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Last Updated: Monday, 3 May, 2004, 22:02 GMT 23:02 UK
Namibia warns 'racist' farmers
Namibian cattle ranch
Some 4,000 whites own much of Namibia's best land
Namibia's President Sam Nujoma has threatened to seize land from white farmers who treat their workers badly, a Namibian newspaper has reported.

Mr Nujoma said a few "racist" farmers were laying off their workers and leaving them homeless, according to a report in The Namibian.

He warned that his government would not tolerate this kind of behaviour.

Last month Zimbabwe sent experts to Namibia to advise on redistributing land owned by white farmers.

Aping Zimbabwe

At the time, The Namibian newspaper said their arrival in the capital Windhoek could accelerate a planned expropriation of farmland, as Mr Nujoma had taken on many of the policies of his Zimbabwean counterpart, Robert Mugabe.

Seizures of white-owned farms in Zimbabwe, often using intimidation and violence, have been under way for four years.

Four thousand white farmers own about half of Namibia's arable land, a situation Mr Nujoma looks keen to reverse.

In a speech at May Day celebrations in Karibib Mr Nujoma declared that the expropriation of farms would not only be aimed at underutilised land, but as a punishment for racism.

"Some of the whites are behaving as if they came from Holland or Germany with land... steps will be taken and we can drive them out of this land. We have the capacity to do so," he was quoted in the newspaper as saying.

Mr Nujoma said a handful of "minority racist farmers" had not only evicted workers who had lived on the land for decades but had also told them to turn to the government for accommodation.

"My government will expropriate this land as an answer to the insult to my government," he said.




SEE ALSO:
Namibia's worried white farmers
06 Sep 02  |  Africa
Namibia's burning land issue
04 Aug 00  |  Africa
Country profile: Namibia
12 Mar 04  |  Country profiles


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