Ben Freeth Visits Queens
On Friday, September 20, Queens will welcome Ben Freeth to campus. Freeth is a Britsh-born white Zimbabwean farmer and human rights activist from the district of Chegutu in Mashonaland West Province, Zimbabwe.
Freeth will discuss the collapse of Zimbabwe's economy and free markets when the country's property rights and rule of law were compromised. Freeth was one of the farmers whose property was destroyed after the government nationalized all property, putting thousands of farmers out of work and into poverty. He and his father-in law, Mike Campbell, had the largest mango farm in Zimbabwe - more than 3,000 trees, as well as a substantial lifetime investment in a game park. They employed hundreds of workers and created hundreds of other jobs through purchase of farm inputs. Freeth reached international recognition by fighting the government through the Zimbabwe court system and then the international courts in Southern Africa.
Freeth is a fascinating and compelling figure because of his willingness to endure physical harm and risk death in fighting for the principle of private property. A 2008 award winning documentary movie, "Mugabe and The White African" featured Freeth and Campbell.
Queens is honored to have Freeth on campus to discuss and think more deeply about the ongoing impact of regulations, diminishing credit worthiness and government expenditures, all of which chip away at some of our core principles regarding free markets and democracy.
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