Farmers forced to chant, dance, and flee

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


In the latest spate of government-tolerated invasions of white-owned farms in Zimbabwe, angry militants have apparently added a touch of ceremony to their takeovers. According to the SUNDAY-TIMES UK, an armed mob of so-called war veterans recently descended on Adrian Herud’s 3,000-acre farm and beat him unconscious. When he woke, they forced him to pen an apology to President Mugabe, then “frog-marched” him into his house to endorse the note with the official farm stamp.

“Then they made us go outside and chant Zanu-PF songs,” said Herud. “To my horror, they burst into the house again and dragged out my wife Marian and my manager’s wife. They were made to sing and dance with us.” Herud had called the police, but he said that when they finally arrived they shook hands with the war veterans and arrested no one.

The Heruds temporarily abandoned their farm and fled to South Africa. Other owners have been forced to sign documents surrendering their properties.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest