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article imageZimbabwe's president urges white farmers to cede land to blacks

By Phyllis Smith Asinyanbi     Jul 4, 2014 in Politics
Harare - Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, urged white farmers to cede land to black farmers. He spoke at a rally with Zanu-PF Wednesday.
Mugabe, 90, told his supporters, "We say no to whites owning our land and they should go."
He told supporters, "Don't be too kind to white farmers ... land is yours, not theirs."
Commercial Farmers Union director Hendricks Oliver said Mugabe's comments have caused anxiety among white farmers and added, "We'd like to move forward and work with the government of the day."
There are now only 100 to 150 white farmers in Zimbabwe, per Oliver.
Nearly 15 years ago, thousands of white farmers were evicted or abandoned farming due to a government land reform program.
Critics of the president say the 2000-2009 seizure of many of Zimbabwe's white-owned farms caused the country's economic collapse.
Mugabe has governed Zimbabwe since 1980 and was re-elected last year with 61 percent of the vote.
His Zanu-PF party also won 160 of 210 parliamentary seats.
Recently, Zanu-PF party member and Bulawayo Provincial Affairs minister, Eunice Sandi Moyo, stated Mugabe believes the late Vice President Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo's son, Sibangilizwe, will unify the people of Zimbabwe.
Moyo said, " ... I will tell you a secret that I have kept since last year. The president is looking at you [Sibangilizwe] as someone who will assist in unifying the people of Zimbabwe ... he told me this on the 22nd of December last year ... "
However, contention between Nkomo's survivors and Mugabe's administration do not support such a claim.
White farmers called Mugabe's recent comments on land ceding "extremely unhelpful," and "Ill timed."
Charles Taffs, president of the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union, stated there is no time for racial division and unity is needed, because the country is suffering an economic crisis.
More about Robert mugabe, Zimbabwe, White farmers
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