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The Mike Campbell Foundation

MCF co-ordinator at a training plot on a mission farm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

History

The Mike Campbell Foundation was formed in 2011 to honour the courage of a Zimbabwean commercial farmer and conservationist, the late Mike Campbell, and to continue his vital work under the leadership of his son-in-law, Ben Freeth MBE.  Mike and Ben, together with 78 other displaced and dispossessed commercial farmers who joined the landmark case, took President Mugabe to the regional court of the Southern African Development Community, the SADC Tribunal, in 2007 over the Zimbabwe government’s controversial land seizure programme. 

The violent land invasions, which began in February 2000 and still continue 15 years later, have led to countrywide starvation, the displacement and victimisation of hundreds of thousands of former farm workers and others, and the virtual collapse of the agro-based economy. More than a quarter of the population is estimated to have fled.

On 29 June 2008, Mike (75), his wife Angela and Ben were abducted, brutally assaulted by militia, and forced to sign a document stating they would withdraw from the SADC Tribunal court case.  The Tribunal subsequently ruled that the land invasions were illegal and racist, and that the farmers could keep their farms.  However, the victimisation accelerated and Mike’s Mount Carmel farm was razed to the ground.  In April 2011, Mike died from injuries sustained during the abduction.

 

Structure

The Mike Campbell Foundation was formed shortly after Mike's death and was registered as a charity in the United Kingdom.  The Foundation comprises Executive Director Ben Freeth, the Chairman, Claire Freeth, and a Board of Trustees.  The distinguished Patrons are Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, and Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town.

  

Mike Campbell Foundation

Goals and activities

The goals of the Foundation are to restore justice, the rule of law and property rights in Zimbabwe and to eliminate the brutal human rights infringements that coontinue to take place.

The Foundation supports victims of abuse, notably destitute farm workers. As funds become available, the Foundation arranges for them to attend a practical zero-tillage conservation agriculture course developed by Foundations for Farming, a remarkable Christian organisation. Seed packages are also provided, enabling the farm workers to feed their families for a full year.

The Foundation works with the local and international media to raise the profile of the ongoing Zimbabwean crisis, human rights abuses and the blatant violations of the rule of law and property rights.

The Foundation continues to work towards the reinstatement of the SADC Tribunal, which was unilaterally closed down by the SADC Heads of State in August 2011 at the instigation of President Mugabe.  The Tribunal provided SADC citizens with a platform to seek justice and hold their governments to account when their human rights had been violated and legal remedies within their own countries had been exhausted.  

The Foundation endeavours to assist vulnerable rural communities, raise awareness within the region and internationally of the dangers they face, and support initiatives to protect the rural vote. The Foundation continues with its humanitarian and justice projects, as well as its conservation agriculture training.

The Foundation is committed to raising awareness, funding interventions and achieving  justice by ensuring that perpetrators of human rights are held accountable for their actions.

For more information, please visit: http://www.mikecampbellfoundation.com/

Registered Charity No. 1144943