Monday, 3 February 2003

The land issue

Of course I have great sympathy with Mark Ford whose father was murdered in Zimbabwe. Mr Ford has criticised Tory MSP, Bill Aitken, for stating about the new Scottish land law that:
"This type of legislation has no place in modern Scotland. It will have a dreadful effect not only on those living in rural areas, but on city dwellers whose hard-earned tax will be used to pay for this Mugabe-style land grab."
Mr Ford says:
"In Zimbabwe, farmers aren't being compensated . . . farms are basically being stolen," he said. "I don't see that happening in Scotland. It's a democracy and things will be done fairly and monitored by independent people."
Well, yes, it is true that the Scottish law has been brought in by a democratically elected parliament and that displaced property owners will be compensated, but the law is still wrong.

Back to Africa:

However, John Worswick, vice-chairman of Justice for Agriculture, an organisation set up to defend the rights of farmers in Zimbabwe, said the government was using Scotland's land bill to legitimise its own land reform programme.
The Zimbabwe government is using the Scottish law to defend its own land grabs. We should be ashamed to be in this position.