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Zimbabwean Vice President & Minister Clash Over New Farm Seizures

Zimbabwean Vice President Joseph Msika has blasted Minister of State Security and Land Didymus Mutasa for disobeying a top-level directive to him to stop offering land to family members among others and halt farm invasions in Mashonaland West.

From Chinhoyi, reporter Arthur Chigoriwa of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe reported.

Elsewhere, a Chegutu magistrate turned down a request by 10 white farmers facing charges 2006 land reform legislation that refer their cases to the supreme court.

The farmers are accused of continuing to work their nationalized farms despite orders to vacate them. Lawyer David Drury, representing the farmers, said his clients in their request for a supreme court hearing, cited constitutional property rights issues.

If convicted, the farmers could face sentences of up to two years in prison.

Drury told reporter Carole Gombakomba that Wednesday’s ruling will not stop the farmers from continuing to seek a hearing in the highest court in the land.

Justice for Agriculture, which represents commercial farmers, farm workers and others with an interest in commercial agriculture, said the rights of white minority farmers continue to be violated under Zimbabwe's land reform legislation.

Justice for Agriculture Chief Executive Officer John Worsely-Worswick said that the remaining 350-400 white farmers are also at risk of prosecution under the law.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...