Yesterday the VPRO showed on TV in the 2009 ethical documentary “Mugabe and the White African” what damage to people and to a country a separation system can do. In the documentary, much of which was filmed clandestinely, we are told an alarming story from one of the world’s most troubled nations which have gone from a flourishing country to a poor region where people again are starving and living in chaos. Many of the once-productive areas have been turned into wastelands.
Since President dictator Robert Mugabe began his “land reform” program in 2000 this land seizure program in Zimbabwe aimed at driving whites from the country through violence and intimidation. Many white people had to fled the country, leaving everything behind which they had build up with love, for many years. The flourishing economy was brought to its knees by the reallocation of formerly white-owned farms to ZANU-PF friends and officials with no knowledge, experience or interest in farming.
One proud “white African,” Michael Campbell, has as many, suffered years of multiple land invasions and violence at his farm in Chegutu, Zimbabwe, but has challenged Mugabe before the SADC (South African Development Community) international court, charging him and his government with racial discrimination and of violations of Human Rights. The courage of the 75 years old and a grandfather Michael Campbell his son-in-law Ben Freeth, and their family display as they defend their farm — in court and on the ground — makes for a film as inspiring as it is harrowing.
One moment we can see how Peter Chamada, the son of Mugabe’s political ally Nathan Shamuyarira stands in front of the open door of his shining new ToyotaPrado and is taking photographs on an expensive mobile phone. He glares, wild-eyed with contempt, into the camera and declares, ‘This land is now my home. The government has taken it from you people [the white farmers] to redistribute to the poor black majority. This land belongs to the black peasants.’
But we can wonder if it were really the peasants who got the country, because records show, the land taken from some 4,000 productive white Zimbabwean farmers, often with violent force, has been handed almost exclusively to Mugabe’s cronies – pliable judges, air vice-marshals, provincial administrators, girlfriends of ministers and assorted relations such as Chamada. When the white farmer Ben Freeth asks how someone like the expensively dressed Chamada can describe himself as a member of the poor black majority, ‘when every time you come here you arrive in a brand-new car’, the raging scion spits out, ‘I will sleep here until you are out. We want to deal with friendlier people – the Chinamen, the Indians. We don’t want anything to do with you [white] people.’
Previously we could see in other documentaries on the Belgian television the faces of black people who did not look happy with the situation. Some of them told stories of what misery they were going to face in case the black invader could take over the land, where they had found work and a way to build up a good living.
Also what we got to see after the plundering, what happened to the country, could not give us an impression of a better situation for the country. The unmaintained, overgrown wastelands now leaves a lot of people who are worse off than under the so called “white supremacy”.
Though the Campbell’s won the courtroom battle, which ran for more than a year, the injuries have left Mike Campbell in a diminished state.
As the judging panel of the Sterling World Grand Jury Prize observed, ‘It is not a mere document of a series of events, but masterfully uses cinematic expression to allow all of us to engage in an incredible and historic struggle.’
It should give whites and blacks a lot to think off to consider how they would or would not like to live together and build up a country or if they want to destroy a living hood for many.
Arturi films production in Association with Explore Films and Molinare Productions and Film Agency Wales> Mugabe and the White African
- David Cameron ‘satanic’ for backing gay rights, Mugabe says (news.nationalpost.com)
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has called British Prime Minister David Cameron “satanic” for his support of gay rights, in a speech railing at Western influence in the country, state media said Thursday.
Mugabe’s moves against foreign companies come a decade after his government seized most of the nation’s white-owned farms, sending the economy into a tailspin from which it has just begun to recover.The 87-year-old’s fiery and often anti-Western rhetoric has intensified as Zimbabwe begins to look toward elections, possibly next year.
- Movie Review | ‘Mugabe and the White African’: Farmer Who Fought Zimbabwe Land Reforms (movies.nytimes.com)
Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thompson’s “Mugabe and the White African” is a documentary account of the efforts of Mike Campbell and his son-in-law, Ben Freeth, to hold onto their farm.
It should be pointed out, though, that Ms. Bailey and Mr. Thompson achieve their results largely through the narrowness of their focus. Almost the only voices we hear are those of the farmers, their families and their lawyers. Other viewpoints are limited to a rant by the man, a government minister’s son, to whom the farm has been promised, and Mr. Mugabe’s recorded voice, including his notorious line that he doesn’t mind being seen as a Hitler by the West.
- Now That Gaddafi Is Gone, Can Mugabe Learn From His Friend’s Death? (allnewsnetwork.wordpress.com)
anyone reasonable would think that fellow dictators like Mugabe will learn lessons from all that happened from the uprisings in the Northern part of Africa so far. Given that Mugabe has pretty much the same dictatorship record as his fellow ousted friends, could this be the time the old man takes a bow and retire before the same thing happens to him? Mugabe has tarnished his legacy that history will certainly judge him harshly. From a Liberator to a dictator Mugabe has effectively transformed himself into one of the most despicable dictators Africa and the rest of the world have ever known.
I wish to acknowledge with great admiration the many people whose courage and determination have served Zimbabwe so well, those who are still trying desperately to bring hope to the suffering Zimbabweans and those working in exile to bring peace, political change and a better Zimbabwe. We will only have ourselves as Zimbabweans to blame if we let Mugabe continue his tricks. Zimbabwe is not the property of Mugabe but it is for every Zimbabwean citizen, black or white, MDC, Zanu Ndonga, Zapu etc. As such, every Zimbabwean citizen should have a say in how he wants to be governed. So removing Mugabe is the nation’s top priority and together we will make a stronger voice.
- Zimbabwe president confident of poll victory (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
Zimbabwe president confident of poll victory
Zimbabwe’s long-time ruler expressed confidence Thursday that his party can win proposed elections, saying there was no need for coercive campaigning or political violence because voters support his party’s “progressive” economic ideas.
First chavez, now mugabe..Is the world running out of prime dictators?
- Aging Mugabe: Can he rule forever? (worldblog.msnbc.msn.com)
For one, Mugabe’s closest enemies are no longer in foreign capitals, but a few blocks from the presidential state house in Harare.Though he remains an autocrat in control of most organs of the state, the disputed results of elections in 2008 forced him into an uneasy power-sharing agreement with his party’s rival, the Movement for Democratic Change, led by the prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai. “They are a party for women,” said one delegate, emulating part of Mugabe’s speech, though he then named the older enemy, Britain, as Zimbabwe’s true foe.
For Mugabe, heading into a likely election year, the Arab Spring simply teaches Zimbabwe to beware of the West and to consolidate sovereignty. His opponents worry what that might mean. They believe that the pace of democratic reform must accelerate, and the president must accept the need for change.
- President Mugabe sets indigenization empowerment agenda(redantliberationarmy.wordpress.com) BJ Murphy a young Marxist-Leninist seeking out for social justice and workers freedom to the proletarian masses worldwide, and liberation of the working class and peasantry from the feudalist/capitalist superpowers of the world, writes:the liberation struggle was fought in order to repossess the land from the white minority and empower black people economically.“Our sovereignty would not exist unless we own the land. We must be masters of our destiny and manage the natural resources below and above the earth’s surface. We must train ourselves hand skills and pride ourselves in being able to manage our affairs.
- Zimbabwe’s Mugabe Calls for Elections, Confident of Victory (ibtimes.com)
Mugabe, 87, won his party’s support to remain in office at a Thursday conference aimed at choosing a nominee for the coming elections – elections to end a fragile 30-month coalition with the former opposition, a partnership Mugabe described as an impractical “patch on torn trousers,” The Associated Press reported.
- Mugabe wins party vote but challenged by age, ill health – Reuters UK (uk.reuters.com)
Mugabe, they said, would face young voters, many born after independence from Britain in 1980, who may not be overly impressed with his party’s tales of its leadership role in the liberation struggle and are instead desperate to find jobs in the country which has the world’s highest unemployment rate.ZANU-PF members want Mugabe to hand over the reins to a younger leader, but nobody has ever openly challenged him due to a generous political patronage system and his ability to patiently wear down opponents and keep them guessing on his next move.