Wednesday, October 25, 2006

More white farmers face eviction in Zim

"....n September ZimOnline reported that the Zimbabwean government had renewed seizing white-owned farms, despite official statements that the process had ended.

"Your farm has been acquired by the government and we therefore request you to wind up your business before the start of the rainy season," Masvingo provincial governor Willard Chiwewe wrote to local farmer John Sparrow.

"You are advised to comply with this order since you risk being forcibly removed ... We also take this opportunity to tell you that you are not allowed to move out with any of your farming equipment," the letter added.

This was despite the government saying that farm evictions had ended as it was concentrating on raising production on land already acquired from whites.

Influential Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono, as well as vice-presidents Joseph Msika and Joice Mujuru, on separate occasions this year publicly called for an end to farm evictions.

A former official of the white-representative Commercial Farmers' Union in Masvingo, Mike Nickson, described the situation as unbearable. Farmers had no option but "to surrender our properties in order to save our lives", he added.

Under the government's land-seizure laws, a farmer cannot challenge the expropriation of his land by the government in court and faces jail for removing equipment from the farm. -- Sapa-AFP

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