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Zimbabwe's President appeals for racial unity

PICTURED: Emmerson Mnangagwa

ZIMBABWE'S PRESIDENT has called for racial unity ahead of landmark elections, telling white farmers their lands will not be taken.

Speaking to a crowd in Harare, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, said that the controversial policy which was previously enforced by Robert Mugabe, was a thing of the past.

"We should cease to talk about who owns the farm in terms of colour," he said. "It is criminal talking about that. A farmer, a black farmer, a white farmer, is a Zimbabwean farmer."

He told the crowd that his government was "racially blind" and acknowledged the failure of his predecessor's controversial land reforms.

Former President Robert Mugabe's government supported the seizure of hundreds of white-owned farms which they saw as unfairly taken by settlers.

Mr Mnangagwa's move to ease the concerns of white voters comes ahead of historic elections on July 30, which will be the first presidential poll since Mr Mugabe was ousted from power in November, bringing an end to his 37-year rule.

According to BBC Africa, Mr Mnangagwa is favourite to win the poll, but analysts say he also his main opposition leader is Nelson Chamisa, a lawyer and preacher who rose to the top of the MDC in February.

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