The last white leader of colonial Rhodesia, Ian Smith, is accusing the government of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe of taking away his citizenship by refusing to renew his passport.

Mr. Smith says he was informed of the cancellation on Tuesday when he went to the country's passport office to renew his travel documents.

He calls the action illegal and plans to challenge the move in court.

Reuters news agency quotes Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo as denying Mr. Smith's claims that he was stripped of his Zimbabwean citizenship.

As the last prime minister of Rhodesia, Mr. Smith in November 1965 made a unilateral declaration of independence from Britain and maintained white minority rule for 14 years.

(Reuters, AFP)