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Last Updated: Monday, 30 May, 2005, 12:59 GMT 13:59 UK
Zimbabwe set to nationalise land
White farmer with his workers
The move will prevent white farmers reclaiming land
Zimbabwe is to proceed with plans to nationalise all farmland, a ruling party official has said.

Zanu-PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira said the party would amend the constitution so as to abolish rights to private ownership of land.

He said the move would end "ceaseless litigation" by white farmers whose property has been expropriated by decree over the past five years.

Under the proposed new system, land would be leased for 99-year terms.

All the former farmers can do after these amendments would be to contest the amount of compensation
Nathan Shamuvarira
The statement appeared in state media.

"Through the amendments we are going to push for when parliament resumes sitting in June, all land will become state land, with farmers leasing it on a 99-year lease basis," Mr Shamuvarira said.

"This will dispense with the ownership litigation process.

"All the former farmers can do after these amendments would be to contest the amount of compensation."

Zanu-PF has a large enough parliamentary majority to push through constitutional changes.

However, some party officials who are themselves landowners are understood to be unhappy with the proposal.

The move comes after some white farmers won court cases against the government after contesting the expropriation of their land.


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Farm workers in Zimbabwe describe how they are out of work and hungry



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