Even before a gang of heavily armed men burst into his house and forcibly evicted him from his land, farming had become a hazardous business for Malcolm Clark, a 66-year old Zimbabwean who has made his living as a farmer since 1962.
During the last two years electricity shortages have made it virtually impossible to irrigate, reducing output at the 92-hectare holding north of Harare where Mr Clark cultivated a range of vegetables and seeds.
“I didn’t think I would survive,” said Mr Clark describing last month’s attack, which farmers’ organisations say forms part of a “final push” by supporters of President Robert Mugabe to drive the country’s remaining 700 commercial white farmers from their land.
Attacks and legal actions – Mr Clark was accused in September of illegally occupying the land and must appear in court to hear the eviction order against him – are on the increase.
It bears asking anew: In this context, how can any governing coalition that leaves Robert Mugabe in power be countenanced by Zimbabweans and by the international community at large? If Morgan Tsvangirai thinks that sanctions against Zimbabwe will or should go away merely because he is prime minister, he will likely have another think coming. Having the Movement for Democratic Change in power is useless so long as these land grabs–and the brutality that accompanies them–continue.