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At 08:35 27/04/00 +0100, you wrote:
>I don't doubt that many of the ZANU-PF, from Mugabe downwards, are
>unpleasant thugs and kleptocrats, nor that many in the opposition are people
>with impeccable credentials from the war of liberation....
>...BUT this clause 1 of this petition makes it essentially a petition
>against the right to dispossess not only capitalists in general but in
>particular the settlers who sustained a racist dictatorship.
Fact: ALL of the farms that have been attacked in the current spate of
so-called 'land invasions' are farms where the workers were solidly opposed
to ZANU-PF. The workers who lived in 'compounds' on these farms have in
fact borne the brunt of the current attacks on their persons and property
(even if it is more 'newsworthy' for the foreign press to focus on the
white farmers!). Land reform is one agenda supported by the majority of
Zimbabweans, including many of the 'white Zimbabweans' who stayed after
independence - using the issue of land to forceably remove, murder and/or
imprison your political opponents - is another issue altogether.
>Since the petition makes by implication favourable reference to the rule of
>law, it should be recalled that white rule in Rhodesia was sustained by
>armed rebellion against a democratically-elected government (that of the
The petition makes reference to the rule of Law, because Mugabe held a
referendum in February asking the people of Zimbabwe to support the seizure
of land from commercial farmers. The result of that referendum was a
resounding NO vote. Why, when land reform is a critical issue supported by
everyone? Because Zimbabweans are well aware that Mugabe has a twenty year
history of dispossessing his opponents, begining with the seizure of
Sitholi's farms in 1981 (which incidentally also dispossed the many
thousands of black workers living on them). Are you suggesting that the
people of Zimbabwe should not have a say in our own affairs, and that
Mugabe can decide what is right for us? Your reference to the
democratically elected government (the UK) escapes me. The UK was a
colonial power - under that power only white settlers had the vote.
>Most of what the petition coyly refers to as "commercial farmers" in fact
>deserve to be hung as traitors, and numbers of them will have war records
>that would probably still be vulnerable to charges of crimes against
You are entitled to your opinion. Members of my own family were courageous
enough to stand up to racist regimes, and two were imprisoned for it. If
they are willing to stand up again to the self-serving whims of dictators,
then as far as I'm concerned they deserve all the support I can give them.
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