Mugabe lists white farms

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The Independent Online
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has vowed to press ahead with a controversial land reform plan which he believes is crucial for social justice. The government will today publish a list of 1,503 farms which it has earmarked for compulsory purchase from white commercial farmers to resettle landless peasants. Mr Mugabe has said he would pursue the programme even after Britain's refusal to fund it.

Although Mr Mugabe hinted he might be able to modify the plan, political analysts said he seemed determined to put up a show and to boost his popularity with peasants.

Observers have warned that a quick and massive change in land ownership would severely affect agricultural output, which contributes 40 per cent of Zimbabwe's export receipts and 60 per cent of inputs to its manufacturing sector. Mr Mugabe has not said when he would take control of the farms. But in October he said this would happen "in the year of our Lord 1997".