Re: Zimbabwe's Fight for Justice (REPOST)

[ Message was illegally cancelled by via on Tue, 13 Mar 2007 10:53:53 +0000 (UTC) --> see headers ]

On Mar 4, 10:12 pm, "Zakanaka" <lalapa...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
"Begreen" <JenniferChen...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message

On Mar 4, 8:16 pm, "Zakanaka" <lalapa...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

A lot of water has gone under the bridge since this article was printed
(2005). Most people have now seen through Mugabe's spin and that is why
African leaders are now shunning Mugabe
Who are those African leaders shunning Mugabe? Puppets of the West
such as Museveni?!?
Do you forget that Mugabe is one of the most popular leaders in
Africa, the third-greatest African of all time, topped only by South
Africa's Nelson Mandela and former Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah?

Ah come on snotty, who are you trying to fool? Mugabe is now an
embarrassment to African leaders. That's why he wasn't invited to the
Afro-French summit.
If Africans were so staunchly supportive, they would have boycotted the
event. So get a life Snotty .... and stay angry and abusive. It's a good
sign that I am annoying you and it makes me feel really good.

Don't forget that some of the African leaders are still puppets of the

But MBEKI didn't go! Do you get it?

"Begreen" <JenniferChen...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message

What the West Doesn't Want to Know
Zimbabwe's Fight for Justice
Twenty-five years ago, Zimbabwe's liberation movement came to power
after years of struggle. Hopes soared that independence would bring an
end to the legacy of colonial rule and apartheid power and give birth
to a more equitable and just social order. But in many ways, those
expectations had to be put on hold due to British and U.S. pressure,
and for years Zimbabwe was compelled to maintain the inequitable land
ownership patterns inherited from apartheid Rhodesia. The process of
land reform is at root a struggle for justice and a challenge to the
Western neoliberal model. The refusal to serve Western interests is
what motivates U.S. and British hostility.

It is impossible to understand the nature of land reform in Zimbabwe
without first examining the history of land allocation in Rhodesia. In
1893, invading British troops and volunteers conquered Matabeleland.
Under terms of the Victoria Agreement, every British soldier and
volunteer was allowed 6,000 acres of land, and within a year 10,000
square miles of the most fertile land was seized. White settlers
confiscated cattle and dragooned the Ndebele people into serving as
forced laborers on the land they once owned. Colonial Administrator
Starr Jameson felt that by depriving the Ndebele of their cattle, he
could secure their "submission and future tranquility." The Shona
people also saw their cattle taken by settlers and in 1896,
resentments had accumulated to the point where an uprising resulted.
It took more than a year, but the British crushed the rebellion at the
cost of 8,000 African lives.

In 1899, Rhodesia established reserves on the most arid land onto
which the indigenous inhabitants were to be herded, where in just six
years half of the indigenous population was confined. Passage of the
Land Apportionment Act of 1930 forbade Africans from owning land
outside of the barren reserves. During a twenty-year period beginning
in 1935, the Rhodesian regime expelled a further 67,000 African
families from their homes and transported them to the reserves.
Dispossessed Africans were beaten and herded onto trucks at gunpoint,
while bulldozers levelled their homes. As more and more people were
forced from their homes, the reserves became increasingly overcrowded
with people and cattle. To "solve" that problem, in 1944 the colonial
government decreed that many of the reserves were overstocked and
would have to be thinned out. Over the course of the next thirty-some
years, more than a million cattle were either killed or confiscated by
white settlers. In the ten years following the Second World War,
another 100,000 people were expelled from their homes and dumped onto
the reserves.

The liberation movement's successes eventually brought it to the verge
of taking power and it was clear that the apartheid government of
Rhodesia would not survive much longer. Although Rhodesia had declared
its independence from the colonial system in 1965, Great Britain
intervened to protect white privilege. Under British tutelage, the
Lancaster House Conference was convened in 1979. The core issue for
the liberation struggle was land, but British and American negotiators
made the granting of independence to the liberation movement
conditional. The agreement that resulted from the conference imposed a
number of limitations on the new government. One provision stipulated
that for a period of ten years, land ownership in Zimbabwe could only
be transferred on a "willing seller, willing buyer" basis, a formula
that effectively stymied any meaningful attempt at land reform. Whites
were also allotted a quota of 20 out of 100 seats in Parliament, far
exceeding their actual percentage in the population, and the measure
had the effect of making constitutional change nearly impossible.

Passage of the Land Acquisition Act in 1992 final
ly established a more
flexible approach to land reform, but the process continued to be
constrained by outside pressures. Progress was slow and by the time
fast track land reform was launched in 2002, 70 percent of the richest
and most productive land still remained in the hands of just 4,500
white commercial farm owners. At the same time, six million African
peasants eked out a precarious existence on small farms in the
"communal areas," the land encompassing the former native reserves.
Because of historically imposed overcrowding in the communal areas,
the already barren land was depleted long before by deforestation and
over-grazing, thus making it even more unsuitable for agriculture.
More than a million landless blacks were engaged as hired labor on
white commercial farms, laboring for abysmally low wages to make the
few commercial landowners even wealthier. A team sent by the United
Nations Development Program in 2001 reported, "Given the rapidly
rising population growth rates and the decreasing opportunities for
non-farm employment over the years, many rural dwellers were thrown
into increasing poverty as a result of inadequate and poor-quality
land for subsistence farming and unemployment. These inequities, the
team said, were "the motivation for the Government's determination to
correct the past injustices caused by dispossessing the indigenous
people of their land."

Agriculture is the most significant sector of Zimbabwe's economy.
Western news reports encouraged the notion that land reform has harmed
economic performance, implying that efficient farming was best left in
the hands of the few wealthy white farmers, while discounting the
plight of the millions of blacks who struggled for bare survival. The
unspoken assumption was that only white farmers could be efficient.
The concern expressed in the West for "efficiency" was in reality a
mask for the preservation of white privilege.Efficiency is a relative
term. Temporary economic dislocation is an unavoidable byproduct of
land reform, but the only path to genuine and lasting progress is
through land redistribution. There can be nothing efficient about a
gross concentration of wealth in the hands of the few, while millions
are condemned to lives of hopeless despair and poverty. No mainstream
journalist has ever described the grotesque inequality of the
situation inherited from colonialism and what this meant for those on
the bottom.

Long after the liberation movement won power in Zimbabwe, the promise
of land reform remained largely unfulfilled. During its first ten
years, the nation was saddled with constitutional restrictions imposed
by British negotiators that effectively blocked progress on land
reform. Even so, during the 1980s Zimbabwe still managed to distribute
three million hectares to some 70,000 families. Then came the adoption
of a structural adjustment program, at the urging of the World Bank,
and little more could be accomplished within the neoliberal agenda to
rectify the inequity of the land ownership pattern inherited from
apartheid Rhodesia. Investment was offered primarily to white owners
of large commercial farms, and the structure of land ownership changed
little. Negotiations beginning in 1979 determined under what
conditions Great Britain would permit Zimbabwe to have the
independence and self-rule that it had already won on the battlefield.
These talks resulted in the Lancaster House Agreement that was to
remain in effect for ten years. Great Britain's economic and
diplomatic might had extracted several concessions from the liberation
movement. The main British demand was that the existing land ownership
pattern to remain as it was. Land could not be confiscated but could
only be acquired on a "willing buyer, willing seller" formula, which
precluded any meaningful prospect of land reform. Under terms of the
Lancaster House Agreement, Great Britain was required to provide
funding for the purchase of farms. Inevitably, land that was offered
for sale under the program was often marginal in quality and tended to
be widely dispersed, making resettlement an expensive and difficult to
administer process. Nor was the arrangement sustainable. After
commercial farmers sold off marginal holdings in drier areas, farm
sales slowed to a trickle.Once the agreement expired in 1990, Great
Britain urged its continuation. Continued British funding for the
purchase of land, it was emphasized, would be predicated on extension
of the "willing buyer, willing seller" program. Furthermore, the
British suggested, such purchases should be limited largely to barren
regions and land


read more »- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -