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Zimbabwe Position On White Farmers Unchanged, Says Land Expert

A Zimbabwean expert on land reform has disputed reports saying that the government is urging dispossessed white farmers to return to their former properties.

African Institute of Agrarian Studies Director Sam Moyo, who has advised Harare on land redistribution policy, said the official stance on white farmers is unchanged.

Britain's Guardian newspaper quoted Moyo as saying more than 300 farmers could be back in business on farms in the country by the end of 2007. It said 19 white farmers had secured 99-year leases on farms after such leases were introduced last year.

But Moyo told the Voice of America that he was misquoted in the article.

Nonetheless, Moyo told reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyelye of VOA's Studio 7 For Zimbabwe that contrary to the widespread belief that Harare has dispossessed white farmers, approximately 600 continue to work the land while others await 99-year leases to give them long-term tenure and allow them to resume farming.

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