Zimbabwe ‘to prosecute 140 white farmers’

29-12-2008 | |

Zimbabwe will prosecute 140 white landowners on charges of failing to vacate their farms under the country’s controversial 2000 land reform programme, state media reported.

The government ordered the white owners to leave by September 30 to make way
for resettlement by landless blacks. 278 farms owned by 13 countries would be
spared from government seizure and prosecution under a Bilateral Investment
Protection Agreements (BIPAs).

Lack of skills
President Robert Mugabe’s programme, at least 4,000 properties formerly run by
white farmers have been seized for redistribution to blacks, the majority of
whom lacked the skills and means to farm.

The chaotic programme is held
largely responsible for the country’s economic crisis, which has saddled
Zimbabwe with the world’s highest inflation rate and left nearly half the
population in need of aid.

Mugabe, however, blames the food crisis on
successive droughts and Zimbabwe’s economic woes on Western-backed sanctions
slapped on him and his aides for allegedly rigging his re-election in

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