Ok, lets narrow down this dispute.
Noone in Zimbabwe- except a few landowners-denies that there is a serious land issue in the country. I am well acquaintd with what the article is saying. I still have superior first hand knowledge ( my father, who is now late, was the CEO of the Rural State Land Office, the government organ for the distribution of land under the Lancaster House Agreement. His office's job was to interview people who would then be given the land. I used to see ministers and high officials in his office, all waiting to make sure they got the farms first before anyone else did. His job depended on that. I saw him swallow his pride in a way I never could. Like me, he did not turn to the bottle when stressed, but sometimes would have outbursts about how the whole land thing was being perverted. This was way before the present Land Redistribution exercise started taking place.
In 2000, when this Land issue heated up, I was part of the Land Stories project, an undertaking by the film making community to document as much as we could about what was happening. It was not not long before three facts emerged; 1. The white commercial farmers had a lot of money to support any films we would make, as long as they told their perspective. We would thus have the choice of considereing our business needs- most of us had barely managing production houses- or our original aim , which was to tell the bigger story. 2. The governement also wanted its side told, but the government was not going to use candy to persuade us- you had to tell their story or tell no story at all Many chose the latter option, there is something as disagreeable in being bullied in to it by a dictatorial regime as there is in being bought by the descendants of white looters and pillagers. 3. The international media were not here to help.
I made a production about Land Ownership in Chitungwiza. I looked at the dilemma of the urban Zimbabwean- he feels the Land belongs to Black people yet he loathes a government he sees as oppresive and depraved. Since noone wanted to touch it, I had to leave it.
As for the oposition having an alternative plan to get the land back, I think you must see their documents. Like I said I am not speaking for them. There is more than one oposition group, and I am a private citizen. Speaking against A does not neccessarily lead to me speaking for B or even C.
Yes, my compatriots are largely aware of the international forces at play- the ones that look aside when Hutu and Tutsi hacked each other to death in Rwanda yet insist we must all howl and weep over Sept 11, the ones that support despots like the King of Saudi Arabia and pull down Saddam Hussein, the ones that brand Osama a terrorist and do business with his company. Yes we all know abou this.
But I am saying that we need stronger revolutionaries, not politically-bankrupt gerontocracies whose revolution is exhuasted.
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