Yes, the majority of the people in Zimbabwe know that the West has interests. Not just Western governments, but organisations and corporations within these nations. We know, for example that while telling the world that it had imposed so-called smart sanctions on Mugabe's regime- the US government authorised the sale to Zimbabwe of US$3m worth of military equipment; the type used in riot control.
The problem still remains that everytime someone speaks out against the present regime, then the automatic conclusion is that they are in the pay of the West or that they admire the West and will sell their own nation for a dollar. Their own nation automatically means Mugabe. This is where you and I have a problem, Ayinde.
But to your questions. Yes, this is what happened- the British seized the best land and drove the locals in to the wilderness. The idea was to take them away from the land, and suck them in to the Western economy as labourers. That is how my grandparents generation came to work in the towns,leaving the women to work the fields. This led to the inequalities between men and women, and led to women doing work that was originally for men.
The Lancaster settlement was imposed on the Black Nationalists and the White settlers alike by their allies. Zambia and other frontline States could not afford to sustain the support they were giving the nationalists, and likewise the South African regime could no longer afford to keep Rhodesia going. So this agreement was made; 1. Black people would have the vote 2. If whites wanted to sell their farms, they would have to first offer them to the Government, which could buy them with funds from the British government. Problem is, this would depend on the political climate in Britain.
The reason why the government was not keen to push for the land grabbing was that however painful this might be to African pride, the white farmers were doing a better job on the farms than many Blacks. It is true that even on the semi-arid zones that Blacks were pushed in to they were roducing more and more food than ever before, more food in fact than the white farmers, it is the white farmers that brought in the badly needed foreign currency. So, although a sore thorn in the side of nationalist goals, the white farmers were the goose that laid the golden egg. In return for this position, they have stayed out of politics and stuck to business.
But government incompetence and corruption began to take its toll. All the state run companies -including the ones handling the food crops and petroleum were mired in shocking scandals. As people began to complain, the government moved to silence the media and terrorise people. You could be complaining about the state of things on the bus, and that evening a car with unmarked plates comes to take you aware. When you reappear, you sort of become very quiet on the bus.
The peasants revolt in Svosve was Godsent. The Mugabe regime desperate for ideas jumped on this and rehashed itself as a Revolutionary regime.
What the AU has done is double standards. They have endorsed a despotic regime, because most of the member states are run by despots. And, did you know that Nigeria and Mozambique- both among the loudest in the pro-Mugabe camp- have been wooing the same white farmers to come over to their countries and help boost the agricultural sector?
And what of the peasnat in Zimbabwe. He was put on land, and told to wait until things got sorted out on the political level. Three years he waits. By then, the cost of everything, inputs, building materials etc has skyrocketed ( inflation in Zimbabwe is now upwards of 600%) None of the infrastructure the government promised is coming. Suddenly, a family that could at least feed itself is queueing up for a bag of maize every month. By the way, you have to have a Party membership card if you want grain.
In conclusion, I agree with you that there is a land issue to be addressed. But not by these hypocrites.
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