"Prized farms are at the center of heated political infighting in Zimbabwe," says the New York Times, with the tactic, used against white landowners in the past, now a lever in the struggle over succession of President Robert Mugabe. At the same time, political opponents are under threat of losing their land, the Mugabe administration promises reforms, including recognition of land ownership, to obtain financing from the international Monetary Fund.
The troubles for the villagers of Sianyanga, Zimbabwe, began in the late 1980s, when the Nalomwe River, which watered the village, went dry. Soon, the shade trees died and the villagers' cattle herds suffered for lack of water and forage, says a Pacific Standard story produced in partnership with FERN.
A government-owned newspaper says Zimbabwe plans to import up to 700,000 tonnes (28 million bushels) of corn this year to offset crops lost to drought caused by El Niño, said Reuters.