After seizing the land from over 90% of the white farmers in Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe's government wants the white farmers to come back to lease their former lands to farm.
White farmers may be allowed back on their land in Zimbabwe as part of a plan by the government of Robert Mugabe to solve the country's deepening economic crisis.
The president's key finance aide has called for some of the farmers whose properties were confiscated in a land seizure programme to be allowed to resume growing crops to boost the country's flagging agricultural output.
Gideon Gono, governor of the central bank and Mr Mugabe's main policy maker, made the proposal as he announced a 31% devaluation of the Zimbabwe currency.
With over half the farms seized from whites now lying fallow and the economy down 40% in the last 5 years Zimbabwe's government boldly shows the world where South Africa is headed in perhaps 15 or 20 years. Think I'm exaggerating? In January 2003 the South African labour minister found Mugabe's land program much to his liking.
The South Africa labour minister, Membathisi Mdladlana, said in Zimbabwe yesterday that his country had a lot to learn from President Robert Mugabe's programme of land reform.
"You don't need a weather vane to know which way the wind blows".
"The GMB set the buying price of maize but, given rapid inflation, this price was unattractive, so farmers had little incentive to invest in intensified production and generate a surplus of maize," the researchers said.
Angry residents of Zimbabwe's capital clashed with police on Wednesday, damaging property and vehicles in the first major protest against a crackdown on illegal traders and hawkers, police said on Thursday.
So police have raided flea markets, demolished temporary buildings housing small convenience stores, and set up roadblocks throughout the city. With the formal economy in a tailspin, many people had taken up street vending - selling cellphone recharge cards or loaves of bread - to subsist. And now they're being targeted, with critics noting that urban residents are also supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
This will drive the economy down even further.
After seven years of unprecedented economic decline, 80 percent of the work force is unemployed and 4 million of Zimbabwe's 16 million people have emigrated. Agriculture, once the mainstay, has been hard hit by Mugabe's seizure of 5,000 white-owned farms for redistribution to blacks.
Since western countries imposed sanctions on the Mugabe regime three years ago for failing to uphold democracy, the rule of law, and human rights, the Zimbabwean leader has responded by looking East. Mugabe himself vigorously courted Chinese businessmen to invest in Zimbabwe, who in the last three years have descended on Harare and the country's other major cities, setting up shop at every street corner to sell cheap clothing and electronic goods.
One local academic joked that Mugabe had "yellow fever" since he can only see allies in Asia, which he knows will not criticize his oppressive policies. But the academic also raised a more serious point: Mugabe is throwing his own political cronies off tobacco growing land and oppressing street hawkers in towns to make way for the Chinese; and he is selling out his country to the Chinese in order to cling to power.
What does the rise of China translate into? Support for the worst sorts of governments.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2005 May 26 11:03 AM Chaotic Regions|