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Zim: Its not over: Mugabe to make land grabs easier

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  • pbs@iafrica.com
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2003
      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
      process".

      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
      government gazette.

      "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
      stating.

      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.

      Source: IOL
      URL:




      http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=68&art_id=qw107028108724B251&set_id=1
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