For years after the people of Zimbabwe ended colonial rule, they enjoyed a prosperous society in which over 90% of children attended school and its universities were among the best in Africa. Unfortunately, President Robert Mugabe decided to end the last vestiges of colonialism by seizing the land of white farmers, over 5,000 of whom had remained in Zimbabwe and were seeking to create new relations with Africans. Each of the farms employed over a hundred local Africans and enabled the nation to feed itself and earn income from exports. But, Mugabe wanted the land in order to reward his henchmen and cronies, few of whom had any interest in farming, but a great deal of interest in enriching themselves. This week, Ian Campbell-Morrison, whose land was taken away and given to an official, was evicted from his home and he was fined “for illegally occupying state land” even though he lives in a cottage and his wife tends to a garden.
Morgan Tsvangirai promised to end the lawlessness which has destroyed the nation’s farm production and led to a 94% unemployment rate. Suddenly, he has begun to talk like Mugabe by referring to these farm seizures as having “been blown out of proportion.”
Zimbabwe had every right to develop an orderly legal process of purchasing land of white farmers in a gradual manner to ensure the land was properly farmed by local people. But, to take land in order to reward thugs is hardly the way to gain international recognition.
Doesn’t Tsvangirai grasp that other nations will not invest their money in a country which seizes the land of people and gives it to government officials? Who in their right mind would invest a single penny in a Zimbabwe which is ruled by the gun, not the law? Wake up Tsvangirai and act like the leader your nation needs!