How Socialism Reshaped Africa

As far as Eastern Europe is concerned, Zimbabwe’s State-owned papers attempt to portray these events as a capitalist-manipulated plot, not people throwing off the yoke of tyranny and dictatorship [it was actually a communist plot, a smokescreen, and not the dawning of any true freedom for these countries. – Ed.].  In an effort to break the country of its present economic stranglehold, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance is seeking to dismantle strict socialist controls, and so hopefully encourage investment and revitalise growth.  Mugabe’s persistent calls for a Marxist/Leninist state were not calculated to speed this process.

Again we quote from the Telegraph: “At last December’s ZANU Congress, President Mugabe listened in frosty silence as President Chissano of Mozambique recounted his own conversion to multi-partyism and economic liberalisation.  Mr Mugabe ‘settled’ the debate in favour of Marxist/Leninism by denouncing Zimbabweans who had embraced ‘another foreigner, Jesus Christ, who was not born in Zimbabwe and whom Zimbabweans have never seen.’” So the well-meaning Chissano could put that in his pipe and smoke it.


In 1975 the Portuguese, betrayed by communists in their own army, abandoned this giant East African state to invading CIA/Soviet-supported Frelimo forces.  Samora Machel, a Mao/Marxist who bragged of creating “Africa’s New Man,” as though humanity was made of Lego, became a cult figure, in SA as elsewhere.  He very quickly transformed Mozambique into a habitat of death and despair.  The Portuguese, who had held things together against huge odds and Western hostility, left by the tens of thousands: surely predictable to any but a Marxist/Leninist.

The once prosperous, exporting agricultural sector was collectivised and ruined.  Millions starved.  Health services collapsed.  Hundreds of thousands were sent to “re-education” centres, where many died.  Political opponents ended up in the dreaded “moral decolonisation centres.”  In 1977 Frelimo established itself as a Marxist/Leninist “vanguard party,” trying to emulate Cuba and Vietnam in joining the Soviet bloc.

In Machel himself, an atrocious tinpot dictator, the world had a prime example of Third World socialist tyranny, which did not stop Mrs Thatcher from sending him arms and military instructors.  By 1985 the economy had contracted by half, the population had increased by a third.  So much for Machel’s success in striving for “dictatorship of the proletariat.”

Comeback Attempt

Now, under a new ruler, Joachim Chissano, Mozambique seeks a comeback from the dead.  In efforts to forestall complete economic and administrative collapse, Frelimo at its July 1989 Congress quietly dumped Machel’s handiwork.  The Marxist/Leninist experiment was officially declared a failure and the country turned its attention to free enterprise.  Since then President Chissano has introduced a new constitution, allowing separation between State and the single party, and providing for the right to strike and independence of the judiciary.  Frelimo remains the country’s only legal party, although Chissano says he is not in principle against the multi-party system.