HARARE, Zimbabwe, September 12, 2001 (ENS) – Black militias have launched anew attack on the white farmers of Zimbabewe, with matches. In the past two weeks, about two-thirds of grazing lands in the dry cattle ranchingregions that cover most of the country have been destroyed by fires raging acrosshundreds of square miles. Two people, believed to be the children of squatters, were burnt to death last week, the South African Press Agency reported. There are many reports of animalsdying in fires. Fires are normal in the hot,dry months before the start of the rainy season, butthe Commercial Farmers’ Union says there is no doubt that nearly all of it now is arson.This year’s fires are three times worse than last year’s, which was the worst ever and coincided with theinvasion of white owned farms by black squatters. “The effect on the cattle industry is catastrophic,” Farmers Union deputy director Jerry Grant told reporters. “There is wholesale destocking and slaughter becauseranchers have nowhere to feed their cattle.” “The national commercial herd is down to 1.2 million and it’s shrinking fast. We willnever meet out European export quotas of 9,000 tonnes again,” he said.