Zimbabwe Communist Party plans second elective congress; remains committed to dialogue and combating ‘imperialism and the looting class’


BULAWAYO – As the Zimbabwe Communist Party (ZCP) looks ahead to its second elective congress later this year, party leaders say they remain focused on pursuing national economic dialogue to achieve a "national democratic economy" as well as resisting "imperialism and the looting class," according to General Secretary Nicholas Ngqabutho Mabhena. 

Zimbabwe Communist Party ZCP plans second elective congress, remains committed to dialogue and fighting imperialism and the looting class
The Zimbabwe Communist Party (ZCP)/Image: CITE

This comes against the backdrop of ZCP's Central Committee meeting held on the 17 February in Bulawayo that discussed plans for the party's program of action in 2024 and analyzed international and domestic political and economic conditions, according to a political report presented by Mabhena to the Central Committee.

Mabhena's political report highlighted the decline of the United States following the expansion of BRICS, as well as South Africa's case against Israel's actions in Palestine at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). 

The report commended the efforts of "progressive forces" that align with the ZCP's anti-imperialist stance and its fight against ineffective leadership at home.

The report also underscored the dire economic conditions in Zimbabwe, noting the widespread poverty, arbitrary land evictions, economic instability, education and health crises, and rampant unemployment that continue to plague the nation.

Zimbabwe Communist Party ZCP central committee congress
ZCP's Central Committee meeting held in Bulawayo [Image: Ngqabutho Nicholas Mabhena/X]

At the meeting in Bulawayo, the ZCP also acknowledged that it still needs to do more work to build the party, in light of the upcoming second elective congress. 

"We have defined ours as a struggle against imperialism and the looting class ... We have to be critical of ourselves as the Zimbabwe Communist Party that since our last congress [in 2019] we have not built a vibrant vanguard of the working class and the peasantry," Mabhena told ZimSphere

Mabhena said that the second elective congress of the ZCP will be held from August 30 to September 2, 2024. The first elective congress was held in 2019, and Mabhena was elected as the General Secretary of the ZCP. It was at the 2019 congress that the party resolved to hold a congress after every five years.

"We are to hold our second congress from the 30th of August to the 2nd of September in Manicaland Province. It is an elective congress. Congress is going to elect the Central Committee; and it is going to adopt the ZCP's program of action," Mabhena stated, adding that congress will also adopt any other relevant policies up for deliberation. 

And speaking on ZCP's program of action for the year, the General Secretary said it will be focused on the pursuit of "national economic dialogue" with the vision of creating a "national democratic economy" – and that this will be predicated on building a mass movement. 

"The program of action of the Zimbabwe Communist Party is to pursue national economic dialogue. We want to build a national democratic economy based on national planning that is linked to devolution of power to the people. And also as we launched our Red October campaign in October 2023 we resolved: 'build the ZCP; build a mass movement.'"

Despite the party's ambitions to win state power, Mabhena admitted that ZCP has not made significant progress since its first congress; stressing that as a well-meaning political party, ZCP needs to be highly self-critical. 

Nicholas Ngqabutho Mabhena Zimbabwe Communist Party ZCP
ZCP General Secretary Nicholas Ngqabutho Mabhena.

He attributed the slow pace of progress to the COVID-19 pandemic; but also acknowledged the party's own shortcomings, stating that "we have not built cadres ourselves inside the ZCP" – adding that the party "has not done much in terms of intensifying political education in trade union movements and social formations". 

He said that the Central Committee's resolution going forward is to intensify political education with a view towards building mass movements. "We need to play our vanguard role as the Zimbabwe Communist Party," the General Secretary said. 

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