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THE BLACK LIBERATION JOURNAL!
 

"Land Invasions" in Zimbabwe
By Mukasa Afrika, author of Chemical Warfare and Enslavement
 

    President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and his political party, the Zimbabwe
African National Union-Political Front (ZANU-PF), are being portrayed in the
media as tyrants ruling over this African country, as a merciless dictatorship
with a man who has gone insane. The media also accused Mugabe of using the
government to terrorize the country to manipulate the past political
elections.
    His greatest crime is supposedly "land invasions" of white farmers whose
property is being seized without compensation. The facts are to the contrary.
So-called "land invasions" of Zimbabwe did not start with Mugabe or ZANU-PF.
"Land Invasions" in Africa started with foreigners (particularly Europeans and Arabs).
    "Land Invasions" in Zimbabwe began about 110 years ago when the infamous Cecil John Rhodes and the British
went to war with the Ndebele and Shona peoples over what actually belonged to
the Africans-their  land. After the war ended, Rhodes built a fortune from
African resources, African labor, and African blood. In addition to extending
England's imperial power, he began the De Beers Mining Company and Rhodes'
scholarships. Most importantly, he pioneered white ownership of fertile
African land in Zimbabwe-spoils of war. The imperial, white minority ownership of
African land over the last century has been stained with blood.
    For decades, Africans were forced into impoverished urban areas and could farm
only the most unproductive land while about 4,000 white farmers in Zimbabwe
own 70 percent of the country's best land. Many of the 12 million African
people in Zimbabwe do not eat a decent meal on a regular basis. But, times are changing
fast. Over 1,000 white farms have been confiscated to be given to its rightful
owners.
    The British-and American-influenced media portray Zimbabwe in a state of
anarchy. They have not only ignored the history of Zimbabwe, they have also
ignored the politics of the country. Land redistribution in Zimbabwe was
supposed to take place 20 years ago, according to an agreement made at the
1980 Lancaster Conference when the country received its so-called "independence".
This was, however, only pacification. African soldiers were at war with the
British government over what was then the British colony of Rhodesia, named
after Cecil Rhodes. When ZANU-PF and Mugabe won "independence," they were not
deceived by neo-colonialism, but the land issue remained unsettled while the
masses remained landless.
    The media consistently ignore the fact that Britain and America agreed to land
redistribution in Zimbabwe. Maybe this was by design; they may have hoped it
would be like the snails-pace redistribution that is taking place in South
Africa. The people of Zimbabwe, ZANU-PF, and President Mugabe were fed up, and
decided to take action with the confiscation of white farmland. No African
country needs to compensate any group of whites, but nearly every European
nation owes reparations to some group of Africans or other non-whites because
of war, slavery, segregation, colonization, and white supremacy. This includes
Queen Elizabeth's England, which inherited much of the spoils of war in Africa
from Cecil Rhodes.
    The opposition group to ZANU-PF is the Movement for Democratic Change that  is
supported by Western powers. British and American politicians and
businesspeople have economic interests in Zimbabwe's land and resources that
are estimated to be in the billions; consequently, white control of land and
resources in that country is crucial to them. This is what the so-called "land
invasions" threaten. Moreover, in South Africa, where whites own 90 percent of
the best farmland and all of the major resources, it is feared that the
landless and oppressed Africans there will make a move toward true
independence as in Zimbabwe. But, President Mugabe supports the people of Zimbabwe. For
true independence to come to South Africa, President Mbeki would have to tell the
white power system to go to hell. Is he prepared to do that?  (Update: if you
did not know or had some illusions, Mandela did not free South Africa).
"Chimurenga" is a Shona word that means "war of liberation". This is what they
say is occurring in Zimbabwe. It is important that we understand the role that
Zimbabwe is playing in the destiny of Africa today. A precedent can be set in
motion, a model of true independence from neo-colonialism in a new century and
millennium. We must understand that we African people (or Black people), no
matter where we live, will not be free until we control our own land and
resources.

Sources:  Guardian Unlimited 2000; IC Publications Limited 2000; Washington
Post.

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