War Vets Evict 60+ Zim Farmers

News24 (Cape Town), April 8, 2008

More than 60 mostly white Zimbabwean farmers have been evicted from their land by war veterans loyal to President Robert Mugabe since the weekend, a farmers’ union said on Tuesday.

“The situation is very severe. The evictions are continuing right round the country.

“We have over 60 farmers evicted as of this morning.

“Every couple of minutes my phone is ringing with another case of eviction,” Commercial Farmers’ Union President Trevor Gifford told Reuters.

The veterans have been used as political shock troops by President Robert Mugabe.

One black farmer ‘also evicted’

The opposition MDC argued in the High Court on Tuesday that the results of the presidential election on March 29 should be released immediately to end a 10-day political stalemate.

Gifford said farmers were forced to leave with only the clothes they were wearing and at least one black farmer was evicted as well.

“His workers’ houses have all been burnt and he’s been accused of voting for the opposition MDC,” Gifford said.

The veterans said last week they would invade all remaining white-owned farms after reports that white farmers were preparing to grab back farms seized under Mugabe’s land reforms.

The veterans led a wave of violent occupations of white farms as part of reforms that began in 2000.

Mugabe’s critics say the reforms played a big part in ruining the economy. He blames Western sanctions for the economic damage.

Zimbabwean police were not immediately available for comment.

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