From the UK Telegraph:

For the second time in less than a year, Zimbabwe’s justice minister has seized a farm after forcing its white owners to leave.

In February, Patrick Chinamasa, the minister of justice, legal and parliamentary affairs, sent the police to arrest Peter Baker, a white farmer. Mr Baker had refused to vacate his farm, Rocklands, after successfully challenging its seizure in court. He went into hiding for two months as police searched for him, although no charges were ever laid. Eight months after the seizure, the farm’s water supply has been squandered, undermining its future productivity and that of the neighbouring farms.

This weekend, Richard and Cally Yates… fell victim to the justice minister. Although there were no legal grounds for Mr Chinamasa to seize the farm, Mr Yates was powerless to resist, having been told by the police that if the minister wanted it, the couple must leave. In July last year, Mr Yates had accepted a government offer to subdivide his farm between himself and state-appointed “settlers”, in return for being able to continue operating. He believed that having made this compromise his future as a farmer in Zimbabwe was secure. But three months ago he was told that his farm had been allocated to Mr Chinamasa.

The minister claims that he has been justly allocated the farm by the state under the land reform programme…. He added: “The courts should rule only on matters of compensation and not on the process of acquisition.”

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