Monday, February 05, 2007

Further down the spiral

Zimbabwe threatens white farmers

'OHANNESBURG, South Africa - Zimbabwe's national security minister has told the country's last remaining white farmers that they will be jailed if they refuse to abide by a deadline that passed over the weekend for them to leave their farms, according to a newspaper report on Monday.

The official Chronicle newspaper quoted the minister Didymus Mutasa as saying police would be "unleashed" to deal with white farmers who ignored the eviction notice.

"Those farmers who do not comply with the orders to vacate the land will be dealt with severely," said the minister, known to be close to President Robert Mugabe. The deadline was on Saturday'

No compensation is mentioned in this story. People just told to get out so black "farmers" can move in.

Why do I put the quotes on black "farmers"?

'Zimbabwe is suffering its worst economic crisis since independence, with acute shortages of hard currency, food, gasoline, medicines and essential imports. The meltdown is blamed largely on disruptions to the agriculture-based economy after the often violent seizures of thousands of white-owned commercial farms began in 2000.'

Doesn't sound to me like the black "farmers" moving onto the farms taken from whites know how to make food grow.

'There were around 4,500 white commercial farmers in Zimbabwe in 2000, when Mugabe launched the program of land seizures that has seen agricultural production plummet. Now only around 400 white farmers remain — and at least 150 of them were handed eviction letters in December giving them just 45 days to leave their land to make way for new black farmers.'

The obvious cure to a bad policy? More of the same bad policy, apparently. Note that the agricultural production has plummeted. How in the name of whatever they hold holy do they expect to feed people?

'Mugabe says land reform was necessary to correct colonial-era imbalances in ownership. The longtime Zimbabwean leader blames the more-than-40-percent drop in production on repeated drought and Western sanctions.'

Okay, so to correct the land grab by Euorpeans a hundred or more years ago the CITIZENS of Zimbabwe who happen to be WHITE are being evicted. They, just like the black citizens were born there. They didn't do the land grabbing, they just happened to be born white in a majority black country.

Are those "Western santions" because Mugabe is mean to whites? More like he's mean to anyone who isn't Mugabe, like all dictators.

'The U.S. State Department last year put Zimbabwe on a list of six countries where restrictions on rights were particularly severe, along with China, Cuba, Iran, Myanmar and North Korea.'

So, what sort of production did Zimbabwe have before Mugabe?

'Once known as the breadbasket of southern Africa, Zimbabwe has seen its status reduced to an importer of its staple maize crop since land reforms were launched.'

'U.N. agencies estimate that about 4 million people are in need of food aid in Zimbabwe.'

From breadbasket to beggar bowl in less than a decade. That's possibly a record for bad leadership.

This post isn't about being black or white. It's about policies based solely upon whether someone is black or white. Taking people who were born in your own country and dispossessing them of their way of life based upon the color of their skin is wrong. Replacing them with people who don't know how to be as productive is stupid.

Mugabe could have used the tax revenues from being an exporter of food to educate his black citizens. Train them to be doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers, accountants, engineers and everything else. Just throwing them onto land they can't work effectively is a stupid, useless and deadly mistake. Soon those who wanted to be farmers would buy the farms from the white citizens. The rising tide would float all boats.

Instead Mugabe has sunk their ship.


Anonymous said...

I don't think this is much of a surpise to anyone, not even Mugabe. Starvation has been an important tool of dictators for eons.

People who's everyday existence revolves around the neverending struggle to survive, rarely have the opportunity, resources or energy for revolt.

And the UN and other charity minded organizations will keep Mugabe from suffering as his people do with "foreign aid" that goes right into his coffers and keeps him in fat city.

Besides, then his "government" can dole out the "relief" to his people as he sees fit and paint himself as their benevolent benefactor.

This is a study in how it is done if you ever have the urge to become a tyrannical dictator.

Hyunchback said...

I always pictured myself as the sort of tyrannical dictator hated by professional politicians. Well, hated and feared.

I can see where Mugabe can get his way by acting in criminal stupidity. I just don't see why the guys around him keep letting him.

Mattexian said...

Maybe the white farmers should salt the earth before they leave, and move here as political refugees. Ok, maybe they dont need to salt the earth, from what Ive heard, the black farmers will do a bad enough job of raising crops on their own, then the government will bungle distribution of it.

Great blog here. I will be buying a CZ-52 soon, and followed a link from Shooting the Messenger, after searching for CZ-52s and blogs.

Hyunchback said...

Good to see you finding me. From the declining production it looks like salting the earth would have been unneeded.

I've fired a CZ-52 once. In the stock configuration the trigger was ultra heavy, and that's a SINGLE ACTION trigger!

The round it fires is really zippy and has a pronounced tendency to muzzle flip. It's not a bad round but I don't think I'd want to depend upon it for my sole firearm. It looks like it would overpenetrate severely.

Lemuel Calhoon said...

The black "farmers" who are getting the farms being stolen from the whites are members of his armed forces who have proven their loyalty by being especailly brutal with anyone Mugabe doesn't like. They have no knowledge of farming and mostly do not even live on their new farms. They just loot whatever they can and abandon them.

Hyunchback said...

That would certainly explain the plummeting food production.

Also says a lot about the quality of their armed forces.

hairy hobbit said...

the (really?) scary thing is some people are actually...and I'm sure you can all see this one coming...blaming the white farmers for making the farms unproductive.

I've heard this discussion first hand on radio and TV on this. They say the white farmers have ruined the soil. Looking past the obvious debate on the best soil and fertilizers, the fact of the matter is that when they were in the hands of whites they DID produce plenty of food. They were commercial farms, they had to produce LOTS of food to make a profit, not just enough for a few families.

more stick up for the dictator while blaming the white man. What's that, I couldn't hear you over my chewing.

rcohen said...

I've seen the impact on the farms after the Boers (farmers) have been driven off.
In one case, I met the former landowners of a farm when I was in South Africa. Their son, remaining back in Zim took me for a tour of the farm.
The new owners are supposedly 'veterans' of their war of independence - except that these 'veterans' often weren't born until after Rhodesia became Zimbabwe.
They cut all the fence posts and sold them for firewood. The barbed wire was sold for scrap. Therefore, they can't keep livestock contained.
The cut the trees that were planted to reduce erosion. As you might expect, parts of the farm are severely eroded.
Few of the new squatters have any knowledge or skill in farming. They came from the cities.
The aquaculture pond was fished out with nets, for a one-time return. Nothing but algae now grow in the ponds.
The new possessors of the land are now in desperate poverty and starving - in a country that used to export agricultural goods.
And, after all this, Mbeki, president of South Africa, is talking about taking some farms in his country.
While Mugabe is throwing people off their land, he has invited some to come back to show the squatters how to farm. Right! Most have emigrated.


Hyunchback said...

It's a shame that the many liberals who shed a tear about "white colonialism" don't face up to facts.

It isn't that blacks can't farm. It's that the farms were not given to farmers. The farms became the spoils of a political patronage system and are now deteriorating.

A country once rich in agricultural exports is now a wasteland. It wasn't the whites raping the land and moving on that did this. It was seeing the nation turned over to thugs.


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