"Mugabe and the White African" by Ben Freeth
Ben Freeth has an extraordinary story to tell. Like that of many white farmers in Zimbabwe, his family's land was "reclaimed" for redistribution by Mugabe's government.
But Ben's family fought back. Appealing to international law, they instigated a suit against Mugabe's government in the SADC, the Southern African equivalent of NATO. The case was deferred time and again while Mugabe's men pulled strings. But after Freeth and his parents-in-law were abducted and beaten within inches of death in 2008, the SADC deemed any further delay to be an obstruction of justice. The case was heard, and was successful on all counts.
But the story doesn't end there. In 2009 the family farm was burned to the ground. The fight for justice in Zimbabwe is far from over - this book is for anyone who wants to see into the heart of one of today's hardest places and how human dignity flourishes even in the most adverse circumstances.
You may have heard of the violence and corruption in Zimbabwe through the media and heard of the governments campaign to take farms from the white farmers who legally purchased the land almost always through force. But the media reports certainly do not tell the whole story of the disheartening corruption and violence that has occurred, nor do they provide a voice for those who have had their lives threatened and livelihoods taken away from them.
In Mugabe and the White African, Ben Freeth provides this voice by giving his chilling first-hand account. His story is one of incredible resolve, determination, strength and especially faith. To take a stand against a powerful dictator when most of your friends have lost their farms and many have lost their lives is something few people could do.
With forewords by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Archbishop of York Dr. John Sentamu, this book will give you a better understanding of the atrocities and indignities that are occurring in Zimbabwe while at the same time showing you what faith and courage is. This is book is both fascinating and heartbreaking, a page turner that will have you take pause to absorb how such violence and evil can exist in our world.
About the author
Ben Freeth, MBE, is a British-born Zimbabwean farmer. He has lived in Zimbabwe most of his life and is raising his three young children there, together with his wife Laura. Ben's story has already been the subject of an award-winning documentary which won Best Documentary 2009 (British Independent Film Awards), was nominated for the BAFTA Outstanding Debut Film 2010, and shortlisted for an Oscar in 2010.
The PBS debut of Mugabe and the White African, the award-winning documentary of the same name, was on July 26. Watch now at PBS: http://www.pbs.org/pov/mugabe/.
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