Mugabe vows to press on with farm grabs
CHINHOYI, Zimbabwe (AFP) – Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe vowed Saturday to press on with seizures of white-owned farms, even as he urged followers at his lavish birthday bash to respect the new unity government.Consecutive years of drought and the land reform programme launched in 2000, in which some mostly 4,000 white-owned commercial farms were seized and redistributed to blacks, have added to Zimbabwe's difficulties.
The scheme has drastically reduced agricultural production, which once accounted for 40 percent of the economy, as most of the new beneficiaries lack both farming equipment and expertise.
A decade ago, Zimbabwe produced enough maize to feed the nation and export a surplus, now more than half its people are estimated to need food aid.Another tyrant that needs to be dealt with by his own people.Mugabe, who lost last March's first-round presidential poll but won a later run-off unopposed after Tsvangirai pulled out citing violence against his supporters, blamed former colonial power Britain for his party's poll defeat.
"They (British) imposed sanctions which resulted in some basic commodities being unavailable so that the people would be disgruntled with the party.
"Some of you thought about your tummies and children and sold out the country," blasted the veteran president, who has ruled Zimbabwe non-stop since independence in 1980.
It would be a greater day when this man gone in the most unfavorable fashion.