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Monday, 18 March, 2002, 12:31 GMT
White farmer killed in Zimbabwe
Zanu-PF supporters
Mugabe's supporters are accused of violent attacks
A white farmer has been killed in Zimbabwe, reportedly as he tried to flee attacks by a group of squatters camped on his land.

Terry Ford was found shot dead on his farm near Norton, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Harare, Commercial Farmers' Union spokeswoman Jenni Williams said.

White farmers have reported an upsurge in violence in farming areas since Mr Mugabe was declared the winner of the elections last week.

In a fiery speech at his inauguration on Sunday Mr Mugabe promised to accelerate his land reforms, which aim to resettle blacks on white-owned farms in a bid to correct colonial-era inequities.

Escape bid

Terry Ford was the tenth white farmer to be killed since land seizures began two years ago and the first white since last week's election.

He was found dead propped against a tree outside his homestead at about 0600 (0400 GMT), Commercial Farmers' Union spokeswoman Jenni Williams said.

map

"There is evidence of a bullet exit wound from the head," Ms Williams said, adding that he appeared to have been stopped and killed while trying to drive away from his homestead.

Late on Sunday Ford had called for help from police and neighbours saying he was being attacked by around 20 black "war veterans" camped on his land, Ms Williams said.

His farm was one which had been designated for seizure and redistribution by the government.

Beaten to death


Together with his group, he accused us of supporting the MDC and they started flogging us

John Rutherford, attacked farm owner

On Friday a black security guard was killed at a farm outside the town of Marondera.

The man, known only as Darlington, was badly beaten at the farm where he worked, allegedly by a group of war veterans who have a base on the farm, and died on the way to hospital.

His employer, white farmer John Rutherford is in intensive care, injured in the same incident.

Political activists

Both men were active members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Mr Rutherford said that the war veterans had accused him of supplying a mobile phone to Darlington to monitor their activities and report to the MDC.

Robert Mugabe
Mugabe has pledged to accelerate land reform

"We were called to their base early today by Obed Makiwa who is the war veteran leader at the base. Together with his group, he accused us of supporting the MDC and they started flogging us," Mr Rutherford said.

There was violence in Zimbabwe's second city Bulawayo on Friday and Saturday when pro-government war veterans went on the rampage attacking MDC supporters.

Many people were injured in the incident and police reportedly stood by, refusing to intervene.


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17 Mar 02 | Africa
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