23 February 2023
In our executive director Ben Freeth’s latest newsletter from Zimbabwe, he writes that, with the excellent rains, the rivers are flowing and the dams are filling. The MCF hopes this year to produce enough free seed packs to donate to 15,000 desperate families across Zimbabwe who have no reliable income at a time when food inflation is the highest in the world and commercial seed is unaffordable. The MCF is gearing up towards our regular update event at the Royal Geographical Society in London on Tuesday 20 June. Please diarise the date. It will take place at a critical time ahead of Zimbabwe’s 2023 elections.
13 DECEMBER 2022
As Zimbabwe moves towards Christmas 2022, it is easy to look around at all the darkness and despair and to think: “Where is the light in the darkness? Where is hope in the despair?” However, at the end of the dry season, after over 6 months without a drop of rain, I was most struck this year at how the trees knew that the rain was coming and shed all of their old leaves. In the hot and dusty land, they drew from deep down beneath them enough moisture to produce new and shiny leaves in beautiful colours. Christmas is about drawing the truth from deep below the surface in a dry and barren land. Ben Freeth
17 November 2022
It is - and has been - a difficult and sensitive time as we head towards elections next year. The date has not been announced, but constitutionally they should be held by or before the end of July 2023. However, indications are that President Emmerson Mnangagwa may call early polls in March or April. Fear is very much on the rise as people get unjustly thrown into jail in the most awful of conditions. On the positive side, we distributed more of our free, open-pollinated seed this year than we ever have, giving 12,000 families the wherewithal to feed themselves throughout the year and also give out seed to their neighbours.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.