Zimbabwe starts to expel whites
- Mugabe slams Jews, tells whites to leave Zimbabwe
September 01 2001 at 01:01PM
Harare - President Robert Mugabe has accused Jews of trying to shut down
businesses in Zimbabwe and said it would be "a good thing" if white
industrialists left, the state-controlled press reported on Saturday.
"Jews in South Africa, working in cahoots with their colleagues here,
want our textile and clothing factories to close down. "They want
Zimbabwe and Bulawayo to remain with warehouses to create business for
South African firms," he said.
Mugabe was speaking on Friday at a textile company, owned by a prominent
Jewish family in the western city of Bulawayo.
'Open your eyes and tell us which companies are closing'
It went into liquidation earlier this year and the company attempted to
relocate to neighbouring Botswana because of harsh business conditions
However, the move was stopped about three months ago when a band of
so-called war veterans invaded the factory and assaulted directors at a
Mugabe drew accusations of anti-Semitism in 1992 when he declared that
white farmers were "hard-hearted, you would think they were Jews." He
refused to apologise.
Mugabe on Friday urged workers at the factory to monitor companies and
to inform the government of their activities.
"We want you to be inspectors," he said. "Listen to all factory
rumours, open your eyes and tell us which companies are closing. Tell
us in good time.
"Yes, there are hardships, but if they (whites) leave, it's a good
thing, because we will take over the companies."
In an impromptu speech in the city centre, he urged people to back his
bid to seize white-owned land and declared: "To those of you who support
whites, we say down with you."
About 400 businesses closed down in Zimbabwe in the first six months of
the year, according to official statistics, amid escalating economic