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Zimbabwe’s Land Acquisition Act

  • Derek Carlsen,
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The Zimbabwe President, by presidential decree, has issued a new law, amending the already dubious “Land Acquisition Act,” so that he can block any legal action against him immediately taking farms away from their owners. Once the farmer has been issued this “legal” document, he is confined to his house and forbidden from doing anything on his land, even if he has a crop that needs to be harvested. Not abiding by these restrictions could mean two years imprisonment. The farmer can remain in his house for three more months, after which, he has to get out. There is no compensation. This “law” has been made because the government says farmers were abusing the court system in fighting the acquisition of their land. The farmers' last hope has now been removed for the newly rearranged Supreme Court ruled that what the government is doing is completely legal and stated that the rule of law has been restored to the country. There was a split vote among the judges, but the president's puppets won the day. There has been a deliberate strategy by the government to pack the court benches with “yes men.” The previous Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was forced to resign earlier this year and he is not the only one that has left the bench because of intimidation.

The country is already in a food crisis with more than a million people facing starvation (though many more millions are going hungry every day). The government has also banned all food aid organizations from distributing food, saying that any food distribution can only be done by the government (presidential elections are on the horizon). The United Nations is starting to respond to this starvation crisis, however, it is saying little (if anything) about the real cause of it, namely, the corruption and lawlessness of Mugabe's government whose actions have only one objective to keep themselves in power no matter the cost. The UN will probably succumb to handing the food over to the government so that they can add food distribution to the other two pillars of their election campaign violence and lies. The media is increasing its propaganda barrage of lies and inciting violence. Mugabe is calling anyone who opposes him a terrorist and he has just passed new laws so that “terrorists” can be dealt with even local and international newspaper reporters have been listed as terrorists. Mugabe is still refusing to allow international monitors to be in the country for the presidential elections due around March or April next year.

The economy of the country continues to disintegrate and we are told that it will shrink further by 7.3% in the coming year. Unemployment is above 60%, inflation is at 100% (though postage has gone up something like 1000% and other things could be listed that have gone up in a similar way), 75% of Zimbabweans are now living in abject poverty with many basic products no longer found on the shelves. Meanwhile, the government is importing a massive consignment of luxury vehicles for its officials.

  • Derek Carlsen

Derek Carlsen is a native Zimbabwean and received his theological training through George Whitefield College, Cape Town, South Africa (L.Th. 1992) and Whitefield Theological Seminary, Lakeland, Florida, USA (M.Miss. 1999 and D.Miss. 2001). He’s served as a pastor in Zimbabwe and helped pioneer a Christian school with his wife Elise. His Reason of Hope Ministries in Zimbabwe prints and distributes Christian literature in southern Africa. Derek is the author of three commentaries: Faith and Courage: A Commentary on Acts; That You May Believe: A Commentary on John’s Gospel; and soon to be released, Grace and Law: A Commentary on Galatians. Derek and Elise have been blessed with three children.

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