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The article on Mugabe writes: "Mugabe took steps to expropriate the rich,
white landowners and redistribute the land to the landless." That is only
partially true, and in the mistaken part of that sentence lies a huge
amount. While he did confiscate the land, as the article says, he didn't
take any steps to give that land to the landless, not unless we consider
Mugabe's cronies and military tops the "landless" (which I suppose they
were in a way).

As I wrote in my article (which was debated on this list) a year ago, "An
African National Congress study
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_reform_in_Zimbabwe> concluded that “Mugabe
had given himself 15 farms, while Simon Muzenda received 13. Cabinet
ministers held 160 farms among them, sitting ZANU-PF parliamentarians 150,
and the 2,500 war veterans only two. Another 4,500 landless peasants were
allocated three. The programme also left another 200,000 farmworkers
displaced and homeless, with just under 5% receiving compensation in the
form of land expropriated from their ousted employers.”

Further, in the main the sanctions against Zimbabwe came after his land
confiscation, not before.

And therein lies the essence of Mugabe's betrayal of the colonial
revolution which he helped lead. From a nationalist revolutionary who
operated on the basis that the overthrow of capitalism has nothing to do
with the overthrow of a colonial ruler, Mugabe passed to becoming a
capitalist politician. And in a former colonial country like Zimbabwe,
capitalism had to mean corruption and repression.

Back to the land question, which is a huge issue in almost all ex-colonial
countries: Because those cronies of his were either not interested in
agricultural production or had no interest in it or were totally
inexperienced or all three, agricultural production collapsed. Zimbabwe,
the former "breadbasket of southern Africa" went from a net food exporter
to a net food importer. Exacerbating the situation was the fact that he had
nothing to offer the oppressed and impoverished masses of the region, so he
could not turn trying to build to a mass movement in the whole of southern

Nor would redistribution of these huge, formerly white owned farms to
individual farmers have been any solution. Tens of thousands of small farms
vs. fewer large farms would have reduced agricultural production to more or
less subsistence farming. So the only way forward would have been
nationalizing the farms and planning production under the control and
management of the agricultural laborers themselves, linked to the working
class as a whole. Of course, that would have necessarily meant the
overthrow of capitalism itself, something that Mugabe never even from his
earliest days was committed to.

 Yes, the theory of permanent revolution has real life meaning.

Here's the article from which I quoted:
John Reimann
*“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” *from "The Black
Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
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