White farmers thrive in Zambia years after driven from Zimbabwe


— Doug Stanley loves the
smell of freshly turned earth. The site of his harvest makes
it all worth the hard work. Farming is in his blood.
Now, he’s working in Zambia, having been driven off
his farm in Zimbabwe by supporters of President
Robert Mugabe 14 years ago. — I bought my farm
after independence, you know, and I got clearance
from the government to say that they weren’t
interested in that land, and then… You know, to be told to move along. You know, it’s quite a thing, and
you do all that development, and… It was my home. — 4,000 white farmers
were forced off the land, damaging Zimbabwe’s
agriculture industry. Its main export crop, tobacco, has
almost recovered, but the maize harvest, which has also been hit by years of
drought, remains too low to feed the nation. — People are dying of starvation. There’s no food. You know, we are now living in Zambia
and there’s quite a few Zimbabwean farmers here in Zambia, and we’re actually exporting
food to Zimbabwe. — Zambia isn’t the only country
benefiting from the Zimbabwean farmers’ expertise. Many are in South Africa,
Botswana and Mozambique, too. — I know that there are some ministers on
the farm, but we actually drove through Zimbabwe 5 years ago, and drove onto the farm, and there was absolutely
nothing happening on the farm. — It wasn’t only the white
farmers who were affected, their workers also suffered. Paul remembers living in
fear of Mugabe’s supporters on the farm he fled, just
before it was seized. He’s also still hurt by what happened. — A country is not about
white, black, coloured, Indian. We are [the] same. So, like the government of Zimbabwe, what they did to say, ‘We are taking farms from white,’
they were totally wrong. — There are Zimbabweans
who disagree. Many say they have benefited
from the government’s reforms. But they were devastating for those
forced off the land they had invested time, money, and so much more in. — You know, we don’t
belong anywhere. We’re like a lost tribe. — They are making a positive contribution
in other countries, but it isn’t the same, because it is at home. Tania Page, Al Jazeera, Zambia.

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