Sunday, December 11, 2005

UN Envoy a liar, says Mugabe


Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Friday called top United Nations envoy Jan Egeland a "damn hypocrite and a liar", at a party conference.

"He's a damn hypocrite and a liar," Mugabe said to the applause of around 3 000 members of his ruling Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) party.

In a speech broadcast live on state radio Mugabe said Egeland, who was in the country earlier this week to assess the humanitarian situation, said "nasty things" about Zimbabwe after he left the country on Wednesday.

"When he left the country he said nasty things about us," said Mugabe.

Mugabe said Zimbabwe would be adopting a new attitude towards envoys sent by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. "We don't trust men from his office any more," Mugabe said.

Egeland, the UN's emergency relief co-ordinator, said after his three-day visit that Zimbabwe was facing a "very serious" humanitarian crisis, worsened by the government's demolition campaign launched in towns and cities earlier this year.

Thousands of shacks, houses and flea-market stalls were destroyed in the operation, which the UN estimates has left 700 000 people homeless and jobless. - Sapa-dpa

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