Famine as the price of socialist misrule

via Famine as the price of socialist misrule – NewZimbabwe 11/02/2016 by Robin Mitchinson

This article is taken from the Commentator

IT is very possible that we shall soon be exhorted by the bleeding hearts brigade in OXFAM, SCF and the rest of the usual suspects to give generously to the latest famine relief appeal.

This time it’s Zimbabwe, so before reaching for the cheque-book, it is wise to reflect on why these people are starving. Mugabe says it is because of drought.

It is not. It is entirely self-inflicted. Zimbabwe has had famine conditions in 2001 (the year farm seizures began), 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008. 2014, 2015 and now! Some drought!

Prior to the seizure of white-owned farms from 2001, Zimbabwe produced 3 million tons of maize (at least those farmers did), almost exactly twice its own needs. This year it is expected to be 600,000  tons, only a third of the quantity needed to feed itself. Zimbabwe has gone from being the breadbasket of Southern Africa to its basket case. Only about 100 white farmers remain from the original 5,000.

And it is not as if the seized land is being farmed. The stated intention was to redistribute the land to former terrorists. Instead, much of it was allocated to Mugabe’s cronies and has lain fallow ever since.

As well as maize, these farmers produced beef of the highest quality, especially from pedigree Herefords. Now it is all gone. The breeding animals have all been slaughtered for nyama (meat) despite their otherwise high value as pedigree breeding stock.

The entire livestock industry has been vandalised. The population of Matabeleland has fallen drastically through malnutrition, Aids, and emigration.

This was not all.

The big foreign exchange earner was tobacco. This requires experience, skill and capital. The top product, Rhodesian Flue Cured Virginia, was probably the best quality and highest priced in the world. So goodbye to that.

The white farms were entire communities. The workers were housed, fed and cared for on the farm. Now they are without work and on or below the bread line.

Not that Mugabe will shed tears for Matabeleland any more than he did in the 1980s when he unleashed the notorious 5th Brigade in a genocidal campaign against them. It is thought that these North Korean-trained butchers murdered at least 20,000 Matabele in their so-called ‘gukurahundi’ (the rain that washes away the chaff).

These were not the so-called ‘dissidents’ opposing Mugabe’s one-party monstrosity. They were for the most part ordinary villagers scratching a living in the bundu.

The 5th Brigade gained an horrific reputation for committing atrocities — slashing open the wombs of young pregnant girls, forcing villagers to dig their own graves and then shooting them in them; a mother was forced to eat her own child.

A favourite torment especially for village headmen was to wrap them in plastic bags and set fire to them. I met one such who had survived; he was horribly disfigured with the pigment burned away from his skin.

All this has been widely known since the beginning and here is the paradox.

The ICC attempted to arraign the President of Kenya for inciting election violence that led to a number of deaths. No such action has ever been taken against Comrade Bob although he has been responsible for thousands. But then he is an African freedom icon and a Marxist hero.

And another thing. It was not Mugabe who initiated the farm seizures. It was the Labour Government that abrogated the Lancaster House Agreement that provided for fair compensation for land redistribution, and refused to pay although the funds were available.

Robin Mitchinson is a Contributing Editor to The Commentator.


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    IAN SMITH 6 years ago

    The fact is Zimbabwe has collapsed it does not even compare to countries like the Sudan and Ethiopia whose economys run on their own currency.

    Desertification has become a serious problem in Zimbabwe. There is also concern over soil erosion. The consequences have begun to manifested themselves in the form of deforestation, soil. desiccation, and the lowering of soil fertility and the water table.

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    nomazulu 6 years ago

    it is not the British labor government that ushered independence to zanu misrule but Margaret Thatcher’s Tory government. Lets get the history correct. However i do agree with you that the taking away of farms, murderous farms invasions led to acute food insecurities especially in mathebeleland.
    Again to say socialism let to food insecurities is wrong too. There was not socialism in Zimbabwe from the word go, only by word of mouth. Mugabe took to the neo-liberal policies right in the first year of his misrule, he was not even sure of of this economic liberal neo-policies, hence he asked Prime Minister Thatcher if Lord Soames could be co-leader of the new Zanu govt. KKKKKKKKKKKKK
    It should never surprise all how Mugabe screams about people with pink nose yet he internally worships them to the letter. Mugabe loves British culture in and out, things went bad and now he lashes at them calling them all sorts of names,because the grapes went sour down the line. His greatest punishment is that he cannot go to London and meet the Queen, those Royal weddings he cannot attend! The British people know exactly how to punish Mugabe and it bites severely, what if died having not gone to see the Buckingham palace and drink that tea and cakes with the queen once more!

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    Please would someone just pull the trigger