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Vol 39 No 19

Published 25th September 1998


In the badlands

The government may have to choose between land reform or fighting in the Congo

Donors were pleased, Zimbabwe’s voters may not be. Yet President Robert Mugabe is unlikely to be asking for their votes again. His government abandoned its hard line on land reform at a conference, which ended on 11 September, where donors failed to stump up any serious money. The background message from txhe donors was: if you can afford a military adventure in Congo-Kinshasa, you don't need our money for land reform. After a year of confusion about land policy, the country’s precarious economy has been weakened and smallholders have been inspired (perhaps spontaneously) to invade some commercial farms.

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