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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 May, 2004, 07:26 GMT 08:26 UK
Mugabe says Tutu is evil
President Robert Mugabe
Mugabe says he wants to write when he leaves office
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has hit out at South Africa's former Archbishop Desmond Tutu as "evil".

Archbishop Tutu once said that Mr Mugabe resembled a caricature of an African dictator.

"He is an angry, evil and embittered little bishop," he told Sky News TV in the first interview he has given to British media for several years.

Mr Mugabe, 80, also repeated his comments that he was unlikely to stand again when his term ends in 2008.

He said he had not chosen a successor.

'Cheating the world'

Archbishop Tutu was one of the leading figures in the fight against apartheid in South Africa and won the Nobel peace prize for his efforts.

After the end of white-minority rule, he headed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was supposed to heal the wounds of years of bitter struggle.

Tutu
I really feel ashamed in many ways because [Mugabe] used to be such a splendid leader
Archbishop Tutu

Archbishop Tutu is aware of Mr Mugabe's attack but will not be commenting, his office has said.

In the wide-ranging interview, Mr Mugabe also attacked British Prime Minister Tony Blair for treating Zimbabwe as though it were still a colony.

"You can see some of the mad things he has done and the world is now in turmoil," he said.

He also criticised US President George W Bush for "cheating the world" over Iraq.

His government would not accept international food aid in the coming year, Mr Mugabe said.

Aid agencies warn of widespread famine due to poor harvests.

But Mr Mugabe stood by his government's crop forecast of 2.4 million tonnes of maize, AFP news agency reported.

"Why foist this food upon us? We don't want to be choked, we have enough," he said.

Mr Mugabe also defended his country's land reform programme, in which white-owned farms have been seized for redistribution to landless blacks.

He claimed the white farmers were "ill-educated".




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