Ben Freeth in his article Why the Land Compensation Fund cannot be funded by rent recently published in The Zimbabwean states â€œSadly, the former commercial farms are now in a shocking state of disrepair. The dams have not been maintained, many of the pipelines have been dug up, the transformers have been stolen, houses and barns have been taken down and their roofs, doors, window frames and bricks have been sold off. Fence lines have vanished, fires have raged unchecked through the land and thorn trees have grown up in the once productive fields.â€
Whilst I am sure that this is an understatement, there are perhaps indications that some of the â€˜â€™new farmersâ€ have been relatively successful. There is, however, no doubt that Mugabeâ€™s land acquisition programme has contributed to the poverty and starvation now evident in Zimbabwe. It is also indisputable that Zimbabwe has gone from being the self confessed â€œbreadbasket of Southern Africaâ€ to being dependent upon food imports. At the same time all the industries that were to a large extent based upon agriculture have shut down or at very least significantly reduced production.Â The destruction is almost complete and some of the tastiest fruit, vegetables and meat are no longer available. How sad!
Has all of this played into the hands of the West?
This sounds like a conspiracy theory or some Machiavellian plot, but consider excerpts from a recent blog. Coming soon: Everything will be free By Robert Arvay on American Thinker website. Relevant but albeit lengthy excerpt:
â€œThe day is coming when everything will be free. This is not a utopian pipe dream, but the inevitable result of ever increasing manufacturing efficiency and innovation. As efficiency rises exponentially, costs will plummet. Eventually, prices will become so low as to be negligible
If one doubts that goods and services will be free, one need only look at food production for the past hundred seventy years. In 1850, about 64 percent of Americans lived on farms. By 1920, that figure had dropped to about 30 percent. Today it is about two percent. The drastic reduction in farm population in America has mostly been due to innovation and efficiency, two dominant factors at play in almost every major industry.
While the blessings of the new agriculture have included an abundant food supply, reliably produced and widely distributed, there is a surprising downside to this global cornucopia.
Â America’s food production has, in effect, tended to starve out food producers in poor nations. Because we send free food to poor countries, the local farmers there cannot compete with us. Their farm lands dry up, making those regions ever more dependent on charity. Our motives may be pure, but the consequences in future years will be dire.
What this presages is that over time, as fewer and fewer people are productively employed, those who continue producing will become ever more powerful. It’s the phenomenon of monopoly. With all power in the hands of an elite and driven few, new forms of tyranny will arise. Instead of taking things away from the populace, or inflicting violence on them, the new tyrants will simply withhold necessities of life from those who resist. Much of the harm has already been done â€“ not only abroad, but here at home. The growing welfare state has created a population of resentful donors (working taxpayers) pitted against ungrateful recipients of welfare. The conflict has been unkindly referred to as one between the so-called makers and the takers. This is not to vilify the welfare population. Social engineers have taught generations of youth to embrace the ethic of taking without earning. Without job prospects, but only with welfare, one cannot blame solely the takers. Without placing blame on the poor, the ethic of duty and responsibility is gradually being replaced with the credo of entitlement and grievance.â€
The underlined passage provides an accurate description of what has happened in Zimbabwe.
In a nutshell and very cynically it is far cheaper to send Aid to Africa than to have high unemployment in First World countries. It is easier for Africans to live on the equivalent of USD2.00 per day than the citizens of America or Australia for that matter.Â Perhaps it was for this reason that the West has not been overly concerned at the destruction of Zimbabweâ€™s agriculture.Â Should South Africa follow in the destruction of white owned farms in the name of redressing past imbalances the West will not lift a finger.
Was Mugabe therefore unwittingly complicit in a plot to destroy Zimbabweâ€™s agriculture and in so doing condemning the vast majority of Zimbabweâ€™s population to be dependent upon handouts.
Mugabeâ€™s actions have also proved the veracity of the bloggers comments â€œWith all power in the hands of an elite and driven few, new forms of tyranny will arise. Instead of taking things away from the populace, or inflicting violence on them, the new tyrants will simply withhold necessities of life from those who resist.â€ Â Mugabe has used violence, the threat of violence and the withholding of food to maintain his dictatorship.
The broader implication is that unless Zimbabwe restores its ability to be self sufficient in food as it was 17 years ago, its people will be dependent upon others for survival. As Ben Freeth has suggested it is time for Zimbabwe to rethink its Agricultural policy. If this means restoring white farmers then this should be done not only for the good of Zimbabwe but Africa as a whole.
It would be naive to think that it is just Zimbabwe that West is concerned about but all the countries of Southern Africa. I am fairly confident that the countries of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique could be a major force in the production of food, not only for themselves but also, for the world.
Do you think that the West or the East for that matter, wants that? What would they do with their own farming communities and the impact on their own industries?
It is time for Africa and Zimbabwe, in particular, to realise its potential to improve the lives of everyone on the continent and not just the well connected and corrupt.
It is time for Africa to reduce its dependence upon the goodwill of the West and their Aid agencies. It is time for Africa to question and answer why despite 60 plus years of receiving generous aid from the developed world that the Continent is still no better off
It is time for Africa to become truly independent a feat yet to be achieved!Post published in: Featured