Mugabe And The White African
The film Mugabe And The White African, about the rogue regime in Zimbabwe, serves as a compelling case study of dictatorship and absence of the rule of law. From the Christian Science Monitor:
While the catastrophes he has brought upon Zimbabwe are, in general terms, covered by international news outlets – who have not been exempt from his attempts to control all press coverage – the new documentary “Mugabe and the White African” ups the emotional ante by putting a human face on his victims. As the title suggests, it’s primarily a white face – a fact that, given the country’s colonial past, might seem lightly ironic, were the details not so brutal.
In 2007, filmmakers Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thompson decided to document the case of Michael Campbell, whose Mount Carmel Farm had been seized by the Mugabe administration as part – on paper, at least – of a “land reform” program. The 75-year-old Campbell and son-in-law Ben Freeth decided to fight the confiscation, despite being subject to the threats of violence that had caused other white farmers to flee the country.
The constitutional amendment that created the land reform says nothing about race, but its effect, by design, was to disenfranchise white farmers exclusively. Furthermore, the seized property was transferred to political and military cronies, who often scavenged whatever could be liquidated, rather than to actual farmers, who could cultivate the land.
Their legal challenges rebuffed by the Zimbabwean judiciary, Campbell and Freeth took their case to the international tribunal of SADC (Southern African Development Community), of which Zimbabwe is a member. Mugabe’s attorneys secured several delays in the hearing, allowing time for further intimidation of the plaintiffs and invasions of the farm by the new designated “owners.” Shortly before the final scheduled court date, thugs kidnapped and severely beat Campbell, his wife, and Freeth.