WHITE FARMERS IN ZIMBABWE say militants loyal to President Robert Mugabe's ruling party have forced three cattle ranchers off their land. A fourth is holding out with about 50 militants threatening to break down his farm gates.
The land grabs, revealed Sunday, come as Mugabe and his party confront massive elections losses and an expected presidential runoff. Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since his guerrilla army helped overthrow white minority rule in 1980. His popularity has been battered by an economic collapse following the often-violent seizures of white-owned commercial farms since 2000.
Mugabe thugs raided the opposition headquarters on Friday, rounding up foreign journalists, including a New York Times correspondent, Thursday in an ominous indication that he may use intimidation and violence to keep his grip on power. The NYT said police took into custody its correspondent Barry Bearak, who was covering the elections.
"We do not know where he is being held, or what, if any, charges have been made against him," Bill Keller, executive editor of the Times, said in a statement. "We are making every effort to ascertain his status, to assure that he is safe and being well treated, and to secure his prompt release."
The opposition in Zimbabwe is bracing for a dirty war by the Mugabe regime.
And the outrages among the races continue...