Zimbabwe the Brigade against Mugabe: The Line-Up of the Anti-Mugabe Brigade Is Really Awesome. and They Want Him out. All Because He Is Redistributing Land from White Farmers to Landless Blacks. (Feature)

By Elich, Gregory | New African, October 2002 | Go to article overview

Zimbabwe the Brigade against Mugabe: The Line-Up of the Anti-Mugabe Brigade Is Really Awesome. and They Want Him out. All Because He Is Redistributing Land from White Farmers to Landless Blacks. (Feature)


Elich, Gregory, New African


As Zimbabwe descends into anarchy and chaos, land is irrationally seized from productive farmers, we are told. President Robert Mugabe is portrayed as a dictator bent on driving this nation into starvation and economic disaster while benevolent US and British leaders call for democracy and human rights.

These are the images presented by Western news reports, intended to persuade the public to support an interventionist policy. As always when the West targets a foreign leader for removal, news reports ignore complexity and context, while the real motivations for intervention remain hidden.

History and context are essential for understanding political events, and it is precisely these aspects that are lacking in the Western reporting of Zimbabwe. Agriculture is the most significant sector of Zimbabwe's economy. Yet, Western news reports encourage the view that land reform is harming economic performance, implying that efficient farming is best left in the hands of 4,500 wealthy white farmers, while ignoring the millions of blacks barely able to survive.

The unspoken assumption is that only white farmers are capable of efficiency. The concern expressed in the West for "efficiency" is in reality a mask for the preservation of white privilege.

Temporary economic dislocation is an unavoidable by-product of land reform, but genuine and lasting progress in Zimbabwe can only be achieved through land redistribution.

In the West, the gross imbalance imposed by colonial theft is accepted as the natural order in Zimbabwe, with the indigenous population lacking any claim to the land. The government's fast track land reform is intended to rectify historical injustices and to ensure a more equitable division of the land.

But Zimbabwe's path runs counter to Western efforts to integrate the economies of sub-Saharan Africa in the interests of Western capital. In the period leading up to Zimbabwe's March 2002 presidential election, Western leaders attempted to tighten the screws on the country, hoping to affect the outcome.

Already a sort of de facto sanctions regime was in place, in that Western officials were actively discouraging trade with Zimbabwe while overheated news reports painted a picture of instability and unreliability, which also tended to deter trade. Last November, the British foreign secretary, Jack Straw, revealed that during the past few months he had been "building coalitions" against Zimbabwe.

As the Extraordinary Summit of the South African Development Community (SADC) opened in Blantyre, Malawi, on 14 January this year, Britain threatened to withhold $18m in budgetary support from Malawi, the chair of the SADC, unless it agreed to direct the SADC towards the imposition of sanctions against Zimbabwe.

This was a significant portion of Malawi's budget. Similar threats to withdraw budgetary support were wielded against Mozambique.

At the summit, President Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania announced that the British Foreign Office minister for Africa, Baroness Amos, had telephoned him directly and urged him not to support Zimbabwe at the SADC and at the then impending Commonwealth meeting in Australia. When that call failed, Jack Straw then telephoned and attempted to bully Mkapa. Under Article 98 of the Cotonou Agreement, disputes between the European Union and the African Pacific Caribbean (ACP) countries must be taken to the joint EU-ACP Council of Ministers for resolution.

Last year, Zimbabwe's invocation of Article 98 was simply ignored by the EU, prompting President Muluzi of Malawi to write to the EU on behalf of die SADC. Muluzi complained that Zimbabwe's "legitimate concerns had received neither a response nor an acknowledgement from the EU," and that the EU had instead threatened to impose sanctions against Zimbabwe.

British and American foreign policy has increasingly come to rely on the use of proxy organisations to carry out specific tasks involved in destabilising other nations.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Zimbabwe the Brigade against Mugabe: The Line-Up of the Anti-Mugabe Brigade Is Really Awesome. and They Want Him out. All Because He Is Redistributing Land from White Farmers to Landless Blacks. (Feature)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.