Skip to comments.Zimbabwe's first lady grabs luxury farm - Personally evicts farm couple
Posted on 08/28/2002 12:33:53 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Grace Mugabe came here last week, but her visit had nothing to do with promoting literacy, health care or any other official duties that come with being Zimbabwe's first lady.
Instead, Mugabe came to personally evict White farmers John and Eva Matthews, a septuagenarian couple who own the sprawling 2,500-acre Iron Mask Estate.
Witnesses said Mugabe--who was accompanied by senior army officers, government officials and young toughs from her husband's ruling party--told the couple that they had 48 hours to vacate their farm or be arrested.
"I'm taking over this farm," witnesses quoted the first lady as saying.
Mugabe's husband, President Robert Mugabe, has promised that his planned confiscation of white farms will benefit thousands of landless Black Zimbabweans, but so far senior Cabinet ministers, top army officials and the president's relatives and friends appear to be among the big beneficiaries.
During the last two weeks, Mugabe's security forces have arrested about 200 of an estimated 2,900 white commercial farmers who have defied the government's Aug. 8 deadline to leave their land without compensation.
With southern Africa already struggling with man-made and natural challenges including bad weather, disease and corruption, analysts say Mugabe's land grabs are endangering about 6 million Zimbabweans--nearly half the country's population. Millions of poor Zimbabweans now need international food aid to survive.
As the United States and other donors send shipments of corn to feed starving Zimbabweans, top U.S. and British officials say they want to work with the international community--particularly Zimbabwe's African neighbors--to isolate Mugabe, who they say rigged polls earlier this year to win reelection. Western governments oppose the land seizures, which are often violent and chaotic.
Mugabe says he is simply trying to address injustices of the colonial era, when Blacks were driven off the most fertile land to make way for white farmers. He is expected to square off with Western officials this week at a United Nations summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Mugabe's opponents are also waiting for him in Johannesburg. On Monday, about 100 supporters of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change, which is usually barred in Zimbabwe from holding such protests, chanted anti-Mugabe slogans in front of a convention center where the summit is being held. Protesters waved placards declaring: "Mugabe is an election thief" and "Mugabe is starving his own people."
"Mugabe argues land for the poor, but it's a lie," said MDC spokesman Moses Mzila-Ndlovu. "It's about power."
Over the weekend, Mugabe reshuffled his Cabinet to replace a leading dissenter, Finance Minister Simba Makoni, who has sharply challenged the president on how to rescue the country's stricken economy. Makoni advocated devaluation of the Zimbabwean dollar after Black market exchange rates soared to more than 10 times the frozen official rate and annual inflation topped 120%.
Mugabe responded angrily that people who wanted currency devaluation were "saboteurs."
Devaluation would have benefited mainly gold and tobacco exporters, who would have been able to sell their products at more favorable prices, according to Moeletsi Mbeki, deputy chairman of the South Africa Institute for International Affairs.
"But Mugabe is out to destroy the tobacco farmers, and the exchange rate is only one of the mechanisms he's using," said Mbeki, the brother of South African President Thabo Mbeki.
On Monday, the U.S. State Department dismissed Mugabe's reshuffle, saying there was nothing he could do to repair his credibility.
The Matthewses reared cattle, and planted tobacco, corn and soybeans on their property in Mazowe until two years ago. Members of Mugabe's ruling party who are also veterans of the war for Black majority rule, which ended with the establishment of Zimbabwe in 1980, invaded the property and stopped all farming.
The Matthewses' wooded estate, with its 29-room farmhouse, two swimming pools and fertile land--remained one of the most coveted farms in the lush Mazowe area, a 30-minute drive north of Harare, the Zimbabwean capital.
When Grace Mugabe visited the farm last week, she saw sweeping vistas of trees displaying spring leaves ranging from pale pink to burgundy to bronze, on rolling woodlands that met the big African sky in the distance.
Eva Matthews bought the farm with her first husband 35 years ago and raised her three children there.
Last week, the army officers who came with Grace Mugabe told the Matthewses to find alternative accommodation as the first lady would be moving in shortly.
When a Black farm worker who had been employed by the Matthewses asked what would happen to him, the first lady replied: "Go and live by the river over there," according to farm workers who asked that their identities not be revealed for fear of retribution.
During the weekend, the Matthewses auctioned their remaining 135 head of cattle for about $50,000. Half the money will be used to pay benefits to the farm's 15 workers. Eva Matthews said she and her husband will use the remainder to start a new life. They are moving to a small apartment they own in Harare.
"She is getting a wonderful home with everything," Eva Matthews said of Grace Mugabe. "It looks rather ordinary from the front, but it is huge. When the children were at home, we used it all. We rather let the garden go at the end, but it was so colorful."
Grace Mugabe, the president's former secretary, has a reputation among many people as a profligate shopper. Before the European Union imposed travel bans on dozens of the Zimbabwean president's friends, relatives and cronies, numerous news reports said she frequently used state-owned Air Zimbabwe to go to London and Paris on lavish shopping jaunts.
Opposition groups and commercial farmers charge that her brother, a former envoy to Canada, used youth members of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party to chase away the owner and about 200 workers and their families from a farm in the Glendale district, a two-hour drive northwest of Harare. They say that the president's sister, Sabina, lives on a confiscated farm 80 miles west of Harare.
A list prepared by Justice for Agriculture, a new lobbying group for white farmers, says that about 200 army officers, influential businessmen and senior ZANU-PF members are the new owners of formerly white-owned farms.
Government officials say the eviction of 2,900 of the 3,500 White farmers will be almost completed by the end of this month.
About a third of the 3,500 white farmers who were productive before land seizures began in February 2000, are still on their farms, but many of them have been prevented from growing crops. More than 600 were evicted immediately after presidential elections in March, and several hundred more since the Aug. 8 deadline.
At this time of year, the roads leading north and west of Harare usually are lined with wheat fields. But this year, travelers drive through fields covered with weeds and thousands of felled trees.
Environmentalists say settlers have cut down trees to sell wood for food, leading to serious deforestation. Some estimates suggest that about 50% of wildlife on private land--among them zebra, giraffe and cheetah--have also been slaughtered for food.
Staff writer Maharaj reported from Nairobi, Kenya, and special correspondent Thornycroft from Mazowe.
She obviously went to the Hillary Clinton school of First Ladyship.
Your analogy doesn't work. Perhaps, it would do you some good, to learn about the topic, before you post and make an utter fool of yourself.
Could it be that they posess neither a conscience or a soul?
And I know my grammar sucks, too.
Hillary Clinton and the Radical Left [Excerpts] If others could understand your truth, you would not think of yourself as a "vanguard." You would no longer inhabit the morally charmed world of an elite, whose members alone can see the light and whose mission is to lead the unenlightened towards it. If everybody could see the promised horizon and knew the path to reach it, the future would already have happened and there would be no need for the vanguard of the saints. That is both the ethical core and psychological heart of what it means to be a part of the left. That is where the gratification comes from. To see yourself as a social redeemer. To feel anointed. In other words: To be progressive is itself the most satisfying narcissism.
That is why it is of little concern to them that their socialist schemes have run aground, burying millions of human beings in their wake. That is why they don't care that their panaceas have caused more human suffering than all the injustices they have ever challenged. That is why they never learn from their "mistakes." That is why the continuance of Them is more important than any truth. If you were active in the so-called "peace" movement or in the radical wing of the civil rights causes, why would you tell the truth? Why would you tell people that no, you weren't really a "peace activist," except in the sense that you were against America's war. Why would you draw attention to the fact that while you called yourselves "peace activists," you didn't oppose the Communists' war, and were gratified when America's enemies won?
What you were really against was not war at all, but American "imperialism" and American capitalism. What you truly hated was America's democracy, which you knew to be a "sham" because it was controlled by money in the end. That's why you wanted to "Bring the Troops Home," as your slogan said. Because if America's troops came home, America would lose and the Communists would win. And the progressive future would be one step closer. But you never had the honesty-then or now-to admit that. You told the lie then to maintain your influence and increase your power to do good (as only the Chosen can). And you keep on telling the lie for the same reason.
Why would you admit that, despite your tactical support for civil rights, you weren't really committed to civil rights as Americans understand rights? What you really wanted was to overthrow the very Constitution that guaranteed those rights, based as it is on private property and the individual-both of which you despise. It is because America is a democracy and the people endorse it, that the left's anti-American, but "progressive" agendas can only be achieved by deceiving the people. This is the cross the left has to bear: The better world is only achievable by lying to the very people they propose to redeem.
Despite the homage contemporary leftists pay to post-modernist conceits, despite their belated and half-hearted display of critical sentiment towards Communist regimes, they are very much the ideological heirs of Stalinist progressives, who supported the greatest mass murders in human history, but who remember themselves as civil libertarian opponents of McCarthy and victims of a political witch-hunt. (Only the dialectically gifted can even begin to follow the logic involved.)
Because the transformation progressives seek is ultimately total, the power they seek must be total as well. In the end, the redemption they envision cannot be achieved as a political compromise, even though compromises may be struck along the way. Their brave new world can ultimately be secured only by the complete surrender of the resisting force. In short, the transformation of the world requires the permanent entrenchment of the saints in power. Therefore, everything is justified that serves to achieve the continuance of Them.
Almost a decade earlier-in the name of the very principles they so casually betrayed for Clinton-the same feminists had organized the most disgraceful lynching of a public figure in America's history. Despite fiercely proclaimed commitments to the racial victims of American persecution, they launched a vicious campaign to destroy the reputation of an African American jurist who had risen, unblemished, from dirt-shack poverty in the segregated south to the nation's highest courts. They did it knowingly, cynically, with the intent to destroy him in his person, and to ruin his public career. Has there ever been a more reprehensible witch-hunt in American public life than the one organized by feminist leaders who then emerged as vocal defenders of the White House lecher? Was there ever a more sordid betrayal of common decency than this collective defamation-for which no apology has or ever will be given?
What was the sin Clarence Thomas committed to earn such punishment? The allegation-that he had talked inappropriately ten years before to a female lawyer and made her uncomfortable-appears laughable in the post-Lewinsky climate of presidential gropings and borderline rapes that the same feminists have sanctioned for their political accomplice. Thomas' real crime, as everybody knew but was too intimidated by the hysteria to confirm at the time, was his commitment to constitutional principles they hated. They hated these principles because the Constitution was written for the explicit purpose of preventing the realization of their socialist and egalitarian dreams.
Peggy Noonan is right. The focus of Hillary Clinton's ambition is not her country. But it is not just herself either. It is also a place that does not exist. It is the vision of a world that can only be achieved when the Chosen accumulate enough power to change this one. That is why Hillary and Sid Blumenthal, her fawning New Left Machiavelli, call their own political philosophy the politics of "The Third Way." This distinguishes it from the "triangulation" strategy Dick Morris used to resurrect Bill Clinton's presidency. Morris guided Clinton, in appropriating specific Republican policies towards a balanced budget and welfare reform as a means of securing his re-election. Hillary Clinton was on board for these policies, and in that sense is a triangulator herself. But "triangulation" is too merely tactical and too morally crass to define a serious political philosophy. Above all, it fails to project the sense of promise that intoxicates the imaginations of self-styled "progressives." That is why Hillary and Sid call their politics "The Third Way."
"The Third Way" is a familiar term from the lexicon of the left with a long and dishonorable pedigree in the catastrophes created by messianic socialists in the 20th Century. It is the most ornate panel in the tapestry of deception I described at the beginning of this essay. In the 1930s, Nazis used "The Third Way" to characterize their own brand of national socialism as a equidistant between the "internationalist" socialism of the Soviet Union and the capitalism of the West. Trotskyists used "The Third Way" as a term to distinguish their own Marxism from Stalinism and capitalism. In the 1960s, New Leftists used "The Third Way" to define their politics as an independent socialism between the Soviet gulag and America's democracy.
But as the history of Nazism, Trotskyism and the New Left have shown, there is no "Third Way." There is the capitalist, democratic way based on private property and individual rights-a way that leads to liberty and universal opportunity. And there is the socialist way of group identities, group rights, a relentless expansion of the political state, restricted liberty and diminished opportunity. The Third Way is not a path to the future. It is just the suspension between these two destinations. It is a bad faith attempt on the part of people who are incapable of giving up their socialist schemes to escape the taint of their discredited past.
But the idealists who serve him-the Stephanopoulos's, the Ickes's, the feminists, the progressives and Hillary Clinton-can tell the difference. Their cynicism flows from the very perception they have of right and wrong. They do it for higher ends. They do it for the progressive faith. They do it because they see themselves as having the power to redeem the world from evil. It is that terrifyingly exalted ambition that fuels their spiritual arrogance and justifies their sordid and, if necessary, criminal means.
And that is why they hate conservatives. They hate you because you are killers of their dream. Because you are defenders of a Constitution that thwarts their cause. They hate you because your "reactionary" commitment to individual rights, to a single standard and to a neutral and limited state obstructs their progressive designs. They hate you because you are believers in property and its rights as the cornerstones of prosperity and human freedom; because you do not see the market economy as a mere instrument for acquiring personal wealth and political war chests, to be overcome in the end by bureaucratic schemes.
Conservatives who think progressives are misinformed idealists will forever be blind-sided by the malice of the left-by the cynicism of those who pride themselves on principle, by the viciousness of those who champion sensitivity, by the intolerance of those who call themselves liberal, and by the ruthless disregard for the well-being of the downtrodden by those who preen themselves as social saints.
Conservatives are caught by surprise because they see progressives as merely misguided, when in fact they are fundamentally misdirected. They are the messianists of a religious faith. But it is a false faith and a self-serving religion. Since the redeemed future that justifies their existence and rationalizes their hypocrisy can never be realized, what really motivates progressives is a modern idolatry: their limitless passion for the continuance of Them. [End Excerpts] - David Horowitz
And they hate him for ripping back their masks.
The Socialist complicit media sit silently in the wings while this evil racist bastard wreaks havoc on the world.
What has this pathetic world come to?
Black Nazism IS Racism, morons. Where's the Outrage?
The perils of designer tribalism***Part of what makes The Tears of the White Man such an important book is Bruckner's sensitivity to the aerodynamics of liberal guilt. He understands what launches it, what keeps it aloft, and how we might lure it safely back to earth. He understands that the entire phenomenon of Third Worldism is fueled by the moral ecstasy of overbred guilt. Bruckner is an articulate anatomist of such guilt and its attendant deceptions and mystifications. "An overblown conscience," he points out, "is an empty conscience."
Compassion ceases if there is nothing but compassion, and revulsion turns to insensitivity. Our "soft pity," as Stefan Zweig calls it, is stimulated, because guilt is a convenient substitute for action where action is impossible. Without the power to do anything, sensitivity becomes our main aim, the aim is not so much to do anything, as to be judged. Salvation lies in the verdict that declares us to be wrong.
The universalization-which is to say the utter trivialization-of compassion is one side of Third Worldism. Another side is the inversion of traditional moral and intellectual values. Europe once sought to bring enlightenment-literacy, civil society, modern technology-to benighted parts of the world. It did so in the name of progress and civilization. The ethic of Third Worldism dictates that yesterday's enlightenment be rebaptized as today's imperialistic oppression. For the committed Third Worldist, Bruckner points out,
salvation consists not only in a futile exchange of influences, but in the recognition of the superiority of foreign thought, in the study of their doctrines, and in conversion to their dogma. We must take on our former slaves as our models. . . . It is the duty and in the interest of the West to be made prisoner by its own barbarians.
Whatever the current object of adulation- the wisdom of the East, tribal Africa, Aboriginal Australia, pre-Columbian America -the message is the same: the absolute superiority of Otherness. The Third Worldist looks to the orient, to the tribal, to the primitive not for what they really are but for their evocative distance from the reality of modern European society and values.***
Zimbabwe: Democracy's Dimming- Busani Bafana World Press Review Correspondent [Full Text] Harare - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is not brushing up his valedictory speech after all. He fed it into the State House shredder in April when he announced that come Zimbabwe's 2002 elections, his name will again be on the ballot. The president's announcement that he will not hand over the baton to others-as Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Jerry Rawlings in Ghana, and Ketumile Masire in Botswana have done-is widely regarded as a blow to democracy.
"To say that the rule of law and democracy in Zimbabwe are gravely imperiled by the government-as stated by the International Bar Association-is a gross understatement that needs no amplification," said the independent weekly Financial Gazette of Harare (May 2).
Harare's privately owned Daily News had no sweet words about Mugabe's bid for another presidential term either. "Mugabe himself has felt it is necessary to explain why he feels he ought to stand for president next year: He wants to see through his controversial and bloody land-reform program. This suggests that even he felt he had been in the saddle long enough-21 years-with precious little to show for it," said the Daily News (May 28).
Mugabe's plan to celebrate his 83rd birthday at the State House means that the days of press freedom are numbered if government fast-tracks its planned Freedom of Information Bill. The bill, whose details are still sketchy, would regulate the operations of all media in Zimbabwe with a stringent accreditation system. It would also bar foreign investment in the media and set up a Media Complaints Council.
"It is increasingly becoming clear that there is a tendency not to involve civil society in the drafting of legislation in Zimbabwe. Media stakeholders cannot afford not to have their input considered in the Freedom of Information Bill," said Raashweat Mukundu, information officer for the Media Institute of Southern Africa's Zimbabwe chapter, in a paper published in May. "Media stakeholders expect the bill to open up the environment in which the media is operating rather than muzzle the same."
However, judging by the recent statements of Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, it would be easy to think that the bill is already an act of parliament. Daily News editor Geoff Nyarota faces charges under a criminal defamation law because his paper reported on a lawsuit brought against Mugabe in a U.S. court for human-rights violations. Furthermore, Harare's oppposition weekly Zimbabwe Independent had to sue for a court order barring Moyo from blocking the paper's coverage of a suit against him by the Ford Foundation for misappropriation of funds.
"The crackdown on press freedom...is a clumsy response to the role independent newspapers have played in exposing the villainy of a regime that...is now attempting to beat the opposition and civil society into submission," said the Zimbabwe Independent. (May 11). "It won't happen....Zimbabweans have voted not only for democracy but also, in the pattern of their purchases, for a press that keeps them informed." [End]
Mugabe terrorized his way to another term.
Birds of a feather flock together. Racism is used to incite but total control under communism is the real aim and issue.
Well if they were white and they were taking over black farms. . . . . . . .It would last about 5 min
Get real. They are demons from hell.
This is evil and selfishness that tanks with the worst.
....... 100 commandos from Europe could take them out
That's how it works now in America. Leave the people out their working and just steal a growing share of the fruits of their labor.
She can't be responsible for the failure of every undercapitalized farm in Zimbabwe.
You are the best, Mrs. C...;^)
WRONG... learn to read.
Here is the quote for you from the above article, you obviously did not read:
"During the weekend, the Matthewses auctioned their remaining 135 head of cattle for about $50,000. Half the money will be used to pay benefits to the farm's 15 workers. Eva Matthews said she and her husband will use the remainder to start a new life. They are moving to a small apartment"
SELLING THE CATTLE for cash, is a perfect example of people LIQUIDATING AN ASSET. You obviously did not understand me.
I don't have time for stupid little word games and snipes and insults... so I will ignore them...
Perhaps, it would do you some good to actually read the article about the Matthews, and difficult concepts like "liquidating assets" and communistic concepts of "wealth redistribution" before you post a snotty response to a post you don't understand and make an utter fool of yourself...
If you don't think we have wealth distribution in this nation, by force... think again. Look at your paycheck if you get one, or, are you on the public dole? They take money from one person who has it, and give it to another, after taking out a hefty chunk for themselves.
In this nation, we call it social spending and taxation. "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" (K. Marx and F. Engels, Complete Works,vol. 19, p. 20)...
The majority of politicos who espoused this theory of the moral correctness of wealth redistribution, became the majority in the former Russia... and it was all legal, in fact they voted for it time and time and time again... the leader of this political philosophy...
AKA Karl Marx....
Wealth redistribution is evil whether in soviet russia, zimbabwe, or the good ole usa...
Income tax and other such taxes, are NOT the same thing as as what's going on with this massive land grab, in Zimbabwe. I HATE Marxists and redistribution of wealth. Impugning my status ( foolishly so) doesn't validate your pathetic stab at refutation. Perhaps, if you kept up, with world wide current events, instead of unsuccessfully attempting to sound erudite and clever, you'd have understood my post. :-)
I was thinking the same thing ... just destroy everyone and everything that gets in her way ..
Isn't there an international RICO statute these felons are violating? Good Lord...
If these were whites taking land away from productive black farmers and causing a famine, would the UN and US be sending food aid over no questions asked, no demands?
Btw, I think this must be the actual aid situation. The US sends food to the UN and they send it to Mugabe and then the US sends more food to Mugabe.
The Governor or his wife, of your state , or Mrs. Bush takes these lands ? NO ? Then it is NOT the same thing. That you are incapable of comprehending this, is your problem. I suggest some courses in reading conmprehension, logic, and yes, debate.