Friday, July 25, 2008

Africa July 2008

"Zimbabwe’s economy is now reaching a new stage in its meltdown, with inflation officially running at 2.2m% a year but in reality at least four times higher. The harvest has been bad." - They agree to talk, but nobody knows where it will lead

Coca-Cola says it is the largest private-sector employer in Africa. - Africa and Coca-Cola Index of happiness?

Rising food prices pushing east Africa to disaster, warns Oxfam


Monday, July 07, 2008

Zimbabwe, African liberation and decolonisation

Rhodesia 1965

On 6 July 2008, in the Jamaican Gleaner, Robert Buddan wrote about Zimbabwe, African liberation and decolonisation

Among the points made by Robert Buddan:

1. In the latter part of the 19th century, Cecil Rhodes took over Southern Rhodesia which became Zimbabwe.

2. The Shona and Ndebele people fought an unsuccessful liberation war in 1896-97 to get their land back.

The Shona and Ndebele were shunted off into 'African reserves', the dust bowl of Zimbabwe.

3. Rhodesia's whites made up less than 5% of the population but held 70% of the Africans' land.

4. The 1980 independence agreement meant the whites remained in control of the police, army, air force judiciary and civil service.

5. Mugabe gradually won political control but failed to solve the land problem.

Reportedly, Mugabe found it difficult to give the Black population land because of white resistance and lack of sufficient money.

Mugabe's ZANU-PF government says that the British reneged on their promise under the Lancaster House Agreement to support land reform.

6. About 1995, Morgan Tsvangirai came on the scene. He wants a land settlement policy to help the urban poor as well as the landless peasants.

Mugabe comes from the Shona tribe and Tsvangirai from the Ndebele.

7. Around 1999, thousands of 'veterans' began invading white farmer's lands and idle land owned by government and rich urban land speculators.

8. In 2008, Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) won a majority of parliamentary seats and Tsvangirai won 48 per cent of the presidential vote to Mugabe's 43 per cent.

Robert Buddan lectures in the Department of Government, UWI, Mona.