Zimbabwe Farms In Flames

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Zimbabwe Farms In Flames Thousands of acres of valuable agricultural land have been burned by Zimbabwe's militant 'war veterans' in recent days, according to the country's farmers' union.

The claim was made only days after Zimbabwe announced it would have to import maize, because it was unable to grow its own. The country's economy is already in dire straits and is likely to deteriorate still further if it has to buy in such a basic foodstuff.

Food shortages

The mainly white Commercial Farmers Union said pastures were being destroyed, and animals driven off the land, increasing the threat of food shortages after drought across southern Africa.

The CFU also said at least 2,500 farm workers and their families had been displaced in the eastern Hwedza farming district since the weekend, in a fresh wave of farm disruptions.

'Driving us out'

One farmer said dozens of farms around the southern Chivhu district had been burned on Tuesday by militants. "I think the idea is to drive us out of business and out of farming," he said.

The 'war veterans' are largely landless peasants encouraged to move on to white-owned farms as part of President Robert Mugabe's land redistribution programme.

Last Modified: 12:34 UK, Thursday August 30, 2001


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), August 31, 2001

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