Zim: Its not over: Mugabe to make land grabs easier
- From: WWW.AfricanCrisis.Org
[Note. They took 90%+ of the white commercial farm land - inflation is at
around 1,000% and rising - half the country lives on food donated by the
UN - and Mr Mugabe wants MORE!!!! Jan]
Harare - Zimbabwe wants to amend its Land Act to make it easier for
President Robert Mugabe's government to forcibly acquire white-owned
farms for redistribution among blacks, the official Herald newspaper
reported on Monday.
The paper said the amendments were meant to "consolidate the gains of
land reform and remove remaining bottlenecks in the acquisition
A major amendment would be the abolition of a requirement that the
initial notice of acquisition should be served personally upon the owner
of the land to be acquired. The notice would now simply be published in a
"This (earlier) provision has proved difficult to implement under the
land reform programme because often the owner no longer occupies the land
and cannot otherwise be located," the Herald quoted the amendment bill as
Mugabe stirred controversy in 2000 when he allowed militants loyal to his
ruling Zanu-PF party to occupy white-owned farms in support of his
government's land reforms.
He says land reform is meant to correct ownership imbalances created by
colonialism, which put the bulk of Zimbabwe's prime farm land in the
hands of minority whites.
The government has previously accused white farmers of resorting to legal
technicalities to slow down its compulsory acquisition of their property
under the programme.
Critics say that although land reform has benefited thousands of
peasants, it was government ministers and senior officials from Mugabe's
ruling Zanu-PF government who seized the most productive farms.
Aid agencies say disruption to agricultural activity caused by the farm
seizures is partly to blame for chronic food shortages likely to affect
more than five million Zimbabweans by year-end.
Mugabe, 79, denies that skewed government policies have ravaged the
economy, but says it has been sabotaged by his local and foreign critics
in retaliation for the land programme.