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Zimbabwe's President Brands UK's Government Queer

'Furious Gay Smear' Erupts at Commonwealth Meeting

Prime Minister Tony Blair Unhurried about Ending Rift


By Jack Nichols

blairmugabe.jpg - 10.02 K Prime Minister Tony Blair (left) seems unhurried to extend an apology for the "citizen's arrest" of President Mugabe by gay activists Durban, South Africa—Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's homophobic dictator, has lashed out at an international Commonwealth forum here, accusing Great Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair of setting "gay gangsters" against him in London.

Mugabe's tirade referred to an attempted "citizen's arrest" conducted by London's gay and lesbian direct-action group, Outrage!, an "arrest" about which the Blair government had no prior knowledge.

During dictator Mugabe's recent London visit and while he was on his way to shop at Harrod's Department Store, gay activist Peter Thatchell, the Outrage director, opened the door of his limousine, took hold of his arm and informed the 75-year old Mugabe that on account of his torturous crimes against dissenting citizens in Zimbabwe, he was being put under citizen's arrest.

Thatchell and his fellow activists, however, were themselves arrested by the London police. President Mugabe remained unharmed.

At the Commonwealth conference, Mugabe lectured Great Britain, however, For what he called its moral decadence and said: "If Tony Blair wants to turn Britain into a United gay kingdom, that is a matter for him. But he should not lecture other countries."

Blair, he continued, was running "a government of queers," adding "Tony Blair has three homosexuals in his cabinet." He was referring to Balir cabinet members Chris Smith, Nick Brown and Peter Mandelson.

Related Stories from the GayToday Archive:
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Gay Activists Confront Mugabe in London

Related Sites:
OutRage! Lodon

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"People who are homosexuals are queer because they think differently," charged Mugabe, whose outburst occurred when Blair announced Great Britain's 22 million pound donation to African nations to help in the struggle against AIDS. The United Kingdom currently pays the costs for all condoms distributed in Zimbabwe.

An official spokesman for the British Prime Minister said Blair would not "go out of his way" to put an end to the rift. "It is not difficult to see why there are difficulties if one head of government is accusing another of organising protests against him, " he said.

While Zimbabwe claimed that it has received an official apology from Blair officials, an aide to Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, referring to the Outrage! incident, said: "We told them we don't apologize for the actions of private citizens."

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