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Mugabe, Allies Own Half of Seized Zimbabwe Land, Zimonline Says

Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) -- President Robert Mugabe and officials in his party own almost half the land seized from Zimbabwe’s white farmers since 2000, Johannesburg-based Zimonline said, citing its own research.

Along with military and police officers, judges, cabinet ministers from the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party and senior civil servants, Mugabe’s closest allies own almost 5 million hectares (12,355,269 acres) of farmland, the news agency said. About 2,200 people affiliated with Zanu-PF control the farms previously owned by white farmers, Zimonline reported.

The seized land now owned by Mugabe and Zanu-PF officials totals about 13 percent of Zimbabwe’s 390,757 square-kilometer (150,872 square-mile) land mass or an area bigger than Denmark. The other half of the confiscated property is in the hands of members of the public who belong to the party, Zimonline said.

Calls seeking comment on the report from Mugabe’s spokesman, George Charamba, and Zanu-PF’s Harare headquarters weren’t answered today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Latham in Durban, South Africa, at blatham@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.

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