Accessibility links

More Commercial Farms Reported Invaded in Zimbabwe - 2001-09-14


In Zimbabwe, more commercial farms are reported to have been invaded by pro-government militants, and there have been more incidents of political intimidation. These developments come as President Robert Mugabe has signed an agreement to stop farm invasions and respect the rule of law.

Commercial farmers say that in the past two days there have been invasions of at least three more farms and a 30,000 acre forestry plantation owned by a Zimbabwean company has also been invaded.

But police on Friday denied that any new farm invasions have taken place and accused the farmers of lying.

About 2,000 farms have been invaded by pro-government militants in the last 18 months. At least 15 farmers and workers have been killed, while thousands of workers have been beaten and driven from their homes.

Zimbabwe's farmers are not the only ones affected by the violence. A supporter of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change has been murdered and a number of other MDC supporters severely beaten up at Chivu, 100 kilometers south of Harare, the capital.

A parliamentary election is scheduled for Chivu later this month and the MDC has accused militants of President Mugabe's ruling party of responsibility for the attacks.

Last week, at a meeting of several African leaders in Nigeria, Mr. Mugabe agreed to abide by a declaration that called for respecting the rule of law and an end to farm invasions.

Political analysts say Mr. Mugabe has in recent days been strongly criticized by southern African heads of state for what is happening in Zimbabwe.

The analysts say the leaders fear that Zimbabwe's economic and political crisis will affect them. Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans have fled to neighboring countries because of political violence and a drastic downturn in the economy.

XS
SM
MD
LG