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One Quarter of Zimbabwe's Remaining White-Owned Farms Facing Takeovers


Zimbabwe's Commercial Farmers Union said that more than 100 of the approximately 400 commercial farms still in white hands have been invaded in recent months and that some 150 farmers now face prosecution for refusing to leave their farms when ordered to do so.

The office of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said last week that the cabinet had agreed to press ahead with a national land audit after receiving a report by a fact-finding panel led by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara which toured some of the invaded farms.

The continued farm invasions have been a thorny issue within the national unity government, as President Robert Mugabe has encouraged them as the culmination of the land reform he launched in 2000 - but Mr. Tsvangirai opposes them, saying they are counterproductive, undermining food production while alienating potential international donors.

Commercial Farmers Union President Trevor Gifford told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that most of those farming can only do so on part of their land.

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

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