Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

THE WORLD

Mugabe Says Food Deficits Not His Fault

July 24, 2002|From Associated Press

HARARE, Zimbabwe — A defiant President Robert Mugabe vowed Tuesday to continue seizing white-owned farms, saying drought and growing international isolation, not his policies, were to blame for food shortages that threaten half of Zimbabwe's people with starvation.

Speaking at the opening of parliament, Mugabe described his land redistribution program as "an unparalleled success," saying more than 5,000 white-owned commercial farms had been transferred to blacks.

Mugabe has said the farm seizures are the only way to ensure that landless blacks have access to farmland, but the program has brought commercial farming to a grinding halt and left the country with a 2-million-ton grain shortage this year.

Many of the farms have not gone to landless blacks but to Mugabe's associates.

Aid agencies have launched urgent appeals, but Western donors have been reluctant to pour money into Zimbabwe's economy. The ruling party also has been accused of using food as a political weapon.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|