Zimbabwe Update: Sanctions, Land Reform, and Neoliberal Policies

Interview with Freedom Mazwi and Gregory Elich, on WPFW’s Voices with Vision program

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Mnangagwa’s Neoliberal Assault on the Zimbabwean People

As Zimbabwe’s economy continues its descent since a military coup installed Emmerson Mnangagwa as the nation’s ruler in November 2017, his government’s response has been to double down on its ruinous neoliberal reform program.

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Challenging Western Distortions about Zimbabwe’s Land Reform

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For years, Western journalists have castigated Zimbabwe’s land reform program. From afar, they pronounced land reform a failure for having brought about the total collapse of agriculture and plunging the nation into chronic food insecurity. Redistributed land, we are continually told, went to cronies with political connections, while ordinary people were almost entirely excluded from the process. Farmland went to ruin because of the incompetence of the new owners. These were simple messages, drilled into the minds of the Western public through repetition. For Western reporters, certain that they owned the truth, emotion substituted for evidence. Those of a more curious frame of mind, however, were left to wonder what conditions were like in the field, where no reporter bothered to venture.

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Zimbabwe Update

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Radio Interview with Gregory Elich, by host Brendan Stone on the Unusual Sources program, CFMU FM.

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Reclaiming the Land: Land Reform and Agricultural Development in Zimbabwe

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An Interview with Sam Moyo

Amid the economic crisis in Zimbabwe, the agricultural sector continues to struggle.  Although the plunge in agricultural output over the last few years has often been commented on in the Western media, little or no attention is paid to the complex factors contributing to that decline.  Instead, matters are reduced to a simple generalization.  It is rare to be presented with information from someone with direct involvement with the agricultural sector in Zimbabwe.  Sam Moyo has over 25 years of research experience in rural development issues, and his organization has conducted studies and analyses and provided policy recommendations on land policy.  Highly respected in his profession, Moyo is uniquely positioned to offer an evidence-based overview of the situation.

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Zimbabwe Under Siege

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As Zimbabwe descends into anarchy and chaos, land is irrationally seized from productive farmers, we are told. President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is portrayed as a dictator bent on driving his nation into starvation and economic disaster while benevolent U.S. and British leaders call for democracy and human rights. These are the images presented by Western news reports, intended to persuade the public to support an interventionist policy. As always, when the West targets a foreign leader for removal, news reports ignore complexity and context, while the real motivations for intervention remain hidden. Concern for democracy and human rights is selective, and it is always the nation that displays too much independence that evokes concern, even in cases of a functioning multiparty system and wide-ranging media. On the other hand, no one calls for democracy and human rights in oppressive nations as long as the political environment is conducive to Western investment. Saudi Arabia, for example, holds no elections and imposes abusive oppression on the lives of its women. The pattern is consistent. Any nation that embarks on a path diverging from Western corporate interests and places the needs of its people over the demands of Western capital finds itself the target of destabilization, sanctions, and intervention. History and context are essential for understanding political events, and it is precisely these aspects that are lacking in Western news reports.

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