Ben Freeth has an extraordinary story to tell. Like that of many white farmers, his family's land was 'reclaimed' by Mugabe's government for redistribution.
But Ben's family fought back. Appealing to international law, they instigated a suit against Mugabe's government via the SADC (The Southern African Development Community).
The case was deferred time and again while Mugabe's men pulled strings.
But after Freeth and his parents-in-law were abducted and beaten within inches of death in 2008, the SADC deemed any further delay to be an obstruction of justice.
The case was heard, and successful on all counts. But the story doesn't end there. In 2009 the family farm was burnt to the ground. The fight for justice in Zimbabwe is far from over - this book is for anyone who wants to see into the heart of one of today's hardest places, and how human dignity flourishes even in the most adverse circumstances.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 256 pages, Colour and b&w photographs
- Publisher: Lion Hudson Plc
- Publication Date: 17/06/2011
- Category: True stories of heroism, endurance & survival
- ISBN: 9780745955469
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Review by MadMooseMama
Mugabe and the White African is a non-fiction account of the farmers plight during the Mugabe regime, with forewords by Desmond Tutu and John Sentamu.For more than 30 years the farmers of Zimbabwe have been fighting the Mugabe government in order to restore the declining state of affairs that Mugabe and his henchmen have destroyed.Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, is a racist, hate filled pariah who will stop at nothing to remove the white farmers from their lands, claiming only those who are African may hold their titles. While some of the farmers moved to Africa to farm, many of the farming families had been there for generations, being born and bred on the lands of Africa, making them all African. However, Mugabe believes only those who are black are african, his motto being, "Only good white man is a dead white man" and he sets up a genocide program encouraging his supporters to do whatever act necessary to take back control of these farming lands.Mugabe's proposal is to take all the land and divided it amongst his "favourites" in a lottery system. His delegates use a paint pot, brush and a lottery to determine who will control that rested lands. Upon receiving the land, the new "owners" would annihilate all trees, animals and vegetation and leave the land barren and defunct. Many of the farmers had their lands stolen by the Mugabe government and there were others who were beaten, murdered, raped and their houses and livelihoods destroyed in jealous and evil rages.The few farmers who held together were becoming fewer and fewer as the reign of tyranny continues to escalate and the police nor the governing bodies set in place to ensure these acts of violence do not occur, actually helped promote the madness. Many people's lives could have been saved if the police had done their job, if the judicial system didn't just give lip service and if the people stood up to the fear that was being bred in their neighbourhoods.After Ben and his family lose their house to fire, beaten beyond recognition, they once again turn to the court systems to uphold the law. Now, the outside world is finally listening and perhaps the wrongs can be righted. The road is long and the whole system is corrupt and only those with faith in God and attest to his wonderous powers will remain and as of this year, 2011, the Mugabe government still holds power and rages war on the white farmers of Zimbabwe.Ben Freeth, father-in-law, Mike Campbell, along with their families have always stood up to the Mugabe regime and for that they have lost everything they own and still they fight. This book has been made into a documentary and the world is awakening to the plight, but will it be enough or will it be too late?This book is very disturbing literature to read. The situations involved with the farmers is very graphic and horrendous to absorb. I became furious at humanity for allowing things such as this to occur and not just in Zimbabwe, but everywhere in the world it seems evil people rule. The evil that was shared within these pages was honest, direct and appalling. I do not understand how a ruler, such as Mugabe, could ever be allowed to rule with such blatant practices that I read about.I was also appalled to learn that at a time when Mugabe should have been asked to step down from his seat of power, the Queen of England decides he should be awarded a knighthood, my mind was flabbergasted. However, I did some research and she has since stripped him of this title...thank the goodness! I should also note that Mugabe is now in power with a co-regent after the violence and vote-rigging that occurred in 2008.The amount of death and destruction and for what purpose? To run your country, a country that was at the top of its game, into a wallowing pity-filled haven for jealous tyrants is shameful. To take your country's life bread and destroy it is asinine and absurd. If there was a purpose to reallocating and making SOMETHING from the horrors, then maybe, the actions of the Zimbabwe government could be forgiven, however, it is clear to the reader that Zimbabwe has been run for 31 years by a psychotic madman, who believes in crocodiles as his power totem, a symbol of evil in Africa and its rumoured that he performs sacrifices in order to secure his stronghold. In Africa the gods and ghosts of the past are strongly integrated into the religious practices of many Zimbabweans, in so much that, to have a curse uttered at you is as sure as death. Such is their strong belief in the supernatural spiritual aspects of the Shona religion.I would recommend this book to anyone who loves non-fiction reads, who has a care about our world or you need a reminder that the world can be an evil place, especially if we allow it to remain so. I think those of a religious nature would enjoy this book also, Ben and his family are spiritual people who often turn to our God in order to help and time and again, they were given the proper answers to deal with the situation that evil men can and DO create.