Prinicples before profits in torture victim Ben Freeth's Zimbabwe plea
Torture victim Ben Freeth has called on multi-national companies
to put principle before profit when considering business in
The farmer, from Oad Street, Sittingbourne, was punished by
thugs for a historic legal victory over President Robert
Mike Campbell, father of Ben's wife Laura, had farmed
successfully for years and employed hundreds of loyal workers.
But he was assaulted at the same time and suffered 60 blows to
his head, wounds from which he died, aged 78, last April.
The Mike Campbell Foundation, launched last month at the Royal
Geographical Society, aims to help victims of crimes against
humanity, mainly in Zimbabwe, but also in the rest of Southern
Mr Freeth, who was awarded the MBE for his services to the
Zimbabwe farming community, claimed that multinationals were more
interested in money than morality.
He said: "For many multi-nationals, money comes before morality
and profits are far more important than principle. But when you
start to hit their pockets, then suddenly they become quite
Mr Freeth spelt out the consequences of the Zimbabwe
government's land grab policy.
Ben Freeth with
Archbishop of York John Sentamu at the Royal Geographical Society,
He said: "I come from a country that used to be the bread basket
of Africa - but when I go to the rural areas where that food was
produced I find only desolation, hunger, suffering and extreme
"We became the fastest shrinking economy in history in a peace
time situation. GDP per capita income more than halved. Production
plummeted - our wheat crop last year was a paltry 10,000 tons -
from over 300,000 tons 10 years ago - less than 5% of former times
and the lowest crop since 1907.
"Our maize crop this year will result in massive starvation for
the 10th year in a row unless the world feeds us yet again."
Guest speaker Archbishop Sentamu, who cut up his dog collar and
pledged not to wear it again until Mugabe was gone, applauded Ben's
courage: "May the present basket case become once again the bread
basket of southern Africa."
More details at www.mikecampbellfoundation.com.