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Monday, 8 November, 1999, 06:41 GMT
Mugabe: UK set 'gay gangsters' on me
Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe: "They are even using gay gangsters on us"
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has accused the British Government of setting "gay gangsters" on him over his controversial land reforms.

In an interview with Zimbabwe's official newspaper, the Sunday Mail, Mr Mugabe said the Labour government was behind gay activists who ambushed his car outside a London hotel on 30 October.

The incident took place just outside the UK's intelligence headquarters and was witnessed by television crews.

'Gangster tactics'

The 75-year-old leader said Prime Minister Tony Blair's administration was using "gangster tactics", saying each time he passed through London there were people trailing him.


Peter Tatchell
Peter Tatchell tried to make a citizen's arrest on Mr Mugabe
Mr Mugabe said the UK was against him because of his plans to grab commercial farms from British descendants for redistribution to poor black peasants.

He wants the farmers to be compensated with money from foreign donors.

"This is what has started the fight and the fight is still going on. They are even using gay gangsters on us."

He also attacked Mr Blair as a "little man", saying he refused to honour commitments made by previous Conservative governments to help fund Zimbabwe's land reforms.

"This government of little men, Blair and others, don't seem to understand, and when we talk to them they say they don't know about it.

"They say they were still at school or at college and don't know about the commitments made by the Conservative Party," said Mr Mugabe.

Citizens arrest

The outspoken president has previously referred to homosexuals as "lower than dogs and pigs".

UK police last week released on bail the three men arrested after the activists pounced on Mr Mugabe's car.

The three activists from gay pressure group Outrage, led by Peter Tatchell, had stopped the car and tried to carry out a citizens' arrest.

Outrage said its members had attempted to perform a citizen's arrest on Mr Mugabe for "homophobia and human rights abuses against the people of Zimbabwe".

The Zimbabwe government on Tuesday summoned the British high commissioner in Harare to complain about the incident.

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23 Oct 99 | From Our Own Correspondent
Fighting for gay rights in Zimbabwe
01 Jul 99 | Zimbabwe
Mugabe's long shadow
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