21 January 2000
Mugabe pushes on with land seizure

THE president of Zimbabwe has forced through changes to the constitution which remove all obstacles to the compulsory seizure of land owned by white farmers.

President Robert Mugabe has told the farmers to seek compensation from Britain as “the former colonial power”.

David Hasluck, director of the Commercial Farmers Union, 75% of whose 4,000 members are white, said the action was “ridiculous”.

He added: “There is no way our constitution can confer obligations on other nations.”

Elections are taking place in Zimbabwe in two months time. Mugabe has long maintained that the land held by whites was stolen from blacks.

He is expected to distribute the confiscated land to senior military commanders in a bid to keep them loyal to his regime.