INTERNATIONAL: 'Old Man' Says a Vote for MDC Is Vote for British Colonialism

Article excerpt

The relationship between Britain and Zimbabwe has turned decidedly nasty in recent years.

President Robert Mugabe is fond of baiting the former colonial power, blaming Britain for his country's woes. British politicians have condemned Mugabe's human rights abuses, economic mismanagement and electoral fraud.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband said yesterday the "tyrannical rule" of Mugabe and his "thugs" made the presidential run-off election impossible.

And Gordon Brown has condemned the president's "criminal cabal".

The prime minister threatened sanctions from the international community unless the violence stopped. Sanctions currently involve an asset-freeze and travel-ban for Mugabe and his regime.

African leaders, once muted in their criticism, became increasingly vocal. In a rare rebuke, Angola's president added his voice to a list of Mugabe's neighbours, including Tanzania and Botswana, who spoke out.

Mugabe continually used the spectre of colonisation against the opposition party.

He said the MDC were a front for British neo-colonial interests, and voting for Morgan Tsvangirai was tantamount to going back to colonialism.

Tensions between Zimbabwe and Britain rose this month the month with the Zimbabwean president's controversial attendance at a world food summit in Rome, where Mugabe accused the UK Government of orchestrating sanctions "to effect illegal regime change". …