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Thursday, 10 January, 2002, 23:36 GMT
Tutu sees Mugabe becoming dictator
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Tutu said Mugabe was 'on the slippery slope to dictatorship'
South African Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu has warned that Zimbabwe is sliding into dictatorship under President Robert Mugabe.

The fact that you have been democratically elected does not give you a licence to behave in a way that subverts the rule of law

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Speaking as the Zimbabwean parliament approved legislation which appears aimed at ensuring Mr Mugabe's re-election in March, Archbishop Tutu said he was saddened by developments in the neighbouring state.

Mr Mugabe had been "one of the bright stars in the African constellation" but now he seemed bent on breaking the law, he told the BBC.

President Robert Mugabe
Mugabe was once a 'tremendous freedom fighter'

"When you disregard the rule of law, I think you are on the slippery slope towards a dictatorship with the trimmings of a multi-party democracy," the archbishop said.

He said that Mr Mugabe did not tolerate political dissent and used violence against his critics, seeking to "have only one political group having the upper hand".

Archbishop Tutu, who won his Nobel prize for his peaceful struggle against apartheid in South Africa, said Mr Mugabe had once shone as a "tremendous freedom fighter" - quite, quite outstanding in many ways".

I really feel ashamed in many ways because he used to be such a splendid leader

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

He had championed reconciliation at a time when Zimbabwean blacks sought retribution for the wrongs inflicted on them by their white rulers when the country was known as Rhodesia.

But Mr Mugabe had gone on to "blot his copy book", the archbishop said.

"I am deeply saddened," he said.

"I am disappointed. I really feel ashamed in many ways because he used to be such a splendid leader."

Archbishop Desmond Tutu
"I am deeply saddened and disappointed and ashamed because he used to be a splendid leader"
See also:

05 Dec 01 | Africa
Sanctions loom for Mugabe
10 Jan 02 | Africa
Mugabe gets new powers
17 Aug 00 | Africa
Tutu returns for quiet life
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