Mugabe says seized farms have been under-used
Thursday 12 June 2008
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, seeking to keep power in a June 27 election run-off, has conceded that beneficiaries of his farm seizures are using less than half the land and threatened to take it off them.
Critics say the veteran leader has used the land reforms to help sustain his 28-year rule, rewarding supporters with fertile farms seized from whites - although many are ill-equipped to properly engage in agriculture.
The official Herald newspaper quoted Mugabe as saying only 42 per cent of the land was under full use and renewing threats to re-possess farms that were not being properly used in a country suffering food shortages and economic collapse.
"We would soon ask people who are not utilising their land to retire from the A2 (large-scale commercial) farms we allocated them," Mugabe told business leaders and government officials.
"There are people who took up land for status purposes and we want to advise them that they are not farmers, but settlers. We do not want settlers, we will get that land and give it to people who deserve it," he said.
Mugabe has previously threatened to reposess farms from those failing to produce. But critics question whether he would and point out that the government is still giving cheap fuel, seed and fertilisers to a few farmers from Zimbabwe's elite.
What was once southern Africa's breadbasket has been grappling with food shortages since 2001, worsening an economic meltdown that Mugabe's opponents blame on his policies. Zimbabwe's 165,000 per cent inflation is the world's highest.
Mugabe says Western sanctions are responsible for the collapse.
The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change draws most of its support from urban Zimbabweans who have borne the brunt of the crisis, and its leader Morgan Tsvangirai beat Mugabe in the 29 March presidential election.
But official figures showed Tsvangirai did not win by sufficient votes to avoid a second round election, which has been set for June 27.
The MDC says ZANU-PF activists have killed 66 opposition supporters to try to intimidate voters before run-off, and police have detained Tsvangirai twice over the past week while trying to campaign. The ruling party blames the opposition for the political violence.
The party said its secretary general, Tendai Biti, was arrested today as he returned to the country after several weeks abroad.
- 1 Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 3 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 4 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 5 Now diplomacy has failed, boycotting Israel might be the only way we can protect the people of Gaza
Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
Justin Bieber posts Instagram photo of Orlando Bloom crying after Ibiza fight 'over Miranda Kerr'
Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
Kelsey Grammer forgives the man who raped and murdered his sister in 1975
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
- < Previous
- Next >
£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...