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Zimbabwe high court backs state seizure of farming equipment

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe ruled Monday that the Zimbabwean government can legally expropriate the agricultural equipment of white farmers under the Acquisition of Farm Equipment Act [DOC text], finding that the government expropriated the equipment with the public purpose of advancing the country's farm seizure program [JURIST article], which seeks to redistribute white-owned land. White farmers who challenged the law argued that the program did not further a public purpose and that the government did not provide fair compensation within a reasonable time.

The Zimbabwean government has expropriated approximately 4,000 farms farms through its controversial program, which was implemented following constitutional reforms [JURIST report] in 2005. In February 2006, the Zimbabwean land minister said that there were no longer any white farmers operating legally in Zimbabwe [JURIST report]. Several white farmers are facing criminal charges [JURIST report] over their refusal to obey state-sponsored eviction orders. Zimbabwe's inflation rate, which is reportedly exceeding 5,000 percent, is largely attributed to the seizures as productive farms have failed under new inexperienced farmers. The Herald has more.

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