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Zimbabwe Farm Occupations To End

April 13, 2000

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) _ The Harare High Court today ruled that the government and police must bring an end to black squatters’ occupations of white-owned farms.

The court called an urgent hearing after the Commercial Farmers’ Union, representing white farm owners, demanded action in districts where more than 900 farms have been occupied for months.

Police have so far failed to evict the squatters, led by armed men claiming to be veterans of the bush war that led Zimbabwe to independence in 1980.

The court rejected police claims they had insufficient men or equipment to enforce property laws.

Judge Moses Chinenga dismissed an application by Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri that an earlier High Court order to evict the squatters be modified.

``The rule of law has to be upheld,″ he said.

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