Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Robert Mugabe threatened on Saturday (1 November) to seize white-owned land without compensation, seemingly contradicting the country's British-drafted constitution.
SV Zimbabwe Prime Minister Robert Mugabe out of car at Mount Darwin
SV AND PULL BACK TO GV White farmers seated amongst black members of the audience (2 shots)
GV PAN FROM Security forces standing near audience
GV Ministers including Mr. Mugabe seated at table in front of audience
CU Minister of Labour Mr. Kangai dancing with women
SV Mrs. Sally Mugabe dancing with black farmers' wives
SCU Robert Mugabe watching dance
SV Mr. Mugabe and his wife Mrs. Sally Mugabe seated at table
SV Mrs. Sally Mugabe dancing with black farmers wives
LV Mr. Mugabe standing behind table and audience seated
SV Mr. Mugabe speaking in Shona to rally (2 shots)
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Background: Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Robert Mugabe threatened on Saturday (1 November) to seize white-owned land without compensation, seemingly contradicting the country's British-drafted constitution. Mr. Mugabe disclosed the plan at a rally of his ZANU-PF (Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Party) supporters in Mount Darwin.
SYNOPSIS: Zimbabwe's seven-year bush war began in Mount Darwin and Mr. Mugabe's visit to the remote North-Eastern town was part of his tour of rural areas to thank party followers for their support during the war. Among the audience at Sunday's (1 November) rally were a handful of white farmers.
Mugabe was accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Sally Mugabe, and Zimbabwe's Minister of Labour and social Welfare, Kumbirai Kangai. Both joined in traditional dances with the wives of local black farmers to mark the rally opening.
Mr. Mugabe's independence government came to power promising a massive land resettlement programme, moving blacks from overcrowded reserves onto land previously owned by whites. Sixty per cent of Zimbabwe's seven million Africans live on over-cultivated reserves. The London constitution protects white farmers from expropriation of their lands and insists the government pay compensation, remittable in foreign currency. So far the government has spent three million US dollars to buy 350,000 acres (130,000 hectares) of white-owned land and resettlement officials say there is no shortage of land for sale. Mr. Mugabe told the rally Britain had reneged on promised to pay compensation. He said the government would confiscate some land and tell the owners to look to Britain for compensation because Zimbabwe had no money and did not feel inclined to pay for land plundered from the indigenous people by the colonialists.