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Mugabe and the White African

An excellent documentary about the Zimbabwean white farmer Mike Campbell aired on PBS last July. I saw a preview of it but missed the film, which is 88 minutes.

Luckily, it’s still available here at the POV site until October 25, 2011. There’s also a book by the same name, penned by Campbell’s son-in-law Ben Freeth.

Campbell built up a successful commercial farm over a 30-plus year time frame, gaining a reputation as a good employer and all around decent guy. According to the film, they employed several hundred people, most of whom were probably black. Some of his employees grew up on the farm, where the business became their livelihood.

All of that changed after Robert Mugabe decided to take the lands owned by mostly white farmers, and give them to his friends and relatives. According to the documentary, the idea there wasn’t to take over the farm, but just take the property and strip it of its assets. It was advertised as redistribution, but this has been exposed as a fraud.

The film is also an indictment of nationalist black leadership. White farmers, who had turned Zimbabwe into an extremely productive agricultural region, were terrorized out of Zimbabwe, with the result being the destruction of the agricultural sector in Zimbabwe.

According to one blogger, and I’m sure many more, much the same sort of thing is happening in South Africa.

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