Prime Minister Robert Mugabe declared yesterday he will not stop his crackdown on "dissidents" loyal to opposition leader Joshua Nkomo.

Nkomo fled to London March 8 after a government crackdown in his tribal stronghold of Matabeleland.

"While dissidents come from a certain area we will send troops there . . . . We will never be deviated from our course of action," Mugabe told tens of thousands of cheering supporters at a rally.

"The cases against him Nkomo are not substantial enough to warrant a man--the so-called father of the nation--to run away," Mugabe said. "Britain is welcome to keep him and feed him if they want to."

Mugabe also denied allegations that his troops committed atrocities against civilians in Matabeleland and accused foreign journalists of lacking "objectivity" in reporting.

The government has lashed out at foreign reporters recently. Yesterday another reporter, David Blundy, a correspondent for the London Sunday Times, said police searched his hotel room and seized two passports, notebooks, tape recorder and camera.

Blundy said police told him they were investigating possible offenses under the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.

Meanwhile, the national news agency Ziana reported that former Rhodesian Army commander John Hickman and a business colleague, Peter McDonald, who have been in detention since January, were held for suspected sympathy with a planned invasion from South Africa.