Zimbabwe minister: Germany's Merkel "a Nazi remnant"

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Zimbabwe officials step up the attack on Angela Merkel after the EU-Africa summit.

10 December 2007

Harare/Berlin (dpa) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel's criticism of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe at the European Union-Africa summit demonstrated she was "a racist and a fascist" and a "Nazi remnant," according to Zimbabwe's information minister.

At the Lisbon summit at the weekend, Merkel said Mugabe's human rights record "damages the image of the new Africa."

Zimbabwe's state-controlled daily Herald quoted Sikhanyiso Ndlovu Monday as saying her remarks were "coming from a Nazi remnant."

"She should shut up or ship out," he said. "Zimbabwe is not a colony of Germany."

"This is racism of the first order" by the German chancellor, he said.

He described Mugabe as "an indisputable icon of African nationalism, a pan-African, a revolutionary and liberator of Zimbabwe."

Ndlovu also said that Merkel had "dirty hands" and had no right to comment on the situation in Zimbabwe.

He said she had "demonstrated her Nazi inclination" when she banned the Scientology Church in Germany, and (Hollywood actor) Tom Cruise from shooting a film on Claus von Stauffenberg, the Wehrmacht general who led a failed conspiracy to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

The newspaper, quoting unnamed sources, also claimed that Merkel had asked South African President Thabo Mbeki to press Mugabe "not to be hard hitting in his response to her comments."

Merkel's spokesman in Berlin stressed the chancellor had been speaking on behalf of other European Union members when she made her comments at the EU-Africa summit over the weekend.

Merkel had been specifically asked by the Portuguese EU presidency to speak on the theme of human rights, the spokesman said, stressing that human rights remained firmly on the EU agenda.

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