Friday, December 05, 2008
Posted to the web: 05/12/2008 10:42:31
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe told supporters on Thursday that he does not “have any qualms with taking farms from the white farmers" – reinforcing his government’s rejection of a regional tribunal ruling that 78 white farmers should be left on their properties.
In comments broadcast on state television, Mugabe said a recent ruling by the South African Development Community (SADC) tribunal barring his government from further repossessions of white-owned farms was "an exercise in futility."
The tribunal's landmark judgment last week said the seizure of dozens of white-owned farms by Mugabe's government violated international law and must be halted immediately.
Seventy-eight white Zimbabwean farmers asked the SADC court to order the government to stop their evictions under the government’s controversial land reform programme.
The tribunal ruled that a handful of farmers whose land has already been confiscated should be paid compensation by next June.
But Mugabe said he would not hesitate to take more farms.
"What would definitely be a problem,” he said, “is our failure to reclaim our country. We asked the tribunal if they had considered what is in our constitution which clearly states there shall be a resettlement programme.
"They think what they say should stand. So, it's a tribunal that had an exercise in futility."