11 April 2000
Zimbabwe rules out action on squatters

ZIMBABWE has ruled out using the police to evict black squatters who have occupied white-owned farms.

But Britains newspapers differ in their analysis of what the move means for the country, which was once a British colony and is now a Commonwealth nation.

The decision to rule out any eviction of black squatters, made by Zimbabwes senior legal officer, effectively consolidates the occupation, reports The Guardian.

Some white farmers have now resigned themselves to leaving the country, says the paper. They are preparing to emigrate, taking whatever they can carry.

But The Express reports that white farmers in Zimbabwe “vowed they would not be broken … despite enduring humiliation and beatings.”

According to The Daily Telegraph, the Zimbabwean police claimed that trying to evict the squatters would start a race war.

Zimbabwes Justice Minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa, told the paper that the war veterans who organised the squatting were “peaceful demonstrators”.

But a white farmer pictured above the story told a Daily Telegraph reporter he had been driven off his farm by a drunken mob with clubs and axes.