Last month in my post, The Fate of Zimbabwe – Does Violence Loom? I wrote about Zimbabwe people being without food.  Back then, a London Times headline ran “Violence Looms as Zimbabwe runs out of food – except for the elite.  I thought not, because unlike Burma, the Zimbabwean people are hungry and virtually leaderless and so far I have been proved right.
Well, this week the UK’s Daly Telegraph reports that white farmers are being prosecuted for continuing to grow crops on their farms – that are in the process of being taken from them without compensation and given to members of Mugabe’s government and their cronies.  Lands minister, Didymus Mutasa said “food shortages or no food shortages …blacks are still clamouring for land…”  Meanwhile, the World Food Programme estimates that it will be feeding 4.1 million Zimbabweans by the end of the year.  Outside the court room, there is no food for sale apart from a few small sour oranges – “and they came from a once-prolific citrus farm seized earlier” for deputy minister of information, Bright Matonga.
Minister Didymus Mutasa has only just moved into the lands role, having recently been fired (by Mugabe) from his more powerful role as State Security Minister.  Mutasa gained some notoriety earlier this year when he was linked to a “spirit medium” (witchdoctor) who duped the government into believing that she had “discovered pure diesel oozing from a hill in Chinhoyi”, about 70 miles north-west of Zimbabwe’s capital city, Harare.  What a find for Zimbabwe! – a country that is blessed with almost every natural resource except oil, (but begging the question as to why such an obvious and accessible discovery had not been made before).  So, jubilant President Mugabe set up a high-powered Government task force to look into the matter, and the initial reports were that there “was diesel”.  There was much general rejoicing throughout the land (apart from a few spoil sport cynics).
Sadly for Zimbabwe (and Mutasa), their hopes faded under scientific scrutiny and the witchdoctor was exposed as a confidence trickster.  President Mugabe was reported to be displeased by the humiliation, and the deluded woman has since been arrested.
But her sponsor, Mutasa has now been empowered to oversee the completion of Mugabe’s disastrous farm grab policy – and so destroy the last efficient food producing farms from this once bountiful country.  Before it became Zimbabwe, Rhodesia was celebrated as the “breadbasket of Africa”.
No fuel – and no food for the suffering Zimbabweans but Mugabe – encouraged by his African (and other) political sponsors and friends – still postures at the United Nations.
Peter Davies was a soldier in Rhodesia from 1963 to 1975, where he took part in the capture and interrogation of terrorists. Davies’ novel, Scatterlings of Africa, is based on his own experience during the war, and personal observations of how terrorist activities impacted Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and its people.

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