19 November 1998
Zimbabwe seizes 841 farms from whites

THE Zimbabwean Government has ordered the seizure of 841 white-owned farms, covering 2.2 million hectares (5.5m acres).

It has sent out “acquisition of land” orders which will become effective once they arrive in farmers letterboxes.

Under Zimbabwes land laws, the Government has 60 days in which to have the orders confirmed by a court.

The farmers have to be paid full compensation for their farms soon afterwards. The property reverts to the farmer if any of these steps is omitted.

The Government started to seize 1471 farms last year.

The latest land grab is understood to have caused the International Monetary Fund to stop a $55m (£34.5m) loan to the country.

Nick Swanepoel, president of the Commercial Farmers Union, said he would be seeking a meeting with the Mr Mugabe about the 841 properties facing the threat of confiscation.

White farmers in the country have faced threats, intimidation and even death by black landless peasants, often veterans of the armed services, who have tried to drive them off the land.