Zimbabwe pulls Ian Smith's passport after critical remarks

By , Special to The Christian Science Monitor

Former Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith is becoming more isolated in the land he ruled for 15 years.

The Zimbabwe government withdrew Mr. Smith's passport Dec. 2 after an uproar over remarks he made about the nation on a trip to the United States and Britain.

Smith criticized conditions under Zimbabwe's black government, saying they were making life unbearable for whites. He specifically mentioned educational standards, which he said were lowering, faltering health services, and excessive taxation. He said the economy was crumbling and referred to state infringement of civil rights.

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The state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation editorialized that Smith should be imprisoned if investigation shows he urged the US and Britain to end aid to Zimbabwe.

Smith denies that he suggested foreign aid and investment should be halted. He did tell the Washington Times in the US that the West must be sure it doesn't help establish a Marxist, one-party state. But he said the ''free world'' should provide economic aid to bring ''a little bit of sanity'' to Zimbabwe.

Editorials in the pro-government press stopped short of calling for his arrest, but questioned whether Smith could be at home in a nation whose name he avoids using.

Smith's allegations of detentions without charge and police torture drew cries of outrage from blacks who remember repression during his term as prime minister.

Zimbabwe's current prime minister, Robert Mugabe, mentioned his own 10-year imprisonment during Smith's tenure as leader and stated: ''I don't know whether Smith is qualified to speak about freedom.''

White politicians who broke away from Smith's Republican Front party also were angered by his remarks.

A week befor his criticisms were reported, Smith and his wife were among whites questioned on suspicion of holding an illegal political meeting in a dress shop.

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