NEWSLETTERS

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27 May 2022

The MCF is delighted and so grateful to report that we won our appeal in South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein on 20 May 2022. The appeal was part of a claim by dispossessed Zimbabwean commercial farmers against the South African government for its role in unilaterally closing the regional human rights court, the SADC Tribunal, and thus denying us access to justice and compensation from the Zimbabwean government. The Appeal Court ruled that the South African Government was liable for damages caused to us who were then, as a result, unable to access the SADC Tribunal.  

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11 May 2022

The hearing of our case in South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein on 5 May went really well.  We are hopeful of a judgment shortly. Background:  With the assistance of South African civil rights group AfriForum, 25 dispossessed Zimbabwean farmers (11 farmers and 14 companies owned by those farmers) who lost their farms during the violent land seizures have cumulatively claimed close to R2bn damages after SA’s then-president Jacob Zuma signed a Southern African Development Community (SADC) resolution in 2014 that denied SADC citizens access to justice through the regional human rights court. 

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04 May 2022

The appeal for our case in South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein has finally been set down. It is a crucial case that is to decide the consequences of SA’s former president Jacob Zuma’s actions in being party to closing down the regional SADC Tribunal human rights court, denying the 300 million people of southern Africa access to justice when the justice systems in their own countries have failed them. If the court finds there is a damages claim by dispossessed Zimbabwean farmers that can be processed against the SA government, it will add huge impetus to the campaign to reopen the SADC Tribunal.   

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16 April 2022

A very happy Easter to you all.  We celebrate Easter with God’s message of resurrection, forgiveness and redemption.  It is a reminder of new life, new hope and new beginnings. This Easter, with the terrible war escalating in the Ukraine, we remember the courage of Bishop Kirill in Bulgaria during the Second World War.  This brave bishop walked to the front of a train transporting thousands of Jews to death camps and threatened to lie down on the tracks if the train moved. We also invite you to read a report back on our highly successful 10th anniversary event at the Royal Geographical Society in London on 30 March 2022.

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25 MARCH 2022

This is a reminder that there are only 5 days to go to our 10th Anniversary update event on Zimbabwe at the Royal Geographical Society in London on Wednesday 30 March 2022. Do book your tickets early so that you don’t miss out and please forward our invitation to any friends or colleagues who would be interested in attending.  Our keynote speaker is Advocate Nelson Chamisa, lawyer, pastor and leader of the main opposition in Zimbabwe who, despite being intensely persecuted (including a number of assassination attempts), is continuing courageously to mobilise people for change in his country.

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10 MARCH 2022

Please join us at the Royal Geographical Society in London on Wednesday 30 March 2022 to celebrate the exciting 10th Anniversary of the Mike Campbell Foundation and support our courageous and inspirational line-up of speakers. The Zimbabwean people are suffering greatly, but we don’t hear about this now because of the terrible war in the Ukraine. The theme of the evening is: “An exciting journey of hope: Stories from the past and a vision for Zimbabwe’s future” which will be discussed by the charismatic leader of the main opposition party, Nelson Chamisa, and his spokesperson, Advocate Fadzayi Mahere.

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23 FEBRUARY 2022 

To mark the 10th anniversary of the Mike Campbell Foundation, an update event on Zimbabwe will be held at the Royal Geographical Society in London on Wednesday 30 March, 2022. The theme is: “An exciting journey of hope: Stories from the past and a vision for Zimbabwe’s future.” The planned speaker line-up is Nelson Chamisa, the charismatic leader of the main Citizens Coalition for Change opposition party and his national spokesperson, Advocate Fadzayi Mahere, Ben Freeth, executive director of the Mike Campbell Foundation and Baroness Kate Hoey: member of the House of Lords in London. 

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14 FEBRUARY 2022 

The excellent award-winning documentary film President, which details the rigged 2018 Zimbabwean elections from within the campaign of the charismatic opposition MDC-Alliance party leader at the time, Nelson Chamisa, was screened on BBC Channel 4 on 9 February 2022. It was selected for the Storyville series, which showcases the best international documentaries. Camilla Nielsson, an acclaimed independent filmmaker, follows the buildup to the first elections since the ousting of Mugabe, the corruption involved in the electoral process itself, and the disappointing aftermath of ZANU-PF’s stolen victory. 

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3 December 2021

Ben Freeth reports in his latest newsletter from Harare that conditions continue to be tough and there’s a high level of despondency and frustration. He says “the country desperately need change, but it’s extremely difficult to achieve given the stranglehold that the regime has on the country and its citizens.” He notes that November marked four turbulent years since the 2017 de facto coup that catapulted Emmerson Mnangagwa to the presidency. His promise of a “new Zimbabwe” that is “open for business” remains unfulfilled. Ben also gives an update on the progress of the MCF’s projects in Zimbabwe.


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25 August 2021

Dear Colleagues and Friends

We apologise for the long delay since our last newsletter but it’s been a very challenging time for everyone.


Our chairman, Claire Freeth, became very ill and suffered from delirium as a result of severe pneumoniacaused by the exhaustion of my father’s degenerating condition. She was admitted to hospital, after whichshe needed two months of complete rest. Fortunately she’s now fully recovered, which is a great relief for usall.


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31 MARCH 2021 - Easter Newsletter 

Dear Friends


I am always amazed at the multiplying power of a single seed.
Whennurtured in the right conditions, it can transform itself and yield so verymightily.


Such is the case with our open-pollinated seed crops anddemonstration plots this year.


In fact, in one instance, one single maize plant, grown from just onesingle open-pollinated seed, has yielded five good cobs!
Each cob hasperhaps 200 or more kernels or seeds
on it.

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4 FEBRUARY 2021

Dear Friends


In the struggles of 2021 all over the world, I want to share a story of a friend and very brave younglawyer in Zimbabwe.


I have known Fadzayi Mahere for the last decade and more, when she took her first tentative steps asa lawyer defending human rights in the dark world of the Zimbabwe justice system.


I visited her when she went on and worked at the International Criminal Court in The Hague - butthen came home to Zimbabwe to face the horrors of being at the receiving end of the abuse herself.