Land battle intensifies in Zimbabwe

20 November 1998

Land battle intensifies in Zimbabwe

THE battle between blacks and whites over land in Zimbabwe is turning ever closer to outright violence, reports The Daily Telegraph

The newspaper says black squatters are invading many of the farms in north of the Zimbabwean capital Harare.

Nearly 1500 commercial farms, mostly owned by whites, are under threat of Government seizure to resettle black peasants on 5.05 million hectares (12.5m acres) of land within five year.

President Mugabe has taken an ambiguous line on compensation, arguing at times that Britain should come up with funds.

The latest Government action was to serve 800 farmers with formal notices that their properties are due for compulsory purchase.

The Government is hamstrung by the parlous state of the economy.

The currency has lost about 80% of its value, unemployment stands at about 50% and inflation is running at more than 40%.

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