It’s Complicated

This film sucks, by the way.

It seems like the media is beginning to wise up to something I’ve argued repeatedly in the past: the situation in Zimbabwe is far more complicated than the “hell on earth, blame Mugabe” narrative that has dominated popular coverage of the country over the last five to ten years.

The BBC is giving coverage to an IDS report which suggests that land reform is not only not an unmitigated failure, but it’s also far less corrupt and politically involved than popularly believed.

Amazing what a little dispassionate analysis can reveal, isn’t it? Mugabe is so distasteful that we all want him to be the fount and sustenance of all of Zimbabwe’s woes, but thinking so does no justice to the immense difficulties of its particular historical circumstances nor our own complicity (through the structural adjustment of Zimbabwe – a policy that worked in some places but should never have gone near Zimbabwean export industries) in the decimation of one of Africa’s most promising economies.

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