You are cordially invited to a lecture on the topic of
A Family’s Fight for Justice in Zimbabwe
Ben Freeth, MBE
Executive Director, Mike Campbell Foundation
Friday, October 24
The Institute of World Politics
1521 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Ben Freeth MBE, is the Executive Director of the Mike Campbell Foundation who was involved with the extensive agricultural enterprises on Mount Carmel farm in central Zimbabwe prior to its take-over by a senior ZANU PF politburo member. He studied at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester and worked on farms in New Zealand, Tasmania and subsequently Zimbabwe where he was appointed the first regional executive officer for the Commercial Farmers’ Union in 1996.
Together with his late father-in-law, Mike Campbell, the owner of Mount Carmel farm, he rose to international prominence in 2007 when they took President Mugabe’s government to court in the Southern African Development Community’s regional court, the SADC Tribunal. This was due to the regime’s ongoing attempts to unlawfully seize Mr Campbell’s farm; for violating the SADC Treaty by denying access to the courts; and for engaging in racial discrimination and violence against white commercial farmers and their farm workers. Mike and his wife and Ben were abducted and badly tortured in 2008 and later had their homes destroyed, with everything in them, by fire.
Mike and Ben’s lawsuit was chronicled in the award-winning 2009 documentary film Mugabe and the White African. Ben subsequently wrote a book, also titled Mugabe and the White African, and has recently completed a second book, When Governments Stumble: Lessons from Zimbabwe’s Past and Hope in Zimbabwe’s Future.
Through the Mike Campbell Foundation, Ben’s main focus is on restoring justice, the rule of law and human rights in Zimbabwe. For the past three years, Ben has been involved in a campaign to save the SADC Tribunal following concerted lobbying by President Mugabe which resulted in the Tribunal being shut down by the SADC Heads of State, thus denying individual citizens access to the court.
A committed Christian, Ben assists dispossessed and destitute farmers and farm workers. He works closely with Foundations for Farming in Zimbabwe, an organization which provides training in conservation agriculture and teaches impoverished farm workers and others how to feed their families.