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The BBC's Colin Blane
"Neighbours.. believe both were political murders"
 real 56k

Kathy Olds, Gloria Olds' daughter-in-law
"There's nothing for me to go back to"
 real 28k

Friday, 9 March, 2001, 18:00 GMT
Murdered Zimbabwe farmer is buried
War veterans, loyal to President Robert Mugabe.
Farmers fear renewed attacks from Mugabe supporters
Hundreds of people have attended a funeral service in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, for Gloria Olds, the 72-year-old widow who was murdered on her farm last Sunday.

Her son, Martin, was shot dead on his farm less than a year ago, and opposition leaders believe both killings were politically motivated.

Kathy Olds at her husband's funeral
Daughter-in-law Kathy Olds doubts she will ever return
She was the eighth member of Zimbabwe's white farming community to be killed since ruling party militants and veterans of the country's independence war began occupying white-owned farms last year with the backing of President Robert Mugabe and his government.

In all more than 30 opposition supporters and officials have been killed.

When men need semiautomatic weapons to murder a 72-year-old woman, they are not men, they are scum, they are cowards

Minister Paul Andrianatos
Farmers' leaders say they are afraid a new campaign of political violence may be starting against white land owners.

Mrs Olds' friends and neighbours, many of them white farmers, packed the small Presbyterian church in Bulawayo, shocked by the brutality of her murder.


Mrs Olds died in a hail of bullets as men with automatic weapons opened fire as she came to her gate. She attempted to crawl to safety but the gunmen forced the gate and fired more shots at her where she lay.

She had refused to give the farm up even after the murder of her son, Martin. But his widow, Kathy Olds, did and now lives in Britain.

The minister, Paul Andrianatos, described her as a strong-willed, no-fuss, independent person.

Farm occupation in 2000
Farm occupations were backed by the government

"When men need semiautomatic weapons to murder a 72-year-old woman, they are not men, they are scum, they are cowards," he said.

Mr Andrianatos also officiated at Martin Olds' funeral, where he described Mr Mugabe as a criminal and a murderer.

The minister has now had his work permit cancelled and is due to leave Zimbabwe on Sunday.

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See also:

09 Mar 01 | Africa
Violence haunts white farmers
04 Jul 00 | Africa
Forced to flee Zimbabwe
10 Feb 01 | From Our Own Correspondent
Zimbabwe's descent into violence
26 Oct 00 | Africa
Mugabe under pressure
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