By Obert Masaraure
The ugly implications of Mthuli’s austerity package are now haunting all citizens as we predicted. Bread which used to cost .90 cents in January 2019 now costs up to $3.60, a 400% rise. Incomes have either remained stagnant or just slightly increased, teachers and other civil servants were awarded a meagre 29% increase. This spells disaster for the working class and we have to act. History has taught us that we don’t have to be reactionaries but act upon serious reflection.
We have come up with the EPIC strategy for social change. This is the strategy we seek to implement as a Union and sell it to other partners and allies.
Pillar 1 Enhanced consciousness, Pillar 2 Promote Unity, Pillar 3 Innovative tactics and finally Pillar 4Consistency until victory is realized.
Previous protests have degenerated into violence and the State has found a silly excuse to use extreme force against citizens. Going forward we should conduct series of trainings to enhance the citizens’ appreciation of the importance of non-violent action. Our protests should demonstrate our sacrosanct love for life, our respect for human life and property. We should stand on a higher moral ground than our exploiters who love power and accumulation of wealth by any means necessary.
Secondly the reason why we are fighting should be clear to all. The end game should be collectively shared so that the struggle can always continue when the state arrests some of our Comrades. The end game is the realisation of an egalitarian society where each and every citizen can get a fair share from national cake in a highly productive economy. At ARTUZ we envisage labour justice and accessible quality education in rural schools. This should be preached ceaselessly so that all Comrades are in the know of why we are fighting.
Thirdly we must train all our Cdes to desist from the quick fix mentality which has bred wholesale looting and other unethical conducts in Zimbabwe’s political terrain. Every dollar received in the name of the struggle should be dedicated to the struggle and no individual should divert resources for personal gain.
Fourthly we should engage in community income generating projects to feed our families and support our livelihoods. We do not want to end up desperate and become vulnerable to manipulation by financiers of ill intentions. The state has frozen salaries for some of our cdes in a brazen attempt to silence them. With income generating projects we can bridge the gap when cdes are victimized. The erosion of our salaries also impact on our Union subscriptions. The Union will become incapacitated and fail to implement its programs. The income generating projects answer the national question of low productivity and enhance our capacity to fund Union programs.
Lastly our Cdes should know their rights and ways of seeking recourse when these rights are violated.
Promoting Unity and unionizing more workers.
It is imperative that we build consensus with other progressive Unions and organisations. It’s easier to build consensus in the trenches. For now we rallying the people around the #PricesMustFall campaign. Board room meetings will be held to perfect strategy and tactics but not debate on the imperative of fighting against austerity.
We still have to unionize the whole spectrum of the working class to enhance our bargaining power.
We have done well in creating dilemma tactics for the exploiter. Let’s continue enriching our tools box with more innovative tactics of fighting against oppression and exploitation.
The Zimbabwean struggle has suffered because we blow hot and cold. We have to up our game and consistently demand our share of the national cake.
This is a generalized presentation of the strategy. We will continue to engage in our spaces to share full details on time frames and specific details of each pillar. Going forward it’s an EPIC battle against Austerity.