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'White African' Zimbabwe Farm Activist Mike Campbell Dead at 78

Mike Campbell on his Mount Carmel Farm, 2008

Just this week, Campbell launched another court action seeking to compel Southern African heads of state, including President Mugabe, to restore the functions of the SADC tribunal, suspended after ruling for Campbell

Zimbabwean white commercial farmer Mike Campbell, who made international headlines with his determined legal struggle to recover property seized under the controversial land reform program, died Wednesday in Harare at the age of 78.

His family said Campbell died of the injuries he sustained when he was abducted and tortured in 2008 by suspected liberation war veterans during the seizure of his farm in Mount Carmel, Chegutu, Mashonaland West province.

Campbell along with other dispossessed white farmers won an order from the Southern Namibian-based African Development Community tribunal for the restoration of their property. But the Harare government then refused to honor that the ruling.

Just this week, Campbell had launched another legal action seeking to compel the SADC heads of state, including President Mugabe, to restore the functions of the tribunal, which was suspended following the ruling in favor of the white farmers.

Campbell’s story was related in the documentary film “Mugabe and the White African.”

He leaves three children and five grandchildren.

His son-in-law Ben Freeth told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that despite Campbell’s death, legal efforts to obtain the return of seized land will continue.