On land, Mugabe walked path other African leaders would not

Former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe

Former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe. 

Photo credit: File | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Mugabe had come to power with a promise to 160,000 black families that they would be resettled on white-owned soil within three years.
  • While the first phase was financed by the UK, it became apparent that London was not willing to finance the second phase of settlement.

  • After ten years, he snapped – and started distributing land in an awkward way. He changed the law to allow for compulsory acquisition without compensation.

  • For that, Zimbabwe was hit with economic sanctions in the hope that the economy would collapse and Mr Mugabe would be deposed.

Forget what you may have read in Western press about the late Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. Forget the propaganda and Western hate. Forgive the excesses of his rule – human rights abuse and extremes that could run from Cairo to Timbuktu. But on land policy, Mugabe was right. Yet he was vilified for that.


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