Sunday, 22 June 2014

Corruption is Chief "Chipfukuto" (Weevil)

By Nick Mangwana

Edmund Kudzayi a former fellow diasporeans resident who had been embedded in the “system” in Zimbabwe was arrested and is currently on remand.  In legal parlance his case is subjudice, meaning it is under trial and therefore ill advised to comment into its merits and /or demerits.  We all eagerly await the full adduction of the evidence to see which side the case swings to.

 It is during this time when we are as Zanu PF in the UK are getting a lot of unsolicited advice and counsel from our colleagues in  the opposition parties and civic societies. The gist of the advice is basically, Zanu PF uses and dumps people. “You are being used and once they are done with you, you will be left hanging to dry!” The other school of thought is that Zanu PF hates the Diaspora and is highly suspicious of explaining what they perceive as negative attitude towards one Mududuzi Mathuthu and one Edmund Kudzayi. We scorn at this advice for one particular reason.

ZANU PF members believe and subscribe to its core values -
 it is not a party comprised of opportunists
The problem is some of us did not come to join Zanu PF at some point. We have always been Zanu PF. We did not see an opportunity or a gap in the market and seized it. No. We believe and subscribe to its core values;  that of empowering the majority. That of one owning the means of production and not being turned into a mere means of production. 

We are not fanatics. We are rationally thinking people who are not looking for political expediency or succour. No. In fact let me use the over-used word; we are not seeking patronage. We are only seeking to have a country where we own what is ours. We follow the African Pride of Pan Africanism.

Some people rightly point to corruption and what they perceive as the Party’s high tolerance threshold of that societal ill.  We also cannot countenance this evil. In these days when the President has enhanced everyone’s entomological knowledge by giving us a  new  buzz word called weevil, we also perceive corruption as the worst weevil in our Party and country.  We believe it is the chief chipfukuto. We also believe that there is nothing that has brought our Party into disrepute more than this.  We will not fighting the corner of those that have been found disloyal to the common good of the party. As the party is on the side of the people, we believe that being on the side of the people, one has to be on the opposite side of the corrupt. We have said that no one should tolerate corruption in the name of patriotism. It is an insult to the value system some of us hold dear. It is an insult to our hunhu/ ubuntu

It also an insult to the Party which has had the fight against corruption as a running theme in its Manifesto and conferences.  All the people are crying for is for us as a Party to stop paying a lip service to the fight against corruption. We have to walk the walk.  People are baying for blood. They want scalps of the openly corrupt.  Yes, let us weed ourselves of those who are disloyal and treacherous in our midst. Let us remove the tares from our wheat.  But the worst disloyalty is to use the common wealth for the enrichment of the self at the detriment of the majority. 

The party has fought for the common main in its 50 years of existence
We cannot afford to have a society which does not have a middle class. The society that has  the very rich and the very poor. A two station spectrum society.  If in 2018 we ask the very rich to vote for us, they are too few to make a difference.  We will need the not so resourced to keep us in power. 

But this time they will vote us on our track record. That if that track record is that our families are now the ones having a better life than our contemporaries, our children go to better schools and we spin in the best cars showing off to the poor then we will surely lose. We should never run the risk of turning ourselves into a party without a soul. A party without a soul has no conscience. It is that Party which will have Chefs who say, “Mari inonakidza kudya pakati pavarombo”. This directly translate to, “You only enjoy your wealth when surrounded by poverty”. This of course is skewed and very contemptible logic.

Zanu PF is a Party of the people. We are not a party of gimmickry, to win elections. We are a Party that has fought for the common man in our 50 years of existence. If we continue to hold those ethos and values, yes, Tichatonga kusvika madhongi amera nyanga. But if we nurse zvipfukuto (the corrupt) surely we will banished to the dustbin of history.

Aluta Continua!


Nick Mangwana is the

Zanu PF UK  Chairman

Saturday, 21 June 2014

What Crisis? There is no Crisis in Zimbabwe

By Bernard Bwoni

There is no leadership crisis in Zimbabwe or ZANU PF
‘There is no crisis in Zimbabwe’; that was the world widely-condemned little-big statement by the former President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki during that opposition-inspired contentious and catastrophic period of 2008 leading to the formation of the government of national unity. The powerful declaration that saved Zimbabwe from the jaws of the neoliberal sharks at the starry-eyed and unpatriotic petition of a firmly handheld opposition.

Fast-forward to 2014; the same words are echoed and uttered by the EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe Aldo Dell’Arriccia who boldly and rightly made it clear to the opposition that there is no leadership crisis in Zimbabwe. The only leadership crisis that is evident for all to see is found in the opposition tiers where the disarray spans from zero to ninety nine problems and some flimsy and funny attempts at the so-called renewal.

Things Fall Apart: MDC in chaotic state
The opposition in Zimbabwe has been comatose beyond resuscitation since that infamous neo-colonial founding and funding of 1999 and there is absolutely nothing to renew from a spent comically-named Renewal Team or the romantically-ruined remnants fronted by one Morgan Tsvangirai. Now, that is a leadership in crisis.

A crisis is often defined as a ‘condition of instability or danger, as in social, economic, political and international affairs leading to a decisive change’. A leadership in a crisis is one that is thrust in a mire of uncertainty and chaos, thrown into confusion and circumstantial upheaval with catastrophic consequences. In Zimbabwe the prevailing peace and tranquillity is not a by-product of a leadership in crisis, but rather the strong leadership in a crisis situation by President Mugabe and the ruling party. Under the leadership of President Mugabe there has been clarity and finality and decisions are made with precision and patriotism for the sake of expediency and facilitation of national processes.

There is consistency and cohesion in terms of policy and national trajectory. The only crisis in Zimbabwe is the one induced by the economic sanctions imposed at the behest of gullible opposition politics. The outcome of the sanctions-induced economic crisis in Zimbabwe is that President Mugabe has become a victim of the inconsistencies deeply embedded in the Zimbabwean society that the sanctions were necessary to put pressure on him for regime change purposes at the same time meant miraculously not to maim the very same people on the ground whose ‘cause’ the opposition was purporting to be championing. What an unfortunate paradox.

A leadership in crisis is na├»ve, has no vision, is a proxy implant and totally compromised as those found within the country’s paralytic and pubescent opposition ranks. Don’t lose sleep over the international media hype about doomsday and dictators because that is just a smokescreen to smother the African economic inferno that President Mugabe has unleashed to uplift and upgrade the lives of the historically marginalized indigenes.The reality is that President Mugabe is in charge, duly elected by the people of Zimbabwe and he has not disappointed.

He has been the African version of the atlas, carrying the full weight of the world of economic expectations of the country’s sanctions-ravaged population on his shoulder through the eternity of the damaging effects of the embargo. He has soaked the entire international onslaught against Zimbabwe and never succumbed to the prejudices and preferences of the settler world of neoliberal trappings. Mugabe has remained resolute amid all the negative and damaging speculation about the country. He has gone against the grain to redress the inequalities created by a system from the past and put emphasis on ownership and control of the country’s abundant natural resources. Here is a man who has carried the weight of gravity, a man with feet firmly on the ground to the cause of Zimbabwe.

Cascading Real Wealth to Ordinary Zimbabweans
Wealth that will span Generations to come
President Mugabe’s visionary leadership has deliberately and effectively focused on cascading real wealth down to the ordinary citizens of Zimbabwe. The key here is ‘Wealth’ that will span generations to come and not a few ‘Life-is-good-Supercharged-Range-Rover’ comic moments of fame on YouTube. That is real wealth filtering down to the original owners of Great Zimbabwe through the morally-justified empowerment and indigenisation policies.

Zimbabweans are no more mere labourers for the settler minorities but wealthy citizens on their own land. That is not a leadership in crisis, but a responsive and effective leadership with specific intent to economically liberate and empower its citizens.  As President Mugabe rightly put it, we are a simple people and to take it a notch up a simple people who aspire for an equal society for all Zimbabweans to be given that opportunity to own what is rightfully and lawfully theirs.

The task and ask of leading a country through a sustained period of the deliberate economic sabotage that befell Zimbabwe has been treacherous and torturous. The ruling party has been up to the task and hence the emerging acknowledgement from crafty colonial corners. It has been a long and difficult journey and mostly a case of executing only the very necessary. 

Zim Asset: The Economic Blueprint;
"Those criticizing and ridiculing plan are bitter
individuals living in the past"
The fine-tuning will come later once the dust settles and as the reality of ownership becomes clear. The economic transition was going to take time and it has. But things can only get better. Amid the so-called chaos there is an order many throughout the continent aspire to.

The challenges that the country faces today are in fact presenting the ordinary citizens with some hidden opportunities. As the reality of ownership continues to slowly but surely take root the people are beginning to fully embrace these noble and people orientated policies. As the tectonic forces of history continue to shift beneath the feet of all Zimbabweans, the historical inequalities of yesteryear have been redressed and many Zimbabweans confronted with that realisation of economic independence. A must follow for all African countries.


Bernard Bwoni is a member ZANU PF UK and the Secretary General of the South West Branch. He writes in his own capacity.

Friday, 13 June 2014

ZANU PF UK and Your Immigration Status

By Tinomudaishe Chinyoka

"The law if very clear about when refugee status might be revoked, and attending a meeting of ZANU PF UK and having your pictures illegally, shamelessly stolen and published by some partisan organisations or  websites is not one of them"

ZANU PF UK has seen its membership grow as it continues
with its all-encompassing, business and country
 building-oriented approach 
I recently read an article written by a prominent website about Zanu PF agents crawling out the woodwork and I felt my skin crawl. Not again! 

Of course, in the society that we have created (and by this I mean Zimbabweans in the United Kingdom), I fully expect that many ‘better’ people will look at the by-line and condemn this article without so much as reading a sentence. Such people might even put comments thereon, anonymized of course, with no idea of what is being said.
Some, not in agreement with constitutionally permissible choices made by the writer, which are also accorded to him under the European Convention on Human Rights as read with The Human Rights Act, 1998, will gleefully append comments about how poorly written this piece is, not rising to the standard of a PhD student, conveniently forgetting of course that they are not my supervisor and therefore need not receive PhD assignments on their internet device from me.
Others, of the more insidious variety, will append vile personal attacks the effect of which has been to incite violent outbreaks of laughter from myself, and a slight sense of relevance. All in all, I expect that there will be no shortage of internet trolls hiding under fake names to attack the truth. Facts are stubborn.
Indeed, it is this same positively vile lack of goodwill to our fellow man (and woman) that allows our society (as defined above) to delight in the pain that is clearly being caused to a certain couple from High Wycombe by those unfortunate videos, to denigrate Derrick Chisora’s achievements on the basis that ‘he does not speak English very well and embarrasses “us” (really? He embarrasses me not); it the very same mean-spiritedness that I witnessed in 11 hears as an immigration lawyer when you find relatives refusing to go to court to testify on behalf of their relatives (‘ndinozotorerwa angu mapepa kana nyaya dzikanosiyana,’ or ‘lawyer rako handiri traste’ being favourite excuses), the same shayisano that sees a married man’s girlfriend calling the Home Office to tell them that the man’s wife is working illegally at such and such a place please go now and catch her; the same gunyengu that sees someone taking their own cousin’s (bhudhi kana sis vekwa mainini) documents and faxing them to the Home Office to prove that ‘paakati passport yakaraswa ne Zanu PF ainyepa’; the same foolishness that pretends to understand things and goes around maligning reputations based on half-baked knowledge.
ZANU PF UK Branch Launches and Business
Meetings have been publicly advertised and
 open to all and have been attended by
 progressive Zimbabweans
In fact, what I have witnessed in those 11 years would fill a book. So bad is our record as a people that many a time, brothers from Nigeria, Guinea etc would ask me ‘my broda, how is it that Zimbabweans can be so cruel to one another that they can report each ada to da Home Office?’ Now, no-one is saying that criminal activity should not be reported, but they are talking about telling the Home Office that this person who has claimed asylum saying that she was a teacher in Mutorashanga was in fact working for Chicken Inn in Harare, and here are his severance papers to prove it (fact!).
I used to encourage my clients to try and get prominent MDC officials in the UK to testify at their hearings, until l discovered in one case that the so called witnesses were being paid up to £600 to come and say that the person was active in the MDC. If those people won, and yet never attend  any of the MDC of meetings, are they refugees? Of course not.
Somalis give each other crib-sheets to cram all the information you need to know about minority clans so as to win their cases, but Zimbabweans will not help anyone with their case. Nigerians will happily marry their cousin to get them status, but Zimbabweans will say ‘dont mention me in your case, zvinozoklasha.’
Then when the relative loses (because Home Office knows you gave false family details and the judge thinks if your own relative won’t come to say you are telling truth why should l believe you), it is the zvonozoklasha relative who is in the forefront of blaming Chinyoka, Yvonne Mahlunge, Mtisi or Madanhi – vanongodhla mari dzevanhu! Ask any Zimbabwe lawyer in the UK how many complaints they have had to the Law Society and you will learn that it is a few too many. Ask the nationality of the complainants and be amazed that it is all from Zimbabweans.
An Iranian will buy you flowers when you win their case and a Somali will bring you some sweets that are, ehhh, too sweet(!), but a successful Zimbabwean will say ‘haana chaakaita uyu, ndini ndakamuudza kuti tiise tsamba yeku Vigil iye asingade.’
Not everyone is afflicted of course. I know a few, but I can only speak for myself. It is not a secret that I am not Catsen Matewu’s favourite person, in fact he calls me a ‘political reject’ every chance he gets, but that does not stop me holding him out as an example to the youths I try and mentor as someone that is clearly succeeding because he went to University and seems to not suffer from a victim mentality.
Makusha Mugabe likely hates me, but I routinely use his references to me as examples for other people to see how you can disagree with someone, tell them that fact directly, and not be offensive about it. perhaps Casten and I need to take lessons from Makusha!
ZANU PF UK Chairman Nick Mangwana has given numerous
 TV interviews before and after elections and the UK
Chapter has been very visible and communicates
with the British Gvt - What Crawling Out?
But a few anecdotal examples do not a society make, and nowhere was this aptly demonstrated that in the unfortunate story titled ‘Zanu PF agents crawl out of the woodwork’. Agents? Crawl? Woodwork? You get the picture of some trolls in dark glasses emerging like maggots from hiding, infesting this fine society with their grime.
You see, language, and choice of words matter. The West is very adept at using language to good effect, and it appears that we have learnt well. The government of Syria is a regime, the ministers around Asad a ‘cabal’, the criminals who toppled Yanukovich were revolutionaries while those that did for Qaddafi were ‘rebels’, the killings attributed to the Inkatha Freedom Party at the birth of a new South Africa were ‘black on black violence’ while the killings by the IRA in Northern Ireland were part of a ‘sectarian strife’.
Now, I am sure we all want to be revolutionaries involved in sectarian strifes where we are forced to fight for our rights, but once you become a bunch of rebels trying to topple a junta headed by a cabal that sustains a regime, you know you are not in Europe anymore. So, maggots crawling out of some grunge, that is the picture you get of these Zanu PF agents.
Une gunyengu rakaita kuti nyimo dzifukwe, so said one of Gararirimo’s wives in I.M. Zvarevashe’s masterpice, Kurauone. I swear that I until I came to the UK and witnessed first hand what we Zimbabweans do to one another, I never quite knew what that meant.
That is the same as talk of ‘agents crawling out the woodwork’. I did laugh, then thought, kuseka nhamo kunge rugare. You see, some of the people attending these Zanu PF meetings are very nice people, some quite funny; indeed some of them bring their children, who run around making a mess of things and dropping decorations or making noise while adults are talking: that is, things that children do. These adults cracking jokes and kids being kids are many things, but not agents. And given the asphalt jungles we live in, woodwork? Surely?
Anyway, this is not a laughing matter. The report raises a serious issue, and one that not only shows our bias towards bringing each other down at all costs, but one that is flawed.
The law if very clear about when refugee status might be revoked, and attending a meeting of ZANU PF UK and having your pictures illegally, shamelessly stolen and published by some partisan organisations or  websites is not one of them. In the next part of this article I will clarify the legal position regarding grounds for revocation of refugee status.


Tinomudaishe Chinyoka is a Lawyer, Prominent Former Student Leader, PhD Student and a Member of ZANU PF UK.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Why we had to Take our Land

By Tinomudaishe Chinyoka

There are those that differ with me on whether or not we still need to debate the question of why we had to take our land back. Those that differ with me on this issue are, to use the colloquial, simply wrong. 

For example, we have news that Morgan Tsvangirai has ordered the seizure of property and assets held by the rival Renewal Team led by secretary-general Mr Tendai Biti.
Now, we all know that Mr Tsvangirai is very much against the seizure of white owned farms by the original owners, but his conduct in this affairs betrays a double standard: he sees nothing wrong with a rightful owner taking his property back by any means necessary.
In fact, his lawyers in court when one of the cases of seizures went to court argued that:

Not prepared to upset his rich (former) friends :
 Tsvangirai  (right) and Bennet (who has now ditched him)
 “My client had authority from Tsvangirai to possess the party property, including the vehicle in question,” said Mr Muganyi. “The authority shows there are misunderstandings in the party and the court should not be used as a vehicle in perpetuating these internal disputes.” 

He must think that the land is not ours then, if he does not apply the same principle to its repossession.

Governor Karimanzira put it best, way back in 1998 when white farmers went to complain about the people of Svosve taking back their lands.You see, the Governor stated, the people of Svosve had taken no farms. Just their land. It was just unfortunate for the farmers that their farms happened to be on the Svosve people’s lands.
We are now being told that it was because land was taken that agricultural output has gone down. No mention there about the support that the white squatters used to get from our financial institutions, with loans and year round support to ensure that they succeeded.
No mention about the sanctions, declared and undeclared, all calculated to cripple our government and effect regime change by stealth so that Morgan Tsvangirai, who believes it is okay to repossess his MDC property but not Zimbabwean land, can take over.
Besides, I think that the argument about output misses the point:  the land was ours, so we had to take it. If I bought a bicycle, and kept it tethered to a tree because I have not yet learned how to ride one, or because I choose to ride mine in  a particular way, or because I have no present use for it, you cannot suggest that it is okay for another person, who knows how to ride it and happens to have an need for a bicycle, to just come along and not only take it, but keep it.
Like President Mugabe said, “It is true that commercial farmers know how to farm. But, the fact that the person that stole my car has a driving licence does not justify him keeping it.”
And the taking was not kind. People died. Not by accident, but were deliberately slaughtered. And after the slaughter, their Courts sat down and decided that, you know what, they had every right to take this land, because them ‘natives’ did not know that they owned this land in the first place.
I have recently been accused of interposing my own opinions to the debate, so why not let them speak for themselves.
On 29 March 1896, after the Zimbabwean people dared to rise up against the occupation of their land in the First Chimurenga, W.A. Jarvis, a former Tory MP in the UK and settler in what they called Gwelo, wrote this about their response to this temerity:
There are about 5,500 niggers in this district and our plan of campaign will probably be to proceed against this lot and wipe them out, then move on towards Bulawayo wiping out every nigger and every kraal we can find… You may be sure that there will be no quarter, and everything black will have to die…. The beastly missionaries have a lot to do with it, teaching the nigger that he is as good as the white man. It won’t do. The nigger has to got to be treated as a nigger all the world over.

Rhodesian history books do not tell us how many ‘niggers’ were wiped out, but I rather like to think that the 5,500 in Gwelo and those between that town and Bulawayo (some 145km or so) are a small percentage of those that were ‘treated like other niggers’ the world over.

After the wiping out, the British South Africa Company and the British Government argued as to who owned the vast land riches of this country that they had conquered. Their argument went all the way to the Privy Council in London, where no black interests were represented. There was no need. After all,
 “in February, 1894, trustworthy news came in that Lobengula had died in January of fever or small-pox, and this is the last that ever was heard of him. King Lobengula’s kingdom perished with him.

So, the question facing the Court was, who between the British Crown and the BSAC had the power to issue title to the land that they had found between the Zambezi and the Limpopo. According to the Court, “White settlement and the consolidation of British influence were objects common to both Crown and Company. Both desired to encourage white settlers generally to select and acquire land, and, on compliance with the prescribed formalities, they were to become absolute owners of their holdings. Plainly, if white settlement was to take place,” it would happen, it just needed to be justified somehow.
Between 1893 and 1914 there has undoubtedly been much migration,emigration, and immigration of natives in Southern Rhodesia, and the aborigines of Lobengula’s time have both changed and been scattered. It was said that the rights of the Matabele did not extend beyond a radius of sixty miles from Buluwayo, and that beyond that the Mashonas were the race entitled.

Whether the Matabele or the Mashonas of to-day are, in any sense consistent with the transmission or descent of rights of property, identical with the Matabele or the Mashonas of more than twenty years ago is far from clear, and the fate of the Makalakas and the Maholies, once the slaves of Lobengula, is as obscure as their original rights…..The estimation of the rights of aboriginal tribes is always inherently difficult.

Some tribes are so low in the scale of social organization that their usages and conceptions of rights and duties are not to be reconciled with the institutions or the legal ideas of civilized society. Such a gulf cannot be bridged. It would be idle to impute to such people some shadow of the rights known to our law and then to transmute it into the substance of transferable rights of property as we know them. In the present case it would make each and every person by a fictional inheritance a landed proprietor “richer than all his tribe.”

On the other hand, there are indigenous peoples whose legal conceptions, though differently developed, are hardly less precise than our own. When once they have been studied and understood they are no less enforceable than rights arising under English law. Between the two there is a wide tract of much ethnological interest, but the position of the natives of Southern Rhodesia within it is very uncertain; clearly they approximate rather to the lower than to the higher limit…..By the will of the Crown and in exercise of its rights the old state of things, whatever its exact nature, as it was before 1893, has passed away and another and, as their Lordships do not doubt, a better has been established in lieu of it. Whoever now owns the unalienated lands, the natives do not.

So, we were rather fortunate that these kind people did not drive us all to the Kalahari, because we had no right to be here. We did not own the land, we had probably migrated from somewhere, and had no right to any of the land, being too primitive to know what land ownership meant. Forget the fact that only a few years before the whole country had risen en-masse to fight for this very same land,forget that such uprising had been met with an extermination of the ‘niggers’ to ‘wipe them out’.

"We were never responsible; Ireland was colonised once": Claire Short
Then some 80 years later, after trying to work with these people to find an amicable way to get our land back, they decided that you know what, we were never responsible, because even Ireland was colonised once! I swear I am not making this up. Here is the letter from Claire Short, their ‘Development’ Secretary at the time:

5 November 1997From the Secretary of StateHon Kumbirai Kangai MPMinister of Agriculture and Land

Dear Minister 

George Foulkes has reported to me on the meeting which you and Hon John Nkomo had with Tony Lloyd and him during your recent visit. I know that President Mugabe also discussed the land issue with the Prime Minister briefly during their meeting. It may be helpful if I record where matters now rest on the issue. 
 At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Tony Blair said that he looked forward to developing a new basis for relations with Commonwealth countries founded upon our government’s policies, not on the past. 
We will set out our agenda for international development in a White Paper to be published this week. The central thrust of this will be the development of partnerships with developing countries which are committed to eradicate poverty, and have their own proposals for achieving that which we and other donors can support. 

I very much hope that we will be able to develop such a relationship with Zimbabwe. I understand that you aim shortly to publish your own policies on economic management and poverty reduction. I hope that we can discuss them with you and identify areas where we are best able to help. I mentioned this in my letter on 31 August to Hon Herbert Murarwa. 

I should make it clear that we do not accept that Britain has a special responsibility to meet the costs of land purchase in Zimbabwe. We are a new Government from diverse backgrounds without links to former colonial interests. My own origins are Irish and as you know we were colonised not colonisers. We do, however, recognise the very real issues you face over land reform. We believe that land reform could be an important component of a Zimbabwean programme designed to eliminate poverty. We would be prepared to support a programme of land reform that was part of a poverty eradication strategy but not on any other basis. 

I am told Britain provided a package of assistance for resettlement in the period immediately following independence. This was, I gather, carefully planned and implemented, and met most of its targets. 

Again, I am told there were discussions in 1989 and 1996 to explore the possibility of further assistance. However that is all in the past. If we look to the present, a number of specific issues are unresolved, including the way in which land would be acquired and compensation paid – clearly it would not help the poor of Zimbabwe if it was done in a way which undermined investor confidence. Other questions that would need to be settled would be to ensure that the process was completely open and transparent, including the establishment of a proper land register. 

Individual schemes would have to be economically justified to ensure that the process helped the poor, and for me the most important issue is that any programme must be planned as part of a programme to contribute to the goal of eliminating poverty. I would need to consider detailed proposals on these issues before confirming further British support for resettlement.
 I am sure that a carefully worked out programme of land reform that was part of a programme of poverty eradication which we could support would also bring in other donors, whose support would help ensure that a substantial land resettlement programme such as you clearly desire could be undertaken successfully. If is [sic] to do so, they too will need to be involved from the start. It follows from this that a programme of rapid land acquisition as you now seem to envisage would be impossible for us to support. I know that many of Zimbabwe’s friends share our concern about the damage which this might do to Zimbabwe’s agricultural output and its prospects of attracting investment. 

I thought it best to be frank about where we are. If you think it would be helpful, my officials are ready to meet yours to discuss these issues. 

Yours sincerely 

Claire Short”

So that we are clear: the British Government fought all the way to the highest court in their land for the right to ‘own’ our lands, and the right to give title to ‘white settlers’, but come independence, they no longer had no responsibility to make right what they had stolen. Small wonder then that after this letter, the people of Svosve went to reclaim their lands. It was just unfortunate that the British Government, in giving title to the white settlers, had given these people farms that happened to be sited on our lands.
We have to take our lands. I am well aware that there are those that differ with me on whether or not we still need to debate the question of why we had to take our land back. Those that differ with me on this issue are, as I have said, simply wrong.


Tinomudaishe Chinyoka is a Zimbabwean lawyer and a member of the Zanu PF UK Chapter