Old Mugabe Had a Farm

Karma made a visit to Zimbabwe, as Mugabe suddenly realizes that violent government takeover of white Zimbabwean farms six years ago might've been an ill-conceived idea.

Also... photos of Chavez-Mugabe thuglove here.

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Mugabe and the regime he

Mugabe and the regime he commands are appalling. But what makes you think that the white farmers in Zimbabwe have any legitimate claim to the land they're sitting on? Because the colonial government of Rhodesia stole it, fair and square?

Because the statute of

Because the statute of limitations on grand theft has expired. Or, if you prefer, because the quick-deed duration of five years has expired without contestation. Either-way, to make a system of land management work you have to have a way of proclaiming ownership. If you are going to divest the current owners of the past 50 years why not divest the previous owners? Farming has taken place in africa for thousands of years, I guarantee the land was taken many times through tribal warfare. What makes the most recent tribal confiscation less respectable than the previous ones?

It should also be pointed out that Mugabe didn't confiscate the land to be returned to the previous owners, which are often not known. Instead, he confiscated it and gave it to his political supporters. So, instead of undoing a prior confiscation, it has once again been confiscated in tribal warfare.

LoneSnark, I'm not defending

LoneSnark,

I'm not defending Mugabe's policies. I'm saying that the white planters -- who are overwhelmingly either robbers, the heirs of robbers, or people who knowingly bought land from robbers -- aren't in any moral position to complain about it.

LoneSnark: "Because the statute of limitations on grand theft has expired. Or, if you prefer, because the quick-deed duration of five years has expired without contestation."

What statute of limitations? What duration? Are these elements of positive law that the otherwise rightful owners of Zimbabwean land agreed to abide by, or are they numbers that you've made up for them? If the previous rightful owners can be identified then they have as good a right now as they did then unless they've agreed to quitclaim their interest in it. If they cannot, then that only makes the farmland unowned land available for homesteading. It does not make it the respectable personal fief of the robber.

LoneSnark: "Either-way, to make a system of land management work you have to have a way of proclaiming ownership."

Here's one: the land to the people who till it.

Feudal land-claims granted by the Rhodesian government do not confer any legitimate ownership, so the land either rightly belongs to the people who owned it before it was stolen (if they can be identified) or to the people who have homesteaded it by cultivating it with their labor. On large plantations with many farmworkers, that means that the greater part of the land rightly belongs to the farmworkers, not to the planter. The planter has at the most a claim to the share of the land that he personally occupies or has cultivated.

I think you have missed a

I think you have missed a step here. This land was not being share-cropped. These were modern mechanized farms. The owners lived on the land, drove the tractor, and worked the land. They did often hire a lot of help, how could you not with such cheap labor, but there never was a question who worked what.

"If the previous rightful owners can be identified then they have as good a right now as they did then unless they’ve agreed to quitclaim their interest in it."
Like I said, in many of the siezures the "rightful owners" was not known, not clear, or a down-right fraud. Very few of the white farmers or their ancestors had stolen the land but bought it from legal title-holders. Whether the sale was legal or not was an issue that should have been raised at that time.

As for the statements I made, yes, those numbers were taken out of the air. I was listing the elements of Land ownership here in the feudal land system of North Carolina, U.S.A. Our land registry is very fluid and immense weight is given to posession and litigation. If I feel my land has been stolen by another, then I take him to court, the judge will decide who's deed/claim is valid. Often times the judge will allow the tresspasser to buy the land at a reduced price or let the true owner buy the improvements made upon the land by the tresspasser (my tractor, installed irrigation system, housing, electrical wiring, storage shed, etc). We do this because you own your efforts and it is not right for you to not be compensated, even if you were wrong to believe the land was yours.

But that is not what happened here, the executive branch seized my land and gave it to some croney, someone that had never set foot on the land before. No recompense was given to the new owners which had markedly improved the land.