be said to have been developing in the            in search of social security. Thus ethnic
right direction, economically and in pro-         welfare associations in cities and towns,
visions of social services. During those          fundraisings for medical bills, funerals,
days songs of nationalism used to be              school fees, etc, have become coping
sung and the national flag was loved and           strategies, which at the same time pro-
respected. The stadiums throughout the            mote negative ethnic ideology at the ex-
country were full during national days            pense of nationalism.
such as Madaraka Day, Kenyatta Day and                The beginning of the war against
Jamhuri Day. Then there were feelings of          negative ethnicity should therefore be-
positive nationalism among the Kenyan             gin by not only moralising about it but
people, irrespective of their diverse eth-        by especially dealing with its root causes
nicity and culture. But when it became            – the political economy of the country
clear that the successive regimes led by          that needs to be transformed to liberate
successive presidents who established             Kenya from poverty and underdevelop-
                                             29
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

ment.                                               if they are writing manifestos for politi-
    Negative ethnicity in Kenya is a                cal parties. Let political parties be with
manifestation of poverty, backward-                 their ideologies, policies and internal
ness, underdevelopment, ignorance and               democracies as long as their actions are
backward ideas that arise out of definite            guided by the spirit of the constitution.
internal and external factors. This has             After all, political parties are about the
led to the continued mismanagement of               voluntary unity of individuals. People
the rich and abundant human and natu-               are not and should not be coerced to
ral resources in the country leading to             join political parties. They should do so
inequalities and mindless competition               out of their own free will. To make laws
for purportedly scarce resources. In fact,          that delve too much in governing indi-
the scarcity of resources is a creation by          vidual political parties while at the same
the system that allows only few indi-               time allowing independent candidates
viduals to own and control the natural              to seek elective political office is to deny
and human resources of the country at               the people and the parties the right to
the expense of the majority. To begin to            make choices, and choice is an integral
eradicate negative ethnicity, therefore,            part of democracy.
the socio-political and economic system                 A party does not necessarily contrib-
must be transformed.                                ute to national cohesion just because it
    All this will begin to be realised in a         has conformed to the regulations im-
sustainable way when the political elite            posed by Political Parties Act 2007 or
controlling political power today are re-           the constitution. For example, in terms
placed by a democratic, progressive and             of ethnic composition, the leadership of
patriotic leadership that is above ethnic-          Kanu has always been from all ethnic
ity. The required leadership would, of              groups, genders and ages. Yet during the
necessity, be guided by, as a minimum,              era of the one-party system under the
political ideas that embrace principles of          leadership of Jomo Kenyatta and Dan-
equality, social welfare and justice for all        iel Moi this did not stop the Kanu gov-
irrespective of ethnicity, gender, age or           ernment from practising dictatorship,
geographical location.                              corruption, violations of human rights,
    Both the Proposed Constitution of               negative ethnicity and all that works
Kenya and Political Parties Act 2007                against national cohesion. Even during
prescribe how political parties should              the current multiparty era, the registered
behave and how they should be gov-                  leadership of all political parties, despite
erned. This is desirable especially when            the popular following of their key lead-
now registered political parties receive            ers, has always been composed of mem-
public funds. However, this should not              bers from all Kenyan ethnic groups. But
be overdone so as to interfere with the             this alone has never stopped many of
internal affairs of political parties which         them from engaging in practises that
belong to the members of the party only.            work against national cohesion, includ-
It seems to me that the proposed con-               ing unleashing inter-ethnic violence as
stitution and the act go into too many              witnessed in the post-election violence
details of regulating political parties as          of 2007.
to interfere with their internal affairs.               The challenge, therefore, should for
The two legal institutions even look as             patriots to form or join political parties
                                               30
                     AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

that are genuinely committed to the               more participation in governance and
principles of national cohesion with or           decision-making by the masses at grass-
without the prescribed regulations. Long          root levels.
before the Political Parties Act and even             (c) Abolish the system and laws in-
before multipartyism was established              stituted by the colonialists and their
in the country, the Social Democratic             neo-colonial heirs that divide, oppress
Party of Kenya (SDP) was committed to             and exploit Kenyan people along racial,
working for national cohesion. Article 3          ethnic, religious or any other lines.
of the minimum programme of the SDP                   (d) Rectify all errors committed by
illustrates this:                                 the previous regimes in their pursuit
    “To forge an unshakable unity of all          and conspiracy to hang onto power, in-
Kenyan nationalities and races:                   cluding:
    Kenya is a country of diverse plural-             (i) National discrimination.
ism. The British colonialists and succes-             (ii) Neglect and marginalisation of
sive regimes hitherto have long used              some Kenyan areas and communities.
this fact to divide, rule, oppress and ex-            (iii) Administrative boundaries
ploit our people through tribalism and            drawn along ethnic lines.
racism. Yet the enemies of the Kenyan                 (iv) Distortion of the history of our
people are those, who through parochial           nation.
and selfish motives and aims, continue                 (e) Use political education to en-
to stir race against race, nationality            hance national unity by combating petty
against nationality, clan against clan,           nationalism and ethnic chauvinism and
Muslims against Christians, etc., so that         inculcate into the minds of Kenyans the
Kenyans may not unite to confront their           sense of national identity.
common enemy, ie, under-development                   (f) Actively promote Kiswahili as
and exploitation of person by person re-          both a national and official language.
sulting from the capitalist system.                   (g) Respect and promote the cultures
    To ensure and consolidate the unity           and languages of all our nationalities as
of our people, the SDP shall strive to do         part of our rich national cultural herit-
the following:                                    age and diversity.
    (a) Dismantle the undemocratic and                (h) Combat poverty and underdevel-
repressive neo-colonial state machinery,          opment while ensuring that all opportu-
including the so called Public Adminis-           nities are open to all Kenyans irrespec-
tration, inherited wholesale from the co-         tive of their national, racial, religious,
lonial state; create a new pro-people po-         and ideological or class background.
lice force, armed forces, prison system,              (i) Encourage a balanced rewriting
judicial system, new democratic and               of our history to reflect our rich ethnic
pro-people laws and civil service, so that        and cultural diversity while, at the same
they may serve the people as opposed to           time, conserving its national outlook.”
individuals, tribal bigots, parochial and             All this is also elaborated in Article 3
foreign interests.                                of Msimamo wa Social Democratic Party
    (b) Restructure the current provin-           of Kenya (SDP) which summarise the
cial and local government administra-             philosophy of SDP in Kiswahili:
tion system, which is based on tribal                 “SDP ni chama cha wazalendo, tena
and parochial interests to give room for          wazalendo wakereketwa. Tunapenda
                                             31
                     AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

Kenya yetu, tena sana. Tuna uchungu              xenophobia or any form of discrimina-
mkubwa na taifa letu. Ndiyo kwa sababu           tion against other persons.
tunashirikiana na tutaendelea kushiri-              8. Members of the SDP shall always
kiana na watu wote wanaotaka kuona               and tirelessly fight against corruption
ukombozi wa kitaifa na maendeleo ya              and all its manifestations; they shall be
kisiasa, kiuchumi na kitamaduni nchini.          guardians of justice and custodians of
Tunapinga ubepari, ukoloni-mamboleo              public property and living examples of
na chochote kile kinachopinga uhuru,             patriotism and socialist morality.
ukombozi na maendeleo ya taifa letu.
Tunakataa ukabila, ubaguzi wa rangi,             Conclusion
ubaguzi wa kijinsia, ubaguzi wa kiumri           The SDP continues to call upon all polit-
na chochote kile kinachohatarisha umo-           ical parties to play a role in the struggle
ja wa Kenya na kuzuia maendeleo yetu.            for national cohesion, even as defined in
Tutapambania haki ya kila Mkenya kui-            the constitution. They should continue
shi na kuwa na mali halali pahali popote         to defend human rights and democratic
pale anapochagua nchini. Tutakuwa ka-            gains Kenyan have won hitherto while
tika msitari wa mbele wa kufichua na              collectively building the culture of de-
kupambana dhidi ya njama zozote zile             mocracy and human rights. The culture
zenye lengo la kupanda mbegu za chuki            of multiparty democracy is premised on
na uhasama miongoni mwa makabila                 the fact that Kenya is not only composed
ndugu ya Kenya. Kwani Kenya tuipen-              of people of various ethnic groups but
dayo ni ya amani, salama, uhuru, utan-           also of different classes with diverge po-
gamano na maendeleo ambapo kila mtu              litical ideas and ideologies. The move-
anaishi maisha ya kiutu bila kunyonywa,          ment towards national cohesion, there-
kugandamizwa na kubaguliwa kwa vyo-              fore, entails that all political parties and
vyote vile. Ndiyo kwa maana tunapam-             their ideologies should co-exit, operate
bania Katiba Mpya ya Kitaifa itazingatia         and compete for government through
na kuhakikisha, miongoni mwa mambo               free and fair elections. In this regard,
mengine, usambazaji wa mamlaka ili               there cannot be free and fair elections
kuhakikisha kuwa kila sehemu na kabila           when the country continues to allow
itakuwa na mamlaka ya kushiriki katika           politics to be dominated by money: voter
kusimamia na kufaidi kutoka kwa rasili-          bribing and all forms of corruption. They
mali zilizoko karibu nao. Usambazaji wa          are also dominated by a press owned by
uongozi utahakikisha kuwa wananchi               the ruling elite and that is vulnerable to
wanashirikishwa kujiamulia jinsi ya              corruption and which campaigns for the
kuendesha maisha yao ya kisiasa, kiu-            rich, reactionary, corrupt, chauvinistic
chumi, kitamaduni na kijamii kutoka              and greedy politicians in power. This
mashinani na maamuzi ya kutoka chini             press lies to Kenyans that there is no al-
hadi juu ya kushirikisha watu wote. ”            ternative to capitalism and the present
   Furthermore, the Code of conduct of           leadership in the country. Political par-
SDP, binds members to, among other               ties that are genuinely committed to na-
things:                                          tional cohesion should demand the end
   7. “Members of the SDP shall not              of ‘money politics’ in the country.
practise, advocate or tolerate tribalism,            As far as the SDP is concerned, the
racism, sexism, nepotism, cronyism,              struggle for national cohesion arises
                                            32
                     AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

from genuine concerns of dealing with            nic identities, all Kenyans from all ethnic
the root causes of negative ethnicity in         groups and political parties that identify
Kenya, which includes lack of distribu-          with their cause should unite against
tive justice. SDP calls upon the Kenyan          all policies and practises that escalate
masses to refuse to be divided along             poverty, regional and class divisions and
ethnic lines but to instead unite to em-         negative ethnicity. The new national
power themselves to demand equitable             constitution of Kenya levels the ground
wealth sharing in the country. There             in this regard. We shall continue to re-
is enough land in the country to settle          mind Kenyans that under the present
the landless and homeless. Land can              capitalist economic and social relations
be added to the peasants who need it             the implementation of the new consti-
and can use it to create wealth. The liv-        tution will be elusive. Only socialism can
ing conditions of the slum dwellers can          implement the constitution in favour of
be improved and slums abolished from             the majority of the citizens of Kenya.
our urban areas. Kenya is endowed with               The struggle for social and national
enough economic and natural resources            liberation in favour of the majority poor
which if conserved, utilised and distrib-        and exploited is the struggle for social-
uted equitably would end the current             ism.
poverty in the society and trigger social
development that will uplift the living          Cde Mghanga is the National
standards of all Kenyans. Rather than            Chairperson of Social Democratic Party
fighting one another in the name of eth-          in Kenya




                                            33
                     AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

SPECIAL ISSUE: AFRICA LEFT NETWORK CONFERENCE

Experience and conception
of people’s power in
Democratic Republic Congo
The Marxist spirit of Mzee Kabila lives on, but his death has
left the progressive movement rudderless and leaderless,
writes Tony Busselen



G
          iven the subject of this confer-        lages were headed by a “Committee of
          ence, “the left’s conception of         People’s Power”!
          democracy in Africa: tasks and              To achieve its objectives, the CNL de-
          challenges” I want to explain           fined its political line in terms that can
the relevant experience of the govern-            be found repeatedly in the speeches of
ment of Laurent Kabila between 1999               cde Laurent Kabila’s from 17 May 1997
and 2001, as we understand it.                    until his assassination: “In domestic
   When, after the first wave of the               policy: breaking the grip of the imperi-
American-Rwandan-Ugandan aggres-                  alist yoke of the USA to allow a free and
sion war was brought to a halt, Laurent           democratic national life, and guarantee
Kabila made his two major speeches                the territorial and administrative unity
on the Comités du Pouvoir Populaire               of the Congo.” “On the economic and
(committees for people’s power), in               social level: ensure to raise the living
January and April 1999, many thought              standards of the masses, develop the na-
he was just improvising. Laurent Kabila           tional economy based on scientific ex-
had however actually just returned to             periments under way in the world (that
a key idea of the Conseil National de             is to say, the socialist countries), plan
Libération that led the revolutionary             domestic production and control, open
war of resistance of 1964-1965. In the            the doors of knowledge and culture to
programme of April 5, 1964, the CNL               all children of the people irrespective of
formulated its objectives as follows:             sex.”
“Restore popular sovereignty; regain                  In his speeches on the CPP, Laurent
national independence, restore freedom            Kabila insisted on two basic choices.
and national democracy, restore the her-              First: Keep the old repressive state in
itage and national wealth to the sover-           the service of foreign interests or create
eign people and the workers, establish            an independent state in the service of
a revolutionary, national and popular             the Congolese people?
government.” The idea of national and                 Second: Maintain an export-oriented
people’s power is as old as the Congo-            economy, dominated by multinationals,
lese revolution. In the jungle of Pierre          or build a strong national and decolo-
Mulele, in 1964-1968, the liberated vil-          nised economy?
                                             34
                     AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

    On the first question I quote Kabila:          destiny. You do not have any master an-
“Leopold II’s Congo Free State existed to         ymore. The people are the only master.”
collect rubber. The whip was daily. They              On the second question, the popu-
looted and pillaged. They are gone and            lar state, radically opposed to the neo-
we were treated to another state, one             colonial state, has as main objective
with at its head Congolese people, but            the economic decolonisation of Congo,
they were agents of external powers.              building a strong national economy,
The mission of this state was to punish           the creation of a just society without
always, everywhere. Under Mobutu, the             exploitation. Kabila said, “We must cre-
country had an anti-people state, a state         ate a new economy for our country. This
whose mission was to protect foreign in-          is the objective of the people’s state.
terests. The result was extreme poverty           The time has come to build a thriving
everywhere; a damaged and extraverted             national economy. We should produce
economy (...) This comprador state has            vehicles ourselves. Where is our heavy
lasted too long. It has created a culture,        industry? It is the mission of the state
habits in the field of production, of              of the people, the mission of the people
thought, in the behaviour of citizens.”           organised in the People’s Power Com-
    But to create a fundamentally differ-         mittees to create a strong economy for
ent state apparatus from what the Congo           us to enforce respect. So our mission
had endured between 1885 and 1997 is              is to create a domestic industry. When
a daunting task and takes time. The key           we took office, it was to do that. The
concept is a radical break with the past.         CPPs must be understood as a gigantic
In his speech, Kabila spoke very clearly          national patriotic movement. The Con-
on this: “On May 17, 1997, power was              golese coalesce around a very noble
at the gunpoint of those who have been            ideal. We will create a new society, just
applauded by the masses, who hunted               and prosperous, through a strategy: the
down the last strongholds of Mobutu’s             mobilisation of the entire people around
crumbling power … The liquidation of              national reconstruction.”
neo-colonialist Mobutu was a necessary                Laurent-Desire Kabila remained all
step that allowed the masses to have ac-          his life in the line of the people’s struggle
cess now to the leadership of public af-          for independence, socialism and peace.
fairs.”                                           This revolutionary creed, he sang in his
    Kabila said: “It is necessary to cre-         Hymn of the Oppressed: “The CPP are
ate a popular state, a state of the peo-          the light of the workers and peasants, as
ple, a state that thinks first and foremost        well as all other oppressed people. There
about the interests of the Congo. Now             is no doubt about destroying exploita-
we have to organise the people to take            tion and creating a just society.” Kabila
their destiny in hand. Organising the             is thus the voice of the exploited and
people means continuing mobilisation              oppressed workers and peasants whose
and putting them in power. CPPs are the           aim is “to bring down the exploitation”
people organised into organs of popular           of man by man, which in the Marxist lit-
state power, they exercise direct man-            erature is called “creating a just socialist
agement of public affairs at every level          society”.
of government, pursuing a single goal:                Thanks to the mobilisation of the
to be the undisputed masters of their             Congolese people through the CPP and
                                             35
                     AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

through a Pan-African front where the             resolute orientation to the struggle with-
governments of Angola, Namibia and                out a Marxist vanguard party?
Zimbabwe played an important role,                    The PRP of Laurent Kabila was such
Laurent Kabila was able to halt the               a Marxist party. But since the 1980s this
Rwando-Ugandan-American            aggres-        party has been without leadership be-
sion, and by December 2000 he could               cause of the bloody repression against
even force the governments of Rwanda              the maquis of Fizi Baraka. The majority
and Uganda to conclude bilateral agree-           of the cadres with whom Laurent Kabila
ments for the withdrawal of their troops.         had led this Communist Party were as-
But on January 16, 2001 Mzee Kabila               sassinated.
was assassinated. Congolese national-                 When the war of liberation began in
ists were obliged to switch to a defensive        October 1996, events followed so quickly
strategy and the CPP were abolished two           and put in front of Laurent Kabila such
years later.                                      important immediate tasks of manage-
    Why could this form of popular de-            ment of the war and the state that it was
mocracy not survive?                              impossible for him to rebuild the party.
    In the world of imperialist globalisa-        But could the popular democracy of the
tion today, a “private” company such              CPP be achieved in a sustainable way
as General Electric has assets worth              without a party which had interpreted
US$782-billion. How can you have de-              the line developed by Laurent Kabila
mocracy in the Congo, a country which             through criticism of the old beliefs and
in 2009 had a gross domestic product of           attitudes inherited from 37 years of neo-
about US$11-billion if the country has            colonialism?
a neo-colonial regime in which Gen-                   Our comrade Ludo Martens experi-
eral Electric and other multinational             enced this attempt at people’s democ-
companies dictate the law through the             racy closely, and he noted that a long-
orders of the IMF, the World Bank and             term educational work would have been
the governments of the US, Canada and             necessary to let Kabila’s views penetrate
Europe?                                           at all levels of the CPPs. It was also clear
    Deciding on effective democracy for           that Laurent Kabila, individually played
the working masses means making a                 the role of Headquarters of both class
class choice against the bourgeoisie. Do          struggle and front work in the Congo, a
we want to maintain a democracy where             role normally occupied by an entire par-
the power of money, the power of the              ty: this was made very clear when after
old neo-colonial state and direct and in-         the death of Mzee Kabila, there were no
direct foreign interventions decide the           forces actively working for the continu-
outcome of elections? Or do we decide             ation and deepening of popular democ-
to organise a new democracy, which                racy.
gives the masses, the poor, have the ef-
fective means to impose the choice of             Cde Busselen is from the Department of
the overwhelming majority? Is it possi-           International Relations of the Workers’
ble to make the latter choice and give a          Party of Belgium




                                             36
                     AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

SPECIAL ISSUE: AFRICA LEFT NETWORK CONFERENCE

Uganda: socialist
initiatives, politics and the
struggle for democracy
We must enforce adherence to Uganda’s constitution as a first step to
participatory democracy, writes Weijagye Justus




K
           abale Socialist Club was start-        on the grounds that Obote was elected
           ed in 1996. We are a reason-           fraudulently through a rigged election,
           able and increasing number of          claiming the winner was Kawanga Se-
           socialists. We have both short         mogerere of the Democratic Party (DP).
term and long term agendas. Our short                 But it is now nearly to a quarter of
term agenda include tackling issues that          century Uganda being under President
affect us locally and nationally: solu-           Museveni’s rule. The regime itself has
tions for absolute poverty, wars, corrup-         failed to organise free and fair elections.
tion and nepotism, political intolerance,             The last general elections in Uganda
freedom of speech, of thought, expres-            showed that there is no democracy in
sion and press freedom, post-election in-         the country. The oppression and sup-
flation and high bank interest rates and           pression of candidates of opposition
charges, healthcare, education, trans-            parties and their supporters increase as
port, street kids, poor sanitation, sewage        one moves up levels of elective offices
and drainage systems, insecurity and              and are worst in presidential position.
environmental problems such as pol-                   A report on Uganda’s last elections
lution. Our sole long term agenda is to           may read like a fairy tale. The period of
educate the masses to be class conscious          elections in Uganda is a period of vio-
and about the socialist alternative. We           lence, harassment, intimidation and tor-
are working towards formation of So-              ture on one side and merrymaking (in a
cialist Party Uganda.                             form of “gifts” – alcohol, salt, pieces of
    The present regime in Uganda is led           soap, sugar and cash – in exchange for
by President Yoweri Museveni, who                 votes) on the other. The campaigns at-
came to power through an armed five-               tract many people, especially the rallies
year struggle and overthrowing a mili-            of those candidates who are well-to-do
tary government of the then-President             and easy on their pockets. In Uganda
Tito Okello Olutwa in January 1986 after          money is power and we are judged by
the Tito Okello Junta had overthrown              our material possessions. It does not
the regime of Dr Apollo Milton Obote.             matter whether you have ideas and ini-
President Museveni waged a protracted             tiatives and would contribute positively
armed war against Obote’s government              if elected be it at lowest electable posi-
                                             37
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

tion. So the terrible poverty makes most            electricity, facilitation in schools, road
people vote with their mouths and not               network and rehabilitation of hospitals
with their conscience.                              and health units. Some of these are sim-
    Corruption is rife. It appears a miracle        ply naked lies; others have proved to be
for a poor but reasonable person to make            well-dressed lies.
it to political office. On the other hand,               The “prosperity for all” programme is
there is controversy when the president             a naked lie as it is just a scheme to dupe
turns out and starts campaigning in fa-             the poor as poverty cannot be eliminat-
vour of some candidate and campaign-                ed when there is rampant corruption in
ing against others on the grounds that              government and funds to help in deliver-
the favoured ones are pro his party. In             ing social services such as health and ed-
some parts of the country the electoral             ucation are swindled by individuals and
process is militarised – mainly in areas            because they are always members of the
where opposition parties and candidates             ruling party, they are not charged – and
are contesting against with the historical          even if this is attempted, cases somehow
allies of president’s National Resistance           simply die in courts. The dressed-up lies
Movement organisation (NRM) and his                 include promises by ruling party MPs
personal friends. These military person-            and the President to constituents that
nel go as far as tearing down opposi-               work on electricity and water supply
tion candidates’ posters. The govern-               is beginning: equipment and material
ment fabricates trumped capital offense             for this work are delivered and heaped
charges such as treason, murder, rape               alongside the roads, but removed imme-
and defilement against strong opposi-                diately after the elections.
tion leaders and members.                               There is talk of health programmes,
    This results in violence where people           education, security and peace yet in
lose their lives. Most contestants, espe-           parts of Uganda these rallies cannot take
cially those in the ruling party and in-            place because of insecurity due to rebel
dependent candidates favoured by the                activities.
state, bribe voters to the extent of buy-               Then we come to voting day. Most of
ing poor voters blankets, mattresses, bi-           the candidates and their supporters see
cycles and hoes, in the expectation they            this as a day determining between life
will vote for such candidates even if it is         and death. They become aggressive so
clear that the candidate is a non-perform-          as to win the election. Winning indeed is
er. Pro-NRMO candidates at parliamen-               the only way by which they can recover
tary and local council (district chairper-          the money used in bribing voters. Once
sons) levels have spent more than over              elected they get access to public funds
Ugandan Shillings (U Shs) 900-million               and embezzle it. They can, as well, raise
(US$410 000 or R2 800 000) in these                 their salaries and allowances. On poll-
initiatives                                         ing day voters who support poor candi-
    Most party political manifestos                 dates and those candidates who are not
centre on poverty – using elections to              favoured by the president are harassed,
capitalise on the biting poverty in most            intimidated and sometimes beaten.
Uganda’s homes. There is this “Prosper-             Those who resist intimidation are given
ity-for-all programme” by the incum-                already ticked ballots papers by the poll-
bent president: promises of clean water,            ing officials so that when the voter then
                                               38
                     AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

ticks a candidate of his or her choice the            The constitution currently required
ballot paper ends being invalid. Some             that the presidential winner must win
are even denied the right to vote or are          more than 50% of the vote. With sur-
forced to vote in sight of the polling of-        veys indicating that the president’s sup-
ficials, while supporters of the favoured          port has declined down below this 50%,
and rich candidates are allowed to vote           attempts are being made to persuade
more than once, to vote in other peo-             and bribe MPs and or district local coun-
ple’s names—the dead and the absent.              cils to change the constitution such that
There is ballot stuffing such that in most         whoever scores most in the next presi-
polling stations where there is majority          dential election (2011) and thereafter
support to the ruling party, the number           wins the presidency.
of votes cast is than the number of reg-              During the last elections, the state
istered voters. In areas, some opposition         continued coercing and manipulating
voters’ names are deleted from the vot-           local council chairpersons, whose posi-
ers’ register.                                    tions under the present multiparty ar-
    Only in constituencies where the op-          rangement is questionable, to work as
position has a massive majority – at or           its agents in support of the incumbent
above 75% - do opposition candidates,             president and extremist politicians of
especially at district and parliamentary          the ruling party. The state seduced them
levels prevail. In most of Northern and           by buying them food, household mate-
Eastern Uganda the ruling elite has lim-          rials and some allowances. Some were
ited support and has been unable to               given letters appointing them President
consistently manipulate results or in-            Museveni’s agents without consulting
timidate voters.                                  them. They are facilitated by resident
    During the 1996 Presidential elec-            district commissioners, who as civil
tions, a year after Uganda enacted a              servants are supposed to be impartial.
new constitution, President Museveni                  The law on elections especially on
scored 76% of the votes, and in 2001              the person of presidential candidate
he scored 67% while in 2006 he scored             works in favour of the incumbent as he/
57% - a steady decline massive electoral          she remains in office of president at the
malpractice and rigging in his favour.            same time as presidential candidate. So
These malpractices are on record among            it looks like two football teams playing
others in the High Court papers filed by           where by the referee is one of the 1st 11
presidential runners up in the last two           of one of the playing teams.
presidential elections.                               The state also uses religious, tribal
    The 1995 constitution had been                and ethnic differences to fuel rivalry and
enacted, with legislation to limit presi-         political antagonisms, and to neutral-
dential terms as limited to two of five            ise opposition political power. It gives
years each. Before the end of President           out gifts in form of executive cars and
Museveni’s second term, MPs amended               houses to the leaders of these groups,
the law to replace the two-term ceiling           paid for – like most of the activity of
with an unlimited number of terms. This           the ruling party – directly from the na-
was achieved by voting each MP cash of            tional treasury. There is no demarcation
U Shs 5 000 000 (US$2 300 or about                between the ruling party, NRM, and the
R15 000).                                         government. Government funds raised
                                             39
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

and collected from taxpayers by the                comprise of members from different po-
Uganda Revenue Authority is used for               litical parties. Laws must be put in place
activities by NRM politicians, both indi-          so that when anyone found to have par-
vidually and as a party.                           ticipated in rigging election in his/her
    The relationship between the ruling            favour by contravening electoral laws
party and the opposition parties, groups           must be disqualified from standing for
and individuals is that of hatred and              an electable office as well as holding
bitter rivalry democratic contestation,            public office.
offering choices to the electorate. The                This is where Kabale Socialist Club
opposition parties form coalitions of              comes in to give a vote of thanks and ap-
convenience in the hope of overthrow-              preciation to the South African Commu-
ing the incumbents democratically.                 nist Party, the African National Congress
    Our assessment of the previous elec-           and Congress of South African Trade
tions and the consequences for the next            Union for the unity shown which works
elections is that despite the fact that the        to advantage not only to the people of
opposition now enjoys more support                 the Republic of South Africa but also the
than the ruling party, the NRM will con-           people of the entire African continent.
tinue to dominate. This is partly because          We thank the South African Government
opposition supporters are demoralised              for giving welcoming hands to those
and do not vote. But it will also because          people in countries on this continent in-
of the manipulation and vote rigging we            cluding ours who have been given habi-
have seen and will continue to see.                tat here when tortured and mistreated
    This creates a sense of hopelessness           in their home countries. We long to see
for democratic possibilities. There is al-         such happening in our country Uganda
ways a rise in rebel activities, insurgen-         and other neighbouring countries where
cies and violence before, during and af-           there is political instability.
ter each national election.                            We look forward to a time when our
    We in Kabale Socialist Club maintain           government will start appreciating the
that for Uganda’s democratic process to            emerging revolutionary left movement
grow and for smooth unhindered unity               in the country.
and development of our country, a limit                On behalf of Kabale Socialist Club
of two five-year term must be restored              I wish to extend our gratitude to the
for the presidency. An age limit of 75             South African Communist Party mem-
must be imposed on candidates for elec-            bership for the kind of fraternity shown
toral office, at the level of Local Council         in extending invitations and enabling us
5 and parliament.                                  to attend the conferences.
    And to ensure free and fair elections,             Comrades never give up. The strug-
an incumbent president wishing to con-             gle continues.
test for a second term must first resign
the post and leave office as well as State          Cde Justus is a leader of the Kabale
House. The electoral commission should             Socialist Club.




                                              40
                        AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

SPECIAL ISSUE: AFRICA LEFT NETWORK CONFERENCE

Neo-colonialism and
the new trade regimes
Economic partnerships agreements, FTA, masking
developmental agendas against poor countries for economic
progress are key neo-colonialist tools, writes Tennyson Saoana




N
            eo-colonialism is a new type of            colonisers has adopted unfair economic
            colonialism. It is the strategy            relations with the developing world. The
            imperialism uses to maintain               tentacles of neo-colonialism include:
            its control over the former col-              International chain stores, transnation-
onies. It manifests itself at social, political        al corporations and other conglomerates
and economic spheres. During the colo-                    World Bank/IMF loans tied to neo-lib-
nial era nations were conquered by other               eral economic policies
nations – mainly the Western World pow-                   Trade agreements
ers. Their land and other means of pro-                   International chain stores, transnation-
duction were taken by the conquerors.                  al corporations and other conglomerates
The conquered nations struggled for po-                    With the growth of business in the de-
litical independence. Colonies got politi-             veloped world the chain stores, conglom-
cal independence one after the other and               erates and other businesses such as indus-
in the 1960s most of the African coun-                 trial firms expanded into the developing
tries attained political independence.                 countries. These businesses are operated
    The former colonial masters and other              with cheap labour in these countries:
world powers adopted new ways of colo-                 the workers are not paid wages equal to
nising and sustaining their exploitation               those of their counterparts in the devel-
of the resources, human labour power                   oped countries where these businesses
and natural resources, of the former                   originate. The labour power of workers in
colonies and the economically weaker                   these businesses is not satisfactorily paid.
nations.                                               As a result the economic development of
    The aspirations of the newly inde-                 these countries is hampered.
pendent nations had always been to ac-                     Frank in Coetzee (2001: 83) asserts
quire economic independence. Many of                   that a class of Third World political lead-
these developing countries have been                   ers, the comprador bourgeoisie who,
struggling for decades to be economically              through colonial education or by co-op-
independent. Progress seems to be very                 tation and corruption, were sympathetic
meagre. What is the problem? The prob-                 to the interests and values of the core
lem could be neo-colonialism. The de-                  countries, facilitated the exploitative re-
veloped world that includes the former                 lationship between the core and periph-
                                                  41
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

ery in the post-colonial period.                    export earnings, signed agreements with
   Without exploitation of the of work-             the IMF to abide by a package of policy
ing people of the developing countries,             demands called structural adjustments
foreign direct investment (FDI) itself,             programmes (SAPs). Many African coun-
could be good for providing foreign cur-            tries, particularly the least developed
rency to carry out international settle-            countries including Lesotho, signed such
ments. FDI serves as a supplement to                agreements with the IMF. While the SAPs
domestic saving and investment.                     might offer some temporary relief from
                                                    the debt burden, they tend to cause other
World Bank/IMF loans tied to                        effects, such as inflation, distortions in
neo-liberal economic policies                       the distribution of wealth, a rise in crime
According to Lenin typical of old capital-          and a decreased sensitivity to environ-
ism had been the exportation of goods.              mental concerns.
Lenin stated that under the new monop-                   Neo-liberal policies propagated by the
oly capitalism or imperialism, character-           IMF and the World Bank recommend ad-
ised by the dominance of financial capi-             herence to:
tal, the major export became capital itself             free market principles which include
to places where it could be employed at             minimal government intervention,
higher rates of profit.                                 privatisation of state enterprises;
    Directly and through organisations                 a balanced budget;
such as the World Bank and Internation-                trade and financial liberalisation; and
al Monetary Fund (IMF), the developed                  low interest rates.
world gave short-term loans to develop-                  The implementation of economic
ing countries. These countries usually              SAPs includes items that follow and
failed to pay back the loans because of             those listed above:
high interests and short periods to real-              liberalisation of markets,
ise any profits. The result has been that               removal of distortions in markets such
the developing countries continue to                as subsidies, price control and general
depend economically on the developed                protectionism; and
countries.                                            replacement of import-substitution pol-
    The various types of loans, short-term,         icies (whereby the outflow of foreign cur-
medium-term and long-term, are linked               rency is restricted and the development
with conditions that affect the internal            of domestic industries is encouraged,
affairs of the developing countries. For            which are usually protected by subsidies
example, the BCP government of Lesotho              and import tariffs) by an export-oriented
could be in danger of being weakened by             development strategy.
its very electorate, if the World Bank/IMF               In Lesotho foreigners purchased most
insists on the cost-recovery in social serv-        of the privatised state enterprises and
ices and a monetarist approach to macro-            corporations, while government held not
economic policy (revenue raising, public            more than 30% of the shares in each of
expenditure cuts etc) to give government            them. The neo-liberal policies place the
enough room for policy discretion.                  developing country at a disadvantage in
    According to Nossal (98: 231) many              relation to the foreign investor and these
countries with persistent economic                  ascertain dependency of the develop-
problems, such as high debts and low                ing country on the developed countries.
                                               42
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

SAPs caused serious economic problems,              World Trade Organisation
and increased unemployment due to re-               By joining WTO a state places constraints
trenchments and the removal of protec-              on its economic decision-making.
tion of certain enterprises. In addition
SAPs resulted in social problems, such as           Southern African Commercial Union
denial of social services due to cutbacks              Membership of Sacu comprises Bot-
in respect of pensions and health serv-             swana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa
ices.                                               and Swaziland. According to the new
    Critics of neo-liberal policies contend         Sacu trade policies, with a new formula
that the Keynesian macroeconomic poli-              of sharing the revenue, the least devel-
cies with much higher deficits can stimu-            oped membewr country, Lesotho, gets
late investment and economic growth.                a fair share of the revenue. However,
The Keynesian policies provide an alterna-          through the invitation of US, in 2003
tive to neo-liberal policies. These policies        Sacu and the US began negotiations of
encourage the government to intervene in            establishing US-Sacu-FTA (Prabhala
the economy and to stimulate demand by              2004: 1). These negotiations caused
means of high deficit spending.                      great concern to Lesotho, because if the
    It would be prudent for the develop-            agreement gets implemented Lesotho
ing countries to develop and/or apply               will not get the revenue it is getting cur-
the appropriate economic policies to                rently. According to (Prabhala 2004: 1)
shed the neo-colonial economic yoke.                the Sacu members, while welcoming the
                                                    trade opportunities of bridging the in-
Trade agreements                                    equities that exist, are concerned about
The world order has involuntar-                     specific aspects of the US-Sacu FTA,
ily caused economic regionalisation or              which, if implemented, would seriously
bloc-formation in various parts of the              undermine the basic tenets of social and
world. There are bilateral and multilater-          economic development.
al trade organisations such as, Southern
African Commercial Union (Sacu), the                Southern African Development
African Growth and Opportunity Act                  Community Free Trade Area agreement
(Agoa), Southern African Development                    This agreement was signed in 2000
Community Free Trade Area agreement                 as a commitment to promote region-
(SADC FTA agreement), New Partner-                  al economic integration. The official
ship for Africa Development (Nepad),                launch was set for 17 August 2008. In
Economic community of West African                  January 2008 Lesotho achieved an 85%
States (Ecowas), World Trade Organisa-              tariff elimination target. Its Minister of
tion (WTO) and others.                              Finance and Planning said in response
    Trade agreements are accompanied                to public questions that he doubted if
by SAPs. Signing of the trade agreement             Lesotho is fully ready because of lack of
constrains the sovereignty of member                the necessary institutions to optimally
states. Sovereignty gives political com-            support trade.
munities the rights to organise their po-
litical, social, economic and cultural lives        Cde Saoana is a Central Committee mem-
as they see fit. SAPs limit these rights.            ber of the Communist Party of Lesotho

                                               43
                     AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

SPECIAL ISSUE: AFRICA LEFT NETWORK CONFERENCE

The state of democracy in Africa:
the Swaziland case
We note the deafening silence from both regional
and international bodies about the suffering of the
people of Swaziland, writes Siphasha Dlamini




W
               e bring revolutionary              has terrifyingly high levels of poverty
               greetings from the Peo-            and unemployment with poor health
               ple’s United Democratic            and education systems.
               Movement (Pudemo) and                  We also note the deafening silence
the working class of Swaziland. We also           from both regional and international
express our appreciation for being invit-         bodies about the suffering of our be-
ed to such an important conference.               loved people – to such an extent that
   Our organisation turned 27 in July             Swaziland is elected to chair important
2010, having been established in 1983             organs such as Troika in Peace and Sta-
in Swaziland, at time where the then              bility by SADC. We are aware that this
head of state had usurped state power             was a capitalist agenda and as such it led
through a proclamation and decreed                to the second banning of Pudemo and to
that there shall be no political plurality        its branding as terrorist organisation in
in the country. He banned all political           2008. However we can assure you that
parties through a draconian law that is           no amount oppression shall silence the
popularly known as the 1973 Decree.               revolutionary organisation to waver and
   Swaziland remains a hostage to the             succumb to such ruthless oppression.
forces of semi-feudal and neo-colonial                In Swaziland there is lack of basic
reaction. These forces are rooted in the          freedoms of association, assemble, or-
most primitive and backward forms of              ganisation and opinion. Political parties
accumulation, savaging our people and             are banned by law. Rights to associate
looting their every bit of resources to           are denied by the powers that be. The
feed the limitless greed of the ruling re-        state organs are unleashed on citizens
gime.                                             that from time to time sharpen the con-
   Our country, like most on the Afri-            tradictions as expressed in the royal con-
can continent, had the best resources,            stitution that is not people-driven. This
enough to sustain the economy of the              has been clearly evidenced by the kill-
small population. But all has been loot-          ing of a worker, comrade Sipho Jele, on
ed to feed the royal family and its cro-          1 May 2010 who was hanged inside one
nies. As a result Swaziland is leading the        of the king’s prisons for merely wearing
world in terms of HIV-Aids prevalence,            a t-shirt with a Pudemo emblem.
                                             44
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

    Furthermore, the house of a member                 Central to all our liberation efforts is
of Swayoco, which is the youth league               the struggle to dismantle gender and
of Pudemo, was mysteriously bombed                  class inequalities, which remain the
by a commercial explosive device after              heart of the “tinkhundla” aristocracy.
a frantic effort by the royal police to             The liberation of women and the poor
coerce his neighbours to get into their             shall be the main indicator of the extent
houses and sleep.                                   to which our agenda to defeat the legacy
    Trade union activity is highly re-              of “tinkhundla” shall have succeeded
stricted. Grass root or community or-               in improving the life conditions of our
ganisation and meetings are prohibited              people.
and can only be sanctioned by the local                Finally, we seek to reclaim our nation-
authorities (that is traditional leaders).          al heritage and resources, cultural pride
There is no media freedom, the press is             and to promote social co-operation and
highly censored and muzzled. The pop-               solidarity among the people to overcome
ulation is not free to access information,          the divisions as having been created by
especially if it puts the fascist regime in         the “tinkhundla” aristocracy, which
a bad light. State-sponsored violence is            makes slavery and inequalities an ac-
used to destroy students and youth ac-              ceptable way of life among our people.
tivities.                                               In conclusion, we reiterate our call
    Having said this, it is evident that            for international solidarity for a practical
there is absolutely no democracy in Swa-            and immediate support for our struggle.
ziland and our task is to:                          It is in the interest of every revolution-
  Democratise all spheres of our society,           ary present here that Swaziland achieves
particularly the state and its apparatus.           democracy and political stability, which
The clear intention of this objective is            is by extension the achievement of a
to promote and deepen the culture of                democratic and stable Africa. Now that
democracy in which mass participation               some progress is being seen in Zimba-
at all levels of our society; transparency          bwe, we call upon all democracy-loving
and accountability remain the basic ten-            governments and organisations to put
ets of democracy.                                   smart targeted embargos on the Swazi-
    Transform the economy and land                  land royal family and its friends as well
ownership patterns which form the ma-               as Swaziland’s top government officials
terial basis of the “tinkhundla” power              so that this unnecessary and lavish
and are central to the dismantling of its           spending comes to an end.
monopoly over the country’s wealth and                  If Swaziland is not free, the neigh-
power for the effective empowerment of              bouring countries shall be the first to
the working class and rural poor major-             feel the pinch since our people shall
ity of the Swazi people.                            ceaselessly migrate into all parts of the
  Restore meaning and essence of being              sub-region and Africa continent, as well
a Swazi as related to dignity and free-             as other countries of the globe.
dom, to instil in our people a feeling of
confidence as complete human beings                  Cde Dlamini is the Secretary General of
and not to define themselves as second               the People’s United Democratic Move-
class citizens or objects of royal exploita-        ment [Pudemo]
tion.
                                               45
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

SPECIAL ISSUE: AFRICA LEFT NETWORK CONFERENCE

Message of solidarity from
South West Africa People’s
Organisation (Swapo)
to ALNEF conference
By Salomon Ilovu




R
          eceive revolutionary greetings           ference on participatory democracy to
          from the youth of Namibia,               evaluate and review progress by the Left
          the Swapo Party, the Swapo               Parties on the continent. It is upon us, as
          Party Youth League and the               participants of democracy, to embrace
people of Namibia. Namibia is currently            the concept of participatory democracy
holding a SADC Summit and I am forth-              where all stakeholders, including the
rightly instructed to indicate that shared         electorate, are involved and consulted in
ideology has no boundaries and where               decision making processes in the affairs
there exists boundaries, it (ideology)             of our states. We as partners in this fight
will swiftly eliminate such boundaries             have to share ideas and methods on how
in search of harmony of those that are             best we can promote the concept of par-
alike and belong together. As such,                ticipatory democracy, not just theoreti-
when we say ‘power to the people’ and              cally, but also to practice it in reality.
‘aluta continua’, for us in the global pe-             We are here of our own accord as
riphery and the progressive movements              commanded by our moral responsibility
of southern Africa, the message is clear           to our fellow Comrades in the struggle
that the struggle of the lower class must          for social justice but most profoundly,
continue and intensify.                            because of Proletarian internationalism,
    Let me take this opportunity to con-           we are reminded that the lower class
gratulate the SADC on the progress made            must at all times be in solidarity with
and their achievement in the region, and           their fellow workers in other countries
HE Hifikepunye Pohamba President of                 on the basis of a common class interest.
the Republic of Namibia and also the                   History, the present and the future
President of Swapo, for his election as the        have a symbiotic relationship, they re-
Chairperson of SADC. We believe that he            main interconnected and interrelated.
will contribute immensely to the growth            Be, therefore, reminded that those who
and development of the region.                     do not know history are bound to repeat
    Allow me also to congratulate the              it. Let us always remember the journey
SACP for hosting this important con-               we have travelled so that we can chart
                                              46
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

the way forward.                                   nancial crisis is not just an event that
    We must understand that we are liv-            we must understand; it is also the time
ing in difficult times, times when the              when we need to redefine our position
enemy of the people (Capitalism) has               in the global political economy. The so
developed more teeth to bite. We must              called “invisible hand of the market”
never forget that capitalism is like feu-          has failed as we have always maintained
dalism, protected by democracy and the             and articulated that it will. Whoever
fancy names we find nowadays. We are                is not clear now that we can no longer
living in times where no one bothers               surrender the people’s lives to market
to investigate the deficits of capitalism.          fundamentalists might as well enter the
The workers still remain disregarded.              gates of the unknown places. It is there-
The petit bourgeoisie have in fact suc-            fore time for us to call for collective ac-
ceeded in removing the workers from                tion as we seek to address the needs and
the equation of success. When organiza-            aspiration of our people who are disap-
tions record high returns and productiv-           pointed, destitute and dissatisfied.
ity, the credit is given to the CEOs, Board            As the first President of Namibia,
of directors or government; little if not          Cde Dr Sam Nujoma would end by say-
nothing at all is said to recognize the            ing “the people united, fighting for com-
blood and sweat of the workers.                    mon good for all members of society,
    The recent outcome of the activities           will always emerge victorious”.
of those reckless forces of the market
must be the defining moment in our                  Cde Ilovu is a member of he Central
struggle, what we now know as the fi-               Committee of Swapo Party Youth League.




                                              47
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

SPECIAL ISSUE: AFRICA LEFT NETWORK CONFERENCE

 Quelle démocratie pour
le Tchad et L’afrique, et quels
intérêts de classe sert-elle?
Par Ley-Ngardigal Djimadoum




S
        ommet France-Afrique à la Baule,           en intégrant d’autres acquis universels
        le Président français François             des luttes des peuples pour la liberté et
        Mitterrand conditionnait l’aide            contre les dominations et l’exploitation
        au développement proportion-               du capitalisme?
nellement au progrès réalisé en matière
de démocratie dans les pays africains.             Naissance de la démocratie en Afrique
La démocratie a-t-elle commencé en                 francophone après la 2ème guerre
Afrique avec le discours de la Baule ?             mondiale
et pourquoi cette sévère injonction du             L’étymologie du mot « démocratie »
Président français ? Est-ce une position           signifie: du grec dêmos, peuple, et kra-
sincère ou une nouvelle stratégie de               tos, pouvoir, autorité. Cette compréhen-
l’impérialisme français pour pérenniser            sion fut unanimement adoptée et ad-
sa domination ?                                    mise comme norme en occident et qui
    Plus de deux décennies plus tard               tend à s’imposer dans le reste du monde.
le constat est amer et se révèle être un           La démocratie est donc le régime poli-
cuisant échec. Inversement, on note le             tique dans lequel le pouvoir est détenu
renforcement des dictatures dans les               ou contrôlé par le peuple (principe de
anciennes colonies françaises : Tchad,             souveraineté), sans qu’il y ait de dis-
Gabon, Congo Brazzaville,Cameroun,                 tinctions dues la naissance, la richesse,
Togo,     Centrafrique…Et        pourtant,         la compétence... (principe d’égalité).
l’impérialisme français ou la Françafri-           En règle générale, les démocraties sont
que règne en Maître absolu grâce à ses             indirectes ou représentatives, le pou-
valets qu’elle a imposés contre la vo-             voir s’exerçant par l’intermédiaire de
lonté des peuples de nos Etats, préten-            représentants désignés lors d’élections
dus « indépendants ». Survint alors la             au suffrage universel.
question : quels sont les causes de cet               Les autres principes et fondements
échec et quel type de démocratie serait            de la démocratie sont: la liberté des indi-
compatible au continent ? Les peuples              vidus ; la règle de la majorité; l’existence
africains ne pourraient-ils pas à partir de        d’une «constitution» et d’une juridic-
ses lointaines racines culturelles invent-         tion associée (le Conseil constitutionnel
er une « nouvelle forme de démocratie »            en France) ; la séparation des pouvoirs
                                              48
                       AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

(législatif, exécutif et judiciaire) ; la con-        de Thiaroye non loin de Dakar. Ils se
sultation régulière du peuple (élection               sont révoltés pour réclamer le paie-
et référendum) ; la pluralité des partis              ment de leurs arriérés de solde et de
politiques ; l’indépendance de la justice.            leurs primes de démobilisation. Une
[ M.H. Hansen, La Démocratie athéni-                  mutinerie éclate le 1er décembre 1944
enne à l’époque de Démosthène (1991),                 mais l’administration coloniale a sau-
Les Belles Lettres, 1993. ], [Alexis de Toc-          vagement réprimé dans le sang les mu-
queville, De la démocratie en Amérique                tins faisant officiellement 35 morts et
I (1835). Paris: Les Éditions Gallimard,              d’autres condamnés à mort. 48 d’entre
1992. Collection: Bibliothèque de la Pléi-            eux sont arrêtés, certains condamnés
ade (tome I: pp. 1 à 506)]                            à des peines de dix ans de prison mais
    Le non respect et la non application              amnistiés plus tard en 1947 par le prési-
de ces principes, notamment en ce qui                 dent de la République, Vincent Auriol.
concerne la souveraineté et l’égalité dans            Cet odieux massacre fut le détonateur
l’empire coloniale français, ont conduit              d’une prise de conscience collective de
les peuples noirs d’Afrique à s’insurger              l’état d’inégalité profonde entre blancs
contre l’impérialisme et la domination                et noirs malgré la constitution qui stip-
coloniale. Dans l’empire français, ces af-            ule l’égalité entre les citoyens. Les noirs
ricains, appelés « indigènes » sont con-              étaient considérés comme les citoyens de
sidérés comme les citoyens de seconde                 seconde zone. Le principe démocratique
zone. Ils sont exploités, humiliés par                d’égalité républicaine a été dissous dans
l’homme blanc qui se croyait supérieur                le solvant du racisme. Face à la grogne
et investit d’une mission civilisatrice di-           des africains, pendant cette période au
vine. Les colonisés se sont alors organ-              cours des années 1940-1944, le Général
isés militairement et/ou politiquement                De Gaulle était contraint d’autoriser le
dans les différents états de l’empire                 07 août 1944 le droit syndical en Afri-
français. Au sein de cette communauté                 que noire, une autre manifestation de la
française les Partis politiques des 14                démocratie. La notion de « démocratie »
colonies d’Afrique ont opté pour les                  ou du moins son embryon existait déjà
« Républiques autonomes » en 1958,                    bien avant le discours de la Baule du
puis ont réclamé leur « indépendance »                Président français François Mitterrand
en 1960.                                              en 1990 à partir de l’année 1944 puis
    Pendant les années sombres (1940-                 amplifiée à partir de 1958 avec la nais-
1944) de l’occupation de la France par                sance des républiques autonomes.
les l’Allemagne, plusieurs milliers de                    Il conviendrait ici de souligner la sol-
jeunes soldats des colonies (appelés Ti-              idarité internationaliste prolétarienne
railleurs sénégalais) et originaires de dif-          dont a fait preuve le Parti Communiste
férents pays de la colonie furent incor-              Français (PCF). En effet, les partis poli-
porés de force dans l’Armée française.                tiques et des syndicats progressistes
Ces braves soldats, à leur corps défend-              africains sont soutenus par le PCF et le
ant, ont courageusement participé à la                syndicat affilié la CGT. Forgés politique-
libération de la France.                              ment à la lumière de la lutte de classe,
    Le 30 novembre 1944, 1 280 soldats                ces Partis et syndicats africains progres-
africains d’Afrique furent démobilisés                sistes ou communistes luttaient dans le
et regroupés dans le camp de transit                  cadre de la démocratie pour l’obtention
                                                 49
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

des indépendances de leurs Etats re-                qui souffre dans sa chaire, rejette de
spectifs. Dans ce foisonnement de Partis,           manière irréversible le tyran Déby. De
l’impérialisme et le capitalisme français           plus, Les rapports annuels des associa-
ont crée des partis satellites afin de met-          tions des droits de l’Homme ont estimé
tre en échec les partis indépendantistes            à plus de 31000, le nombre de tchadiens
et nationalistes. C’était déjà pendant ce-          assassinés par le dictateur Déby. Qui os-
tte époque que l’impérialisme français              erait croire un seul instant et en toute
avait élaboré sa stratégie d’exacerbation           honnêteté intellectuelle qu’une victime
des conflits ethniques, régionalistes et             puisse aduler son bourreau ?
confessionnels à travers ces multitudes                 Le despote Déby est imposé et
de partis réactionnaires sans aucune as-            soutenu par l’impérialisme français et ses
sise populaire. C’est aussi durant cette            troupes militaires basées au Tchad. En
période que l’impérialisme et le capital-           effet, à plusieurs reprises, les Forces de
isme français ont élaboré sa stratégie de           résistances nationales ont pris d’assaut
fraude et hold-up électoraux, lesquelles            la capitale N’Djaména, cependant hélas,
recettes seront largement peaufinées                 l’armée française basée au Tchad est in-
et utilisées par les dictateurs africains           tervenue pour le sauvé in extremis. Son
soutenus par l’Elysée, afin de se mainte-            dernier sauvetage date du 3 février 2008.
nir aux trônes grâce aux pseudos élec-              Pour notre Parti, ACTUS/prpe, l’Armée
tions « démocratiques »                             française basée au Tchad est une troupe
                                                    d’occupation et d’expédition coloniale
Le dictateur Déby ou le sacre d’un                  punitive. Elle n’a jamais aidé à instaurer
despote grâce aux hold-up électoraux                les prémices d’une quelconque démocra-
et au soutien inconditionnel de la                  tie mais en revanche, elle a œuvré pour
France                                              l’instauration, le soutien et la consolida-
Si la démocratie est soutenue par le                tion de la dictature du Général-Président
principe des élections libres et transpar-          Déby. Une armée d’un pays dit démocra-
entes par lesquelles le vote majoritaire            tique qui fait l’apologie d’une dictature.
triomphe, alors le Général-Président                Quel paradoxe ! Face à l’oppression colo-
Déby au Tchad ne serait jamais élu à la             niale française, notre Parti, ACTUS/prpe
magistrature suprême du pays depuis                 exige depuis de nombreuses années la
20 ans. Il s’apprête par ailleurs à réitérer        fermeture inconditionnelle et immédi-
son quatrième hold-up électoral à la                ate des bases militaires françaises au
présidentielle de 2011. En effet, com-              Tchad.
ment un homme de cet acabit qui sème                    La démocratie libérale, bourgeoise
la terreur, la désolation, la mort au sein          et/ou capitaliste a permis à la majorité
des populations, un homme dont les                  de la population états-unienne de briser
seuls performances et talents dûment                la barrière de la suprématie de l’homme
reconnus sont la prédation des deniers              blanc sur l’Homme noir. En effet, pour la
publics, le népotisme, le clanisme, la              première fois de l’histoire des USA, un
corruption, la mauvaise gouvernance…                noir, Monsieur Barack Obama ,47 ans,
entraînant la paupérisation croissante              fut élu 44e président de la première pu-
des Masses populaires, soit plébiscité à            issance mondiale, le 4 novembre 2008.
chaque élection par les victimes ? Evi-             Dans ce cas précis inédit, nous com-
demment, non car le peuple tchadien                 prenons la joie et les espoirs que cet élé-
                                               50
                       AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

ment a suscité chez les noirs du monde                rand a pour objectif la perpétuation du
et particulièrement au sein des descend-              système économique néocolonial sous
ants des esclaves noirs et des minorités              contrôle des multinationales pétrolières
hispaniques. Cependant, près de deux                  (Exxon, Shell et Pétronas) et les entre-
ans après son triomphe, la situation                  prises françaises.
économique des 40 millions d’états-                       La famille présidentielle du dictateur
uniens pauvres n’a guerre changé car la               Déby et son clan détiennent l’économie
crise financière du capitalisme persiste.              par exemples : un des frères du tyran
Le Président avoue son échec : « Nous                 a le monopole exclusif d’importation
avons donc effectué des progrès, mais,                du matériel militaire et d’équipement
soyons honnêtes, les progrès n’ont pas                pour l’armée tchadienne. Dans son rap-
été assez rapides », L’économie, faute                port annuel 2009 sur les dépenses mili-
de croissance suffisante, peine toujours               taires et d’armements dans le monde,
à créer des emplois et le taux de chô-                la prestigieuse institution « Stockholm
mage officiel reste bloqué à 9,5 %, un                 International Peace Research Institute
niveau très élevé pour les États-Unis.                (SIPRI ») indique que les dépenses mili-
« L’économie se renforce, mais elle a vrai-           taires du Tchad se chiffrent à 436 mil-
ment subi un gros traumatisme, et nous                lions$ soit 33% de plus qu’en 2008. Le
n’allons pas récupérer tous ces huit mil-             neveu du despote Déby est Trésorier
lions d’emplois perdus du jour au lend-               Général du Ministère des Finances, alors
emain » [Figaro/AFP du 10/09/2009, Le                 que son beau frère Idriss Ahmed Idriss
Point.fr /AFP), 19.08.2010].                          était Ministre des Finances et actuelle-
    La démocratie libérale et son sys-                ment Secrétaire Général de la Commis-
tème économique de marché ou capi-                    sion Bancaire de l’Afrique Centrale (CO-
taliste qui régente les USA et les autres             BAC), la police des Banques de la zone
pays capitalistes, montre son vrai visage             Cemac. Un autre frère dirige une entre-
en maintenant la majorité dans la pré-                prise des travaux publics, à qui l’état
carité et la pauvreté alors qu’une ultra              offre tous les marchés publics sans of-
minorité milliardaires sont de plus en                fres d’appel. L’une des filles du Général
plus riches. Le monde compte 1011 mil-                Président et sa sœur sont respective-
liardaires en 2010. La fortune des 10                 ment responsables des frets et de la
premiers, est estimée à 343 milliards de              Direction des Douanes qui rapporte par
dollars$ [ in Forbes: The World’s Billion-            jours plusieurs millions de francs de
aires, 03.10.10].Selon les données 2009               recettes à l’état mais qui sont systéma-
du FMI, le Tchad a un PIB de 6974 47                  tiquement détournés afin de grossir les
milliards de dollars $ soit 8 fois inférieur à        comptes de la famille présidentielle et
la première fortune mondiale, le mexicain             son clan de prédateurs du Tchad. La dé-
Carlos Slim Helú.                                     mocratie libérale tchadienne est juteuse
                                                      pour la famille présidentielle et son clan.
Démocratie libérale après la Baule                    Ce sont des rentiers du pouvoir.
ou la prédation du Tchad par le tyran                     L’impérialisme français qui prétend
Déby et sa famille                                    donner de leçons de démocratie, de
En Afrique et au Tchad en particulier, la             bonne gouvernance en fustigeant et
démocratie libérale introduite après le               qualifiant les dirigeants anti-impérial-
discours de la Baule du Président Mitter-             istes de : « dictateurs, staliniens, totali-
                                                 51
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

taires, exécrables, non fréquentables...»,          livraison du 9 août écrit : « Des curieux
n’hésite pas pourtant à fréquenter le               ont constaté que ce sont des papiers dif-
commandant en chef du despotisme                    férents, circulant en parallèle pour les
Déby.C’est un personnage effroyable,                mêmes objectifs. In fine ce sont 7.800.000
une des pires espèces politiquement et              euros qui ont été dilapidés du trésor public
moralement que le continent ait connu.              (c.à.d. Trésor public, le trésor parallèle de
Il est de notoriété publique qu’en mat-             Younousmi et celui de la Présidence). Or à
ière de pillage de deniers publics (mal-            Paris, par la voix de Deby, il était question
gré la prédation à satiété des pétrodol-            « seulement » de 5.000.000 d’euros »
lars du Tchad), la boulimie du squatteur                Pour un pays riche en pétrodollars,
du palais rose majestueusement dressé               ressources pastorales, agricoles et ha-
au bord du fleuve Chari de NDjaména,                 lieutiques, il est inacceptable que les
est insatiable. Il s’était même convertit           populations vivent dans une misère in-
en narcotrafiquant et faux monnayeur                 commensurable, le tout aggravé par les
de dollar.Cette scandaleuse affaire et les          conséquences des inondations et de la
crimes contre l’humanité qui ont fait la            famine latente dans certaines régions.
une des médias en France et en Afrique,             Le Tchad occupe malheureusement
n’ont pas émoussé l’ardeur des gouverne-            un bon classement des pays pauvres
ments français protecteurs du tyran de              (170ème sur 179 selon le classement
le couvrir et de l’absoudre de la justice: [        IDH en 2009 du PNUD). Selon la Banque
François-Xavier Verschave « Noir Silence,           Mondiale, le taux de pauvreté du Tchad
qui arrêtera la Françafrique ? » Editions.          se chiffre à 64% alors que les revenus du
Les Arènes, Paris, 2000. PP.151-174],               pétrole sont estimés à 50 milliards Fcfa
[Le Canard enchaîné du 09.09.1998,                  par an [Source : Chronique des Libertés et
N’Djamena Hebdo du 27.08.98, Le Monde               Droits Fondamentaux n°55 mars 2003].
du 28.06.1999, Le Citoyen (Niamey) du               Inversement à cette paupérisation
22.09.1998, La Lettre du                            généralisée des masses populaires et à la
    Autre exemple récent de prédation               situation dramatique, le tyran Déby et sa
des deniers publics par le dictateur                basse-cour de thuriféraires ont un train
Général-Président , est le détournement             de vie qui rivaliserait de somptuosité et
du trésor public tchadien de plusieurs              de faste avec celle de certains fortunés
milliards de FCFA pour une prétendue                des pays du Nord. Cette meute prédatrice
« rénovation » de l’Ambassade du Tch-               qui gouverne le Tchad est rentière du
ad à Paris. Les sommes faramineuses                 pouvoir, des guerres et du chaos qu’elle
engagées par conséquent surévaluées                 entretient savamment dans le pays.
ont stupéfait les autorités de la Mairie            Outre le vol des deniers publics, action-
de Paris et l’ingénieur expert en con-              naire des sociétés, l’accumulation des bi-
struction de bâtiments, sollicité par les           ens matériels et immobiliers, le dictateur
magistrats de la chambre régionale des              Déby se livre à une course à l’armement
comptes d’Ile-de-France en charge du                sans commune mesure avec les besoins
dossier. [Sources: Le Canard enchaîné des           réels de défense du pays. Son bellicisme
3 février et 7 avril 2010, N’Djaména Ma-            et ses expéditions militaires aventureus-
tin, ZoomTchad de mai 2010 et Lev Post              es contre certains pays (Soudan, Congo,
du 5 mai 2010].                                     Centrafrique, RD Congo), inquiètent la
    Le quotidien TchadActuel dans sa                sous région. En effet, dans son rapport
                                               52
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

annuel 2009 sur les dépenses militaires             de juin 1976 des pays non-alignés :
et d’armements dans le monde, la pres-              « Tout peuple a un droit imprescriptible
tigieuse institution « Stockholm Interna-           et inaliénable à l’autodétermination. Il
tional Peace Research Institute (SIPRI »)           détermine son statut politique en toute
indique que les dépenses militaires su              liberté, sans aucune ingérence étrangère
Tchad se chiffrent à 436 millions$ soit             extérieure »,« Tout peuple a le droit de
33% de plus qu’en 2008.                             s’affranchir de toute domination coloniale
    Avec le pillages des deniers publics            ou étrangère directe ou indirecte et de tout
et revenus du pétrole, la détention du              régime raciste » De plus, la constitution
monopôle du commerce intérieur, les                 du Tchad de 1996 encourage le peuple à
investissements, acquisitions et loca-              s’insurger contre toute forme d’oppression.
tions des biens immobiliers au Tchad, en            En effet, dans son pertinent préambule
Afrique, en Europe, au moyen orient, au             dit : « notre droit et notre devoir de résister
Maghreb, en Asie (Cameroun, Maroc ,                 et de désobéir à tout individu ou groupe
Tunisie, Belgique, Mali , Dubai, Malaisie,          d’individus, à tout corps d’Etat qui prend-
Centrafriques, France…), avec l’argent              rait le pouvoir par la force ou l’exercerait
de leur corruption par les multination-             en violation de la Constitution ».
ales…La famille présidentielle et le clan
sont milliardaires et vivent dans un luxe           Le Népotisme institutionnalisé et le
insolent dont la somptuosité rivaliserait           mécanisme de l’instauration d’une
avec celle des riches personnalités du              présidence à vie pour la famille Déby
pays du Nord. Leur mépris des masses                Tous les hauts responsables politiques,
populaires, les crimes contre l’humanité            de l’administration publique et de
qu’ils commettent, les traitements dé-              l’armée sont nommés par le Général
gradant et humiliants infligés aux popu-             Président Déby parmi les membres de
lation suscitent des multiples insurrec-            sa famille et de son clan. On les trouve
tions armées contre le régime depuis 20             dans toutes les Directions de sociétés
ans. Jamais de mémoire de tchadien, le              publiques et para publiques, dans les
pays n’a connu une floraison des mou-                Ambassades du Tchad à l’Etranger, dans
vements armés contre un pouvoir. Au                 les Institutions internationales et ré-
demeurant, rappelons que les rapports               gionales... Un dictateur n’a confiance à
annuels des organisations des Droits de             personne et est toujours sur le qui vive.
l’Homme estiment à plus 31000 tchadi-               À cet effet, il a nommé son épouse Hinda
ens assassinés par le tyran.                        Déby au poste de Secrétaire particulière
    La lutte contre la dictature est com-           du chef de l’Etat, un autre fils au poste
patible avec la lutte pour la démocratie.           de Directeur de Cabinet civil adjoint, un
Le peuple insurgé a par conséquent le               troisième est directeur des ressources
droit et le devoir de prendre les armes             stratégiques à la présidence …et en-
pour se défendre. C’est la légitime                 fin avec une armée qui compte le plus
défense pour la survie. Ce droit inaliéna-          d’Officiers au monde soit plus de 200
ble des peuples à la légitime défense               généraux, les ³⁄ nommés par décrets de
armée contre toute oppression impérial-             complaisance présidentielle, appartien-
iste ou gouvernementale, est stipulé en             nent à la famille et/ou au clan. Dans la
dans les articles 5 et 6 dans la déclaration        police et la Gendarmerie on constate la
universelle des droits de peuples d’Alger           suprématie numérique du clan dans le
                                               53
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

collège des Officiers supérieurs.                        Selon les observateurs neutres inter-
    La pléthore des Partis politiques               nationaux, l’organisation de l’élection
civiles et les mouvements politico mili-            présidentielle de 2001 ressemble à la
taires (plus d’une centaine), ne traduit            précédente. Elle est entachée dès le
pas l’existence d’une « démocratie » au             départ d’irrégularités monstrueuses :
Tchad. La majorité absolue de ces or-               recensement sélectif (à titre d’exemple,
ganisations sont sans véritable idéologie           citons le cas des Tchadiens opposants
et programme politique nationale.De                 ou supposés qui ont été rayés sur la liste
plus, elles épousent généralement les               électorale par l’Ambassadeur et la CENI à
contours ethniques, régionalistes, con-             Paris malgré nos vives protestations…),
fessionnels, parfois familiaux. Nombre              votes multiples, votes des mineurs (par
de ces organisations sont fantoches car             exemple celui d’une fillette Yeskié Adié
créées et entretenues par le dictateur              détentrice d’une carte d’électeur n°0707,
Déby afin de s’assurer la majorité mé-               n°de série 2297774 à Moussoro ou
canique et automatique présidentielle               mieux encore, du mineur Abakar Guihi-
dans toutes les élections.                          ni, vice-président du bureau de vote au
    Le tyran Déby n’a jamais remporté               quartier Béchir II de Moussoro), bour-
une élection au Tchad et ne pourra ja-              rages des urnes, intimidations, tabassage
mais être vainqueur d’aucune élection               des militants de l’opposition (cas de Mr
transparente et démocratique pour cause             Néotobaye Bidi Valentin, président d’un
de ses crimes contre les masses popu-               parti de l’opposition PAP/JS, qui a reçu
laires qui rejettent son pouvoir. Afin de            une flèche à la poitrine pour avoir mené
se maintenir au pouvoir, il pratique                la campagne du candidat de l’opposition
l’établissement des fausses listes élector-         et favori des urnes, le Député Ngarléjy
ales sur lesquelles le nombre des votants           Yorongar. Au demeurant, rappelons
est supérieur au nombre d’inscrits, dans            que ce dernier fut embastillé plusieurs
certains cas, le comble de l’ignominie              fois par le Général-Président Déby pour
est atteint car le nombre des votants est           cause de son opposition implacable au
supérieur à la population de la circon-             système mafieux du régime.
scription électorale.Certains militants du              Mr Burkinébé, président de l’Union
parti présidentiel, le MPS, disposent de            des Syndicats du Tchad (UST), Mr Nga-
plusieurs cartes électorales. L’un d’eux a          toguiam Ngarbaye, secrétaire adjoint
même déclaré avec arrogance et fierté «              de la Ligue Tchadienne des Droits de
Le pouvoir est à nous, MPS. Nous ne lâch-           l’Homme (LTDH) et Mr Sayam Soulas-
erons jamais notre Président Déby. Nous             sidé de l’Association Tchadienne pour la
remporterons toujours car à moi tout seul,          Non Violence (ATNV), ont tous été as-
j’ai voté 4 fois ». Une autre thuriféraire          saillis sous un déluge de coups par les
et membre du Parti présidentiel déclara             partisans du Général-Président Déby.
récemment à Bongor dans le Sud ou-                  Cette meute de fous furieux, fut dirigée
est du pays ces phrases gravissimes : «             par Mr Oumar Boukar, Secrétaire d’État
Vous opposants à son excellence président           à la fonction publique, qui a ouvert le
Déby, nous vous lançons un avertissement            bal de tortures en assenant le premier
de voter à la prochaine élection présiden-          coup de poing à Mr Boukiré, puis a or-
tielle pour lui. Dans le cas contraire, vous        donné aux gendarmes de continuer les
serez massacrer ».                                  sévices dans les locaux de la police. Les
                                               54
                       AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

trois autres suppliciés, membres des ob-             de démocratie où le despote achète les
servateurs nationaux, alertés de la distri-          voix ! Le zèle des ces présidents de la
bution frauduleuse de nouvelles cartes               CENI a même conduit à des menaces
d’électeurs par Monsieur le « Ministre               voire des assassinats des militants ou
boxeur »,s’étaient rendus sur les lieux              sympathisants de l’opposition.
pour en faire le constat. Ils ont fini mal-               Les Masses populaires tchadiennes ou
heureusement par un séjour médical                   du moins les rescapés subissent quotidi-
aux urgences de l’hôpital de N’Djaména.              ennement des traitements humiliants et
La barbarie du régime Déby est illim-                dégradants, des viols et confiscations de
itée. Une terrifiante démocratie sévit au             leurs biens. La cruauté du tyran Déby n’a
Tchad!                                               jamais été égalée dans les annales de la
    La prétendue Commission électorale               barbarie des dictateurs africains, comme
nationale indépendante (CENI) qui est                en témoignent les exemples des femmes
sensée piloter impartialement toutes                 enceintes qui ont été éventrées et les fœ-
les opérations électorales, a toujours été           tus arrachés ! (Cf.Tchad le procès d’Idriss
présidée par un membre du clan préda-                Déby, Témoignage à charge. Ngarlejy
teur, désigné par le Général Président               Yorongar,éd. L’Harmattan,Paris,2003).
Déby. De plus, les membres de cette in-              D’autres sources indépendantes comme
stitution sont composés à majorité par               celle du Pasteur suisse, Roland Ham-
les Membres du Parti présidentiel. Afin               mel, dans son témoignage : [«Tchad :
de récompenser les différents présidents             sait-on vraiment ce qui se passe ? » dans
de la CENI pour leurs forfaitures, le dic-           l’hebdomadaire Jeune Afrique n°1855 du
tateur Déby a nommé respectivement                   24 au 30 Juillet 1996] interpelle l’opinion
M. Yoadimnadj Pascal et M. Yokabdjim                 internationale sur la tragédie méconnue
Mandigui au poste de premier Ministre.               que vit le peuple tchadien.
Ces anciens Présidents de la CENI ont                    Le 28 mai 2001, lors des élections
été diaboliquement performants dans                  présidentielles de 2001, six (6) candi-
les bourrages des urnes, les établisse-              dats de l’opposition civile ont été arrêtés
ments des fausses listes électorales en              en pleine réunion de travail. Ils ont été
privant parfois des régions entières hos-            torturés et interrogés dans les locaux
tiles au Président de s’inscrire sur la liste        de la police pendant une heure, puis
électorale, ils ont accru le contrôle et la          relâchés. Le public en colère a manifesté
pression sur les médias publics et privés            pour leur libération. La police tira et fit
, ils ont été les auteurs de découpages              4 morts et de nombreux blessés. Des ar-
électoraux truqués , de la promulgation              restations massives ont été alors opérées
de loi électorale scélérate permettant               au sein des militants de l’opposition
de disqualifier les candidatures de cer-              dans tout le pays.
tains opposants aux élections présiden-                  L’examen des manœuvres de hold-
tielles... On a même constaté que cer-               up des voix par le dictateur Déby pen-
taines personnes décédées de longues                 dant les dernières élections présiden-
dates ont mystérieusement voté Déby.                 tielles de 2006, témoigne si besoin est,
Enfin, le régime a recours massivement                de la fausse démocratie au Tchad et
à la corruption en payant des modiques               de l’illégitimité du squatteur du palais
sommes à certaines populations de vot-               rose. En effet, le 14 mai 2006, notre
er pour le président sortant, Déby. Drôle            Peuple a subi une nouvelle humiliation.
                                                55
                     AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

L’impérialisme français, la Françafrique         Droits de l’Homme (FIDH), Dobian
déclara la guerre au peuple tchadien. Le         Assingar a qualifié le scrutin de masca-
troisième coup d’état ou hold-up élec-           rade : « En général le taux de participa-
toral, après ceux de 1996 et 2001, tous          tion a été très faible. Nous avons noté la
soutenus par la Françafrique, vient de           présence de nombreux hommes en tenue
réussir : la proclamation de la victoire         dans les bureaux de vote et la distribu-
du Général-Président Idriss Déby Itno            tion massive de cartes d’électeurs le jour
à la présidentielle au premier tour avec         du vote aux mineurs… ».Maître Delphine
77,53%. Et pourtant le premier tour du           Djiraïbé,Coordinatrice du Comité de suivi
3 mai fut massivement boycotté par               de l’appel à la paix et la réconciliation,
l’opposition et le peuple traumatisé. La         d’ajouter « La non participation des popu-
participation ridicule atteignait tout au        lations à l’élection du 3 mai confirme que,
plus 8% selon les estimations les plus           ni un coup de force militaire, ni un coup
optimistes des observateurs impartiaux           de force électoral ou institutionnel ne
indépendants internationaux. Le quo-             peuvent être une réponse à la crise socio-
tidien Gabonsnews du 04.05.2006 écri-            politique que traverse le pays » et de con-
vait : «…À treize heures, les bureaux            clure avec amertume au nom du Comité
de vote à N’Djamena sont restés, pour            « Nous regrettons une fois de plus le refus
la plupart, désespérément vides, a-t-on          catégorique du pouvoir, soutenu dans sa
constaté. Au bureau de vote de la gare           logique par la France, d’ouvrir le dialogue
routière, quartier Naga II dans le quat-         national avant l’élection ».
rième arrondissement, considéré com-                 En 20 ans de règne absolu, le
me un bastion du parti au pouvoir, à la          Général-Président Déby n’a remporté
mi-journée, sur 520 inscrits, seuls 20           démocratiquement aucune élection. Les
ont voté. Au quartier N’Djari, toujours          Présidentielles de 1996, 2001 et 2006
une zone considérée comme acquise au             ont été confisquées grâce aux hold-up
parti au pouvoir, à 11h30, seuls 30 per-         électoraux supervisés par le spécial-
sonnes ont voté dans le bureau du Carré          iste de fraudes électorales, agent de
17B pour un total de 410 inscrits…».             l’impérialisme français (la Françafrique),
    Le boycottage des urnes par la major-        Monsieur Grand Esnon (Cf.Ouvrages,
ité de la population a été confirmé par           « Noir Silence, qui arrêtera la Françafri-
une forte abstention selon les diplomates        que » de François-Xavier Verschave, éd.
et les journalistes occidentaux (Source :        Les arènes, Paris, 2000 et « Noir Procès »
L’Express du 28 mai 2006). Face à la             de François-Xavier Verschave et Laurent
tôlée générale de l’opinion nationale et         Beccaria, éd. Les Arènes, Paris, 2001). Le
internationale, la cour constitutionnelle        Canard Enchaîné n°4463 du 10.05.06
prise en flagrant délit de hold-up, a revu        écrit ces vérités cruelles et ironiques :
à la baisse les premiers chiffres avancés        « L’armée française agent électoral au
le 14 mai dernier.C’est ainsi que le taux        Tchad » écrit : «…Pas de démonstration
de participation a été ramené à 53% et           de force, donc, mais un solide soutien lo-
non à 70% initialement, et 64,67% le             gistique au déroulement de cette farce
pourcentage acquis par le candidat Déby          électorale, taillée sur mesure pour Idriss
au lieu de 77,53% du départ.                     Déby, le vieux compagnon de route de la
    Dans son rapport, le Vice-président          France. Comme lors des deux précédentes
de la Fédération Internationale des              consultations, les bulletins de vote ont
                                            56
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

été fabriqués en France, par l’Imprimerie              Les critères d’appréciations uni-
nationale. Puis ils ont été transportés            versellement admis pour les élections
-par avion- à N’Djamena, où ils ont été            démocratiques sont :
mis à l’abri, comme le reste du matériel              La tenue d’élections libres et transpar-
électoral, dans des magasins de l’armée            entes à échéance régulière
française, évidemment gardés par des sol-             Institution du multipartyisme
dats…français. Ces bulletins ont ensuite               La liberté d’expression de l’opinion
été expédiés dans les différentes provinces        publique
du pays grâce à l’aimable concours des av-            Liberté de la presse et des autres mé-
ions dont dispose la France sur place. Et,         dias
tout aussi obligeamment, nos militaires               La séparation des pouvoirs Exécutifs,
sont venus récupérer les urnes pleines ou          judiciaires et législatifs
vides »                                               Indépendance de la justice
    L’impérialisme Français a ainsi con-              Respect des droits de l’homme
sacré « démocratiquement » la dictat-                  Les élections prétendues démocra-
ure du Général-Président Déby 1er au               tiques au Tchad, ne satisfont à aucun de
Peuple tchadien. La France qui a une               ces critères susmentionnés. Ce qui con-
propension à fustiger les atteintes aux            firme que notre pays il n’y a pas de « dé-
« normes démocratiques » avait déjà ob-            mocratie ». Cependant, hélas, les mem-
servé en amont un mutisme complice.                bres de la Mission d’observation et de
Elle a encouragé et soutenu la révision            surveillance des élections de l’Union Eu-
de l’article 61 de la Constitution qui             ropéenne (UE), les observateurs officiels
n’autorise que deux mandats de cinq (5)            de certaines puissances impérialistes qui
pour la présidence du Tchad. Le Général-           ont assisté aux élections présidentielles
Président Déby a tripatouillé le 24 juin           de 1996, 2001 et 2006 n’ont toujours
2005 ce dispositif constitutionnel qui             rien vu d’anormal .Quelle cruauté !
lui permet de se présenter indéfiniment                 Les impérialistes qui sont toujours
aux élections, en d’autres termes, il rest-        prompts à réagir vigoureusement contre
era Président à vie du Tchad. Voici la             les atteintes aux « droits de l’homme,
« démocratie bananière ou maffieuse »               aux violations des règles démocratiques
que défendent les impérialistes contre             électorales » en condamnant , sanction-
la volonté des masses populaires. Nous             nant économiquement et politiquement
avons assisté avec colère et rage au sa-           leurs auteurs, sont devenus aveugles et
cre du « Roi Déby 1er du Tchad » par la            aphones au Tchad. Dans tous leurs rap-
France. Au demeurant, rappelons que                ports formatés relatifs aux élections, on
cette révision de la Constitution a eu             trouve la conclusion une sorte de refrain
lieu quelques semaines après une vis-              nauséabond : « les élections se sont
ite furtive du Général-Président Déby à            déroulées dans une atmosphère globale-
l’Elysée. Quelle curieuse coïncidence et/          ment positive…il n’ y a pas d’incidents
ou hasard de calendrier ? En l’absence             majeurs de nature à porter atteinte à
d’un fort soutien ou de la bénédiction             la crédibilité du scrutin ». Nous avons
de la France, la révision constitution-            ici une preuve de l’hypocrisie des puis-
nelle ne serait pas engagée car le valet           sances impérialistes, capitalistes et no-
de l’impérialisme obéit aux ordres du              tamment celle de la France qui soutient
Maître.                                            et bénit à tout vent le sacre du dictateur
                                              57
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

Déby, leur valet par excellence contre la           à l’instar du despote Déby au Tchad. La
volonté des masses populaires tchadi-               politique de l’impérialisme français en
ennes. Les dirigeants français sont aussi           Afrique ou la Françafrique est immuable
les premiers à envoyer leurs messages               quelle que soit l’idéologie du parti vain-
de félicitations au tyran Déby pour sa              queur installé à l’Elysée.
« brillante réélection » à la magistrature              Le régime politique imposé au Tchad
suprême. Ce n’est pas un hasard si la               et dans les autres pays d’Afrique après le
France, quelques mois avant les élec-               discours de la Baule du Président Mitter-
tions présidentielles de 2001, a déblo-             rand en 1989, est appelé « démocratie »
qué plusieurs millions de francs d’aide             car leurs dirigeants ont reçu le « Brevet
pour moderniser le système de com-                  de soumission et de la défense des in-
munication des forces de sécurité (Gen-             térêts impérialistes par les puissances
darmerie).Il est évident que cette mod-             occidentales ». C’est ainsi que malgré les
ernisation servirait à mieux verrouiller            crimes contre l’humanité et les crimes
le territoire et à mater toute velléité de          économiques commis par le tyran Déby,
contestation populaire. Enfin, le sout-              ce dernier est un « démocrate » et que
ien de la France au tyran Déby est aussi            dans ce pays d’Afrique règne la « dé-
d’ordre juridique car les différents gou-           mocratie » aux yeux de la France.
vernements de l’hexagone de gauche et                   Le piège pour le Tchad et les autres
de droite se sont toujours opposés à plu-           pays d’Afrique, provient du finance-
sieurs reprises lors des assemblées de la           ment de nos élections par les puissances
Commission des Nations-Unies pour les               impérialistes qui veuillent à ce que leur
Droits de l’Homme, d’inscrire le Tchad              « capital investi » puisse générer des
en procédure d’urgence. Ce qui a permis             profits énormes. En d’autres termes, les
jusqu’à ce jour au régime du Général                bailleurs de fonds imposent aux peuples
Déby d’échapper à la condamnation.                  africains leurs valets qui garantissent les
    La France de la commune de Paris et             pillages de nos ressources à perpétuité,
de la Déclaration des droits de l’Homme             bradant ainsi la souveraineté de nos
et du Citoyen (texte fondamental de la              états et empêchant toute politique so-
Révolution française), qui énonce un                ciale en faveur du bien-être des masses
ensemble de droits naturels individuels             populaires. Le financement des élections
et collectifs et les conditions de leur mise        serait devenu le nouvel eldorado et une
en œuvre du 26 août 1789, a été trahie              nouvelle recolonisation du continent af-
par l’impérialisme français en Afrique              ricain par les puissances impérialistes et
ou la Françafrique. Pour ce dernier, les            ce, de manière « démocratique ». Il faut
Droits de l’homme dont la France se fait            être de mauvaise foi pour oser affirmer
le chantre est à géométrie variable avec            que les Masses populaires africaines
en filigrane un relent de racisme. En ef-            suppliciées par les dictateurs auraient
fet, pour Paris, les noirs d’Afrique de son         voté pour rester sous domination colo-
pré-carré ne sont pas mâtures ou dignes             niale par procuration sous la chape de
de vivre en « démocratie » car nous                 plomb des petites créatures de la França-
sommes « génétiquement » constitués                 frique qui font office de « Gouverneurs-
que pour être dirigés par les Présidents            généraux délégués » de la République
dictateurs ou plus exactement par les               française en Afrique.
« Gouverneurs délégués » de la France                   La Présidence à vie est tacitement
                                               58
                       AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

instituée au Tchad. Mieux encore, le                 le régime possède déjà un minimum de
tyran prépare activement la transmis-                fondement démocratique. Ce qui n’est
sion du pouvoir à une de ses nom-                    pas le cas au Tchad où le dictateur Déby
breuses progénitures. La dynastie ou la              représente les trois pouvoirs : Exécutif,
présidence familiale est en marche. Le               Législatif et Judiciaire. Il décide de tout
peuple tchadien n’accepterait jamais la              seul sans même consulter les députés de
consécration d’une monarchie déguisée                son Parti. Ces derniers ne sont d’aucune
avec les règnes des Rois Déby 1er,                   utilité pour lui et pour les populations
Déby2ème, Déby 3ème… Au Tchad, le                    dont ils sont sensés représentés.
MPS, parti présidentiel est omniprésent                  Le Philosophe français Jean-Jacques
dans toutes les structures de l’Etat. Il uti-        Rousseau est l’un de ceux qui sont hos-
lise les moyens matériels, financiers et              tiles à l’idée de représentation. Pour lui,
militaires de l’état pour anéantir les par-          déléguer son pouvoir à des représent-
tis d’opposition. Dans ces conditions, la            ants revient pour le peuple à aliéner sa
démocratie bourgeoise et représentative              liberté puisque rien ne garantit que la
n’a aucune signification car nous avons               volonté des représentants soit fidèle à la
une assemblée monocolore avec une                    volonté générale. Cette crainte exprimée
majorité absolue au MPS. De plus, les                montre les limites de la démocratie
Masses populaires se désintéressent à                bourgeoise représentative d’une part et
une politique caractérisée par la répres-            d’autre part on risque de privilégier les
sion et l’accroissement exponentiel de la            intérêts locaux ou individuels avec la dé-
misère, d’où les forts taux d’abstention             mocratie participative au détriment des
aux différentes élections (moins de 50%              intérêts généraux ou collectifs. Les exé-
pour les excellentes performances).                  cutants des décisions arrêtées lors des
                                                     discutions en démocratie participative
La légitimité démocratique des élus du               demeurent néanmoins les élus munici-
Parti présidentiel, serait en cause                  paux qui appartiennent à la démocratie
La démocratie participative ou locale                participative. D’aucuns proposeraient la
pourrait ouvrir une brèche en faveur de              démocratie directe afin de résoudre ce-
la majorité des citoyens écartés des dé-             tte équation de la représentativité. Quel
cisions relatives aux problèmes locaux.              que soit le type de démocratie, notre
Cependant au Tchad, nous assistons                   parti, ACTUS/prpe affirme que l’élément
depuis quelques mois sous prétexte                   essentiel pour asseoir la démocratie au
d’urbanisation de certains quartiers de              Tchad et en Afrique, c’est d’abord dével-
N’Djaména à la destruction des maisons               opper l’éducation massive des Peuples.
des paisibles citoyens jetés par milliers            Eduquées et conscientisées, les Masses
dans la rue et sans indemnisations. Cer-             populaires sauront lire, comprendre,
taines de ces familles sont propriétaires            comparer les programmes politiques
de leurs maisons depuis plusieurs dé-                des candidats et voteront avec con-
cennies. Si la démocratie participative              science pour ceux qui ne les trahiraient
ou les conseils de quartiers existaient,             pas au cours de leur législature ou dans
les familles victimes de ces mesures uni-            le cas de démocratie direct, elles saurai-
latérales se feraient entendre en amont              ent comprendre le sens des projets en
en proposant de solutions adéquates.                 discussions ou faire des propositions co-
Une telle démarche est possible que si               hérentes conformes aux lois existantes.
                                                59
                     AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

Le revers de la médaille de la démocratie         ent le pacte colonial d’asservissement de
directe ne serait-elle pas la primauté des        leurs pays.
intérêts locaux ou particuliers au détri-             Les régimes des pays du Sud qui mè-
ment des intérêts généraux nationaux ?            nent une politique indépendante et anti
Alors survint la question, quels types            impérialiste sont les cibles priviligiées
de Partis incarneraient mieux et défen-           d’attaques médiatiques, politiques, mili-
draient les intérêts directs des états et         taires et des sanctions économiques des
ceux des masses populaires africaines?            puissances impérialistes car leurs valets
Pour notre Parti, ACTUS/prpe, seuls les           et candidats aux élections présiden-
partis d’avant-garde révolutionnaires et          tielles ont toujours été battus. Les Mass-
communistes sont à même de procéder               es populaires ne sont pas dupes et rest-
à un changement radical c’est-à-dire              ent vigilantes. Les Peuples rejettent les
initier une révolution socialiste qui             diktats et autres oukases impérialistes.
détruirait l’ordre ancien de domination,          Ils soutiennent leurs dirigeants nation-
d’exploitation impérialiste et bourgeoise         alistes : c’est le cas du Président Robert
soutenue par la démocratie représenta-            Mugabé du Zimbabwe qui est devenu
tive néolibérale imposée à l’Afrique et au        la bête noire des impérialistes occiden-
Tchad. Au sein des Partis d’avant-garde           taux depuis la nationalisation des riches
révolutionnaires marxiste-léninistes, les         terres agricoles (70%) du pays détenues
masses populaires imprégnées de la cul-           par une ultra minorité (4000 ) fermiers
ture de lutte de classe, sauraient placer         blancs.
de garde-fous d’abord dans la première                Les présidents Mahmoud Ahmadine-
étape d’une révolution démocratique               jad en Iran, Hugo Chavez au Venezuela,
nationale et populaire contre les éven-           Castro à Cuba, Al Béchir au Soudan, Evo
tuelles velléités de sabotage de certains         Morales en Bolivie, Kim Jong Il en Corée
dirigeants politiques des Partis con-             du nord… font partie de ces dirigeants
stituant le front de la lutte contre la           du Sud qui sont vilipendés, menacés
dictature. La participation de l’ACTUS/           militairement par les impérialistes.Cer-
prpe, parti révolutionnaire commu-                tains leaders révolutionnaires et nation-
niste d’avant garde au sein de ce large           alistes ont payé de leur vie. Ils ont été
front, tient compte de ces paramètres             lâchement assassinés par l’impérialisme.
dans l’évolution politique et l’objectif          Notre Parti, ACTUS/prpe rend un vi-
final à atteindre : la vraie démocratie            brant hommage à ces martyrs africains
en l’occurrence la DÉMOCRATIE POPU-               qui incarneront à jamais l’espoir du con-
LAIRE. Les Masses populaires tchadi-              tinent : Ce sont le premier ministre Pa-
ennes en sont conscientes. C’est ce qui           trice Emery Lumumba du RD Congo, les
justifie et galvanise notre détermination          présidents,Samora Machel du Mozam-
pour la lutte armée contre les dictatures         bique, Sylvanus Olympio du Togo,Gamal
au Tchad depuis plusieurs décennies.              Abdel Nasser d’Egypte, Thomas Sankara
Aucun peuple au monde n’acceptera le              du Burkina Faso, Marien Ngouabi du
sort criminel qui est réservé au peuple           Congo Brazzaville, les Leaders des
du pays de Toumaï, et de surcroît ber-            Mouvements de libération nationale :
ceau de l’humanité.                               Chris Hani d’Afrique du Sud, Amical
    L’impérialisme décerne le Brevet de           Cabral de Guinée Bissao, Mario de An-
«démocratie» aux dictatures qui défend-           drade de l’Angola, Eduardo Mondlane,
                                             60
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

du Mozambique,Um Nyombé, Ernest                    retenue aucune. La lutte de classe et
Ouandié, Félix Moumié du Cameroun,                 la révolution communiste restent sont
Ibrahim Abatcha, Robenate du Tchad,                toujours d’actualité.
Mehdi Ben Barka du Maroc, le Colonel
Amirouche Aït Hamouda d’Algérie, Bar-              La démocratie populaire au Tchad est-
thélemy Boganda de Centrafrique…                   elle possible ?
    D’autres figures emblématiques tell-            Face à cette situation tragique, les
es que Kwame Nkrumah, président du                 masses populaires tchadiennes n’ont
Ghana a été victime d’un coup d’état.              pas d’autres alternatives que de prendre
Il a été l’initiateur de l’OUA et pour la          les armes pour se libérer de la tyrannie
première fois a appelé à la création des           soutenue par l’impérialisme français.
Etats-Unis d’Afrique (EUA), il écrivait :          C’est dans cette logique que notre Parti,
«Nos problèmes actuels ne peuvent être             ACTUS/prpe soutient la lutte des Forces
résolus par les actions sporadiques, ni            de résistance nationale avec lesquelles
par de pieuses résolutions. Il ne faudra           nous formons un front commun. Notre
rien moins que l’action unitaire d’une             plate forme minimale est d’anéantir la
Afrique unie ». Ce panafricain convain-            dictature et assurer un pouvoir transi-
cu représente un réel danger pour les              toire vers l’instauration d’une véritable
intérêts de l’impérialisme sur le conti-           démocratie. Cette première étape est in-
nent.                                              dispensable pour nous communistes car
    Le Président sud africain Nelson Man-          l’avènement d’une démocratie populaire
dela quant à lui, fut incarcéré pendant            ne pourrait se faire sans la participation
27 ans dans le bagne de Robben Island              effective du peuple dans les décisions
par le régime raciste de l’apartheid, un           qui touchent à leur existence locale.
appendice de l’impérialisme occidental             Nous pensons que les masses popu-
et de la démocratie bourgeoise.                    laires longtemps opprimées doivent
    Notre Parti, ACTUS/prpe est solid-             s’approprier des débats sur les décisions
aire de ces dirigeants et de leurs peu-            locales. C’est ce que notre parti qualifi-
ples qui résistent courageusement aux              erait de « démocratie locale ou partici-
différentes agressions dont leurs pays             pative ». Cette étape démocratique est
sont victimes. Suivant notre principe              une école qui permettrait à la majorité
communiste de la lutte de classe, nous             longtemps ignorée de se former poli-
refusons d’être dans le même camp que              tiquement.
les agresseurs impérialistes contre les                À propos de la confusion sur la
peuples agressés du Sud. De plus, les in-          terminologie « démocratie », Lénine
térêts de ces puissances dominatrices ne           écrit : [« La bourgeoisie est obligée de
sont pas les nôtres car ils sont issus des         faire l’hypocrite et de donner le nom de «
pillages de nos ressources naturelles et           pouvoir du peuple entier ou de démocra-
de l’exploitation des travailleurs du Sud          tie en générale (…) ou de la république
mais aussi ceux Nord. L’exploitation de            démocratique (bourgeoise), (…) qui est
l’Homme par l’Homme et la course aux               en fait la dictature de la bourgeoisie, la
profits des capitalistes, créent la paupéri-        dictature des exploiteurs sur les masses
sation croissante des Masses populaires.           travailleuses. Il n’est point d’autre moyen
Le capitalisme est un système qui doit             que de remplacer la dictature de la bour-
être combattu sans compromission et                geoisie, capitaliste par la dictature du pro-
                                              61
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

létariat »(Lénine, œuvres, Tome 28, pp             qui permet à l’impérialisme français
383-388)]. Pour nous Communistes, le               d’imposer « démocratiquement » grâce
rôle de notre Parti d’avant-garde révolu-          aux hold-up électoraux, le sacre d’une
tionnaire, ACTUS/prpe prend toute sa               dictature la plus cruelle au monde, celle
signification. Notre participation active           du tyran Général président Déby. Cette il-
au sein du front mettrait aussi l’accent           lusion de démocratie libérale représenta-
sur la nécessaire lutte de classe qui con-         tive se renouvelle périodiquement avec
duira à l’instauration d’une véritable dé-         des nouveaux élus du Parti présidentiel,
mocratie, en l’occurrence la démocratie            le MPS, puisés dans la colossale réserve
populaire ou démocratie socialiste à long          des corrompus, d’opportunistes, des as-
terme comme objectif à atteindre. En               soiffés de pouvoir, des carriéristes,des ar-
démocratie populaire, le pouvoir appar-            rivistes et autres « compétiteurs du rem-
tient réellement au peuple, exercé par le          plissage d’estomac ou ventrologues selon
peuple et pour garantir ses intérêts. Con-         un néologisme tchadien » que le dicta-
trairement à la démocratie libérale, la            teur Général Président Déby pouvoir a su
minorité bourgeoise et/ou compradore               constituer afin de pérenniser trône.
détiennent le pouvoir par le truchement                Les Masses populaires tchadiennes
des pseudos élections démocratiques.               n’ont pas d’autres alternatives que celle
Leurs représentants dans les institutions          de la lutte armée pour se libérer de la
politiques (assemblées, sénats, congrès,           tyrannie. C’est une nécessité historique
municipalités, gouvernorats…) défend-              et préalable. L’instauration d’une véri-
ent leurs intérêts en maintenant l’ordre           table démocratie populaire que notre
d’asservissement du pacte colonial et              Parti, ACTUS/prpe souhaite pour notre
capitaliste. L’omniprésence du MPS, le             peuple passe nécessairement par dif-
parti présidentiel du tyran Déby au Tch-           férentes étapes, d’abord celle de ce large
ad en est une preuve. Karl Marx disait             front au sein duquel nous y prenons
que les révolutions sont les locomotives           activement part contre la dictature
de l’histoire. Les masses populaires tcha-         de Déby, soutenue et entretenue par
diennes, exploitées, écrasées sous le joug         l’impérialisme français. La période tran-
de la dictature et de la misère ont le de-         sitoire permettrait de créer les condi-
voir historique de faire la révolution qui         tions objectives pour l’organisation des
défendra leurs intérêts contre la domi-            élections crédibles, transparentes et dé-
nation capitaliste. À long terme, seule            mocratiques.
une révolution socialiste dirigée par un               Nous, Peuples africains devons nous
Parti d’avant-garde avec la participation          affranchir totalement de la domination
massive de tous les travailleurs manuels,          impérialiste afin de choisir librement nos
intellectuels et les paysans majoritaires          dirigeants, notre mode d’organisation
au Tchad, serait à même d’instaurer une            politique, conformes à la défense des
démocratie populaire. C’est l’objectif fi-          intérêts des masses populaires. Les
nal de notre parti, ACTUS/prpe.                    révolutions nationales démocratiques
                                                   et populaires auxquelles nous commu-
Conclusions                                        nistes devons prendre activement part,
Au Tchad, le multipartyisme ne signifie             constitueraient les jalons de l’étape vers
nullement démocratie. C’est une vérita-            la démocratie populaire qui est notre
ble imposture électorale et intellectuelle,        conception de la « démocratie » et ob-
                                              62
                     AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

jectif final. Seule la société socialiste         le devoir de nous unir avec les masses
permettrait l’épanouissement rapide,             populaires afin de donner la riposte
massif, équitable et général des Afric-          adéquate à cette agression. Notre Parti,
ains. Seul le socialisme avec sa démocra-        ACTUS/prpe espère que la création de
tie populaire pourrait mobiliser les             l’internationale communiste africaine
ressources naturelles et humaines afin            ou Komintern africain (ICA) est néces-
d’accélérer la réalisation des Etats-Unis        saire.
d’Afrique avec la participation effective            La Komintern africa doit faire partie
des masses populaires dans des déci-             intégrante du Mouvement communiste
sions politiques à tous les niveaux car          international (MCI). Tous ensemble et
elles en sont privées par la démocratie          avec détermination, nous propulserons
représentative libérale et bourgeoise im-        les luttes des peuples vers la libération
posée à notre continent.                         totale du continent de la domination et
    Le socialisme est l’avenir de no-            de l’exploitation impérialiste et capital-
tre continent opprimé, pillé, avili par          iste.
l’impérialisme et le capitalisme. Les
Forces capitalistes unies, écrasent les          Par Djimadoum, Secrétaire Général de
Peuples. Nous communistes avons aussi            ACTUS / prpe




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                     AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

SPECIAL ISSUE: AFRICA LEFT NETWORK CONFERENCE

Contribution of the
Workers’ Party of Belgium
The struggle against neo-colonialism and imperialism in Africa
is inextricably linked to the struggle for socialism in Europe,
writes Tony Busselen




T
          he National Council of the              to increase his personal wealth Leopold
          Workers’ Party of Belgium               II installed a terror regime for the Con-
          greets the first conference of           golese people. People had to look for
          the Africa Left Networking Fo-          rubber in the forest and if they refused
rum (ALNEF) entitled “ The Left’s Con-            or if their harvest was insufficient, they
ception of Democracy in Africa: Tasks             were violently punished. The Belgian
and Challenges” . We thank the South              demographer Léon de Saint-Moulin es-
African Communist Party and the Suda-             timated that between 1880 and 1920, 5
nese Communist Party for the opportu-             to 10 million Congolese, i.e. 33% to 50%
nity they offer us to be with you and to          of the population, disappeared. They
learn from the experiences and analyses           were murdered, died of hardship or fled
of the communist parties and democrat-            to neighbouring countries. To this day,
ic organisations in Africa.                       comrades, this regime is defended in our
    For us, Belgian communists, the               country. Former Foreign Minister and
struggle against colonialism, neo-colo-           former European Commissioner for De-
nialism and the imperialist policies of           velopment, Louis Michel, said of Leopold
domination and re-colonisation by US              II on July 22 this year: “a visionary and a
and European multinationals is inextri-           hero who used the methods that were in
cably linked to the struggle for socialism        use at the time”.
in Belgium and in Europe. Our Belgian                 And our capitalists made money,
capitalists drew a very important part of         comrades, a lot of money: the value of
their power and capital from the colo-            the shares of companies active in Congo
nisation of Congo-Kinshasa, and from              was in 1928, 26% of the total value of
their mandated territories Rwanda and             listed companies on the stock market
Burundi.                                          in Belgium. By 1955 it had increased to
    King Leopold II of Belgium seized,            44%. The average profit rate of all co-
conquered and colonised – with the ap-            lonial enterprises together was for the
proval of the major European states –             period 1950-1955 30%. For the min-
an area in the heart of Africa that was           ing companies it was even 50 to 60%.
more than 80 times as large as Belgium.           And so, thanks to the plundering of the
To recoup its initial invested capital and        colonies of central Africa and the ex-
                                             64
                      AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

ploitation of its Belgian working class, a          Pierre Mulele and Gaston Soumaliot in
powerful bourgeoisie was created in lit-            the leadership of the revolutionary wing
tle Belgium. For these people Congolese             of the Conseil National de Liberation,
independence was unacceptable and in-               which tried to coordinate the different
conceivable. In the end, under pressure             fronts of the nationalist resistance that
from the Congolese people and the inter-            had at the time already liberated two
national community, especially the So-              thirds of the country. After this opposi-
viet Union, they organised elections. But           tion was brutally beaten down, Laurent
it was the Congolese nationalists led by            Kabila founded the Popular Revolution-
Patrice Emery Lumumba who won these                 ary Party (PRP) in 1968. Like Pierre
elections. The Belgian bourgeoisie did              Mulele, who was cruelly murdered in
not reject any act of cowardice, intrigue           the same year, Kabila had indeed come
or brute force to defeat the nationalists.          to the conclusion that a national demo-
And for this it could fully count on the            cratic revolution could not be conducted
support of US imperialism, which had                without a revolutionary Marxist party.
taken the lead in Africa after the Second           During 17 years Kabila led with the
World War. The cowardly assassination               comrades Kibwe Cha Malenga, Gabriel
of the elected Congolese leader Lumum-              Yumbu, Mashado and other leaders of
ba, was followed by a merciless terror              the PRP a liberated zone in the region
campaign against all nationalist Congo-             of Fizi Baraka on the border between
lese. Serious historians speak of 300 000           South Kivu and North Katanga. Mobu-
to 1-million Congolese dead who fell to             tu’s troops, aided by mercenaries and
the Belgo-American repression between               the CIA organised a bloody repression.
1960 and 1965. And so was established               One after another, the revolutionary
the Mobutu dictatorship that was to last            leaders were killed, and eventually the
36 years, by the direct, bloody interven-           PRP and the maquis of Fizi Baraka were
tion of the Belgian and US military aided           completely destroyed around 1985.
by white mercenaries. Until 1990, com-                  As a young communist organisation,
rades, Mobutu was the main ally of US               from the 1970s we had contact with the
imperialism in the region and the great             PRP. When after a decade of preparatory
friend of the Belgian leaders. Only after           work we organised the Foundation Con-
the end of the Cold War his bosses begin            gress of our Party in 1979, the delega-
to criticise him and to look for a succes-          tion of the PRP, led by Laurent Kabila
sor. Following six years of fruitless palav-        himself, was the only international del-
er, one of the few surviving Lumumbist              egation that was present. Besides work-
leaders from the sixties, a revolutionary           ing in the Belgian working class, learn-
and a Marxist, Laurent Desire Kabila, was           ing from the Congolese revolutionaries
able to use the excessive self-confidence            who were actually struggling against
and the many contradictions within the              the Mobutu regime was from the begin-
imperialist camp to chase Mobutu away               ning one of the basic orientations of our
on 17 May 1997 after seven months of                party. In 1979 Laurent Kabila asked our
armed conflict.                                      party to save the history of the maquis
    Our party had already been in con-              directed by Pierre Mulele. In 1980, Ludo
tact with Mzee Kabila in the 1970s.                 Martens, president of our party until
Laurent Kabila was in 1964-1965 with                2008, began collecting testimonies and
                                               65
                     AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

documents to analyse the maquis that              gium and to organise solidarity. It quick-
Pierre Mulele, former education minis-            ly appeared that within the Rwandan
ter in the government of Lumumba, in-             Patriotic Front pro-imperialist forces led
stalled and led in the Kwilu region, 300          by Kagame had taken the lead and many
km away from the capital Kinshasa, be-            progressives; some members of the RPF
tween 1963 and 1966. This work result-            had to flee the country. When, in 1997,
ed in the book Pierre Mulele, la seconde          Laurent Kabila, with his rich experience
vie de Patrice Lumumba (Pierre Mulele,            and in a historic period in which impe-
the second life of Patrice Lumumba)               rialism felt omnipotent, succeeded in
published in 1985. Many Congolese                 overthrowing the Mobutu regime and
patriots have recognised this work as a           took a nationalist stance, we defended
standard Marxist book on their country.           this fight and we also went to the Congo.
It contains a thorough analysis of the co-        For eight years our comrade Ludo Mar-
lonial period, a class analysis of Congo-         tens spent most of his time in the coun-
lese society and economy around 1960,             try. He witnessed the struggle of the
a history of the resistance in the 1960s          Congolese nationalists, led by Laurent
and a detailed description of the expe-           Kabila, to recover their independence,
rience of the Mulele-led resistance and           stolen by treachery and violence in the
the conclusions Pierre Mulele and his             sixtie,.
comrades drew from these experiences.                 The Workers Party of Belgium is a
The book ends with the description of             party of 4 000 members. In last elections
the betrayal and the dreadful conditions          this year, we obtained 2% of the vote. In
in which Pierre Mulele was murdered in            the two big industrial cities, Antwerp
October 1968, an assassination ordered            and Liège, it was 4%. But for us the class
by Mobutu.                                        struggle is the most important terrain.
    The book helped a generation of                   Today, most of the big struggles in
members of our party to develop an                Europe are defensive struggles against
anti-colonial and anti-imperialist con-           the economic and social attacks, which
sciousness and to feel solidarity with            are ordered, directed and coordinated
the struggle of the peoples in the Third          by the European Union (EU). These at-
World, in Africa and particularly in Con-         tacks follow the Lisbon Treaty and tar-
go-Kinshasa. Some comrades developed              get three main domains of the social
close ties with opponents of the Mobutu           configuration: social security, judged as
regime in the Diaspora. Some visited one          too costly; the labour market, judged as
or more times the country itself. In the          too rigid, and education, judged as badly
early 1990s, our newspaper published a            suited to the demands of the employers.
monthly supplement entitled “ Congo-                  The EU set itself the objective of be-
Kinshasa” . During the Rwandan geno-              coming the most dynamic and competi-
cide we organised a solidarity campaign           tive economy in the world. This implies
with the Rwandan people. And after-               outperforming the USA. In the fields of
wards we launched a campaign to help              social security and labour market, the
build a new Rwanda. More than 100                 USA are “far ahead” from the point of
young Belgians travelled to Rwanda to             view of European big capital. After the
observe the reality of the country to be          crisis of 2008 the EU imposed drastic
able to bear witness afterwards in Bel-           austerity programmes that foresee mas-
                                             66
                     AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

sive public sector lay-offs and forcing           trade-unions and with the masses.
down wages.                                          The Party also decided to propagate
    When the government wages an ide-             a popular demand. We have demanded
ological campaign to prepare the minds            the right to early retirement at the age of
and to get the support of the trade-union         55, with a compulsory hiring of young
leaders, we launched a counter-offensive          unemployed. This demand also express-
based on arguments. At that step, we ad-          es the same concern of uniting young
dressed mainly the trade-union circles to         and old in a common rejection of post-
build a resistance front inside the trade-        poning retirement.
union structures. We provided a precise               Armed with these two weapons, we
and Marxist analysis of the plans, pub-           confront the many studies that the gov-
lished in our theoretical journal Marxist         ernmental and employers’ institutes had
Studies. Afterwards we produced popu-             provided to prove that it was unavoid-
lar brochures.                                    able to work more.
    But it is not only important to have              Since the crisis in 2008 the attacks
a good analysis, it must above all be un-         on workers have become worse. The
derstood by the public.                           central question has become who will
    The aspect of communication also              pay for the crisis: the workers or those
plays an important role. Our campaign             who are at the source of the crisis: the
is centred around a general profile, a             big capitalists?
specific slogan, and a popular demand.                 It is on the basis of the experience of
   The Party adopted as general profile            our work in the class struggle in 2005
the slogan: “ People before profit” . It           that a year ago we launched a major
is a slogan which was set by the central          campaign advocating a millionaire’s tax.
committee as the Party’s banner slogan            This is a very reasonable demand: we say
for five years.                                    rich people in Belgium should pay a tax
   The specific slogan which we have               of 1% on what they own above €1-mil-
chosen for the campaign against the               lion (about R10-million), 2% what they
generation pact was: “600 000 un-                 own above €2-million and 3% above
employed people, why work longer?”                €3-million. This is a tax that only hits
(There are 600 000 unemployed people              the 2% richest Belgians. They will not
in Belgium). This slogan has the advan-           eat a sandwich less per day, but such a
tage of gathering into one single strug-          tax will deliver €8-billion in revenues
gle the young and the elderly, those who          for the state.
have a job and those who don’t. Moreo-                With this campaign we focus the de-
ver, it points at an obvious contradiction        bate on the issue we want: who are the
in the plan and opens the debate on the           real capitalists and why they should pay
hidden motivations of the government.             for their own crisis. This way we prepare
Finally, one tackles a problem of society         the spirits for the coming class struggle
in an advantageous way: some are work-            to defend workers’ rights against the
ing to death while others are condemned           agenda of the new government.
to unemployment. The choice of this                   World capitalism is in crisis and
slogan revealed itself as very judicious.         the struggle of communist parties in
With this slogan, we struck a chord and           the heart of capitalism is a struggle for
reinforced the spirit of resistance in the        the socialist revolution. Our struggle is
                                             67
                     AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

closely connected with national demo-             of world capitalism strikes very hard.
cratic revolutions in the Third World and         Africa is also a continent with an enor-
in Africa, to pave the way for socialism.         mous potential of natural resources, in-
    The South African Communist Party             cluding its young dynamic population
and the Sudanese Communist Party,                 that is undoubtedly the most important.
promoters of this conference, have a              We are convinced that this century, af-
history twice as long than ours. We want          ter centuries of slavery, colonialism and
to learn from our older brother parties           neo-colonialism, will be the century of
in Africa.                                        the liberation of Africa. The solution can
    In a situation of unequal and adverse         only come from the organised left and
power relationships, the South Afri-              can only be found in the direction of so-
can Communist Party has accumulated               cialism.
extensive experience with regard to                   Therefore, this conference is of his-
increasing the hegemony of the work-              toric importance and we are very grate-
ing class within society, starting from a         ful that we can attend.
strategy of national democratic revolu-               Our party will also do everything pos-
tion. It has a long tradition of political        sible to support this ALNEF. In Belgium
education, progressive journalism, revo-          and in Europe there an African Diaspora
lutionary trade union struggle, popular           that gives us the possibilities to be in
mobilisation and people’s power, work             contact with African anti-imperialists
among the peasants in the rural areas,            and communist militants who we will
cooperatives and armed struggle, from             bring in contact with the ALNEF. We will
which we can learn.                               also put at the service of the ALNEF the
    Our comrades of the Sudanese Com-             analysis and knowledge that is present
munist Party in recent months proved              in Belgium and in Europe. And finally
yet again their militancy through the             we will prepare to be organise anti-im-
victory of the doctors’ strike in the Su-         perialist campaigns in solidarity with
danese hospitals. The doctors went on             our partners from ALNEF when there
strike because the Basjir government,             are important struggles that happen in
despite the huge revenues of the state            Africa.
from the Sudanese oil sector, had no
money left to improve the poor infra-             Cde Busselen is from the Department of
structure of the health sector in their           International Relations of the Workers’
country. Despite severe repression, they          Party of Belgium
gained an important victory.
    Africa is a continent where the crisis




                                             68
                    AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

     Programme of the 2nd Africa Participatory Democracy
        Conference, 19-20 August 2010, Johannesburg
      “Our conception of democracy in Africa: Tasks and
                         Challenges”
THURSDAY, 19 AUGUST
Singing of The Internationale – Chair: Chris Matlhako, SACP Secretary for
International Relations
Welcome, acknowledgements and messages from fraternal parties
– Cde Crosby Moni, SACP Central Committee Member
Official Opening address: “The Left’s conception of democracy in Africa:
Tasks and Challenges” – Dr. Blade Nzimande, SACP General Secretary
Keynote Address: Challenges for the state in Africa, tasks and opportunities for
progressives and the Left – Minister Maite Nkoane-Mashabane, SA Minister of
International Relations and Cooperation

Panel 1
Democracy - Opportunities, Dangers and Political tasks for the Left in Africa
– Cde Gwede Mantashe, ANC Secretary General
The impact of the global capitalist crisis and political program of the Left in
Africa – Cde Jeremy Cronin, SACP Deputy general Secretary
The politics and ideological practices of democracy in Africa. Strengths and
weaknesses for the Left’s new program? – Dr. ElSafie Mohamed El Maki Ahmed,
Communist Party of Sudan

Panel 2
Crisis of political conditions in African states, the experiences and spaces for
Left organising – Cde Femi Falana, National Conscience Party, Nigeria
Experiences of popular participation: The process of building up an African
regional school of Via Campesina in Maputo – Diamantino Nhamposa, Via
Campesina, Mozambique
Democracy and Development, the practice of participatory democracy
– Cde Lennart Kjorling, Left International Forum, Sweden
The state and practice of locally inclined democratic politics in Uganda’s last
election – Cde Justus Tukwasibwe Weijagye, Kabale Socialist Club, Uganda
Discussions of the Political Report

Panel 3
The situation of left organisations, their role in political struggles in Africa
– jimadoum Ley-Ngardigal, Chadian Action for Unity and Socialism, Chad; Jean-
Pierre Merabahizi, UDF-Inkingi, Rwanda; Karar Kamaleldin Ahmed, Ethiopia; Neo
Simutanyi¸ Center for Policy Dialogue, Lusaka, Zambia
                                         69
                    AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

FRIDAY, 20 AUGUST
Chairperson: Joyce Moloi-Moropa

Panel 4
Trade unions, Civil Society and their role in Africa’s struggle to deepen democracy
– Iqbal Jhazbhay, ANC, Experiences of Somaliland in the Horn; Yunus Carrim;
Mwandawiro Mghanga, Social Democratic Party of Kenya; Akanyang Magama,
Secretary General, Botswana National Front; Cosatu; Mohamed Jmour, Patriotic and
Democratic Labour Party of Tunisia;
Presentation of draft motions on Cuba, Palestine, Western Sahara, Sudan,
Somaliland and Somalia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, on Peace in Africa, immigration,
climate change, gender struggles in Africa, against militarisation and Africom –
Cde Solly Mapaila, SACP Secretary for Organising and Cadreship Development
Presentation of the draft Participatory Democracy Conference declaration
and adoption –Cde Solly Mapaila, SACP Secretary for Organising and Cadreship
Development
Summary of the main conference outcome
Closing Remarks – Mussie Ephrem, Left Party of Sweden; Crosby Moni, SACP




                                        70
                    AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010

   Programme of the Africa Left Networking Forum (ALNEF)
      1st Conference, 20-21 August 2010, Johannesburg
   “The Left’s conception of democracy in Africa: Tasks and
                         Challenges”

FRIDAY, 20 AUGUST
Singing of The Internationale
Opening and welcome to the 1st ALNEF Conference – Dr. ElSafie Mohamed El Maki
Ahmed , Communist Party of Sudan
Welcome address – Mr. Ebrahim Ebrahim, Deputy Minister of International Relations
and Cooperation
Acknowledgements and messages from fraternal parties
Political Report of the 1st ALNEF Conference
“The Left’s conception of democracy in Africa: Tasks and Challenges”
– Jeremy Cronin, SACP Deputy General Secretary
Discussions of the Political Report
Conference adjourns
Cultural Evening



SATURDAY, 21 AUGUST
Presentations on the state of Democracy in Africa: the Left conception, tasks and
challenges
Discussions




Presentations on the state of Democracy in Africa: the Left conception, tasks and
challenges
Discussions
                   Madagascar



                                        71
                    AFRICAN COMMUNIST | November 2010




Presentations on the state of Democracy in Africa: the Left conception, tasks and
challenges
Discussions




Lunch
A brief reflection on experiences of liberation movements in Africa
Discussion
Adoption of International and Solidarity Motions:




Proposals on common political actions and ALNEF way Forward




Summary of political outcomes
Presentation and Adoption of the 1st ALNEF Conference Declaration
Closing Remarks




                                        72
          Where to contact the SACP
HEAD OFFICE                         MPUMALANGA PROVINCE
3rd Floor Cosatu House              NUM Offices, Smart Park Building
1 Leyds Street,cnr Biccard
BRAAMFONTEIN
JOHANNESBURG 2000                       Email: mpumalanga@sacp.org.za
                                        Secretary: Bonakele Majuba:
     Website: www.sacp.org.za

EASTERN CAPE PROVINCE
178 Buffalo Road
                                    NORTHERN CAPE PROVINCE
                                    17 Graham Street
                                    KIMBERLEY 8300
     Email: ecape@sacp.org.za
                                        Secretary: Norman Shushu
     Org:Phumelele: 082 318 1737


FREE STATE PROVINCE                 LIMPOPO PROVINCE
1st Fl Moses Kotane Bldg            1st Floor Mimosa Bldg, Room 22
                                    58 Market Str, PIETERSBURG
     Email: freestate@sacp.org,za
                                        email: limpopo@sacp.org.za
     Org: Tsekiso Seema:                Secretary: Soviet Lekganyana:

                                        Organiser: George Raphela

GAUTENG PROVINCE                        Admin: Moswe Mehlape

Cnr. Frederick& Von BrandisStr
JOHANNESBURG 2000                   NORTH WEST PROVINCE
                                    2nd Floor Jacob Bldg
                                    Cnr. Kerk & Boom Str
                                    KLERKSDORP 2570
     Email: gauteng@sacp.org.za
     Secretary: J. Mamabolo
                                        Email: northwest@sacp.org.za
                                        Secretary: M. Sambatha

                                        Organiser: Patrick Masiu
KWAZULU NATAL PROVINCE
                                        Admin: Gomolemo: 079 597 9792

                                    WESTERN CAPE PROVINCE
                                    No.5 Heerengracht Street
     Email: kzn@sacp.org.za
     Secretary: Themba

     Org: Nkosinathi Mseleku            Email: wcape@sacp.org.za
                                        Secretary: Khaya Magaxa
                                        083 721 0221

                                        072 290 2153
      EDITORIAL BOARD
   Blade Nzimande
Jeremy Cronin
        Yunus Carrim
         Joyce Moloi-Moropa
            Solly Mapaila
           Buti Manamela
           Chris Matlhako
          Malesela Maleka
            Gugu Ndima
      David Niddrie




                 76

								
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