14 January 1999
IMF forces Mugabe to back down

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forced the Zimbabwean Government to retract plans for a mass confiscation of white farms.

The IMF told President Mugabe that it would freeze international funding if the confiscations went ahead.

President Mugabe has now agreed that, over the next two years, it will buy only the 118 farms offered for resettlement.

The Government is expected to make a statement in the next few days committing itself to a land reform programme which will not destroy commercial farmers.

Last November, the Government made a provisional seizure of 841 farms.