Harare blocks return of whites

HARARE (AFP) - The Supreme Court in a landmark judgment yesterday dashed the hopes of whites who want to return to Zimbabwe after leaving to escape black majority rule. Even those born in the country will no longer have the automatic right to return to live and work.

Many of the 100,000 whites who left after independence in 1980 lost their citizenship when the government introduced a law allowing Zimbabweans to hold only single citizenship. Thousands opted to retain their second citizenship - usually British - and thus lost Zimbabwean citizenship. They were allowed to continue living in the country but if they emigrated or lived outside Zimbabwe for seven years they lost their right to return.