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Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union Sounds Alarm on Takeover Violence

Zimbabwe's Commercial Farmers Union on Friday said there has been a significant increase in violence against the country's remaining white commercial farmers as the Office of the Attorney General has fast-tracked enforcement of farm takeovers.

CFU President Deon Theron says that although farm invasions have been taking place since 2000, the latest round has of officially sanctioned takeovers been more vicious. Theron told reporters in a news conference in Harare that some 150 farmers are being prosecuted for remaining on their farms, and that their workers are also being targeted.

Theron told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that white commercial farmers are being prevented from putting in crops this planting season while farms previously taken over are producing little or nothing, worsening an already precarious food security situation.

Elsewhere in Harare, a magistrate handed a 79-year old widow a three-month suspended sentence for refusing to move off her farm. Hester Theron of Friedenthal farm in Beatrice, south of Harare, was accused of violating the Gazetted Land Act

In the same court session a lawyer for an MDC employee accused of stealing army weapons urged that his client be allowed to receive medical care, alleging he was tortured.

Thomas Chiripasi reported from Harare magistrate court.

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