Local Time

Monday, October 11, 2004

Mugabe attacks Bush and Blair at UN General Assembly

23.09.2004
1.00pm - By ANNE PENKETH in New York


Robert Mugabe added a new dimension to his criticism of Britain yesterday when he accused the US president and British prime minister of establishing a new "political-cum-religious" doctrine: "there is one political god, George W. Bush, and Tony Blair is his prophet."

The Zimbabwe president's comment, in a speech to the UN General Assembly, was wildly applauded by delegates from developing countries who share his fear of the effects of the global dominance of the United States and its western allies.

"The UN charter remains the only most sacred document and proponent of the relations of our nations. Anything else is political heresy," he protested, after accusing the US and Britain of tearing up the UN charter to rain "bombs and hellfire on innocent Iraqis purportedly in the name of democracy."

The Zimbabwean president complained that his country had been subjected to "unprovoked, declared and undeclared sanctions, imposed by Britain and its allies who are bent on bringing down our legitimately elected government."

Zimbabwe is organising elections in March next year but there are fears that, like the last presidential poll which re-elected Mr Mugabe, they will not be free and fair.

"Mr Tony Blair, the British prime minister, has arrogantly and unashamedly announced in his parliament that his government was working with Zimbabwe's opposition party to bring about regime change. Once again, the lawless nature of this man who, along with his Washington master, believes he is God-ordained to rule our world, has shown itself," the president went on.

Mr Mugabe was also applauded when he departed from his prepared speech to say: "We do not need any lessons from the Netherlands and its imperialist allies of the European Union" on organising the elections.

"Zimbabwe will indeed welcome to these elections those observers whose sole and undivided purpose will be to observe the process and not to meddle in the politics of the country."

Apparently addressing his domestic audience, he pointed out that despite the "sanctions and evil wishes of Britain and its allies", Zimbabwe had now emerged from a difficult period of drought.

The British Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, was due to meet South African President Thabo Mbeki in New York yesterday in a further discreet attempt to press for a political solution for Zimbabwe.

Mr Mbeki held talks with Mr Mugabe on the margins of the General Assembly on Monday, but has frustrated western governments by his low-profile approach. Mr Mbeki argues that backing Mr Mugabe into a corner will prove counter-productive.

South Africa, which has already had to cope with a stream of Zimbabwean refugees escaping the rigours of Mugabe regime, is also concerned that change in Harare could provoke a situation that could destabilise the southern African region.

Source:
-http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3594031&thesection=news&thesubsection=world

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