Banda’s Zim statements land Malawi in trouble

MALAWIAN donors and Western nations have expressed concern at the direction that country is taking after President Joyce Banda said she will emulate Zimbabwe’s land reform programme.

Staff Reporter

With a land Bill presently before Parliament, major donors fear Banda’s statements could rattle the country’s financiers.

According to a Malawian newspaper, Nyasa Times, the donors and Western nations sought an audience with that country’s Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation minister, Ephraim Chiume, seeking clarification on Banda’s comments.

Chiume reportedly met with ambassadors from the European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom last Friday, following which he issued a statement saying Banda had not said Malawi would emulate Zimbabwe.

EU resident representative to Malawi Alexander Baum said there was something inconsistent about the statements attributed to Banda, although he would not confirm whether such a meeting took place.

“Given that President Banda is genuinely promoting Malawi’s participation in the G8 initiative on agriculture and food security and the strong role the private sector plays in it, it is more than welcome to clarify any misrepresentations or misunderstandings around the reports also publicly,” Baum is quoted as having said.

With an African food summit, “Grow Africa”, being held this week, Baum said it was important that a clarification be made before then.

He said the situation in Zimbabwe was different from the one in Malawi and the land Bill before the legislature did not suggest that the country was Zimbabwe-style land grabs. On a State visit to Zimbabwe, Banda commended the country’s land reform, saying she planned to copy it.

But this has caused consternation in Malawi, a country that heavily relies on donor support for most government programmes.

Zimbabwe’s much reviled land programme saw white commercial farmers being forcibly ejected from their farms, leading to widespread food shortages.


  1. Phunyukabemphethe

    Zimbabwe the Next Genocidal Killing Field
    by Austin Bay
    October 30, 2002
    In 1932, who believed Germans would systematically slaughter German Jews by the millions? In spring of 1994, how many of us in an allegedly savvier, Internet-informed world were ready to believe Rwandan Hutus intended to hack to death 800,000 Tutsis in an orgy of macabre machete violence?

    Pay attention to Zimbabwe, a nation brutalized by the rapidly decaying regime of dictator Robert Mugabe. Zimbabwe may well be the next genocidal killing field, with the Matebele tribe the target of Mugabe’s Shona.

    Last February, this column described Mugabe as the Slobodan Milosevic of Africa. Both the Shona and the Serb are thieves, “former Marxists” and ethnic cleansers who provoke ethnic strife, incite economic envy, murder opponents and do so under the propaganda cover of righting long-term historical wrongs. For beasts like Mugabe and Milosevic, “righting historical wrongs” means killing your ethnic enemies.

    I recently returned from three weeks in East Africa, examining micro-development projects run by Africans for Africans. What a good news story. But bad news is like bad money — it drives out the good. Across the continent I encountered Zimbabweans who recounted the last four years’ terrible spiral of events, as Mugabe’s corrupt government turned Zimbabwe from a food exporter to a land stalked by famine. The past 30 months have been dreadful. The GDP has shrunk 25 percent, with inflation up 135 percent.

    Mugabe’s taste for tribal brutality isn’t new. In 1980, with the aid of North Korean military advisers, Mugabe’s Shona tribe savaged the Matabele tribe. From seven to ten thousand Matabele were killed. The world ignored the attacks. At the time, Mugabe was a hero to “global progressives,” having toppled the white racist regime of Ian Smith in the former British colony of Southern Rhodesia.

    Now comes a report from The London Times that indicates Mugabe intends to pull a Milosevic-style Kosovo on the Matabele, with an even larger body count. The document opens with this breathless passage: FOR THE EYES OF THE SHONA ELITE ONLY! PLEASE PASS TO MOST TRUSTED PERSON! PROGRESS REVIEW ON THE 1979 GRAND PLAN.”

    The document was obtained by Matthew Parris. Parris once served in the Rhodesian government, so he’ll be dismissed by “progressives.” Given Mugabe’s track record and the bitter fact of Rwanda, that would be a terrible mistake.

    According to Shona tribal history, in the 19th century, the Matabele entered Shona country (after fleeing Zulus) and took Shona land. Parris describes it as a “narrative” that fits the Shona’s “tribal nationalism,” just like Milosevic’s “Kosovo recovery” fit into a Serb litany of historical wrong.

    The Shona now live in central and northern Zimbabwe and comprise 70 percent of Zimbabwe’s 13 million people. The Matabele are around 15 percent.

    The “Grand Plan” outlines a political, cultural and genocidal campaign for pushing the Matabele back into South Africa.

    Mugabe has systematically kicked Zimbabwe’s white farmers out of the country and given those farms to his henchmen. Famine is the result. Now, Mugabe must distract the hungry, and an anti-Matabele campaign serves Mugabe’s immediate political needs. Parris is even more blunt: “… a fight with the Matabele would enhance Mugabe’s troubled position among his own people.”

    Here’s a key line in the Grand Plan: “For many years both the Ndebeles (Matabele) and Europeans were living under a shameful illusion that the crimes of their forefathers had been forgiven … This was not to be as (Mugabe) the illustrious son of the Shona people ensured that the two groups pay dearly for the evil deeds of the ancestors.”

    These deeds included rape and looting. So what’s the Grand Plan’s means of rectification? The rape and looting of the Matabele.

    Could the Grand Plan be a forgery instead of Mein Kampf? Sure. Mugabe, however, has been stoking these ethnic hatreds.

    The Shona, however, are no monolith. Many Shona oppose Mugabe. The Matabele are also capable of resisting.

    But what happens if ethnic savagery begins? Send British paratroopers? That’s a thought, though Mugabe would portray that as the return of the white colonialists. The real regional peacekeeper is South Africa. Though the South African government has shied away from involving itself with Zimbabwe’s internal troubles, it cannot ignore a genocide on its northern border.

  2. mabhunu muchapera

    in as much as i dont support zanupf you, phunyukape…whatever, you are a liar, a tribalist, and a fool.

  3. When I saw a photo of Mama Banda and Bob Mugabe together, I thought something fishy was up!!!!

    1. You are an idiot Kelly Smith. do you think we true Zimbabweans care what you think. We certainly don’t. Mugabe will win the upcoming elections. And boy is it going to turn a lot of stomarchs for most of you Rhodies and coconuts. Stay in the Diaspora.

  4. “Zimbabwe’s much reviled land programme saw white commercial farmers being forcibly ejected from their farms, leading to widespread food shortages”.

    You people always lie, you want everyone to believe that whites were better farmers. Viva land reform programme. Pamberi naMUGABE.

  5. The headline of this article is very telling and precise too. It actually shows you what is obtaining in this poor country called Malawi. The people there still worship white people, like some Zimbabweans do, the writer of this article included, Everything there has to go through the so called donors before it is approved. You would think that because of that, milk and honey are flowing in the streets of Malawi. You would be wrong to think that. In fact, the level of suffering there is on another level. They say the media there is better than in Zimbabwe. They only have two papers, and both write whatever the Government says. Newday, whose main task is too write disparaging articles on the President, his family and whoever comes into its cross hairs naively and childishly complains that there is no press freedom in Zimbabwe. In Malawi, they have even made this issue a big thing. Yet the poor Malawians in their perennial ignorant state are too lazy to research and see if the situation in Zimbabwe is the same in Malawi. You would be pleased to know that it is not. There are not whites owning land in Malawi, the majority is owned by the State. So again, one has to ask what land reform President Banda would be carrying out, and why the donors in Malawi, who stick their long noses in everything are worried if them and their other kin do not own land in Zimbabwe. The answer is they are afraid that President Banda’s visit to Zimbabwe brought her closer to her own kind, which is the SADC region. Something that would spell doom for the donors in Malawi.

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