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Home | ZimCrisis#96 -- Farmers Must Leave or Die

Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 13:24:20 -0700
To: "Zimbabwe Crisis Mailing List":;
From: Zimbabwe Crisis
Subject: ZimCrisis#96 -- Farmers Must Leave or Die

Zimbabwe's rulers have told at least 50 white farmers to pack up and leave within days - or face death.

Tension is rising in farming districts plagued by violent land occupations as President Robert Mugabe's government prepares to begin moving illegal squatters to 160 recently nationalised farms.

War veterans illegally occupying more than 1,700 farms say the redistribution is going too slowly and have said they will overrun homesteads, according to the Commercial Farmers' Union.

The occupiers have made death threats and vow to attack owners who refuse to abandon their properties.

About 50 farmers have received such threats in the past 48 hours and "it's spreading throughout the country," David Hasluck, director of the union, said.

"Farmers are being told to get off within days, or even hours, or be forced off. In some cases, farmers have been told they will be killed if they resist," he said.

"We are very concerned that unless the police act to deal with this issue over the weekend, there will be further anarchy and people will be hurt," he said.

A white farmer in Norton, 25 miles south-west of Harare, fled his property after private security guards were assaulted by squatters.

Robert Webb, a former head of the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association, received four death threats and shut down his tobacco farm northeast of the capital, Hasluck said.

Police have failed to curb most of the threats. Mugabe, who has described the occupations as a justified protest against unfair land ownership by whites, has ordered police not to intervene in the illegal occupations.

For more, visit http://ananova.com/go/33623

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Brief list of helpful sites on the issue:
- Zimbabwe Crisis mailing list archives -- http://www.niner.net/zimcrisis
- Comprehensive news updates -- http://www.1freespace.com/beetee
- Offers of and requests for help for Zimbabweans -- http://pub9.ezboard.com/boffersofhelp
- Commercial Farmers' Union -- http://www.mweb.co.zw/cfu
- Movement for Democratic Change -- http://www.in2zw.com/mdc
- Zimbabwe Democracy Trust -- http://www.zimbabwedemocracytrust.org
- BSAP Pursuit of Zimbabwean Criminals -- http://www.bsaphq.f9.co.uk