Friday, February 01, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) Zimbabwe will not compensate white farmers

Zimbabwe will not compensate white farmers
01/02/2013 00:00:00
by Mai Jukwa

THE evicted white farmers have reignited their misguided demands for compensation from the Zimbabwean people. Let it be made clear, Zimbabwe will never compensate the British white settlers aka former white farmers. This is a matter of government policy and is founded on international agreements and cemented by Constitutional Amendment 17.

After the pioneer column established itself in Zimbabwe, the British white settlers began a systematic process of subjugation. The black indigenous people were submitted to forced labour and often times banished from their ancestral lands. The white settlers carved out large chunks of prime land and distributed this amongst their kith and kin.

No compensation was paid to these blacks. Who did these white farmers pay to occupy that land? This is a crucial point; the blacks that were abused by the British government in their failed expedition that was colonial Rhodesia never received a dime of compensation. The British white settlers did not purchase the farms for which they now demand compensation. They stole them.

After 1980, the black majority did not seek retribution. If we were to speak of compensation in April 1980, we would have immediately started by prosecuting the British white settlers for violently occupying Zimbabwean territory. In addition to this, the whites in Zimbabwe were guilty of aiding and abetting the Smith regime. This was a minority that had used force to impose its will against the black majority.

This may seem outrageous but this is exactly how the Jews dealt with the Nazi’s at the Nuremberg trials. They hunted them down and executed them. One will recall the likes of Julius Streicher that were sent to the gallows simply for having disseminated information that was deemed anti-Semite.

But Robert Mugabe has never been of the prosaic type, instead of retribution he spoke of swords morphing into ploughshares and of the love that bound him to his former oppressors. This was Ubuntu at work, but the British white settlers mistook this for weakness, perhaps even stupidity. Why weren’t these blacks taking back their land?

As time passed and the land remained in the hands of the British white settlers, the war veterans asked a pointed question. What did we fight for? The land that was stolen from our fathers was still in the land of the British white settlers.

The new constitution that could have enabled land reform had been defeated in 2000 following the mass intervention by white farmers who coached and bussed in ignorant voters.

Clearly, the only remaining option was to go back into the trenches and to take back what was stolen from us. The war vets invaded properties occupied by British white settlers and this is what history calls the Land Invasions. It was not an invasion, it was liberation!

The British white settlers who we were kind enough not to slaughter at independence are now demanding compensation. There are numerous questions that enter the mind when one hears such absurd demands. What do they want compensation for? Do they want us to compensate them for the thousands of blacks that they slaughtered as they fought the will of the majority? Do they want us to compensate them for the forced labour they subjected our parents to? What exactly do they want compensation for? Or is it just the land they are interested in? They want us to compensate them for the land they stole from us.

The idea of compensating a thief is absurd. The white settlers are indeed thieves. What else do you call a group of white renegades that leave the comfort of the own country and decide to go and take land from poor blacks thousands of miles away? They are thieves and nothing more. They are lucky that we did not prosecute them.

The next question is whom they want to get that compensation from. Do these white farmers really expect poor Zimbabweans from whom they stole land to pay taxes to pay the thief that stole from them? It is a notion so idiotic it can easily make the revolutionary blood in us boil.

The little money that we have in Zimbabwe will be used to build hospitals and to fund education. We will not tax Zimbabweans so we can pay-off thieves.

The British government is responsible for the upkeep of the British white settlers it sent as agents in its colonial conquest. It is the British that must compensate those farmers. Indeed this was the agreement at Lancaster.

Amai Jukwa is a loving mother of three. She respects Robert Mugabe, is amused by Tsvangirai and feels sorry for Mutambara. Follow her on Twitter: @AmaiJukwa

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