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Land ownership and its reclaim are the next phases of Africa's struggle for total freedom. Do not now begin to sell off Africa to foreign landownership. No other continent does.

Does colonialism of a special continuing kind still pervade Africa to the extent that it could be stated that there is still no freedom in the land of Africa? Freedom is always associated with civil liberties but it is deeper than that. You cannot enjoy your civil liberties if you don't exercise ownership of the land in your own country. As the May issue of the NewAfrican magazine makes clear, "all over the world, land ownership is critically sensitive issue because of the connection between land, economic power and real freedom".

The Western world realized this a long time ago when they decided to invade other countries to seize their lands and when, if they were defeated later on in anti-colonial struggles, they created constitutional loopholes whereby the colonialists continued to hold on to that land even while losing political power. The whites in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Kenya, Zambia, Congo, Botswana etc continue to hold on to the land. The best pieces of land in these countries continue to be held by those who imposed colonialism centuries ago. Pieces of land may have transferred hands here and there, but the majority is still owned by whites.

This state of land ownership is not detectable in Western countries. There is no land in Britain, Germany, France, Japan, Canada, Australia, America, New Zealand etc that is owned by Africans or foreigners. China doesn't allow foreign land buyership or ownership. But China is buying or given huge pieces of land in Africa and elsewhere. Western countries have consigned their original aboriginal land holders to barren pieces of lands called reserves which still exist in the 21st century. Aboriginals have no freedom in the land in the Western world. Very soon, Africans will have no freedom in their own lands because colonial land ownership patterns and buyerships are pervasive.

The current issue of the NewAfrican magazine is devoted to the study and analysis of the deep crises in landownership in select African countries. The countries studied with significant lessons and application for all African countries are: Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Sudan. It makes for depressing but educative reading. There is a recent story in Choma in Southern Zambia where a white farmer is reported to have displaced villagers from a huge chunk of land by legal subterfuge. That story, if true, represents the tip of the iceberg concerning the still precarious lack of freedom in the land of Africa. If not true, it still raises tremors about the possibility of land alienation from its true owners in Africa.

Once land is grabbed in the colonial- style or sold in the capitalist -style, it rarely reverts back to its original owners. The Aboriginals in Canada, USA, Australia etc know this all too well. The Aboriginals in the whole of South America know this as well. That whole piece of continent is now owned by Portuguese and Spanish colonists. Africa conquered back some of its land during the anti-colonial struggles, albeit good and fertile pieces of it is still in the hands of the colonists and their progeny. Ninety percent of the land in Namibia is still owned by the colonists. Zimbabwe had to assert itself to reclaim some of the land.

Land ownership and its reclaim is the next phase of Africa's struggle for total freedom. Do not now begin to sell off Africa to foreign landownership. No other continent does this despite the enticements of silver and other wares which were the original causes of Africa's depopulation to the benefit of America and other countries. Our land is our last stand. No land no freedom.

* Munyonzwe Hamalengwa PhD’s in law is entitled, ‘The Prosecution of Apartheid Criminals in Canada’. He practised law in Canada from June 1989 to June 2015



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