Zimbabwe | Seeking greener fields in UK

Eighteen of the newly created plots last month were offered to members of Zimbabwe’s national soccer team, with promises of more to come if their successes continued with qualification for the African Nations Cup finals (accomplished) and the World Cup (mathematically still eligible) (Andrew Meldrum,Zimbabwe Rewards Soccer Heroes with Cleared Land,” Guardian, Aug 20). Several members of the Warriors were affected by the land-clearing, yet Zimbabwe Football Association chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze remarked, “We can’t have our ambassadors living in slums and shacks.” None of the recently disappeared players was in the lineup for Zimbabwe’s most recent World Cup qualifier, so we do not know if they would have been in line for housing. It seems unlikely now. But they might be in a position to better appreciate the ironic voice of Musaemura Zimunya‘s “Hooray for Freedom“:

After nine years of singing

nyika iyi ndeyedu vatema

‘Avaunt, you suckers of our sweat!’

we wake up to find

an invasion of farmlands

by big black aristocrats

benzocrats and brothermen

with independence torches

burning down squatter villages.

Hooray for freedom!

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  1. The Global Game | Showing Mugabe the red card proves a difficult trick:

    [...] schemes that have displaced hundreds of thousand of political opponents, primarily in cities (see 29 Sept 05). Plots of reclaimed land were offered to Zimbabwe’s national football team in 2005 following [...]

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