Skip to comments.Zimbabwe -- Cathy Buckle -- Why bother?
Posted on 01/31/2004 3:17:35 AM PST by Clive
Dear Family and Friends,
Every day I travel 4 kilometres to take my son to school. Sometimes by car and other times by bicycle we go along the road which has become a muddy swamp with more potholes than flat surface as the rainy season progresses.
Richard's junior school is on the outskirts of the town and just beyond it are smallholdings and plots which range in size from 4 to 22 acres. According to our Ministry of Agriculture these are known as peri urban plots and for the last couple of months there has much been much talk about the government of Zimbabwe acquiring peri urban plots to make yet more land available.
The little smallholdings beyond my son's school are already largely owned by black Zimbabweans and from these little pieces of land come fruit, vegetables, chickens, eggs and an array of bagged and bottled home produce. Every day I see these plots and smallholdings and wonder how much longer they will be there as the government just goes on and on with its seizure of land.
This week our parliament pushed through amendments to the land acquisition act. A legal parliamentary committee had clearly stated that the amendments were unconstitutional and urged against their adoption. The rights of Zimbabweans were apparently of no consequence because Zanu PF ignored the recommendations and adopted the amendments anyway. With President Mugabe's signature, the amendments will become law.
One of the amendments says that the government no longer has to serve the land owner with a notice of acquisition, now it just has to state its intention to take the land in the government gazette. The first that the land owner or smallholder will know about the loss of their home, livelihood and land will be when the men arrive at the gate.
This latest amendment to Zimbabwe's land seizures makes the business of both large and small scale food production absolutely pointless to title deed holders. It now makes no difference if you have planted a hundred acre field with tobacco or a ten acre smallholding with fruit trees. Either way there is no guarantee that you will be there in four months or four years time to harvest your crop, so why bother.
A few months ago many traditional communal farmers sat idly under trees because they could not afford to plough their land and plant a crop. Those small farmers said it didn't matter anyway because when they were hungry the international aid agencies would come and feed them.
Those same international aid organisations are now saying that the numbers of people needing food in Zimbabwe has risen from five to seven and a half million - this in a country which only has a population of 11.5 million.
As every season comes to an end and still we are starving, there is always someone else to blame. First it was the whites, then the west, then the banks and now, according to ZBC TV, the fault is with the meteorological department.
This week ZBC reported that new farmers were accusing the Met Dept of giving inaccurate weather forecasts which had resulted in farmers growing the wrong varieties of crops.
The only blame lies with our government. Those same laws that they created to stop white Zimbabweans from growing food, they can use against black farmers and plot holders who do not support them. Until title deeds are again respected under law there will be hunger and hyperinflation in Zimbabwe.
It is easy to apportion blame and even easier to obey your own constitution
Until next week, with love, cathy.
The Second Amendment was written for deer hunters.
Where are all those people now? When 2/3 of the country are like helpless pets, waiting for the relief agencies to feed them?
Today's report made me even more aware of the power of a government gone mad. When will citizens here understand that "power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely." When will citizens here reject the cult of personality and recognize, yes, it can happen here.
Are south african farmers trying to get rid of their farms before they are taken over and are in a rush to sell them?
In fairness, Tutu should be excluded from your list.
He is highly critical of Mugabe and his government and he has slammed Mugabe's apologists for their condonation of tyranny.
See this article, posted by Blam: Archbishop Tutu 'baffled' by Mugabe apologists
If I were in their shoes, I would be quietly liquidating assets and moving capital out of Southern Africa.
I am sure that Afrikaaners are seeing South Africa's future writ large in Zimbabe.
They have seen the destruction of Zim agriculture and they are seeing the volkerwanderung that is taking place, spreading out from the locus of the farm worker displacements to displacements throughout Zimbabwe and impacting on the economy of South Africa.
They have seen Mbeki's failure to protest the farm invasions, including the invasion of farms owned by South Africans and his condonation of thuggery, rape and murder.
They have seen farm invasions in Namibia and South Africa which, although not presently condoned by government, are at least incited by politicians.
They have seen literate and influential blacks cheering on Mugabe's antics, hailing him as another Chaka.
Zimbabwe is at most 2 decades ahead of South Africa (JanL says one decade).
If Tutu should die or should cease to be influential, the events will accelerate as he is providing a moral brake.
So do I.
I expect that the victims will be mostly Ndebele.
The old animosities are still present and in a Zimbabwe with a Shona majority the Ndebele make every bit as good scapegoats as did the Tutsi in Rwanda and the Jews in Germany.
I'd call it Red Machete: Genocide in Rwanda of course it looks like someone might have to make one called The Starving of Zimbabwe too.
Its really depressing to see the world ignore such terrorism when we supposedly are at war with it.
She's got evil knocking at her door, and she's writing letters instead of killing people.
She shouldn't be tapping on a keyboard. She should be exercising her trigger finger.