HARARE, Zimbabwe – A Zimbabwe white farmers' organization says a "renewed onslaught" of farm seizures and attacks has erupted since President Robert Mugabe called for a referendum and national elections in the first half of next year.
Deon Theron, head of the Commercial Farmers Union of some 300 whites still on their land, said police and security authorities refused to act against a new wave of "violence, evictions and occupations" in the build up to polling.
In a statement Thursday, Theron said "hired thugs" broke into homesteads and locked the owners out in several districts.
Over the past week, two farmers have died in robberies and at least three have been forced from their homes northwest of Harare.
About 4,000 white farmers have been forced from their farms since 2000.