13 May 2013

Zimbabwe: Scottish Legislator Hails Land Reform

A SCOTTISH MP-in-waiting, Mr Christian Allard, who is set for a seat in the Scottish Parliament on a Scottish Nationalist party ticket over the weekend came up full-swing in support of President Mugabe and the land reform programme.

Mr Allard's comments, which were carried by The Herald Scotland, came as the British paper, the Guardian, reiterated its stance that Zanu-PF would retain power in a clean poll that will be endorsed by Western powers, culminating in the removal of all forms of sanctions.

The previously anti-land reform, all white Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe has since pledged to work with the Government, saying it cannot continue swimming against the tide.

Self-exiled MDC-T treasurer-general Roy Bennett, in a Facebook post, complained bitterly about what he called "a new fashion developing among some white journalists and academics: they have joined with Zanu-PF in presenting 'land reform' as a success."

Mr Allard said the land reform programme was needed and slammed a documentary on the plight of one of the white farmer families as being "for white people to support white people".

Mr Allard said in 2009, Ms Lucy Bailey and Mr Andrew Thompson directed a documentary about former farmer Mr Mike Campbell and his son-in-law Mr Ben Freeth as they fought land reforms in the courts.

The now disbanded Sadc tribunal ruled in favour of Mr Campbell, but it became a nullity as regional leaders dissolved it pending it's reconstitution as it was being manipulated by Western donors.

The film, "Mugabe and The White African," was listed for an Oscar, was nominated for a Bafta and was voted best documentary at the British Independent Film Awards.

However, Mr Allard attacked the film saying: "Mike Campbell, a South African army captain - came to Zimbabwe from South Africa in 1974, in the middle of the guerrilla war against the black majority . . .Original Rhodesian white farmers have now all left or have complied with the land reform."

"This documentary was made for white people to support white people to keep hold of the land in Africa."

The documentary's producers, Ms Elizabeth Hemlock and Mr David Pearson, were peeved and said: "Mr Allard seems to have no concern about the violence directed at the Campbell and Freeth families and [about] the 500 farm workers and their families who lived on the farm.

"The Campbell family were kidnapped and brutally beaten and the injuries sustained by Mike Campbell contributed to his death in 2011."

But Mr Allard said: "I feel very sorry for the white farmers and what happened to them, but the black majority are suffering more."

Zanu-PF national spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo said the party was delighted that more progressive forces were beginning to realise that Zanu -PF was vilified for the wrong reasons.

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