Friday 2 December 2011

Mugabe's Racist Land Reform

Yesterday BBC Radio 4 had an interesting programme in Crossing Continents which will be available on iPlayer until 1st January.

Reporter Martin Plaut looks at the consequences of Robert Mugabe's highly controversial land reform programme which was started in 2000.  The Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University has been studying the progress of new farmers and it is interesting to hear from both black and white Zimbabweans.

Commercial farmers were Zimbabwe's biggest employers - Zimbabwe used to be called the "bread basket of Africa".  However evidence like the displacement of workers by the new settlers; much agricultural land lying dormant and unfarmed; and the fact that Zimbabwe has had to import food every single year for the last 11 years when in the previous 100 years Zimbabwe only had to do so twice; clearly demonstrates the failure of Mugabe's land reforms.

I've written about Zimbabwe before and can't rate highly enough Ben Freeth's (a cousin of mine) book, Mugabe & the White African