3 March 2000
Zimbabwe pushes on with land grab

THE government of Zimbabwe has swept aside its defeat in a constitutional referendum last month to press ahead with plans to seize white-owned farms without compensation.

At least 70 farms have been overrun by squatters, some of whom have imprisoned farmers in their homes, while the government turns a blind eye.

Stung by criticism that it is sponsoring anarchy, the government has also ordered squatters to leave by Saturday (4 March) at the latest.

President Robert Mugabes government decision to rush through a constitutional amendment allowing it to expropriate land is widely seen as a tactic to win support in next month1s parliamentary elections.