Zimbabwe: Farmers' group laments deaths

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Associated Press

Posted on May 23, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Updated Friday, May 23 at 9:33 AM

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A mostly white farmers' group in Zimbabwe is mourning a farmer and his daughter who died after a farm assault reminiscent of violence surrounding land seizures that began in 2000.

The Commercial Farmers' Union said in a statement Friday that it is troubled by what it called the "total silence" of authorities following the attack on Malcom and Catherine Francis, who suffered head injuries from possible axe blows on May 10 and died after surgery. The attack happened in Guruve district in northeastern Zimbabwe.

The farmers' group also criticized the land seizures in Zimbabwe, saying they had damaged the agricultural sector in the former regional breadbasket.

President Robert Mugabe started the campaign to take white-owned farms and redistribute them to blacks, saying the land had been stolen by European colonizers.

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