by John Hawkins | February 9, 2006 8:09 am
A few years back in Zimbabwe, uber-genius dictator-for-life, Robert Mugabe, came up with a “brilliant” idea: persecuting all the white farmers in the country and stealing their land. Granted, these people were pretty much feeding the entire country, but hey, who needs food, right?
Well, now that the country is in the middle of a famine and the IMF and Europe have “tut-tutted” Mugabe as much as he can stand, Mugabe has finally figured out that getting rid of all those farmers was a bad idea. So, he’s inviting them all back:
“President Robert Mugabe has begun to reverse his “insane” land grab and offer some white farmers the chance to lease back their holdings in Zimbabwe.
With the fastest shrinking economy in the world, Mr Mugabe has had to backtrack on six years of chaos and his own determination to rid the country of all white farmers.
In an orgy of violence, Mr Mugabe seized the land, homes, equipment and infrastructure of about 4,000 white commercial farmers who produced almost half of Zimbabwe’s foreign currency.
The U-turn is expected to be announced within days. The ruling Zanu-PF party’s politburo has been informed and selected journalists in the state-controlled media have been briefed on how to spin the policy reversal.
About 250 whites remaining on small portions of their farms will immediately be offered state leases for the land they used to own. Some will be hoping that their full land holdings will be restored at a later stage.
The leases will, farmers hope, give them some legal protection from local warlords continuously trying to evict them or seize their equipment or crops.
In a second stage, the leases will be extended to some white farmers who have already been evicted, particularly where there is no activity on that land. Some fled to Britain, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa and are desperately homesick.
The government is expected to admit in the next few days that it has only used about 50 per cent of the land it seized. In reality, land economists say the figure of idle land is nearer 80 to 90 per cent.
…While this is a reversal of Zanu PF’s policy to rid Zimbabwe of all white farmers, some of those who lost their holdings are cynical about any offers from the government. Many will need convincing that the offer is genuine unless it is openly endorsed by Mr Mugabe and, even then, they may still be sceptical about a president who has broken promises in the past. “The government vastly underestimates the damage of its insane policies,” said one of Zimbabwe’s former top cereal producers. “They probably believe that allowing some of us to return will turn the economy around in a single season. We won’t be able to do anything without international finance, and we won’t get that until there is political reform,” he said.
“It’s bloody miserable out there. All our friends have gone, our equipment has been broken, irrigation has been vandalised, our homes have been wrecked, the roads are a mess, our workers have gone so why should we return? I am sure there will be some clots who are so damn miserable in other countries or living in towns that they will go back.
“We should be campaigning for compensation, not going back to help people who wrecked our country.”
Let me tell you, if you’re “desperately homesick” enough to go back to a hellhole like Zimbabwe that’s still run by the same racist, maniacal despot who was crazy enough to run you out of the country in the first place, you must have rocks in your head. Given that, this idea will surely fail and the country will continue its slide into oblivion.
Quite frankly, there’s not much that can be done to fix things in Zimbabwe as long as Mugabe is still there and since the US isn’t going to dispatch him to the afterlife unless he gets involved with terrorism, the country will probably remain a mess until he keels over or is dispatched in a coup.
That’s the sad but true reality…
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