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Last Updated: Monday, 15 October 2007, 22:37 GMT 23:37 UK
Zimbabwe dismisses boycott threat
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe at the UN General Assembly, 25 September, 2007
Mr Mugabe face an EU travel ban and sanctions
UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is "not qualified" to talk about human rights, Zimbabwe's Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu has said.

Mr Ndlovu also insisted Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe would attend an EU-Africa summit in December that Mr Brown has threatened to boycott.

In an interview with Portuguese radio, he encouraged EU countries to oppose Mr Brown's position.

Portugal will host the first EU-Africa summit in seven years.

Other EU countries should tell Gordon Brown to shut up
Sikhanyiso Ndlovu
Zimbabwe Information Minister

As holder of the rotating EU presidency, it has indicated that it will invite Mr Mugabe to the summit.

In his comments on Monday, Mr Ndlovu said Mr Brown had no right to lecture Zimbabwe when he himself was "running away" with power by taking over from Tony Blair without an election.

"Other EU countries should tell Gordon Brown to shut up," Mr Ndlovu said in a telephone interview with Portugal's Renascenca radio station.

"Gordon Brown is not even qualified to talk to us on human rights and as you can see he failed his own country's internal democracy in Britain," he said.

'Not clean'

Mr Ndlovu also said Europe had no right to accuse Zimbabwe of human rights abuses.

"European countries are not clean, they are not clean at all," he said.

Mr Ndlovu complained that when Zimbabwe won its independence from Britain, people were imprisoned and land was taken away.

"Where were all these countries (then) who are in the EU, who are clamouring for human rights?" he said.

He reiterated that Mr Mugabe plans to attend the summit.

"Our president will be at the summit," Mr Ndlovu said.

"No one can stand between Portugal and inviting heads of state from the African Union and European Union," he said.

Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates told European politicians visiting Lisbon on Monday that the summit would deal with human rights and governance.

Critics charge 83-year-old Mr Mugabe of bringing his country's economy to the brink of collapse and committing human rights abuses.

He faces a travel ban in Europe and his regime is subject to EU sanctions.

SEE ALSO
Mugabe shrugs off Brown boycott
21 Sep 07 |  Africa
Brown threatening Mugabe boycott
20 Sep 07 |  UK Politics

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