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Monday, 24 June, 2002, 14:22 GMT 15:22 UK
Zimbabwe upheaval

Zimbabwe's President Mugabe is continuing his policy of forcing white farmers to hand over their farms to landless blacks. In March he was re-elected as president after introducing draconian election laws making it illegal to criticise him. BBC News Online looks at events in Zimbabwe's recent history.


12 August 2002

President Mugabe
President Mugabe speaking at a Heroes' Day rally
Any hope of a reprieve for white farmers are dashed when President Mugabe tells them the August deadline still stands for them to surrender their farms to his landless black supporters. Mr. Mugabe's was speaking to mark Heroes' Day - which celebrates victory over the old white regime.

 Gavin Hewitt reports.


8 August 2002

Zimbawean white farmer
White farmers facing more upheaval
Thousands of white farmers in Zimbabwe face a day of uncertainty as the government-imposed deadline for handing over their land approaches. Under President Robert Mugabe's land reform programme, more than 3,000 white farmers were given 45 days to leave their property.

 Barnaby Phillips reports from Johannesburg.


9 July 2002

Queues for food aid
Queues for food aid
After years of political violence, millions of people are said to be close to starvation. Over the last two years 500 farms have been seized and now all white farmers have been ordered to leave their land within a month.

 The BBC's Fergal Keane reports


24 June 2002

"No go" sign on a farm settlement in Zimbabwe
Many white farmers continue working on their land, despite a new law obliging them to stop or face a possible two years in jail. The Commercial Farmers' Union says most of its members are ignoring the legislation.

 The BBC's Gillian Ni Cheallaigh reports


20 March 2002

Morgan Tsvanigirai
Morgan Tsvanigirai outside the court in Harare
The defeated candidate in the presidential election, Morgan Tsvanigirai, is accused of plotting to assassinate President Mugabe and charged with treason. The Zimbabwe opposition condemns the charges as "a very childish response" by President Mugabe to Commonwealth suspension.

 The BBC's Rageh Omaar reports


19 March 2002

John Howard
Australian PM John Howard announces the suspension

The Commonwealth takes an unexpectedly tough line over the violence and electoral fraud by suspending Zimbabwe from the organisation for at least a year. It is among the most serious measures the Commonwealth can take against one of its 54 member countries.

 The BBC's Gavin Hewitt reports


17 March 2002

President Mugabe
Robert Mugabe at the swearing in ceremony

President Mugabe is sworn-in for another six-year term, promising to speed up a controversial, and sometimes violent, land reform programme. The ceremony was boycotted by European diplomats, and leaders of Nigeria and South Africa. The Commonwealth will decide next week whether to suspend Zimbabwe.

 The BBC's Rageh Omaar reports


13 March 2002

A triumphant Robert Mugabe
A triumphant Robert Mugabe

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe wins a fifth term in office amid accusations of ballot irregularities and ruling party violence. He defeated rival Morgan Tsvangirai by a substantial margin in a presidential election described by foreign and local observers as deeply flawed and unjust.

 The BBC's Andrew Harding reports


9 March 2002

Queues of people lined up to vote
Queues of people lined up to vote

As polling booths open long queues of voters form in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, and in the country's second city, Bulawayo, for the most fiercely contested presidential election since independence in 1980.

 The BBC's Hilary Andersson reports


11 January 2002

Head of Zimbabwe's defence forces General Vitalis Zvinavashe
Military chiefs including General Vitalis Zvinavashe are loyal to President Mugabe
President Mugabe calls elections in early March and introduces election laws designed to make sure he wins them. Criticism of his leadership is banned and the police are given new powers to suppress dissent. The army also comes out with a strong statement supporting the President.

 The BBC's Alastair Leithead reports


16th August 2001

UK national evacuating Zimbabwe in 1980
Many UK nationals fled Zimbabwe in 1980 in response to independence

The Zimbabwean government announces plans to use the army to identify farms for takeover, as plans are drawn up for the evacuation of up to 25,000 British nationals in Zimbabwe. The cabinet in Zimbabwe is reported to be considering a possible state of emergency.

 The BBC's Rageh Omaar reports.


13th August 2001

A looted farm, north of Harare
Farm workers clear up a looted farm north of Harare

As the United States strongly criticises Zimbabwe's Government for "serious human rights abuses", the BBC receives exclusive pictures which reveal the scale of looting and destruction of Zimbabwe's white-owned farms.

 The BBC's Rageh Omaar reports


9th August 2001

Police monitor crowds of Zanu PF youths
Police monitor crowds of Zanu PF youths

Twenty white farmers are charged with public violence and assault after tension and violence between the farmers and government supporters has been mounting in the town of Chinhoyi.

 The BBC's David Campanale reports


February 2001

Joseph Winter - safely in South Africa
Joseph Winter - safely in South Africa

BBC journalist Joseph Winter is expelled from Zimbabwe with his wife and family after a terrifying ordeal in which they are subjected to intimidation and personal threats.

 Click here to listen to Joseph's "From our own correspondent"


January 2001

Zimbabwe's 'Daily News' is critical of the government
Zimbabwe's 'Daily News' is critical of the government

A bomb explosion in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, has destroyed the printing press of the country's only privately-owned daily newspaper, the 'Daily News'. The attack follows a week of demonstrations against the paper by government supporters.

 The BBC's Grant Ferrett reports


June 2000

Robert Mugabe: Call for unity after election victory
Robert Mugabe: Call for unity after election victory

After June's election in which his ruling Zanu PF party were successful, albeit with a much smaller majority, Robert Mugabe promised to press ahead with the seizure of white-owned farms.

 The BBC's Jim Fish reports


April 2000

Government supporters gather outside a white-owned farm
Government supporters gather outside a white-owned farm

In February 2000 groups of government supporting 'war veterans' began to systematically target white owned farms, using intimidation and often violence. By April, the courts were powerless to stop the incursions.

 The BBC's Gavin Hewitt reports


Farmer Mike Mason: under siege and under pressure
Farmer Mike Mason: under siege and under pressure

In this extraordinary report, the BBC's Ben Brown found himself inside a farm compound as it came under siege. The farmer argues with the militant group over the future of his livelihood for three tense hours before the police arrived.

 The BBC's Ben Brown reports


Widow Maria Stevens
Widow Maria Stevens

Just days later a white Zimbabwean farmer was shot dead by war veterans. In this report his widow explains how she wants to stay in the country and see in a truly democratic government.

 The BBC's Duncan Kennedy reports


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