Tuesday, May 24, 2005

In Zimbabwe Successful Black Farmer Feels Threatened

Apparently in Zimbabwe these days, being white farmer means you have to turn over your land, even if your family has owned the home and property since 1921.

But being a black farmer doesn't make you immune from suspicion and threats, either. Especially when you are good at it.

Just ask "Lewis," the focus of a BBC News article today.

Although he loans his tractor to his neighbors, sometimes plows their fields and spends time trying to teach them the practical and economic principles of farming, Lewis thinks some of his neighbours want to bring him down.

"It's just pure jealousy," he sighs. "They see what I have on the farm and wonder why I have it and they don't."

Grant Ferriett, who wrote the article, comments,
When I first interviewed him more than five years ago, (we sat on the veranda of his large farmhouse as) he explained how he hoped to set an example for other would-be farmers.

This time he preferred to meet in the anonymity of a parked car in the suburbs of Harare.

A few displaced white farmers remain in Zimbabwe hoping to recoup their losses in other entrepenural business activities. Many more have opted to immigrate elsewhere.

One family, a former neighbor of Lewis now living in Australia, had this to say about their decision to leave Zimbabwe,
"When you see what we've got here and the friends we've made, there's no way I'd go back to that nonsense in Zimbabwe," says Rob.

His wife, Anna, agrees.

"It was just the uncertainty of not knowing what was going to happen next. Here the biggest worry is whether the washing will be dry."

And that, my friends, is how to destroy a nation and its economy in one easy lesson.