Zimbabweans urged to stand up against ZANU PF – Ben Freeth

via Zimbabweans urged to stand up against ‘oppressive’ ZANU PF | SW Radio Africa  by Alex Bell 24 October 2013

Zimbabweans are being urged to learn from their recent history and stand up against the oppressive ZANU PF regime, in a new book that paints a stark picture of where things have gone wrong.

The book ‘When Governments Stumble: Lessons from Zimbabwe’s past; hope in Africa’s future’ is written by former Chegutu farmer turned activist and author Ben Freeth. Speaking from the UK, where he is launching the book this week, Freeth explained the book is a “challenging” exploration of what has happened under the oppressive control of ZANU PF.

“When you go through a time of difficulty where the whole of the country is suffering and people are leaving by the million and people can’t feed themselves, then you have to take an introspective look at yourselves and ask why this is the case,” Freeth told SW Radio Africa.

‘When Governments Stumble’ is Freeth’s second book, following the very successful autobiographical account of the landmark legal case that he and his late father-in-law Mike Campbell won at the SADC Tribunal in 2008. ‘Mugabe and the White African’, which was also turned into a hard-hitting, feature length documentary, used the experiences Freeth and his family faced as a result of ZANU PF’s land grab campaign, to depict the injustices and lack of the rule of law in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.

Freeth explained on Thursday that the second book focuses on what can be learned by all nations where governments ‘stumble, and how these lessons can be used to move forward.

“This (the book) is now looking at what happens when the government stumbles. It is looking at the wider sense of what has happened economically in Zimbabwe, and the issue of what governments essentially are for,” Freeth said.

Cover for When Governments Stumble by Ben Freeth. Click image to buy from Amazon

He continued that in Zimbabwe, citizens have forgotten that governments are meant to be answerable and accountable to the nation. He said this defines a dictatorship.

“Governments are there to protect people, their lives and their liberties and it’s there to protect their property. And we have a situation in Zimbabwe where all these things that a government is meant to do, the ZANU PF government is doing the opposite,” Freeth said.

The book is being launched as Africa is facing a leadership crisis, witnessed most recently by attempts by the continent’s leaders to seek immunity from prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC). This blanket amnesty was proposed during a special summit of the African Union (AU), with nations threatening a mass walkout of the Hague based court.

Freeth explained that this sort of threat to the rule of law in Africa is “very sad,” but not surprising.

“We always knew that there are people in governments very worried about a justice system that is able to reach its arm out and say ‘you can’t do these things against your people’,” Freeth said.

He said this was another sign of ‘stumbling’, adding that his book examines “what we as individuals or groups can do about governments that do stumble.” He said that standing up against tyranny is the core message he is trying to bring across in the book.

Using his Christian faith as the backbone of this message, Freeth said he is trying to challenge and inspire people “to do what great men of God have done in the past.”

“The one thing we have learned from history is that people don’t learn from history and I hope that this book somehow gets people to learn from the past so we can move forward quite quickly in Africa and in Zimbabwe, when we get people willing to stand up and bring people to account and make sure people in the country are protected,” Freeth said.



  • comment-avatar
    George Sebedebe 9 years ago

    Ben Freeth, enjoy the cold, rain, snow, wind and daily drizzles in Britain. I am sure you live in a match box of an apartment- a far cry from the Heaven – on – earth living you used to enjoy on the land you had stollen from Zimbabweans in Chegutu-Zimbabwe. Whilst you endure the missery and loneliness in Britain, we are overjoyed on our land which we wrestled from you and your stupid father in law-Mr. Campbel. Your father in law died of stress but we are so happy on our land that at times we pinch ourselves in desbelief and think that we are in a wonderful dream from which we do not want to wake up. That is the life we have in Zimbabwe. Can you tell us about your life in Britain???? Even if you did, it would be borring indeed. If you expected the government to protect you on the land you stole then you were foolish-very foolish indeed and deserve all the rude awakening that befell you. No one will ever rise against a government that restored his dignity and one that restored land rights to the rightful owners of that land. Your stupid dream of the Zimbabwean people revolting against their own interests is as far fetched as expecting a man who has won a lottery to protest against his win. We are now in the process of identifying the remaining land thieves still on our land with the view to taking that land. Viva Mugabe! Hate Mugabe as much as you want, that will only increase our love for him. Viva Mugabe, Viva!!!!!!!

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      @ george sebedebe What a load of manure and rheotic , i, we are tired of such waffle , you part time comrades (pc politicians ) need to wake up and stop oppressing our people because of stupidity and pride

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      suziq 9 years ago

      you stole the land plain and simple….oh yes you have probley never earned a dam thing in your life….do you know how many people lost there livelyhood because of people like you who rob and steal from people’s hard work….tell me something has your leader started wearing adult diapers because of his age…people like you make me sick…he is the oldest president in the world in fact Zimbabwe is the laughing stock of the world..i am glad I live in a civilazed country…Ian Smith in power 5% unemployment 2% inflation…Mugabe 80% unemployment a 300.0000 trillian inflation…yes I bought your worthless money on line…

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      You ignorant stupid blind man.

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      suziq 9 years ago

      don’t you mean ” STOLE” YOU STUPID MORON

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      George Samuel Mohapi 7 years ago

      I will always support the latest campbell and his in law,so wish one day people of zimbabwe can wake up on that dream they have about the old man who rule by power/force…Fight for their country mr Freeth lets work together to win zim and put it to it condition again”viva THE CAMPBELL viva viva”down with the dictetor

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    Talk of a Rhodies who used to enjoy milk and honey in our Country. You come back from London and rise against ZANU PF. Whose son do you want sacrifice.

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    Kondo 9 years ago

    You lost all credibility when you first called for us to stand up to Tsvangirayi and now to Zanu(PF).We are not about to engage in a war to restore white priviledge.It is because of people like Ben Freeth that some among us are confused and equate the struggle for democracy with an attempt to bring back white rule.

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    Mike Patterson 9 years ago

    Baba is an idiot!

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    baba is a cork head

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    Mr Freeth its like you don’t have teeth to bite , to me you have explained nothing in your article , you say we must stand up against ZANU PF ,tell us how .We stood up against your grandfather Ian Smith through the liberation war and that was the mission which we accomplished . We wish to see better changes to improve the lives of the Zimbabwean , yes Mugabe is really a tyranny but tell us how to go about it .Freeth please why don’t you mentioned it point blank that you the Westerns have contributed to the down fall of Zimbabwe through sanctioning us , people of Zimbabwe are suffering today because of you and your leaders , yes Mugabe has caused demage to the country and you also increased the level of that damage .Please why don’t you back off from Zimbabwe issues . We have suffered enough and we are in the middle of a difficult situation ,don’t cause more pain to us ,please sell your book its fine , we the Zimbabweans we will find a solution to this without any kind of conflict , Zimbabweans are very educated , we are not fools as you think we are , we are proud Africans with functioning brains , please stay in your England and abolish this kind of manipulation us .

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      Jrr56 9 years ago

      Khabo you have shown what a fool you are. Freeth fought against Mugabe, members of his family were murdered. Your sanctions myth has been debunked time and time again STOP these silly lies. Sad thing is the Zimbabweans with brains all ran away from Mugabe (4 million?) and the rest of the yellow bellied folk lay down with Mugabe. It was the Freeths of this world who stood up and took the beatings. You took the Mugabe bribes and sang his song. You and many other Zimbabweans need to learn to grow a pair!

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    Manipulation to us .We can’t start shooting Mugabe , Freeth 2018 is coming , we will do it on our own don’t tell us what to do ,don’t you have people to spoon feed there in England .

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    Freeth is right to call for a united effort by all Zimbabweans to remove tyrany and work for a propserous Zimbabwe. But Freeth is reacting to the loss of his farm. When he was living in heaven while still on earth Mugabe was a good man.The West even chose a leader and political party to supoort in an effort to remove Mugabe. That has nothing to do with all Zimbabweans. One political party does not represent all Zimbabwean political views. But perhaps let us not live in the past for ever. It is true that as the people of Zimbabwe we need to change from this self imposed politics of patronage, econoimic stagnation, corruption, opportunism, bribery fear and rejection.

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    I would bet that most of you that write comments about Rhodes and what the west has done in the past to Zimbabwe, were not even born in 1980. A pity because believe me when I tell you that life for the common man was 100% better then than it is now. You listen to to much propaganda on the state owned news and believe the rubbish it feeds you. Sanctions against Zimbabwe blamed for every shortcoming of that government. Rubbish. They are against ten individuals and one company. Essentially nothing more than a travel ban on those ten and their ill gotten gains frozen in the western banks they tried to hide them in. Open your eyes and see the real picture.

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    Chola 9 years ago

    Even if they were not born in 1980 our history is pregnant with signs of your sins. Mugabe is my president leave with it. I am a proud african who believes that all vestiges of colonialism should be dismantled for our good. Ivhu to people kana kuti Kamubero haana kudzidza Shona achinenguva….

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    It’s funny how Zimbabwe wants money from the West, but then tells the West to mind their own business!! It’s quite correct that there are no sanctions on the country, just sanctions on certain corrupt politicians within the country. Taking that into consideration it means that Zimbabwe’s current situation is down to bad government and corruption, nothing else. It’s such a shame how many Zimbabweans have been brainwashed into believing what Mugabe wants them to believe. Just goes to show how effective his manipulations are. But there are the few who can think out the box and for themselves and they can see that the current state of affairs in the country in totally down to Mugabe’s corrupt rule and has nothing to do with the West sanctioning Mugabe and his cronies. If you want the West to stay out of African affairs we should. We should stop finance, trade and all help, close the borders and watch Africa sort itself out.

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      You do not want Western money! You poor fool, look at the money in your pocket, if you have any in a country with almost 90 % unemployment, United States of America’s dollars. Toilet paper was more valuable than your dollar. Where do you come up such ignorant statements?

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    Democracy wisher 9 years ago

    People who are against Freeth’s opinion are the dumpest fools,You are good at gushing words to the West yet you need them fr a survival.Just fools like ur leader Mugabege!!!!

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    Angela Wigmore 9 years ago

    @ CHOLA: So you want ”all vestiges of colonialism to be dismantled for good”? That’s fine by me. Completely trash all the infrastructure that colonialism brought – roads, railways, air travel facilities,electricity & water(well thet’re nearly gone anyway), telecoms, schools & hospitals (also already nearly defunct) and all factories, shops, hotels,government buildings and homes. Just leave you with the ”bush” we ‘stole’ from you. Have you learned how to make a wheel yet? Of course you can rely on your new colonial masters, the Chinese, to put it all up again for you. But don’t expect their workmanship to be as good as what you had – and don’t expect them to be benevolent ‘masters’! Good luck!

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    Bhola 9 years ago

    @Angela You are such a bigotted idiot… I hope we took all of your farms… Especially you, because you think you are God’s gift to Zimbabwe. Sis… you should be ashamed of yourself!

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    Go and see Beattie’s farm in Chegutu that used export oranges throughout SADC and provider vendors a way if earning money. I think The very Bright Matonga took over and let the orange grove as big as Mazoe estates wither which he then cut for wood to sell. That us what you call taking over a farm and making good use of it. It is indeed sad that people see joy in causing stress misery and death something to glorify. We were all getting on well together until Mugabe through his outs out of his cog because he list a referendum. He and his henchmen now preach hatred towards anyone who does not agree and is showing the face of true racism. What us even more unfortunate that there are a few that actually believe Mugabe that it is all the cause if the white man. Just like Hitler espousing the Jews as the cause of Germany’s problems. Say anything long enough and the gullible and ignorant wil believe. How sad that people cannot see what is transpiring acknowledge who us causing the misery. Thee were 250000 whites at one time and now hardly any with political clout and hence cannot effect any progress. 33 years and still Mugabe has not made things enabling for people to be developers of their own destiny. So much so that he has forced million of us leave to give our services in foreign countries. My my how short sighted some of these contributors are.

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    Dharma Appavoo 9 years ago

    Ignore the barking Dogs……the Caravan must move onwards.

    Zimbabweans can be expected to stumble and to blunder because over a period of One Hundred years they have been rigidly controlled. They stagnated and were inspissated into a Troglodyte Status…….forced to remain in the fixed position of uneducated, half-starved, tattered lackeys.
    They were the automatons who did what they were ordered to do. And nothing more.
    They had no indoor plumbing, no sewage, no modern amenities, and no pensions. And very little poor-quality Food.

    Incidentally, the Chinese did invent the Wheel….and the Anchor and Chain. They also invented the Passport (Long before the White Man landed on the umbrageous shores of Africa … without Permission or Passport).
    And then the British forced the Chinese to habituate on OPIUM whilst they recited from the Holy Bible.
    They agreed to desist only if the Mandarins gave them Hong Kong as reparation.

    Robert Mugabe is the Greatest Patriot in Human History. No other Leader has ever re-possessed territory form Invaders who stole the land.
    He is also the ONLY native Leader that expelled and repatriated the Marauders and the Squatters.
    His enemies controlled a modern Army and Air Force and he had no Constitutional option or escape route.

    Mogabe is FULLY entitled to the Nobel Prize….but his Triumph constitutes a breach of TRADITION.
    NO AFRICAN POLITICIAN HAS DONE ANYTHING BUT SELF-AGGRANDIZE and Foreigners have benefitted from the Corruption..

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    priceless 9 years ago

    How have sanctions stopped people from farming? *And I understand they are aimed at individuals & a teaspoon of companies* Does the west tell crops not to grow? Does the west tell water not to rain? (Zimbabwe was known as the bread basket because we are known for supplying food) I thot the whole process for land grab is to farm??? SANCTIONS my foot – Let’s think people ,,, SADC & AU , Chinese, Belgium & every country that endorsed the elections must chip in and donate Billions needed to revive our economy. USA has donated USD$25million to food relief for Zimbabweans yet we say they hate us & tell them to keep their countries & we don’t need them. What has SADC & AU donated? Every Country that has endorsed donate NOW!!!

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    Dharma, you must be a born free and never saw what was Rhodesia. A beautiful country with lots of potential. Yes there was inequality and it got sorted at independence and a country that was pristine was handed over and even the grand father of African politics Nyerere warned Mugabe ” you have inherited the jewel of Africa, look after it” What would you call your hero’s Zimbabwe today. A land with so much misery that it hurts to read the rubbish you write and how you distort the truth.

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      Dharma Appavoo 9 years ago

      Soon after he first set eyes upon the land, Cecil John Rhodes had decided that his God has created him to be the “Monarch of all that he had surveyed”.
      He was only 13 years old at that time.
      Within a trice the country was declared to be integrated into the British Empire and the Colony was named after the Great Patriot.

      Thereafter the Native people who were accustomed to total freedom were bullied into the status of the Minion. They were then forced to suckle on a Pagan Creed ……where a Snake pokes its nose into the Affairs of Man, and God cuckolds Joseph, abandons his Son and justifies the notion of racism for Hewers of Wood and Drawers of Water.

      Robert Mogabe is the ONLY Achiever. Nyeri, Nkurma, and every other Politician was just a Barking Dog that expected some other dog to do the Biting……..and that includes Winston Churchill.

      When the Bible-thumpjng Home Invaders burglarised Zimbabwe that nation had an ancient History….it was Headquarters of an Empire that extended from Zimbabwe Ruins to Kaaba to the Greek mainland.

      At the time when the land was invaded by the avaricious and reckless White Farmers the nation was at Peace..
      And individuals enjoyed Freedom …….within the Social Tapestry of the respective Tribal Systems…..as obtained in Britain, mainland Europe, Asia, and elsewhere.

      Soon the Hoy-poloy developed a Superiority Complex. And then they imposed egregious laws of Segregation and Suppression and Exploitation.

      Zimbabwe is a beautiful and bountiful Country and it belongs to its NATIVES.
      It was beautiful and bountiful before you arrived on its umbrageous shore.

      Once bitten twice shy.
      The White Farmers should not be allowed to return.

      Only those who prostrate before the Gods of the Marketplace
      can ever countenance a scenario in which the unborn and the youngest babies are doomed to abjection in a land of plenty ……… only because of the wanton Avarice of sanctimonious foreigners,

      when he he resolved to make the land of

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        Angela Wigmore 9 years ago

        @Dharma: You are absurd. A little education is a dangerous thing. If black Zimbabweans are so anti ‘colonialists’ why is it that millions of them have fled for asylum or hope of a better life to the very countries from which these so-called colonialists emanate ie. Britain and South Africa?

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    Pangareta 9 years ago

    George Sebedebe I traced your name’s heritage it’s Tswana, a foreigner, is it Fungai or Fungus – I forget!
    Sanctions are only on Mugarbage and his ZANU-pppfffttt (that’s air expelling) businesses, not Zimbabwe, educate yourself.
    Babs is what the name implies, a baby!
    Rhodesia was not right in it’s treatment of the black man, but Mugarbage certainly isn’t either. 2018 will see the end of this debacle, a new day for “Cry My Beloved Country, Cry” – Zimbabwe!

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    Nice to see all these ZANU-PF internet warriors active.

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      Angela Wigmore 9 years ago

      No, it’s NOT nice to see these ZanuPF zealots on the internet because it reinforces the sad reality that our country is in the teeth of mad dogs (and no Englishmen)!

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    machakachaka 9 years ago

    The majority of Zimbabweans are Zanu pf. This Ben guy is insignificant.

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      Roland Holland 9 years ago

      Freeth is insignificant….Read the ZDERA Act all of you who say there are only targeted sanctions…its targeted on the whole of Zimbabwe….

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    Zim Countryman 8 years ago

    Our country Zimbabwe is not for sale, especially to the Freeths, who by the way they have somewhere to run to while we dont

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    garfield maruma 8 years ago

    To those that are cursing freeth my question is why you are cursing him. He is helping us zimbabweans a lot by all means to remove the dictator and bring a better zimbabwe but you dont appreciate what he is doing.Ben is a good guy i work with him i know him personally and he knows me very well .He fought so hard at the courts both nationally and internationally fighting for human rights starting from the abusesvof gukurahundi up to now.He begged so many interventions from other heads of states of au and eu to help in Zimbabwe but you dont comply on that.He allowed all the zimbabweans that are in Uk to stay there untill our things get settled but you dont appreciate that.By the way i heard some of you saying freeth must come back from Britain and fight mugabe here in Zimbabwe.Freeth doesnt stay in britain yes he is a member of british empire but he stays in harare at belgravia.He is talking and fighting whilst in zimbabwe not in other country.He is a great fighter indeed rightnow chihuri, chinamasa,mohadi they dont go to south africa the zimbabweans government was taken to court in 2013 before elections by freeth for abusing human rights so if these guys chihuri, mohadi and chinamasa if they will only go there they will get arrested because they are incharge of abusing human rights in zimbabwe so dont say freeth is not fighting he is much sacrificing and risking his life much than you who just vote only