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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 September, 2004, 08:28 GMT 09:28 UK
Mugabe slams 'political God Bush'
President Robert Mugabe
Mugabe is accused of using violence and fraud to stay in power
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has accused US leader George W Bush of behaving as though he is God, with UK Prime Minister Tony Blair his prophet.

He was speaking during a stinging attack on the US-led invasion of Iraq at the UN General Assembly in New York.

He said the US and the UK were "raining bombs and hell-fire on innocent Iraqis, purportedly in the name of democracy."

Mr Mugabe has long been at loggerheads with the UK, saying the former colonial power is trying to oust him.

Applause

"We are now being coerced to accept and believe that a new political-cum-religious doctrine has arisen, namely that there is but one political God, George W Bush, and Tony Blair is his prophet," Mr Mugabe said to scattered applause at the UN headquarters.

He said that while the US and the UK urged Africa to embrace democracy, they oppose any moves to make the UN Security Council, where they both have permanent seats, more representative.

Mr Mugabe says that the UK is trying to unseat him because it opposes his seizure of land from white farmers for redistribution to blacks.

The UK, and other critics, say he has wrecked Zimbabwe's once thriving economy, unleashed a wave of violence on the opposition and rigged elections in order to stay in power.

Both the European Union and the US have imposed sanctions, including a travel ban, on Zimbabwe's leaders.

But Mr Mugabe is allowed to attend UN meetings, wherever they are held.


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