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The BBC's Duncan Kennedy
"Surrounded by her family, encircled in grief"
 real 28k

Monday, 17 April, 2000, 16:16 GMT 17:16 UK
Farmer's widow wants justice
Maria Stevens
Maria Stevens: "Justice for the government"
By Greg Barrow in Harare

The widow of the white Zimbabwean farmer who was shot dead by war veterans on Saturday says she wants to stay in the country and see in a truly democratic government.



I would like to see justice for the government who's brought us to this situation

Maria Stevens
Maria Stevens, the mother of four young children, told the BBC that she would like those who killed her husband to be punished.

But she stressed that the Zimbabwean Government, which she blamed for instigating the violence in the countryside, should also face justice.

Maria Stevens now faces the prospect of bringing up her children and running a farm on her own.


Maria Stevens and children
Maria Stevens and three of her children
But she says she is not about to run away, despite the escalating violence in the area around her home.

She says she wants to stay in Zimbabwe and fight for true democracy, meaning a new government.

Only if this struggle fails, she says, would she consider leaving the country and taking her children with her.

'They must suffer'

The police have said nothing so far about whether they are close to arresting those who killed her husband, Dave Stevens.


Stevens' farm
The war veterans set fire to the Stevens' farm
She feels no hate for them, but wants to see justice take its course.

"I don't think that me feeling too much hate about them is going to solve anything.

"And I would like to see justice for the government who's brought us to this situation.

"They must suffer, all the people who have suffered in this country, we need to have justice."

But justice is something that is hard to find in Zimbabwe these days.

The farming community in the area where Maria Stevens' husband was killed has been meeting with the police asking if they can do more to guarantee the security of white farmers and their families.

In the current environment, the neutrality and protection of the national police force is no longer a given.

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15 Apr 00 | UK Politics
Plea to challenge Mugabe
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