Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Monday, June 21, 2004

Zim Property Rights Back-Track
Mugabe's government has back-tracked on recent statements of the nationalisation of all private land in Zimbabwe. "Citing a letter by foreign ministry official Joe Bimha to Zimbabwe embassies abroad, the Sunday Mail reported that the government would be nationalising only the land it had seized under its land reform programme."

"The correct position is that all land acquired under the current phase of the land reform programme now reposes to the state," Bimha was quoted as saying.

I wonder whether this was a unheralded triumph for Mbeki's quiet diplomacy. Coming so soon after Mbeki's meeting with the International Investment Council in Cape Town, one wonders if Mbeki knew that this development in Zimbabwe was just too expensive for our economy in terms of international investment, and whether some serious behind-the-scenes negotiation happened over the last few days...