GET TO KNOW OUR TEAM

Ben Freeth MBE

Executive Director

Ben Freeth MBE became the first regional executive officer of the Commercial Farmers’ Union in Zimbabwe in 1996 and worked closely with the large-scale commercial farmers and subsistence farmers in the communal areas. He assisted his father-in-law, Mike Campbell, on Mount Carmel farm, which became the largest mango estate in the country with an EU-accredited pack shed.

 

Mike and Ben took President Mugabe’s government to the Southern African Development Community’s regional court, the SADC Tribunal, for the takeover of the farm by a senior ZANU PF politburo member.  

 

They won the case, Mike Campbell (Pvt) Ltd and Others v Republic of Zimbabwe, but still lost the farm.

 

A family man, adventurer and lover of the outdoors 

 

Claire Freeth
Chairman

Claire’s commitment to helping destitute farmers, farm workers and their families in Zimbabwe culminated in her setting up the Mike Campbell Foundation as a UK-based charity in 2011.  Before this, she assisted with various initiatives in the UK on an informal basis, including giving presentations and speaking at events to raise awareness of the plight of vulnerable Zimbabweans. 

Prior to mid 2009, when Mike Campbell and his family were finally forced to leave Mike’s Mount Carmel farm, Claire helped her daughter-in-law, Laura, with the marketing of a hand-embroidery project that Laura had set up in 2001 to provide employment for the wives of farm workers on Mount Carmel and the surrounding farms. 

Robert Ridgway

Trustee

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Robert spent all of the 44 years of his career on aid work in and for developing countries across Africa and Asia.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and his doctorate research was on the use of early space photography for natural resources management.  He has been employed long-term by the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the UN, and latterly as a staff member of the University of Greenwich’s Natural Resources Institute.  The focus of much of his work has been advising overseas governments on land reform methods beneficial to their rural areas, a subject close to the heart of MCF’s commitment to the people of Zimbabwe.

Elize Angula

Trustee

Elize Angula is a Director and Legal Practitioner at AngulaColeman in Windhoek, Namibia.  She holds a B. Proc degree and was admitted as legal practitioner of the High Court of Namibia in 1998. She was President of the Law Society of Namibia for the year 2005/2006.

Elize has been a Board Member of the Freedom Under Law Trust, an independent international organisation which seeks to promote the rule of law in southern Africa, and is a Trustee of the Legal Assistance Centre. She serves as a Member of the Lands Tribunal, Ministry of Land and Resettlement and in 2012 was appointed to the Judicial Service Commission. She is also experienced in international tribunal litigation, having practiced in the SADC Tribunal.

Max Perkin

Trustee

Max is a strategy and management consultant within the Financial Services industry based in London. Prior to this he was on staff at Holy Trinity Brompton, establishing a fully sustainable social enterprise in West London, responsible for business strategy and development. Max holds a BA in History from the University of Exeter where he specialised in sub-Saharan, post-colonial history.

 

By chance, Max has found himself in Zimbabwe over both the 2008 and 2013 elections, firstly as a volunteer for MCF partner – Foundations for Farming – and subsequently on a fundraiser driving from Africa’s most northern to southern points. His year spent in Zimbabwe (2007-08) was the start of a long-standing commitment to serve the people and see the rule of law established.

Rosemary Summerfield

Trustee

Rosemary has spent most of her life abroad but completed her education in England. After graduating from London University with a B.Ed degree, she embarked on a 25-year teaching career, teaching mainly primary school children.

 

She returned to academia to do postgraduate study, gaining an M.A. (University of Bath) and M.Ed. (University of Bristol). Her particular interest is in the area of homework and teachers’ perceptions of homework.

 

Rosemary is passionate about children’s well-being in the developed and developing world and has a particular interest in supporting children in Africa.

 

She has volunteered in several capacities in her local community and at church. She is a member of Christian Concern for Our Nation and Theos, a UK-based religion and society think-tank. 

Jon Webb-Peploe

Trustee

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Jon is an experienced business professional who has grown sales, cut costs and stimulated innovation for small enterprises and large corporations across a variety of markets and industries, in the UK and other countries. He is currently Enterprise Account Executive at Apple. Prior to joining Apple, Jon worked at Cisco for five years. He has co-founded and managed two small businesses, and undertaken roles in product management, operations, business development and sales, in the financial services, telecommunications, oil and gas and pharmaceutical industries. Jon has an MBA with distinction from the University of Bath.

 

He provides hands-on support to a small number of charities that he cares passionately about. He believes that the vision and goals of the MCF are vital for justice and hope in the future of Zimbabwe and beyond.

Luke Hardingham

Trustee

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Luke is currently a trainee solicitor based in London, with experience in white collar crime, property law and financial regulation. Luke’s MA in Classics consisted of three years at the University of Edinburgh and a year at the University of Chicago. He also holds an LL.M (post graduate degree) having subsequently spent two years at law school.

 

Luke’s interest in Zimbabwe was sparked during his teenage years on hearing Ben Freeth speak about the systemic injustice that has plagued the nation and the suffering that has inevitably followed. Before becoming a trustee, Luke was involved with the MCF in a volunteering capacity, organising events and rallying people around the charity’s cause. Luke and his wife, Amy, spent time in Zimbabwe over the summer of 2018 and have been deeply stirred to see a future where the rule of law would be established and the people enabled to flourish.

Hayley Kemsley 

Bookkeeper

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Hayley has more than 22 years of experience in accountancy and bookkeeping and has been a fully qualified Chartered Accountant since 2001.  She spent the first 17 years of her career at an established accountancy practice, managing both a vast portfolio of clients, as well as a team of staff. As a department, they supported their clients, including several established charities, with all aspects of their internal accounting processes and compliance.

Although Hayley’s current role within MCF is primarily to undertake the bookkeeping and all other finance related tasks, it is her hope to increase her general involvement in the charity in the future. Hayley has previously travelled to several areas of Tanzania and Kenya and hopes one day to visit Zimbabwe to see for herself the incredible work that MCF undertakes. 
 

Archbishop John Sentamu 

 Patron

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Dr John Sentamu, who retired as Archbishop of York on 7 June 2020, is originally from Uganda. He studied law in Kampala before becoming an advocate of the Supreme Court of Uganda. Speaking out against the regime of President Idi Amin, he was briefly imprisoned before fleeing in 1974 to the United Kingdom, where he devoted himself to Anglicanism. In 2005 he was appointed Archbishop of York.

Speaking at the launch of the Mike Campbell Foundation on March 14, 2012, Dr Sentamu said, “In the face of evil, we must strive to do good...  The existence of dictatorship and oppression, wherever it occurs in the world, is an affront to God, humanity and the principles of Democracy and the Rule of Law….”
 

General Lord Dannatt

 Patron

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I am honoured to become a Patron of the Mike Campbell Foundation as I strongly support the incredibly brave work being undertaken by Ben Freeth and all those involved with the Foundation in Zimbabwe. Their stand for upholding the law and civil rights is a beacon of hope in a country still beset by corruption and the misuse of power.  Through the work of the Mike Campbell Foundation and other like-minded people, I hope and pray that better times will return soon to the people of Zimbabwe.

Desmond Tutu
Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town 

TRIBUTE TO OUR LATE PATRON

The Mike Campbell Foundation is deeply saddened by the passing of our patron, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, on 26 December 2021. He was a great support to our foundation and always spoke out against the gross injustices in Zimbabwe. He censured former President Mugabe for turning his country into a “basket case” and criticised South Africa for being too soft on him. In 2012, Archbishop Tutu led a campaign to stop the SADC Heads of State from closing down the regional human rights court, the SADC Tribunal, so that the rule of law, development and human rights would be protected throughout the region. Although the SADC Tribunal was unilaterally shut down, the MCF is continuing with initiatives to achieve its reinstatement. To read one of the international obituaries , click HERE.