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Zimbabwe PM Tsvangirai Sets Cabinet Talks on Wave of Farm Invasions

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, in Durban, South Africa, on "compassionate leave" following the death of his wife in a March 6 highway accident, was due back in Harare Tuesday to attend a number of high-level meetings including one with ministers from both sides of the unity government to discuss continued farm invasions and violence.

The British-based Zimbabwean newspaper reported that following complaints lodged by the Commercial Farmers Union with Tsvangirai's office, a meeting was set this week with the co-ministers of Home Affairs, Kembo Mohadi of ZANU-PF and and Giles Mutsekwa of Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change, as well as Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, National Security Minister Sydney Sekeremai and other top security officials.

MDC sources confirmed the meeting of the key ministers on land issues had been set.

President Robert Mugabe has encouraged the takeovers of white-owned commercial farms of which there just a few hundred left after a decade of tumultuous land reform, but Tsvangirai has said the invasions destabilize agriculture and repel foreign donors and investors.

Minister of State Gordon Moyo in the office of the prime minister confirmed in an interview with reporter Brenda Moyo of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the farm invasions are of great concern and a meeting has been called this week, but declined to offer details.

The Home Affairs ministers have also been summoned to the House of Assembly this week to discuss allegations that the police have been torturing suspects.

Human rights and political activists, in particular from the Tsvangirai MDC formation, have charged that the police are using torture to extract information or confessions.

Co-Home Affairs Minister Giles Mutsekwa of the Tsvangirai MDC formation told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that he will respond to House questions because the nation should know what his ministry is doing about alleged torture.

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