[OPE-L:3032] Re: Re: Re: Re: RE: Zimbabwe Petition

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@Princeton.EDU)
Date: Sun May 07 2000 - 11:47:27 EDT

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Nicola Taylor wrote in 3029:

>Paul, you've missed the point (contained in the "why" question where I
>state that Zimbabweans ARE in favour of land reform): also, see my replies
>to Rakesh (ope-l:3009, 3014). My original purpose was to raise awareness
>of Mugabe's *misuse* of a popular demand for land reform to justification
>bringing in the broad powers rejected at the referendum. He is now ruling
>the country by Presidential Decree (Parliament suspended April 11).
>comradely, Nicky

Nope, Nicky, you initially argued that the popular rejection of the
February referendum proved that Zimbabweans did not want to give Mugabe
powers of land confiscation due to fear he would misuse it against small
peasants and opponents; moreover, you said repeatedly that black
Zimbabweans rejected the race card, which is perhaps how your family wanted
to interpret it. No news report I have read and no evidence you have
provided however justifies these claims by which you encouraged us to sign
a petition which was also badly worded as Julian has shown.

You yourself then turned around and said that the majority rejected the
referendum because they didn't think Mugabe was serious about carrying
through with the land reform.

And I find your recent analogizing of the conditions of Weimar Jews to
Zimbabwean whites (the former, you may remember, did not use state power to
expropriate the best lands of the Aryans and then subject them to racial
terror for more than one hundred years) and implicitly of the war veterans
to Germany's will executioners to be absurd. And of course there is, as
Julian stated at the outset, good justification for why specifically the
white owned land, taken by terror and force, can be expropriated without
compensation, even if that would violate commercial law.

This is indeed no way of going about finally breaking the Lancaster
Agreement and land reform in general (a huge issue in South Africa as well
as Mandela only distributed the tinest fraction of the 300f the land
owned by whites, often again the most arable land devoted to cash crops
instead of food production), but you did not ask us to sign a petition for
a different strategy forward on this issue. Instead you asked us to sign
one calling for the ensconcement of commercial law.

Yours, Rakesh

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