Ben Freeth MBE
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’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.
After qualifying as a solicitor, Alastair spent 40 years as a lawyer, first in private practice then in commerce and industry, spending more than 25 years in the health care and pharmaceutical industry, with responsibility for the provision of legal services primarily in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He retired in 2001.
In 1995, Alastair visited Zimbabwe and came away with memories of a beautiful, resource-rich country which, after independence, seemed to have developed a harmonious balance between its various peoples. Appalled by the Mugabe regime’s destruction of the lives and livelihoods of so many people, without regard to basic human rights, and without recourse under the law, he joined the MCF.
Zach spent 30 years in army, rising to Lieutenant Colonel, and was subsequently appointed Director of the Kent Association for the Blind. A keen sportsman who made his mark as an army downhill skier, he captained the British Ski Team in 1967/68 and was Head of the British Delegation for two Winter Paralympics (1992 and 1994).
After Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain in 1980, he became a member of the British Military Advisory and Training Team for Zimbabwe (1982-1984) and helped to set up the Staff College. He later assisted in the management of a farm in the Matepatepa district and, after 2000, experienced the trauma and chaos of the farm invasions first-hand.
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 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 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 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 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.
My connection with the Freeth family began many years ago with the Laura’s Linens project, a women’s upliftment initiative for the wives of farm workers on Mount Carmel farm in Zimbabwe. This was set up by Laura, Ben Freeth’s wife, and I’ve had a heart for Zimbabwe ever since.
I am a Christian at a local Baptist Church and have been working with finance since I was 16. I believe it is a gift I have been blessed with and I am delighted to be able to use my financial and organisational skills to assist the Mike Campbell Foundation. I am married to Stan and my son is planning a career in motorsport.
Dr John Sentamu
Archbishop of York Patron
Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, 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….”
Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town - Patron
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is respected internationally as one of the world’s most prominent religious leaders. Although retired from the public spotlight, Archbishop Tutu remains one of South Africa’s most revered human rights advocates. He is also a Nobel Prize laureate through his contributions to the fight against Apartheid and drive for reconciliation.
He has spoken out repeatedly against the injustices in Zimbabwe. In 2007, after the brutal assault on people en route to a public prayer meeting in Harare, he said Africa leaders should hang their heads in shame for what has happened in the country. In 2011, he castigated the regional Heads of State for their unilateral closure of the SADC Tribunal regional court.