- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 19, 2003

HARARE, Zimbabwe Two nephews of Robert Mugabe have seized former white-owned farms from so-called war veterans in the latest rift between the Zimbabwean president's regime and his militant shock troops.
Robert and Patrick Zhuwau have evicted the settlers from several properties in the Mugabe family home district of Zvimba, about 50 miles west of the capital, Harare, war veterans said yesterday.
The properties previously had been appropriated from their white owners three years ago when Mr. Mugabe unleashed pro-government mobs, including war veterans, at the start of his land-grab policy.
The Zhuwau brothers, who did not respond to reporters' calls, are the sons of Sabina Mugabe, the president's fiery older sister and a member of Parliament from his ruling ZANU-PF party. The Sunday Telegraph reported last year that as part of her campaign against white farmers, she had threatened to seize property from Terry Ford, a landowner killed by settlers last March.
Other relatives of the president are also reported to have displaced settlers from farms in the district.
The seizures have infuriated the war veterans, who complained that the nephews and other family members had taken no part in the "fight for land." They had only come "to reap where others have sown," said Juliet Govha, the war veterans' leader in the area.
"That is very unfair, and we do not think President Mugabe is aware of what they are doing."
Relations between the settlers and the government have deteriorated dramatically as the economy has collapsed. War veterans have led major food riots in Bulawayo and Harare this month.
In rural areas, there have been earlier cases of settlers claiming that they had been displaced from farms by senior figures in the military and the Mugabe regime.
"It's like thieves falling out," said a displaced white farmer who did not want to be identified, referring to the split between Mr. Mugabe and some of his most militant supporters.


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