Mike Campbell, the central figure of Mugabe and the White African, legally bought Mount Carmel farm from the Zimbabwean government after Zimbabwe won its independence. He moved to the farm and planted it with corn and mangos for crops, as well as stocked it with game, and eventually opened a safari lodge on the land. In 1997, the farm was listed for government acquisition as part of a land reform program. Mike Campbell took Robert Mugabe and the Zimbabwean government to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) tribunal to challenge the land reform program.
Angela Campbell, Mike Campbell’s wife, moved to Mount Carmel with her husband after they bought the land. She continued to stand by her husband and live on the farm despite threats of violence.
Ben Freeth, a son-in-law of Mike Campbell, lives on Mount Carmel farm and accompanied Campbell to the SADC tribunal, hoping to save their farm.
Laura Freeth, daughter of Mike and Angela Campbell and wife to Ben Freeth, ran her own linen business on Mount Carmel farm, employing the women who lived on the farm land.
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the opposition party to Zimbabwe African National Union — Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), was formed in the late 1990s. The party’s leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, has stood as the most formidable challenger to Mugabe for the past 10 years.
Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe and first his Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) party and later his Zimbabwe African National Union — Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party have been in power since 1980. Mugabe led guerilla fighters during the battle for independence, and after the white colonial rule fell, he was hailed as a hero and quickly rose to power. After becoming prime minister in 1980, Mugabe changed the national constitution in order to name himself executive president in 1987. During Mugabe’s 31-year term in Zimbabwe’s government, the country has been plagued with violence, economic crisis, famine and a cholera epidemic. Mugabe’s controversial land redistribution program has been charged with being racist and corrupt for taking land solely from white farmers and giving it to government friends and relations.
Southern African Development Community (SADC)
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is a coalition of 15 member states (Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe) formed for the purpose of ensuring economic well-being, as well as improving the lives of people living in southern Africa. The SADC has eight working institutions, including a tribunal. The SADC tribunal presided over Mike Campbell’s case against Mugabe.
As leader of the MDC, or Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai has been Mugabe’s primary political challenger in recent years. Tsvangirai was charged with treason twice in the early 2000s, once during a week of opposition protests and another time over an alleged plot to kill Mugabe. International outrage that arose over violence and vote-rigging during the 2008 elections and subsequent run-off between Mugabe and Tsvangirai ended when Tsvangirai was named prime minister of Zimbabwe and established a power-sharing government with Mugabe. In March 2011, Tsvangirai stated that the government was useless because of ZANU-PF violence and disregard for the power-sharing measures put into place. (Photo: Harry Wad)
Zimbabwe African National Union — Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF)
Zimbabwe African National Union — Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) was formed in 1988 when, after much violence in the southern areas of Zimbabwe from 1982 to 1987, Mugabe, then the leader of Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), and Joshua Nkomo, the leader of the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU), merged their political parties. At the time, ZANU had controlled the Zimbabwean government since it was established in 1980, and ZANU-PF continued to dominate national politics until the 2008 elections.