Thursday, April 02, 2009

Farewell Zimbabwe

Early last month, Jay Nordlinger commented on Zimbabwe:
I saw an AP headline reading, “Mugabe uses birthday bash to rebuke white farmers.” And I’m thinking, “There are still white farmers?” Then I read the beginning of the article:
With his nation’s economy in shambles, President Robert Mugabe threw himself a lavish 85th birthday party Saturday, using the opportunity to call on Zimbabwe’s last white farmers to leave.

“Land distribution will continue. It will not stop,” Mugabe said in Chinhoyi, 60 miles (100 kilometers) northwest of Harare. “The few remaining white farmers should quickly vacate their farms as they have no place there.”
The sheer race-hatred expressed by Mugabe and other African leaders is one of the great undercommented-on phenomena of our time.
Today, Mr. Nordlinger related a letter he had received in response:
...Before leaving Africa, I’d like to publish this interesting and unusual reader letter:
My husband is one of the last remaining white farmers in Zimbabwe. Thank you for your column of March 6 [in which I mention the breathtaking race-hatred directed against these farmers, by their own government]. In 1999, Zimbabwe was projecting to have 6,000 tonnes of coffee for export. This year there were 400 tonnes, and my husband produced 110 of them. Out of over 600 coffee farmers in 1999, there are now only five left in the country.
It takes generations to build up a country; it can be destroyed in months. And often, as is the case of Zimbabwe, that destruction is aided and abetted by "the best of intentions."