Mugabe allies take Smith farm

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The manager of a ranch owned by Zimbabwe’s last white ruler has been ordered by president Robert Mugabe’s loyalists to vacate the property so it can be occupied by a state institution.

Farm manager Owen Jarman said he had not yet been given a date for him and 35 workers to quit the 1,300-acre Gwenoro farm, which was owned by ex-Rhodesian premier Ian Smith.

Mr Smith yielded power to Mr Mugabe in 1980 and died in 2007 in South Africa, aged 88.

Mr Jarman said it was now owned by Mr Smith’s surviving son and daughter, who both live outside Zimbabwe.

He said occupiers from the government’s Midlands State University had begun tilling the fields for the new farming season.