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Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union Charges 'Impunity' in Murders


Former Zimbabwean commercial farmer Keith Nicolson was shot and killed Tuesday in Banket, Mashonaland West province, when he attempted to help a neighbor who had been abducted by a group of armed men

Another white Zimbabwean farmer has been murdered in the second such homicide this month in what the Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe says reflects a tolerance of rural violence against whites following 12 years of often chaotic land reform.

Former Zimbabwean commercial farmer Keith Nicolson was shot and killed Tuesday in Banket, Mashonaland West province, when he attempted to help a neighbor who had been abducted by a group of armed men.

Nicolson grew crops in the province until his Rafingora Farm was seized at the height of the land invasions that began in 2000. He farmed the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia but returned to Zimbabwe recently to retire, friends said.

CFU President Charles Taff said another farmer, Collin Zietsman, was attacked and killed by armed robbers in his Centenary home early this month. Another farmer assaulted in the Headlands area a week later is still in the hospital.

The Herald newspaper quoted Mashonaland West police spokesperson Clemence Mabgweazara as saying police are still pursuing the criminals.

But Taff told VOA Studio 7 reporter Violet Gonda that a blind eye has been turned to these crimes, resulting in an environment in which perpetrators can act with impunity.

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