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Wednesday, 31 July, 2002, 09:08 GMT 10:08 UK
Mugabe 'has destroyed a nation'
Robert Mugabe
Mugabe has rewarded his cronies, say MPs
Robert Mugabe has destroyed Zimbabwe and lost the moral right to govern the country, says an influential committee of MPs.

The Commons foreign affairs select committee has accused Mr Mugabe of "deliberately and systematically" flouting the rule of law.


One man can exalt a nation as Nelson Mandela did South Africa; one man can destroy a nation, as Mugabe has Zimbabwe

Foreign affairs committee
In a report published on Wednesday, the MPs say the Zimbabwean president has abused the rights of his people.

The fierce criticism comes after the BBC discovered food aid had been blocked from some areas which voted against Mr Mugabe in the March elections.

The MPs argue the UK was right to refuse to accept the result of those polls and demand a new "free and fair" vote.

Travel ban

They also back ministers' successful calls for Zimbabwe's suspension from the Commonwealth and say Tony Blair should continue targeted sanctions against Mr Mugabe and his ruling elite.

Those sanctions include the European Union's ban on members of the ruling elite.

But the rules on allowing such figures to go to international meetings must be clarified, says the committee.

People queuing for food in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe faces mass starvation
The report says: "Even judged against his own yardstick, Robert Mugabe has lost the moral right to govern his people.

"By abusing their fundamental freedoms he has earned their contempt and that of the international community and has transformed himself from a respected statesman into an outcast.

"The tragedy is that he has taken his country with him."

UK's duties

"One man can exalt a nation as Nelson Mandela did South Africa; one man can destroy a nation, as Mugabe has Zimbabwe."

The MPs say the UK has a "particular obligation" to help rebuild the country but its status as the former colonial power means it is viewed with mistrust.

Despite that problem, it is "vitally important" for the UK to continue to increase its aid to the Zimbabwean people, they say.

Such aid should not be channelled through the Harare government but through other nations and aid agencies.

Tackling land reform

More support should be also given to independent journalists and to the BBC World Service in Zimbabwe, the MPs recommend.

Land reform has been one of the crunch issues in Zimbabwe.

The report condemns what it says is Mr Mugabe's role in the violent seizure of farms and for "rewarding his cronies with gifts of expropriated land".

Instead, there should be a land reform programme which helps genuine farmers and which is monitored by the international community, it says.


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See also:

16 Jul 02 | Africa
24 Jul 02 | Africa
31 May 02 | Africa
10 Oct 01 | Business
05 Jul 01 | Africa
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