May 22, 2005

Fallowed Ground


From The Telegraph: White farmers reject Mugabe plea to return (hat tip Tom Pechinski):

White farmers evicted by Robert Mugabe's government have reacted with contempt to an offer that they should return to Zimbabwe to take part in "joint ventures" with those who brutalised them and stole their land.

Gideon Gono, the governor of the country's central bank, suggested the idea last Thursday as a possible solution to Zimbabwe's economic crisis. ...

During the evictions, some white farmers were murdered and many others were beaten and their families abused. The evictions prompted the collapse of the agriculture sector, the traditional engine of the economy.

Those who took over the farms had no specialist knowledge - and most farmland now lies uncultivated. The machinery has been stolen, buildings have been plundered and the former workers are starving. ...

One tobacco and cattle farmer, who was forced off his property by armed squatters in 2000, said: "He can't be serious. My house has been burnt down, my fields destroyed and he wants to invite me back?

"There has to be a proper return to respect for property rights. We need facts, not words and a legal framework. No one's going to go back on the basis of this."

For a couple of our past Mugabe cartoons, see here and here.

UPDATE I -- May 24: Gateway Pundit has more.

UPDATE II -- May 25: This cartoon appears in today's National Post.

UPDATE III -- June 2: From The New York Times: Zimbabwe Takes Harsh Steps to Counter Unrest.

Facing rising unrest over a collapsing economy, Zimbabwe's authoritarian government has apparently adopted a scorched-earth policy toward potential enemies, detaining thousands of people, burning homes and street kiosks and routing large numbers of people from makeshift homes in major cities.

The scope of the operation, which began in mid-May, is unknown, in part because a nationwide gasoline shortage has prevented some of those following events in Zimbabwe from monitoring the impact firsthand. But reports in the local press and from witnesses indicate that the police have detained or arrested as many as 30,000 residents in big cities and evicted hundreds of thousands more from shantytowns on the fringes of most cities.

Posted by Forkum at May 22, 2005 08:01 PM