Assembly points
Under the March 1978 internal agreement, the country was to be known as Zimbabwe-Rhodesia; in the general election of 24 April 1979, Bishop Abel Muzorewa became the country's first black prime minister. Nkomo and Mugabe denounced the new government as a puppet of white Rhodesia and fighting - following a brief lull which inspired some confidence amongst Rhodesians - escalated. Later in 1979 the new British government under Margaret Thatcher called a peace conference in London to which all nationalist leaders were included. The economic sanctions imposed on Rhodesia were lifted in late 1979, and British rule resumed under a transitional arrangement leading to full independence. 

Mugabe and ZANU had over 16 000 ZANLA guerrillas in the Assembly Points - it is estimated that one third had been instructed to remain outside the APs; ZANU was supported by 500 regular FRELIMO troops and an unspecified Tanzanian contingent. ZAPU moved over 5 500 supporters into the APs, together with South African ANC cadres (a smaller group were in the Bulawayo area and between 6 000 to 8 000 ZAPU were still located across the Zambian border). Fortunately, this lack of structure did not erupt into civil war. The unexpected size of the ZANU victory can be seen as making the integration possible. Walls was to admit that, had Quartz been attempted, it could not last 48 hours.

(Go here for details of a New Zealander who helped to man AP LIMA - opens in new window)

 

Trace