President Robert Mugabe has accused Britain of sponsoring Zimbabweans to seek asylum in London in order to tarnish his image.
Officiating at the burial of national hero, Major General Eliah Bandama, at the national shrine today, President Mugabe said London sponsored thousands of Zimbabweans to seek asylum in its territory as an attempt to portray his Harare government in bad light following the chaotic land grabs that displaced thousands of former white commercial farmers and their employees.
His ruling Zanu PF party has argued over the years that it embarked on the land reform program to correct colonial imbalances.
There was no immediate reaction to Mr. Mugabe's remarks from London or its Harare embassy.
A speech which he did not present at the Heroes Acre, accused the West, especially America, of continuing to be hostile to Harare.
Mr. Mugabe charged that the Obama administration’s hostility to the country has deepened to include food and medicines sanctions following the United States’ recent renewal of the restrictive measures imposed on him and his inner circle.
However, Mr. Mugabe said Harare is working hard to ensure food security in the country through its new economic blue-print, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio Economic Transformation (ZIMASSET).
Turning to the deceased, Mr. Mugabe described Major General Eliah Bandama as a dedicated cadre who sacrificed his life for the liberation of the country.
He noted in off-the-cuff remarks that only those with liberation war credentials would be buried at the national shrine.
Mr. Mugabe also announced that Bandama was promoted from the post of Brigadier General to that of Major General a day before he died. He succumbed to cancer last week Friday and was declared a national hero by the Zanu PF politburo.
During the war, Bandama fought alongside the late ZANLA commanders, Josiah Tongogara and Solomon Mujuru.
Following a ceasefire declaration, Bandama was one of the first liberation fighters that were deployed as part of the advance team that moved into Zimbabwe.
He was attested into the Zimbabwe national army soon after the country attained its independence in 1980 from British rule. He rose through the ranks to become a major general.
Major General Bandama is survived by his wife, Winnie, and four children.