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Zimbabwe farmer Ben Freeth film to get airing at London Film Festival tonight

Sorry, this video asset has been removed.

Video: Ben Freeth talks
about the film and the horrors he has faced in Zimbabwe

by Jo Sword

A film about Zimbabwe featuring former Kent
resident Ben Freeth gets its first screening tonight at The London
Film Festival.

‘Mugabe and The White African’ was filmed in
secret in the country and sees Ben Freeth take the former dictator,
Robert Mugabe, to court.

Originally a Sittingbourne resident, Mr Freeth
moved to the African country to work on a farm, but for the past 12
years has suffered at the hands of Mugabe’s regime.

Mr Freeth says one of the worst attacks
was last year: “My father-in-law, my mother-in-law and myself were
abducted and taken away. We were beaten with rifle butts and had
about 20 weapons trained on us.”

Video: Trailer for the film Mugabe and the
White African. Courtesy Arturi Films

He paints a shocking picture of what life was
like for white farmers in the country if they didn't do what Mugabe
wanted. His loyalists "would surround a farmer's house, they would
beat up various workers, they would beat drums all night long so
the family couldn’t sleep at night, they would break into houses.
Basically bring a reign of absolute terror.

“More than 90 per cent of farmers and their
workers have been forced to flee their homes through this kind of
terror process and it continues to this day.

Zimbabwean farmer Ben Freeth and his wife Laura
Zimbabwean farmer Ben Freeth and his wife Laura

“We have just ended up with our houses being
burnt down over the past couple of months along with the linen
factory, my parents-in-law’s house has been burnt down, all my
crops have been stolen.”

Despite all of this he will be heading back to
Zimbabwe following the promotion of the film.

Mr Freeth says it is really important that
people outside Zimbabwe understand what is going on, which is why
he agreed to do the film:

“The Western World has got huge power to
influence for the good countries like Zimbabwe, where there is no
rule of law, there is no democracy, where human rights have taken a
back seat and it is up to us, as people who care about a future, to
mobilise support to bring back the rule of law.”

Earlier this month he travelled to the White
House to urge President Barack Obama to put pressure on Zimbabwe to
push forward political reform.

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