Mike Campbell (farmer)

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William Michael Campbell (12 October 1932 – 8 April 2011) was a White farmer in Zimbabwe who became internationally known during the persecutions of Whites in Zimbabwe.

Campbell's family have been farmers in Africa since 1713. He was an early conservationist, concerned with maintaining the African wildlife. As well as farming, Campbell set up an extensive nature reserve on his property. The farm employed around 500 people and was a centre of agriculture, wildlife and tourism.

In 1999, 19 years after Zimbabwe's independence, the government declared that it had "no interest" in the farm and granted Campbell full ownership of the land. However, over the following decade, Zimbabwe's "land reform" gathered pace. Invaders gradually took over Campbell's farm; they burned down the safari lodge and farmstead, and killed all the cattle and wildlife on the farm. Malaria then spread into the region and killed 11 workers, as well as Campbell's pregnant daughter-in-law. Hundreds of Campbell's workers lost their jobs. Campbell's farm manager and other workers were arrested and tortured by the police after they attempted to defend the farm. Campbell, his wife, and son-in-law were violently assaulted in 2008. Campbell's family stated that he died from complications of the 2008 assault.

Campbell and his family became internationally known while attempting to legally challenge the persecutions, both in Zimbabwe and internationally, one effect being a 2008 formal victory at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal. However, this was in practice ignored in Zimbabwe, and increased extrajudicial persecutions. In 2011, the SADC Tribunal was in effect suspended at an "Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of SADC".

A court in South Africa in 2011 cleared the way for seized Zimbabwean government assets in Cape Town to be sold by auction to compensate three Zimbabwean farmers, including the late Mike Campbell.

Mugabe and the White African is a 2009 documentary on the events.

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