Mugabe’s land reform bill is simple to read: it involves forcing white farmers off their lands and giving them to landless black war veterans who fought for the independence of the country for ZANU-PF and ZAPU in the 1970s. While the white farmers own some 70% of the country’s arable land, they are the country’s lifeline and the only barrier between prosperity and starvation.
Around 3,000 farmers are mentioned on a list of those who should have left their farms by midnight on Friday. Vice-President Joseph Msika declared ominously that “Those who defy the law of Zimbabwe can only blame themselves. The law will be applied”. Those who do not leave face heavy fines and/or prison sentences. However, there is already a climate of tension in the area as marauding bands of thugs go on the rampage, torching white-owned farms, pillaging, raping and murdering the occupants.
Only 500 farmers have received scant compensation in Zimbabwe dollars, four hundred have left their farms while the rest stay put for the time being. Commercial Farmers Union President Colin Cleote regards the fact that no aggressive action has yet been taken as “a very good sign for us”. He stated the farming community hopes that common sense will win the day.
Since the policy of land redistribution started, the agricultural production in Zimbabwe has fallen sharply. When food stocks reach breakage point, it is estimated that six million people will be placed at risk of malnutrition or starvation in Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe is a prisoner of his own madness, having set in motion a monster which will lead to his own destruction, the destruction of his country and his people.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969