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Zimbabwe's first lady grabs luxury farm - Personally evicts farm couple ^ | August 27, 2002 | Davan Maharaj And Peta Thornycroft

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.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: africawatch; communism; terrorism; zimbabwe
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To: Golden Gate
From your LINK: The true-believers in the Johannesburg crowd have an almost religious faith that Western-oriented capitalism is destructive to the environment, while "indigenous peoples" live in harmony with the natural world.

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.***

21 posted on 08/28/2002 2:00:50 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: cavador
A story at your LINK:

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 a clumsy response to the role independent newspapers have played in exposing the villainy of a regime 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.

22 posted on 08/28/2002 2:09:26 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: nopardons
Bump for Horowitz!
23 posted on 08/28/2002 2:10:33 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Stallone
The Socialist complicit media sit silently in the wings while this evil racist bastard wreaks havoc on the world.

Birds of a feather flock together. Racism is used to incite but total control under communism is the real aim and issue.

24 posted on 08/28/2002 2:13:03 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
"How can Robert and Grace Mugabe live with themselves? This is evil and selfishness that tanks with the worst. Millions will starve while she chooses drapery material.

Well if they were white and they were taking over black farms. . . . . . . .It would last about 5 min

25 posted on 08/28/2002 2:16:17 AM PDT by DeaconRed
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To: Voter#537
True. Even though they would grow food and feed millions.
26 posted on 08/28/2002 2:43:56 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Hank Rearden
Boston Globe - Mugabe refuses to talk with white farmers[Full Text] HARARE - President Robert Mugabe ruled out talks with white farmers fighting his land seizures yesterday, saying they must hand over their farms to landless blacks and learn to share. Speaking at a rally in southeastern Zimbabwe, Mugabe said there was nothing to talk about because white farmers owned large tracts of land while indigenous blacks had nothing. ''There is no room for talks, there is no room for any negotiations because the real owners of this land are asserting their rights and reclaiming their land,'' he said in remarks broadcast on Zimbabwean television. Mugabe's government has ordered 2,900 farmers of the country's remaining 4,500 white commercial farmers to quit their land without compensation, but nearly two thirds have defied an Aug. 8 deadline. Nearly 300 have been arrested and charged for defying the orders. (Reuters) [End]
27 posted on 08/28/2002 2:48:28 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
How can Robert and Grace Mugabe live with themselves?

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

28 posted on 08/28/2002 3:01:28 AM PDT by dennisw
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
The Mugabe regime is not doing it right. You are supposed to let the productive people work their butts off and gradually siphon more and more of their earnings through taxation so that you (the ruling class) can live better.

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.

29 posted on 08/28/2002 4:07:24 AM PDT by NoControllingLegalAuthority
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To: operation clinton cleanup
She obviously went to the Hillary Clinton school of First Ladyship.

She can't be responsible for the failure of every undercapitalized farm in Zimbabwe.

30 posted on 08/28/2002 7:53:37 AM PDT by jodorowsky
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
"To be progressive is the most satisfying narcissism."

You are the best, Mrs. C...;^)

31 posted on 08/28/2002 8:38:47 AM PDT by headsonpikes
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
"Mugabe argues land for the poor, but it's a lie," said MDC spokesman Moses Mzila-Ndlovu. "It's about power."

I've seen a sentence to this effect in almost every Zimbabwe story. "He said he was going to give it to the poor, but he's not!" "What started out as a noble effort to give land to Zimbabwe's poor has become..."

Evidently, murder and stealing is okay, as long as you're doing it for the poor. Good God, everyone's been trained nicely. Nobody even questions the greater injustice here, just that this effort is tainted because the land is not "going for the poor."
32 posted on 08/28/2002 8:54:33 AM PDT by Goodlife
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To: nopardons
"They didn't " liquidate " anything and many were tortured and / or killed."

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...

33 posted on 08/28/2002 3:37:42 PM PDT by Robert_Paulson2
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To: nopardons
The matthews were not killed. Their wealth was redistributed, which is the evil of socialistic communism.

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...

34 posted on 08/28/2002 3:49:58 PM PDT by Robert_Paulson2
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To: Goodlife; Grampa Dave
"What started out as a noble effort to give land to Zimbabwe's poor..."

redistribution for the oppressed... the evil of karl marx
"from each according to his ability to each according to his need...." the very kernel of all evils that flow under the auspices of statist socialism...

and it is increasing here in the USA every time they take a bigger bite of our income, or our personal property... for their ever-larger socialist spending programs... and ever-larger personal intrusions into our private lives..."all hail the nanny-state... Oh great, Nanny state, take care of us... we need you to protect with more laws, police and intrusions into our privacy while you supply us with whatever we want or need, and take from those who rightfully earned it to begin with...."

"there ought to be a law", "we need to regulate" and it is all "for the children." Marx would be proud.

All worship the masters of the socialist nanny state...

It starts out sounding all noble... but it is paved with the bodies and blood of good and hard working people.

Our governor, kitzhaber wants a tax increase... here in oregon... while we have the highest unemployment in the nation and the timber industry is crippled by the radical greenie movement and the teachers unions rife with radical militant gays...

It's all for the good of our children... and the education of them... Socialists make me want to puke... and blind americans who live in denial that we are becoming a socialist nanny state..."America is different" they say... as another intrusive and expensive government program bites into their paycheck... "for the children..."

They are even redistributing land, from farmers and timber industry property owners, by use of the watershed and endangered species acts... same results as in zimbabwe, people lose their land to other interests... just a more sophisticated methodology... protecting the environment,,, for our children's future... or similar.

35 posted on 08/28/2002 4:06:24 PM PDT by Robert_Paulson2
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To: Robert_Paulson2
Other Zimbabweans have been torture and murdered. I read this article and I abe expert in reading and comprehending English. You, OTOH, seem to make generalizations, and then take umbrage, when called on what you've actually written.

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. :-)

36 posted on 08/28/2002 10:35:34 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: Robert_Paulson2
Zimbabwe is minor league in comparison to the rural cleansing done in Oregon the past 10 years by the Criminally Insane Watermelon Green Jihadists.

Do you have any specific data links to the Oregon unemployment rates? I would like to start using them in my Oregon is still burning daily threads.

Thanks for the ping!
37 posted on 08/28/2002 11:13:13 PM PDT by Grampa Dave
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To: operation clinton cleanup
She obviously went to the Hillary Clinton school of First Ladyship.

I was thinking the same thing ... just destroy everyone and everything that gets in her way ..

38 posted on 08/28/2002 11:23:45 PM PDT by Mo1
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
This is beyond sickening. I don't even know what to say. I'm pretty sure that inside, Mrs. Matthews is not thinking the gracious words that she pretty much HAD to say.

Isn't there an international RICO statute these felons are violating? Good Lord...

39 posted on 08/28/2002 11:36:37 PM PDT by bootless
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To: Voter#537
Well if they were white and they were taking over black farms. . . . . . . .It would last about 5 min

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.

40 posted on 08/28/2002 11:46:48 PM PDT by PuNcH
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