19 08 2007

A while back I made a comment about the launch of yet another farmers’ union, The Zimbabwe National Farmers’ Union, which I suspected to be an attempt to “legitimize” the land grab (reform according to the Oxford English Dictionary is: n. removal of faults or abuses, esp. of oral or political or social kind; improvement made or suggested – somehow land reform
does not fit). I picked up a ZNFU flier in the farm office next door and sure enough, under FOUNDATION was; “.. In short the Union was founded as a vanguard of the land and agrarian revolution of the year 2000.” There is a lot of other nonsense too but one or two are gems such as …

VALUES: To exceed the expectations of each and every member whose farming needs is our primary purpose and mission through:-

  • integrity
  • hard work
  • honesty
  • diligence
  • fairness
  • impartiality
  • professionalism (and the crowning jewel)
  • respect for humanity

Right. Respect for humanity, I like that. A bit further on in another section the irony is revisited. In the days of Rhodesia, conservation amongst the white commercial farmers was enforced by amongst other things, the ICA’s or Intensive Conservation Areas whose committees regularly overflew farming areas to check that conservation laws and standards were being met e.g. no stream bank cultivation, firebreaks cleared etc. and those found to be at fault were visited and spoken to. It worked, and in those days Rhodesia had an enviable environmental record. It seems that the current government have noticed because lo and behold the ICA system is being reintroduced (under the auspices of the ZNFU)!

The pamphlet is full of all the right sort of stuff, stuff that brings a lump to the throat; VISION, MISSION, AIMS AND OBJECTIVES. Impressive wording too, the Union is restlessly implementing.. , to inculcate into farmers a thinking (hang on, I must look that up), to restore Zimbabwe’s status as the breadbasket of Africa.. , provide advice and articulate problems. But no mention is made of exactly HOW it’s going to be done, or for that matter, why Zimbabwe’s status as the breadbasket of Africa needs to be restored.



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