Debate from ROAPE Volume 7 Number 18
Ongoing Debate on Zimbabwe's Development Strategy
This brief account of some debates concerning Zimbabwe's future development strategies is based on papers presented at a conference held in June 1980, sponsored jointly by the Review and the Department of Politics at the University of Leeds. These short discussion pieces form a second generation of thinking on this issue. They take up, add to, take issue with, but to some extent take as read, the considerable recent outpouring telling the Zimbabweans what to do (summarized at end). Reviewing the papers might be doubly useful: presenting in. summary form material not easily accessible elsewhere, as well as mapping out some of the undoubted complexities facing the new government in this field - matters readers might like to take up in future issues. Two fundamental considerations need stressing before evaluating any specific proposals. First, an agrarian, or other sectoral strategy cannot be considered in isolation from the economy as a whole. The intimate relationship between workers and peasants, town and countryside, industry and agriculture has to be conceived of in its totality. Thus, to take one issue dealt with below, peasants will not market their produce if the price is not right, neither will they put a surplus on the market if there is money but no manufactured goods to buy with the cash. Parallel markets then develop as with the candongo system in Angola. Second, the viability of any strategy depends on a combination of political will and favourable internal and external conditions. It remains to be seen whether these exist in Zimbabwe.