Robert Mugabe vows to continue farm seizures

Published on 01 March 2009

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe told followers at his lavish birthday party to respect the new power-sharing government but vowed to press on with seizures of white farms. The extravagant celebrations were held against a backdrop of economic ruin and came weeks after the veteran leader joined a unity government with long-time rival Morgan Tsvangirai. [...] Land reforms have been blamed for the food crisis in the former grain exporter as many of the beneficiaries lack both the skills and means to farm. [...] The country is [...] battling severe food shortages amid hyperinflation which has rendered the Zimbabwean dollar useless. The World Food Programme reported last month that the number of people without food was estimated at 6.9 million -- more than half the population.

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The Australian / AFP