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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 25 February, 2003, 11:15 GMT
Mugabe: US must disarm
Robert Mugabe
Mugabe sees himself as a freedom fighter

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has launched a scathing attack on the "born-again colonialists" of the United States and the United Kingdom.

The US should lead by example and dismantle its weapons of mass destruction, before demanding the same of Iraq, he said.

He also questioned the legitimacy of George Bush's 2000 election victory, saying Mr Bush was in no position to lecture Zimbabwe on democratic elections.

The US and the UK have heavily criticised Mr Mugabe, saying his re-election last year was marred by fraud and violence and accusing him of diverting food aid from starving opposition supporters.

The US, the UK, the European Union and the Commonwealth have all imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe.

'End sanctions'

Mr Mugabe was speaking at the summit of the 116-member Non-Aligned Movement (Nam) in Malaysia.

Mr Mugabe says that the West is waging a campaign to vilify him because of his policy of redistributing land from whites to blacks.

Why can't the United States demonstrate what Iraq should (do) by destroying their own massive heaps first?
Robert Mugabe

He sees this as putting right unfair land ownership patterns due to the colonial era.

The West has double standards when dealing with poor countries, Zimbabwe's leader said.

"Iraq might have developed or desired to develop arms of mass destruction. But the United States has massive arms of that magnitude.

"Why can't the United States demonstrate what Iraq should (do) by destroying their own massive heaps first?" he asked.

Iraq is a member of Nam and its Vice President, Taha Yassin Ramadan, was present during Mr Mugabe's speech.

'Sanctions on Bush?'

"The United States, awakened to the implications of being the sole superpower, joined by Britain as a born-again colonialist, and other Western countries have turned themselves into fierce hunting bulldogs raring to go, as they sniff for more blood, Third World blood," Mr Mugabe said.

Since being ostracised by the West, Mr Mugabe has sought to cultivate allies in Asia, in particular Malaysia, Singapore and China.

The Zimbabwe leader said that the US courts which ruled that Mr Bush had won the closely fought 2000 election was "dominated by Republican judges."

"Is it not ironical that Mr Bush who was not really elected should deny my legitimacy, the legitimacy of President Mugabe, established by many observer groups from Africa and the Third World.

"Who, in these circumstances, should the world impose sanctions on? Robert Mugabe or George Bush?" he asked.



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