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Monday, 19 November, 2001, 09:58 GMT
Mugabe's UK terror claims 'absurd'
Funeral at Heroes Acre
War Vet leader Cain Nkala was given a heroes burial
The British Government says that accusations that it funded terrorist activities in Zimbabwe are absurd.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, alleged on Sunday that Britain was involved in the murder of a local leader of the country's war veterans.

Speaking at the funeral of the man, Cain Nkala, in Harare, Mr Mugabe described the killing as part of a carefully planned terrorist plot funded by Britain's main political parties and some white farmers in Zimbabwe.

A Foreign Office spokesman in London dismissed the allegations and said Britain had helped to fund independent organisations which helped promote democracy worldwide, which in the past had benefited the Zimbabwean opposition.

Difficult elections

Cain Nkala's body was found strangled and dumped in a shallow grave near the south-western city of Bulawayo earlier this week.

President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe
Mugabe says Britain wants him out of power

On Friday, hundreds of war veterans and supporters of the ruling Zanu-PF party went rampaging through Bulawayo, protesting at the killing.

President Robert Mugabe blamed the opposition MDC party for his murder. He also blamed Britain, who he accuses of supporting the opposition and of trying to unseat him.

"No where else, not in Asian nor in Africa, but in Europe, it's there that conspiracies are being worked out and sponsored by the British Government," said President Mugabe.

"Let them tell us today who the terrorists in this country are, is it the government of Zanu-PF or is it the MDC that they're sponsoring?"

Mr Mugabe faces difficult elections early next year.

His controversial land reform programme - which has forced many white farmers off their land - has plunged Zimbabwe into an economic and political crisis and he has pitted himself against the western world.

As well as lashing out at Britain he has also banned foreign observers from monitoring the elections which he knows he will have to fight tooth and nail to win.

See also:

16 Nov 01 | Africa
War vets rampage through Bulawayo
16 Nov 01 | Africa
UN land team in Harare
12 Oct 01 | Africa
Mugabe opponent attacked
06 Oct 01 | Africa
Judge condemns Zimbabwe 'terror'
16 Nov 01 | Africa
Man arrested over Zanu-PF death
06 Jul 01 | Africa
Zimbabwe targets all white farms
21 Apr 00 | Africa
Violence flares in Zimbabwe
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