Awhile back, my good friend BadHareDay in Lisbon, mentioned that he would like to see me talk more about what is going on in Zimbabwe and all the terrible things going on there over the past years. Although I’ve occasionally followed his wishes, and written about what’s going on there, the fact is I don’t often say the word Zimbabwe on the blog.
Which makes me wonder: why is that? I ask myself this as I sit down to write tonight, exhausted after two days of frisbee playing and nagging leg cramps. The only answers I can think of are possibilities; possible explanation for my choice not to make frequent references to the country and events unfolding there. You may not like all of them, but here they are:
To be completely honest, and obviously risking great condemnation now from readers, I actually thought the policy of redistributing land had a valid arguement behind it. (INITIALLY!) Obviously now I do not feel that way and the results have certainly been disastrous, sad, and a crime against humanity. But at that time, I looked at the situation in the country and on a very basic level I thought: why are all the big farms owned by white people? It struck me as odd and a sad fact. So I heard the idea of redistributing land and I thought — maybe this is what has to happen to finally stop the great income gap between black and white Zimbabweans.
Looking back, of course, we all know it didn’t take long for that idea to become a clearly destructive idea. As the country would lose its ability to feed itself, people would go hungry, and the government would continue on its path of iron fisted human rights violations and crack downs of all kinds. Perhaps this new reality was simply so sad and permanent feeling, that I had nothing new to add to what was already being said in the media.
So today I read somewhere on BBCnews that the government was taking steps to let white farmers acquire farms again. As the confiscated farms had been so mismanaged and unproductive since the evictions began. I think they called it an about-face of policy, presumably due to the lack of food and terrible shape the economy is in.
This has all been going on for years now, and I still struggle to understand Zimbabwe fully. I’ve read the history, watched events unfold, and even now I find it very confusing and moreover, frustrating. I guess a better place to read about all this is on “This is Zimbabwe” and not here. I somehow feel insufficiently informed or experienced to make sense of it all here on the blog.
Clearly a podcast topic for the near future.