Who does Zimbabwe belong to? White or Black Africans? President Robert Mugabe believes Zimbabwe belongs to Zimbabweans but even more specifically, certain Zimbabwean lands belong to the indigenous people of Zimbabwe.
In 2000, President Mugabe implemented a land reform program where certain targeted land in Zimbabwe is redistributed from White to Black farmers. Zimbabwe while a country full of blacks had at the time a reported 2% white population, yet, 60% of its farm lands were owned by Whites. Mugabe saw a need for a land reform that required white farmers to relinquish farm lands the government has targeted for a take over to blacks. In response to the decree/order, many white Zimbawean farmers resisted. The resistance allegedly brought about injustice and violence against many white farmers forcing them to give up their lands.
The controversial land reform did not go unnoticed. The international community had a lot to say to try to get Mugabe to put a stop to his land reform campaign/policy, all to no avail. Other persons bothered by Mugabe’s policies and its impact on white farmers were Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thompson, so much so they shot a covert film documentary titled ‘Mugabe and the White African.’ The film is now one of fifteen films on the 2010 Oscar Film Documentary Shortlist.
Mugabe and the White African is described as “An intimate and moving film charting one family’s extraordinary courage in the face of a relentless campaign of state-sanctioned terror.
In 2008 Mike Campbell, 74 years old – one of the few remaining white farmers to have so far held-out against Mugabe’s brutal land seizure programme – took the unprecedented step of challenging President Mugabe in an international court, to defend his property and to charge Mugabe and his government with racial discrimination and of violations of basic human rights.
This film, much of it shot covertly, documents the astonishing bravery and dignity of a white african family who’ve endangered everything they have and everything they are in defence of what is right.”
Visit Mugabe and The White African Film website here.
~by Uduak Oduok
~Photocredit: Mugabe and the White Africa.com
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