Bill's Archived Comments

for the week beginning: Monday, 10th June 2002

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- Zimbabwe's tyrant attends FAO World Food Summit in Rome (12 Jun 2002)

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Zimbabwe's tyrant attends FAO World Food Summit in Rome (12 Jun 2002)

President Robert Mugabe, speaking at a UN Food and Agriculture Organisation summit in Rome on Monday described the land redistribution (aka 'land grab') policies pursued by his government as a "visionary" response to the hunger and poverty from which Zimbabwe has been suffering recently.

Speaking from Zimbabwe, Prof Welshman Ncube of the Movement for Democratic Change (the main opposition Party) described Mr Mugabe as being a "world-class hypocrite" and his attendance at the summit as "obscene". He went on to say: "While Mugabe is starving the people of Zimbabwe to death through the partisan distribution of food, he has the audacity to squander precious foreign currency attending this summit when the food crisis is of his own making."

In the last 28 months, Mr Mugabe's government (and its sanctioned thugs) has seized 90 per cent of white-owned farmland, most of which is now fallow.

Under current Zimbabwean legislation, farmers who grow crops on their land which is under notice of final acquisition face a jail sentence of upto two years. As a result, 100 white commercial farmers who were ready to plant wheat were unable to do so because the agriculture minister Mr Joseph Made did not give permission for this before he left for the summit in Rome. As Professor Ncube said: "Winter crop farming has been distributed for political expediency."

From what I have read recently, it seems that a number of countries in that part of Africa are suffering from drought, in some cases for several years - the policies of the odious Mugabe government are, at the very least, not helping what is an already difficult situation.

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Copyright © 2002 William Cameron