April 1964: Ian Smith took over the Rhodesian Front and began actively campaigning for Rhodesian Independence. British prime minister Harold Wilson outlined a list of conditions, including racial equality - the so-called 'NIBMAR' condition (No Independence Before Majority Rule) January 25 1966 NIBMAR principle established; (announced in British parliament 20 December 1966). 

May 1965: Smith's party won all 50 seats in the elections.

November 11 1965 UDI; not recognised internationally.  Essentially the beginning; the Sinoia Battle effectively marked the first shots of the Second Chimurenga; (28 April 1966, ZANU and ZAPU decided an armed struggle would be necessary - although the armed conflict within Rhodesian borders did not seriously start until 1972, with the "Crocodile Gang"). The 1966 imposition of trade sanctions made essentially meaningless by the continued co-operation (both militarily, and, of huge significance, in the continued supply of petroleum) by South Africa and Portuguese controlled Mozambique and Angola). 

12 November 1965 British Prime Minister Wilson declared UDI illegal and an act of rebellion. 

16 November 1965 Wilson requested UN support to end the rebellion, but by ruling out the use of force to end the rebellion his assertion of British responsibility for resolving the problem was negated. 

17 November 1965 Oil embargo declared against Rhodesia (initiating airlift of oil to Zambia). 

19 November 1965 UN Security Council declared UDI illegal, called on Britain to end it. The British Government suspended the Governor and Directors of the Reserve Bank of Rhodesia and froze Rhodesian reserves in Britain; this was followed on the 12 December 1965 British imposition of total economic sanctions against Rhodesia (this freeze renewed annually).  

3 December 1965 British Government suspends Governor and Directors of Reserve Bank of Rhodesia and freezes Rhodesian reserves in Britain

16 December 1965 UNO meeting and At the September 15 1966 Commonwealth Prime Ministers Conference the use of force was again ruled out, although at the 14 January 1966 Lagos Commonwealth Prime Ministers Conference Wilson accepted that the use of force could not be ruled out completely.

12 December 1965         Britain imposes total economic sanctions against Rhodesia (renewed annually).

16 December 1965 Wilson appeals to UNO for support to end Rhodesian rebellion; Wilson rules out use of force, states British responsibility for addressing the problem.

17 December 1965         British government declares oil embargo against Rhodesia. Air lift of oil commences to Zambia.

14 January 1966            Lagos Commonwealth Prime Ministers Conference.  Mr Wilson accepts use of force cannot be ruled out. 

25 January 1966            Mr Wilson informs Parliament that no negotiations can be held with the illegal regime but the Governor (Sir Humphrey Gibbs) is authorised to talk at any time about a return to constitutional rule. Any constitutional developments would have to be based on the five principles, to which the sixth is now added (NIBMAR).

 10 April 1966                UNO Security Council agrees that Britain should use force to prevent oil reaching Rhodesia via Beira (Mozambique).

27 April 1966                 Mr Wilson announces informal talks at official level with Rhodesia

15 September 1966        Communiqué issued after Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ Conference in London details steps by which Britain might restore constitutional rule. Force is ruled out.

2 December 1966           Mr Wilson and Mr Smith meet on HMS Tiger to discuss possibility of settlement

5 December 1966           Rhodesian Government accepts the six principles as the basis for a settlement. However, British proposals are rejected on the grounds that the investiture of the Governor with legislative powers and the dissolution of parliament cannot be tolerated. 

16 December 1966         On application of British Government, UNO votes for selected mandatory sanctions (including oil) against Rhodesia

20 December 1966         Mr Wilson announces in House of Commons that no independence for Rhodesia before African majority rule.

14 June 1967                 Lord Alport (former High Commissioner to Central African Federation) visit to Rhodesia to discover whether stalemate can be broken

26 July 1967                  Announcement of new British initiative: whether HMS Tiger constitutional proposals can be renegotiated through Sir Humphrey Gibbs, by correspondence

29 May 1968                 UNO Security Council approval of comprehensive mandatory sanctions against Rhodesia, proposed by Britain (Resolution 253)

10-13 October 1968        HMS Fearless talks between Mr Smith and Mr Wilson. British proposals for a settlement based on the Tiger proposals are tabled; some concessions over procedures for the return to legality are included. A joint statement on 13 October states that the talks had ended without agreement “on fundamental issues”.

2 November 1968           Mr George Thomson and Mr Foley (PUSS at the FCO) visit Rhodesia for talks which end in deadlock.

7 November 1968           Talks held separately with detailed nationalist leaders, Mr Joshua Nkomo (ZAPU) and Rev. Ndabaningi Sithole (ZANU)

18 November 1968         Announcement of Rhodesian rejection of HMS Fearless’ proposals.

1969: Census revealed that majority of whites were not native-born Rhodesians. The system of land rights (dating from 1930) was further codified with the Land Tenure Act (November 1969), which  'equally' divided the land between blacks and whites - meaning that the average white farmer received 6,100 acres while the average African farmer received 7 acres.

20 June 1969                 Rhodesian referendum on new Constitution, marking the change to Republican status - which helped to ensure the June 24 resignation of Sir Humphrey Gibbs as Governor, an increasingly meaningless role that had been entirely negated by UDI - this also helped to lead to 14 July closure of the British Residual Mission in Salisbury, echoed by the closure of Rhodesia House in London.

November 1969              Passage of Constitution Bill, Land Tenure Bill (dividing the country into European, African and national areas under which Europeans and Africans hold equal amounts of land) and an Electoral Bill, dividing Rhodesians electorally on a racial basis,

2 March 1970                Rhodesia becomes a Republic and new Constitution takes effect

17 March 1970               Britain and America use veto in UNO Security Council to avoid implementation of complete mandatory sanctions

2 July 1970                    The recently elected Conservative Government declares it will make a further effort to find “a sensible and just solution” to the Rhodesian problem.

9 November 1970           Sir Alec Douglas-Home (Foreign Secretary) informs Parliament that contact has been made with the Rhodesian Government to determine whether a basis exists for renewing negotiations.

30 June 1971                 Arrival of Lord Goodman, British special envoy for talks with Rhodesian officials

15 November 1971         Arrival of Sir Alec Douglas-Home, British Foreign Secretary, in Salisbury to discuss settlement proposals  

24 November 1971         November 24 1971: The Smith-Home pact; Home persuaded Smith to increase African representation in Parliament; majority rule to start in the next century. Britain also announced that recognition was based on the Pearce Commission's findings on Black African opinion (which showed that the Africans were hostile to the regime).

25 November 1971         Proposals for the settlement based on the five principals are outlined in Parliament. Under these, the 1969 Rhodesian Constitution (which permanently denied Africans a majority in the House of Assembly) would be modified. The African franchise would be considerably widened, and provision for unimpeded progress towards majority rule made. A justifiable Declaration of Rights, to reduce discrimination and promote racial harmony, is also proposed, and a commission of enquiry is to be set up to look at the question of discriminatory legislation. In addition, British aid of £50m over 10 years is to be made available for economic and educational development in African areas; this would be matched by the Rhodesian Government. The package would be submitted to the Rhodesian people for approval, with a test of acceptability to be conducted by a commission appointed by the British government and led by Lord Pearce.

16 December 1971         The African National Council is set up as a temporary non-political body under Bishop Abel Muzorewa to oppose the settlement terms.

11 January 1972            Pearce Commission arrives in Rhodesia to conduct test of acceptability of settlement proposals.

10 March 1972               The ANC is transformed into a political organisation, calling for a constitutional conference.

11 March 1972               Pearce Commission leaves Rhodesia

23 May 1972                 Publication of Pearce Commission Report, that settlement proposals were not acceptable to ‘the people of Rhodesia as a whole’.

31 May 1972                 US Senate votes against re-imposition of embargo on Rhodesian chrome.

November 1972              Sir Alec Douglas-Home declares the government’s belief “that to ensure a harmonious future, the proposals for a settlement must now come from the Rhodesians”.

21 December 1972         Attack on Altena farm in Centenary area by Josiah Tongogara and number of insurgents. Marks beginning of upsurge of insurgency activity.

9 January 1973              Rhodesian border with Zambia closed, on condition that Zambia would cease to harbour guerrillas. (reopened by Rhodesia 4 February, though Zambian side remains closed).

22 May 1973                 Britain and US veto UNO Security Council Resolution to extend sanctions against Rhodesia.

21-25 June 1973            British delegation, led by Sir Denis Greenhill (PUS, FCO) visit to Rhodesia for talks with Rhodesian civil servants and Bishop Muzorewa

27 June 1973                 Sir Alec Douglas-Home, addressing the House of Commons, urges Europeans and Africans to try to seek solutions to their problems between themselves. No settlement would be stable without a greater measure of agreement between Europeans and Africans.

17 July 1973                  First official meeting between Mr  Smith and Bishop Muzorewa (ANC).

2 March 1974                ANC inaugural conference agree on a mandate for continuing talks with the Rhodesian regime.

18 March 1974               Callaghan (now Foreign Secretary following February 1974 British General Election) announces in the House of Commons: “There is still one area of Southern Africa which remains a specifically British responsibility – Rhodesia”.

April 25, 1974: The Lisbon Coup, and end of the fascist regime in Portugal to have a great effect on guerrilla support from, (and bases in) Mozambique and Angola. Frelimo were to assume power in Mozambique.

2 June 1974                   Joint proposals agreed between Bishop Muzorewa and Mr  Smith, based on the 1971 Constitutional proposals and laid before the ANC Central Committee, are rejected, but further talks encouraged.

3 July 1974                    An ANC delegation tells the British Government it is not prepared to continue talks with the Mr Smith regime, but wants a constitutional conference attended by Britain and detained nationalist leaders.

31 July 1974                  Victory of Rhodesian Front (all 50 seats) in Rhodesian general election. Although the ANC boycotted the election, ANC supporters successfully contested 6:8 elected African seats as independents.

Dec. 1974-Aug.1975: Victoria Falls; the first mediation effort. John Vorster (South African Prime Minister) and Kenneth Kaunda (Zambian President)  persuaded Smith to call a cease-fire, the release of high ranking members of the nationalist movement (Nkomo, Sithole, and Mugabe) to allow peace negotiations to begin. The results were a failure - ZANU split, Mugabe replaced Sithole as the leader of ZANU and Nkomo was expelled from ANC.

8 December 1974             Meetings held in Lusaka, Zambia attended by Presidents of Botswana, Tanzania and Zambia, leaders of the four Rhodesian nationalist groups and representatives of the Rhodesian regime. Mr Nkomo and the Rev Sithole are allowed out of detention in Rhodesia to attend - uniting of nationalist groups under Bishop Abel Muzorewa's African National Congress.

9 December 1974           Leaders of African Nationalist movements sign the Lusaka Declaration, uniting ZAPU, ZANU, FROLIZO and ANC under UANC and chairmanship of Bishop Muzorewa.

11 December 1974         Although the Lusaka Declaration established that negotiations between the UANC and the Rhodesian regime were to be held without preconditions, a ceasefire arranged and detained nationalist leaders and their followers released, the agreement is interpreted differently by the two sides. This is particularly on the implementation and status of the agreed ceasefire.

January 1975                 The Rhodesian regime halts the release of nationalist detainees, alleging that the ceasefire is not being observed. The UANC claim that agreements on freedom of political activity for Africans are not being honoured.  

14 January 1975            Following a visit to African countries (Zambia, Botswana, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa) Mr Callaghan announces in Parliament that he believes there is ‘a greater degree of understanding’ over the Rhodesia question ‘between Britain and the African governments than at any time since UDI’. He also discussed with South African Prime Minister BJ Vorster ways of achieving an agreement settlement between the two sides in Rhodesia.

15 March 1975               Mr Smith and senior Ministers visit to South Africa for talks

18 March 1975               Rhodesia’s Diplomatic Mission in Lisbon told to leave by 30 April.

15 June 1975                 Meeting between Mr Smith and UANC ends in deadlock over

venue for constitutional conference.

9 August 1975               After talks in London, Mr Callaghan and Bishop Muzorewa announce they have agreed to ‘continue their efforts to bring discussions about and secure a successful constitutional conference’.

13 August 1975             The Pretoria Agreement, announcing a constitutional conference to be held in South African Railways coaches on Victoria Falls Bridge. This is signed by Mark Chona, President Kaunda’s special adviser.

25 August 1975             Conference at Victoria Falls Bridge, attended also by President Kaunda and John Vorster (South African Prime Minister).

26 August 1975             Deadlock at Victoria Falls Conference.

4 September 1975          Split emerges within UANC, between ZAPU led by Mr Nkomo and Bishop Muzorewa and the Rev. Sithole in Lusaka.

November 1975              The Zimbabwe People’s Army (ZIPA) set up in Mozambique by guerrilla leaders. Guerrilla cadres are chiefly ZANU members; Robert Mugabe becomes ZIPA spokesman.

December 1975             Negotiations open between Mr  Smith and Mr Nkomo.

3 March 1976                Following border clashes, President Machel of Mozambique announces the closure of the border with Rhodesia, and the application in full of UN sanctions against Rhodesia.

19 March 1976               Talks between Mr  Smith and Mr Nkomo break down over the timing of majority rule, the extent of the franchise and the composition of an interim government. Mr  Smith said he believed Britain ‘should now actively assist in resolving the constitutional issue in Rhodesia’.

22 March 1976               Following earlier contacts between the British Government and the Rhodesian regime (including an exploratory mission by Lord Greenhill), Mr Callaghan proposes in Parliament a two stage operation for a peaceful settlement:

1.     Prior agreement by all parties to a number of preconditions

a.     ‘Acceptance of the principle of majority rule.

b.     Elections for majority rule to take place in 18-24 months.

c.     Agreement that there will be no independence before majority rule

d.     The negotiations must not be long drawn out.’

Assurances would be needed that the transition to majority rule and to an independent Rhodesia would not be thwarted and would be orderly.

2.     the negotiation of the actual terms of the independence constitution.

2 April 1976                   The proposals are endorsed by the Heads of Government of the European Community.

25 April 1976                 After discussing the Rhodesian situation with the Foreign Secretary Mr Crosland, the US Secretary of State, Dr Kissinger, announces that the American and British views on Rhodesia are identical and that the US Government strongly support Mr Callaghan’s proposals.

27 April 1976                 During a tour of 7 African countries, Dr Kissinger emphasises in Lusaka the US commitment to an early negotiated settlement and urges acceptance of Mr Callaghan’s proposals.

8 August 1976               300 killed in Mozambique, following Smith warning of possible ‘hot pursuit’ operations if attacks across Mozambique/Rhodesian border continued.

4 September 1976          Prime Minister Vorster and Secretary of State Dr Henry Kissinger meet in Zurich

13 September 1976        Smith meeting with Vorster in Pretoria

19 September 1976        Smith meeting with Kissinger in Pretoria. Kissinger presents Mr  Smith with a discussion paper containing a set of draft proposals aimed at solving the constitutional issue.

24 September 1976        Smith's broadcast to Rhodesian nation that he has accepted the Kissinger proposals for majority rule in two years, conditional upon the removal of sanctions and end of the insurgency. Mr  Smith announces that the Kissinger proposals also provided for representatives of the Rhodesian Government and African leaders ‘to meet immediately at a mutually agreed place’ to organise an interim government. This would comprise a Council of State with equal numbers of black and white members, nominated by their respective sides, and a white chairman without a special vote; and a Council of Ministers with a majority of African members and an African First Minister, taking decisions by a two-thirds majority. For the period of the interim government, the Minister of Defence and Law and Order would be white. When the interim government was established, sanctions would be lifted and all acts of war, including guerrilla warfare, would cease. Substantial economic support would be made available by the international community to stimulate the Rhodesian economy.

26 September 1976        The Presidents of Zambia, Angola, Botswana, Mozambique and Tanzania (the Front Line States) issue a statement in which, while discounting the proposals as outlined by Mr  Smith, they call upon Britain immediately to convene a conference outside Rhodesia with ‘the authentic and legitimate representatives of the people’ to discuss the structure and functions of the transitional government and to set it up, to discuss the modalities for convening a full constitutional conference to work out the independence constitution, and to establish the basis upon which peace and normality could be restored in the territory.

29 September 1976        Mr Crosland announces that Britain has decided to convene a conference to discuss the formation of an interim government.  

on Rhodesia held - a mediation effort involving Henry Kissinger, US secretary of state (who practiced "lying to both sides", but failed) and John Vorster. Success on some levels - Smith agreed on a commitment to majority rule

9 October 1976              Formation of a joint ‘Patriotic Front’ announced by Mr Nkomo (ZAPU) and Mr Mugabe (ZANU); the military forces combining to form ZIPA.. A joint statement declares that the front has ‘decided to intensify the armed liberation struggle until the achievement of victory’. The co-leaders agree to attend any conference as a joint delegation under joint leadership.

Oct. 28-Dec. 14 1976 Opening of All-Party Geneva Conference Geneva Conference on Kissinger Plan, under chairmanship of Mr Ivor Richard. Delegations representing the Rhodesia Front (led by Smith) and nationalist movements (led by Nkomo, Bishop Muzorewa, Rev. Sithole and Mugabe) attend. Plenary sessions also attended by observers from Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia, and representatives of the Organisation of African Unity and the Commonwealth Secretariat. After discussing a possible date for independence, the conference turns to the central issue of the structure and functions of an interim government. Nationalists not prepared to negotiate on the basis of the five points accepted by Smith.

3 November 1976           Smith returns to Salisbury, leaving P K van der Byl (Minister of Foreign Affairs) to head Rhodesian delegation. 4 Dec 1976 Geneva talks adjourned until 17 January 1977.

12 November 1976         Britain renews sanctions against Rhodesia

29 December 1976         Formation of ZUPO (Zimbabwe United People’s Organisation)

1 January 1977              Ivor Richard arrives in Rhodesia to present new British proposals

January 1977                 Inauguration of President Carter.

11 January 1977            Reopening of Geneva Conference postponed.

19 January 1977            Beginning a second round of consultations in Africa, Mr Richard presents a document embodying the ideas already discussed. The plan provides for a transitional government to be headed by an Interim Commissioner appointed by Britain, and a Council of Ministers with a substantial African majority. The Council of Ministers would have full executive and legislative competence, subject to the Interim Commissioner's reserve powers in certain matters (primarily external affairs, defence, internal security and the implementation of the independence programme.) These powers would enable the Commissioner to ensure a smooth transition to majority rule and independence. A National Security Council, presided over by the Interim Commissioner, would be responsible for defence and security and for ensuring effective government control of the defence and security forces. The Council of Ministers would implement the independence programme and work out a constitution. For this purpose it would appoint a constitutional committee presided over by the Interim Commissioner, and representative of the political groupings.

The proposals are accepted as a basis for negotiation by the FLS and by all the nationalist leaders.

24 January 1977 Smith broadcasts to the nation, rejecting British proposals on the grounds that they differ considerably from the Anglo-American proposals as presented by Dr Kissinger. As an alternative, he hints at the possibility of an 'internal' solution.

10 February 1977           Vorster discussions with US and British Ambassadors about new settlement initiative

12 February 1977           British Foreign Secretary, Tony Crosland, falls ill.

                                    Mr R W (Pik) Botha, South African Foreign Minister, meets Cyrus Vance, US Secretary of State in Washington for discussions on Rhodesian settlement initiative

19 February 1977           Death of Tony Crosland.

                                    Appointment of Dr David Owen as Foreign Secretary.

                                    Frank Judd appointed as Minister of State.

21 February 1977           Meeting at Foreign Office, chaired by Dr Owen, to consider breakdown of Geneva initiative (prompted by RF Botha). Attended by Ivor Richard.

23 February 1977           Amendment to Land Tenure Act announced. (White farming lands and industrial and commercial lands in central districts to be open to all races, but Tribal Trust Lands to remain the preserve of Africans.)

2 March 1977                12 Rhodesian Front MPs rebel against Land Bill

4 March 1977                Land Tenure Bill passes in Rhodesian Parliament

10 March 1977               Prime Minister Callaghan and Dr Owen visit to Washington for talks with President Carter and Secretary of State Vance. Dr Owen decision to work as closely as possible with Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana, as well as Angola and Tanzania, and South Africa and Rhodesia.

                                    Launch of a new joint Anglo-American initiative. The aim is to reach agreement with the parties on the independence constitution and on arrangements for a brief transition period, during which elections will be held.  

16 March 1977               Repeal of Byrd Amendment allowing US to import Rhodesian chrome.

19/20 March 1977          Informal Labour/Ulster Unionist Pact.

22/23 March 1977          Lib/Lab pact

30 March 1977               Rev. Ndabaningi Sithole reveals deaths of over 260 ZANU fighters in factional infighting in Mozambique

2 April 1977                   Rev. Ndabaningi Sithole forms own branch of ANC, in opposition to Bishop Muzorewa

April 1977                      Dr Owen meeting with Mr Nkomo in London.

10-17 April 1977             Dr Owen visits Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Rhodesia, Angola and Nigeria for talks.

13 April 1977                 Dr Owen meeting with Mr  Smith at the British Ambassador’s residence, Cape Town.

15 April 1977                 Dr David Owen, British Foreign Secretary, arrives in Rhodesia. Meetings with variety of Rhodesians

16 April 1977                 Dr Owen announces preference for transition to caretaker government – whites to be encouraged to stay

11 May 1977                 Britain announces formation of roving Consultative Group in Southern Africa for negotiations on constitutional and transitional arrangements to majority rule (Graham-Low group). Anglo-American proposals backed by Front Line States.  

15 May 1977                 Mr Smith announces that constitution must be drafted before agreement can be reached on transition to black majority rule

16 May 1977                 Kaunda announces Zambia is in a ‘state of war’ with Rhodesia.

26 May 1977                 Anglo-American envoys, John Graham (Deputy Under Secretary, FCO) and Stephen Low (US Ambassador to Zambia), arrive in Salisbury for discussions with cross-section of Rhodesian opinion.

27 May 1977                 Messrs Graham and Low meeting with Mr Smith

29 May 1977                 Messrs Graham and Low visit to Maputo, Mozambique.

1 June 1977                   Anglo-American envoys discussion with Nkomo (co-leader of Patriotic Front)

23 June 1977                 Dr Owen and Cyrus Vance meet in Paris to discuss Rhodesia

5 July 1977                    OAU summit meeting in Gabon gives backing to the military aims of the Patriotic Front whilst emphasising that the question of political leadership should be left to the Rhodesian people to decide.

July 1977                      Commonwealth Prime Ministers Conference, London.

10 July 1977                  Rev. Ndabaningi Sithole returns to Rhodesia after over two-year exile. Denounces terrorism, and endorses the present Anglo-American settlement initiative.

17 July 1977                  Large rally greets Muzorewa after 6-week absence.

18 July 1977                 Smith announces General Election on 31 August as a preliminary to seeking an internal settlement.

23 July 1977                  Muzorewa presents 4-point plan culminating in one-man one-vote general election by March 1978.

25 July 1977                  Following discussions with Mr Vance and President Carter, Dr Owen informs Parliament that it has been agreed that the Anglo-American initiative should continue.

27 July 1977                  Mr Nkomo visits London for talks with Mr Callaghan and Dr Owen.

5 August 1977               President Nyerere meets President Carter and Mr Vance in Washington. Carter modifies wording of Anglo-American proposal to read the security forces will be based primarily on the liberation forces.

11 August 1977             Dr Owen met Bishop Muzorewa in London.

12 August 1977             Dr Owen and Mr Vance held talks with the South African Foreign Minister, Mr R F Botha, in London.

16 August 1977             Dr Owen holds further talks with Bishop Muzorewa in London.

18 August 1977             Mr Botha meets Mr Smith in Salisbury.

20 August 1977             African nationalist leaders move towards a new political line-up (Rev. Sithole, Senator Chief Chirau and Dr Gabellah [Vice President of Muzorewa’s ANC].

24 August 1977             Muzorewa dissolves ANC executive

25 August 1977             Dr Owen meets the UN Secretary General, Dr Waldheim, in London and the Nigerian External Affairs Commissioner, Brigadier Garba, in Lagos, before visiting Southern Africa,

Announcement of Anglo-American proposals for Rhodesia

27 August 1977             Mr  Smith meeting with Mr Vorster in Pretoria.

27 – 30 August 1977      Dr Owen and Mr Andrew Young (US Ambassador to the UN) hold meetings in Lusaka with FLPs and the Patriotic Front; with Mr Vorster and Mr Botha in Pretoria; with President Nyerere in Dar es Salaam; and with Mr William |Eteki Mboumoua, Secretary-General of the OAU, in Nairobi.

28 August 1977             Mr Vorster discusses latest settlement proposals with Anglo-American negotiators in Pretoria.

31 August 1977             Rhodesian General Election. Rhodesian Front wins all 50 European seats.

1 September 1977          Dr Owen and Mr Young arrive in Salisbury to present Anglo-American proposals (Command Paper 6919 Rhodesia: Proposals for a Settlement. - end of Mr Smith government and six-month transition period leading to general election on basis of one-man one-vote. Independent Zimbabwe by 1978, and establishment of interim government to be supervised by Britain with UN presence, including a UN Force; an independence \constitution providing for a democratically elected government, the abolition of discrimination, protection of individual human rights, and the independence of the judiciary. A development fund to revive the economy is also to be established.)

The British Government also undertakes to place before the Security Council proposals for the Independence Constitution and for the administration of the territory during the transitional period. The latter is to comprise: the appointment of a Resident Commissioner, whose role is to include organising and conducting a general election within a period not exceeding six months, taking command of all the armed forces in Rhodesia (apart from the UN Zimbabwe force) and the assumption of responsibility for the police force; the appointment of a Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General; the establishment of a UN Zimbabwe force; the assumption of responsibility for law and order by the police forces; the establishment of new Zimbabwe National Army; the establishment of an electoral and boundary commission; arrangements for a ceasefire on the agreed day on which power was transferred to the transitional administration.

Field Marshall Lord Carver is appointed Resident Commissioner-designate. Lord Carver emphasises that law and order will be the crucial issue during the transitional period. It is a fundamental principle that on independence day the government should have under its command one unified army loyal to the people and their elected government.

7 September 1977          The Rhodesian Government submitted to the British Government a memorandum seeking clarification of points which were negotiable.

14 September 1977        Patriotic Front leaders announce their objections to some aspects of the proposals.

15 September 1977        Mr Smith sends representations to British government on proposals.

18 September 1977        Mr  Smith announces the formation of a new white-dominated Cabinet and the shelving of the interim settlement plan.

19 September 1977        Dr Owen holds talks with President Kaunda's Special Adviser, Mr Mark Chona, and Mr Archie Mogwe, Botswana Foreign Minister in London.

25 September 1977        Mr  Smith meets President Kaunda in Lusaka. (The meeting is not revealed until 1 October, when it is described as "cordial and wide-ranging" by Rhodesian officials.)

27 September 1977        UN Security Council meets to consider Anglo-American proposals. Dr Owen addresses the UN General Assembly. He says that peace is unobtainable in Rhodesia unless there is agreement between the parties concerned and that the UN had an important role to play in the transition.

29 September 1977        The Security Council adopts Resolution 415 (1977) by 13 votes to nil (The USSR abstains; China does not participate.) It requests that the Secretary-General appoint a Representative "to enter into discussions with the British Resident Commissioner-designate and with all parties, concerning the military and associated arrangements that are considered necessary to effect the transition to majority rule in Southern Rhodesia."

1 October 1977  Dr Owen and Mr Vance aim for conference on Rhodesia in neutral country

3 October 1977              Lieutenant General Prem Chand appointed as UN special representative to Rhodesia

9-11 October 1977         In Moscow, Dr Owen discusses with Mr Brezhnev and Mr Gromyko Britain's initiative to involve the UN in efforts to reach a settlement in Rhodesia.

10 October 1977            Zambia calls for UN sanctions on South Africa, including an oil embargo

19 October 1977            P K van der Byl dismisses idea that security forces would be disbanded under Anglo-American proposals.

20 October 1977            The Commonwealth Committee on Southern Africa reported on oil sanctions against Rhodesia.

25 October 1977            The Mozambique Foreign Minister, Mr Joaquim Chissano, discusses the Anglo-US proposals in London with Dr Owen.

26-28 October 1977        The Rev. N Sithole, speaking in London where he has met Dr Owen, said that most Africans accepted the Anglo-American settlement proposals.

November 1977              UN Security Council Resolution 421, Mandatory arms sanctions on South Africa.

1-10 November 1977       Lord Carver (accompanied by General Chan) holds talks in Dar es Salaam, Salisbury, Gabarone, Lusaka and Lagos. Subjects include ceasefire and transitional arrangements, covering proposals for the maintenance of law and order and military arrangements.   

1 November 1977           Lord Carver brief meeting with Nkomo and Mugabe in Lusaka

2 November 1977           Lord Carver and General Chand arrive in Salisbury for discussions

3-9 November 1977        Mr Graham visits Rhodesia for discussions on the independence constitution.

5 November 1977           Mr Smith announces ‘no progress’ following discussions with Carver and Chand.

8 November 1977           Lord Carver and General Chand meeting with President Kaunda in Lusaka to debrief on Salisbury talks

                                    Dr Owen announcement in London that as long as African nationalist leaders are divided, no solution is possible without an election

10 November 1977         Preliminary soundings about possible round-table talks in Malta

11 November 1977         Dr Owen, in the House of Commons, identifies three essential elements to be resolved: the transitional constitution, the independence constitution, law and order.

12 November 1977         Announcement in House of Commons of Carver’s proposed establishment of Rhodesian Security Forces (all white units to be disbanded, six battalions to be created from nationalist units, Air Force to remain intact.)

18 November 1977         Muzorewa and Rev. Sithole announce their continuing support for Anglo-American proposals.

24 November 1977         Mr  Smith declared acceptance of the principle of black majority rule and announces his intention to hold settlement discussions with African leaders in Rhodesia.

25 November 1977         Dr Owen reiterates that independence must involve a genuine transfer of power to a government representing the majority of the people of Rhodesia following elections based on universal adult suffrage.

1 December 1977           President Kaunda indicates in an interview published in The Times that he might support an internal settlement in Rhodesia if this met with the approval of the Patriotic Front and the Front Line States.

2 December 1977           Talks held between Mr Smith government and nationalist parties (UANC, Rev N Sithole ANC and Chief Jeremiah Chirau (ZUPO) on an internal settlement.

5 December 1977           In London, Rev N Sithole declared his intention of working with the Anglo-US proposals.

5 December 1977           Walter Mondale, US Vice President, says fair elections in Rhodesia could provide ‘a good hope for peaceful and democratic government’.

6 December 1977           President Kaunda announces the Zambian view that elections under the Anglo-US initiative should not come before independence. Zambia would make no further contributions to the proposals by participating in further discussions with the British Government, but would continue to participate in meetings with other Front Line Presidents.

8 December 1977           Mr Nkomo and Mr Mugabe decline an invitation to meet Dr Owen in London on 13 December. The invitation is later renewed for talks in the New Year.

18 December 1977         The Presidents of Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia, meeting at Beira, reaffirmed their commitment to the Anglo-US settlement proposals.

6-9 January 1978           Lord Carver (Resident Commissioner-designate) and General Prem Chan hold talks in Maputo with President Machel. Lord Carver continues on to Pretoria and Gaborone.

17 January 1978            Internal settlement talks in Salisbury delayed in an attempt to reach a compromise on the question of applying a blocking mechanism on a future parliament.

20 January 1978            Rhodesian Government launches ‘safe return’ programme for nationalist guerrillas wishing to return to Rhodesia in peace.

30 January 1978            Meeting in Malta between Dr Owen, Lord Carver, Mr Andrew Young and General Prem Chan, and PF leaders, Mugabe and Nkomo, to discuss Anglo-US proposals. Each side agreed to consider proposals made by the other and to meet again.

6 February 1978             Malta proposals received in Salisbury.

15 February 1978           Announcement by Mr Smith and Muzorewa of internal settlement, including establishment of an interim government to lead Rhodesia to majority rule.

16 February 1978           Andrew Young, US Ambassador to the UN, reacts negatively, predicting ‘another Angola-type situation’. Dr Owen, UK Foreign Secretary, responds differently, informing Parliament, ‘the quicker Rhodesia can be brought to independence on the basis of the agreement, the more likely we are to get a satisfactory solution.’

                                    4 prominent US Senators introduce resolution in Senate urging the Carter Administration to give it ‘serious and impartial consideration’.

February 1978               Speech by John Davies, Shadow Foreign Secretary, welcoming prospect of internal settlement provided 6 principles are met.

26-27 February 1978      OAU Foreign Ministers' Conference, Tripoli, rejects the Salisbury negotiations and calls for further talks on the basis of the Anglo-US proposals.

1-2 March 1978              African States at the UN called for a Security Council meeting to consider proposals to block acceptance of any internal settlement which does not include the PF.

                                    Parties to the internal settlement talks agree that Rhodesia should become independent under majority rule on 31 December 1978. Proposals for a transitional administration also agreed.

3 March 1978                Internal Settlement reached between Ian Mr Smith and Bishop                               Abel Muzorewa (head of ANC),  Rev. Ndabagini Sithole (leader of ZUPO), and Chief Chirau: the Salisbury Agreement. Includes provision for: i)              a Constitution to provide for majority rule on the basis of university adult suffrage; ii)             100 member legislative assembly (72 black and 28 white) iii)            a Declaration of Rights iv)            the independence, qualifications and security of the judiciary; v)             an independent Public Services Board vi)            establishment of a transitional government to bring about a ceasefire and deal with matters relating to the future composition of military forces, release of detainees, review of sentences for political offences, removal of discrimination, election and the drafting of a Constitution. vii)           Composition of the transitional government: a.     An Executive Council, comprising Bishop Muzorewa, the Rev. Sithole, Chief Chirau and Mr  Smith (chairmanship by rotation); b.     A Ministerial council, with black and white parity (chairmanship by alteration), responsible for initiating legislation and for duties referred to it by the Executive Council; viii)          continuation of Parliament during the life of the transitional government for the purpose of passing or enacting legislation as required to implement the agreement; ix) independence on 31 December 1978.

5 March 1978                Dr Owen refuses to give assurances that Britain will not recognise the agreement without the involvement of the Patriotic Front. 16 members of Congressional black caucus urge President Carter to reject the internal settlement. The Patriotic Front issue a communiqué condemning the internal agreement and advocating negotiations on the basis of the Anglo-US proposals.

6 March 1978 UN Security Council debate on the Salisbury Agreement; later decided that any internal settlement to be ‘illegal and unacceptable’. Resolution 423 (adopted 10:0 with 5 abstentions, including Britain and other Western Security Council members)

March 1978                   Front Line President’s meeting in Dar es Salaam: FLP call upon the US and UK to make their stance on the Anglo-American plan clear.

8 March 1978                Dr Owen visits Washington for talks with President Carter and Mr Vance.

mid-March 1978 Mr Mugabe and Mr Nkomo meeting with Dr Owen in London

9 March 1978                Meeting between President Carter, Mr Vance and Dr Owen, at which it is agreed the Anglo-American plan (of an all-party conference) is the best basis on which to proceed.

10 March 1978               Joint announcement by British and American Governments that they wish to bring together at one conference all the parties to the Salisbury and Malta talks with a view to widening the areas of agreement.

13-16 March 1978          Dr Owen holds further talks in London with the Patriotic Front

leaders, Chief Chirau and Bishop Muzorewa.

14 March 1978               US and UK abstention in UN Security Council on African sponsored resolution calling for rejection of the internal settlement.

17 March 1978               British and American representatives meeting with Rhodesian officials in Pretoria.

                                    UN Security Council Resolution 424 condemning the Rhodesian raid on Zambia (6-7 March)

17-18 March 1978          Mr John Graham (FCO) and US officials have meeting in Pretoria with Mr Jack Gaylord, Secretary to the Cabinet in Rhodesia, and representatives of Rev. Sithole to explain British and American thinking behind the proposed meeting of all parties.

21 March 1978               Rhodesian Executive Council established, ministerial status being given to Bishop Muzorewa, the Rev. Sithole and Chief Chirau.

Mr Young visits Dar es Salaam to assure President Nyerere of President Carter’s commitment to the Anglo-American Plan.

25-26 March 1978          Front Line Presidents and the Patriotic Front Leaders hold summit meeting in Dar es Salaam. They condemn the internal agreement ("as illegal as the previous regime"); criticised the British and US \Governments for not condemning it; called on the two governments to convene a meeting as a follow-up to the Malta talks; demanded an intensified armed struggle; and called on the international community to tighten and widen sanctions.

March 1978                   Mr Smith accepted idea of a new conference provided it does not entail the renegotiation of the internal settlement.

March 3, 1978: Internal Settlement between Smith and the non-Patriotic Front African parties reached. Black majority rule (one person, one vote) granted, but interests of the whites were protected, including continued control of the key ministries. Internal Settlement condemned by OAU,

1 April 1978                   Meeting in Lagos (during President Carter's visit to Nigeria 31 March to 2 April) of representatives of the Front Line States, including the Foreign Ministers of Zambia and Botswana (Angola and Mozambique are not represented), Mr Vance and Sir Sam Falle, British High Commissioner in Nigeria. The Nigerian Foreign Minister, Brigadier Garba, presides.

 April 1977-Dec. 1978: Repeated failure of Anglo-American mediation effort carried out by Britain's foreign secretary David Owen and US secretary of state Cyrus Vance.

3 April 1978                   Mr John Graham (FCO) and Mr Stephen Low, US Ambassador to Zambia, hold a series of consultations with all the parties concerned and the interested governments in the area, to discus the intention of the two governments to invite all the parties to an early meeting.

5 April 1978                   Mr Graham, of the Foreign Office, departure to Lusaka and Maputo, accompanied by Stephen Low, US Ambassador to Lusaka, to meet PF leaders.

7-16 April 1978              Mr Graham and Mr Low hold talks in Maputo with Mr Nkomo and other representatives of the PF; with the South African government representatives in Johannesburg and Pretoria; and with representatives of the Rhodesian Executive Council in Salisbury.

14-15 April 1978             Meeting between Dr Owen, Mr Vance and Patriotic Front in Dar es Salaam. (accompanied by Lord Carver and General Prem Chand, Representatives of Front Line Presidents and Nigeria). Representatives from the governments of Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia are also present as observers. And with representatives of the regime in Salisbury.

                                    Communiqué issued at the end of the meeting stated that GB and US regarded PF proposals as fundamental deviation from Anglo-American plan, which would have to be negotiated.

                                    Rhodesian Ministerial \council (9 portfolios: 18-co ministers) "sworn in".

17 April 1978                 Subsequent discussions in Pretoria and Salisbury, between Dr Owen, Mr Vance and Executive Council.

18 April 1978                 Dr Owen informs Parliament that the PF leaders had accepted an invitation to round table talks and the signatories to the Salisbury Agreement had undertaken to give it "serious consideration". In Salisbury's view, this is taken as little signs of progress.

20 April 1978                 First meeting of the Rhodesian Ministerial Council

25 April 1978                 Executive Council of Rhodesia interim government replied to the Anglo-US proposal for a round table meeting. It urges the two governments to re-examine their policies "in the light of the racially changed circumstances in Rhodesia" and that it does not believe that a conference on the lines suggested will have any more chance of success than in 1976.

2 May 1978                   Executive Council call for ceasefire, and lift 16-year ban on ZAPU and ZANU.

3 May 1978                   Mr Nkomo rejects the ceasefire call and amnesty offer.

A spokesman for Mr Mugabe says that his soldiers will ignore the call for a ceasefire.

UANC criticises the plan for a ceasefire, which it says could become effective only when racial discrimination is removed.

4 May 1978                   Debate in House of Commons on Rhodesia. Dr Owen announces that Mr John Graham will go to Africa to prepare the say for round table talks. He will work closely with Mr Stephen Low and will keep in touch with all the parties. President Kaunda agrees in London that there should be round table talks and appeals to Mr  Smith to go to the conference table.

16 May 1978                 The Executive Council announces that there will be a constitutional rather than an executive President in Zimbabwe after independence.

26 May 1978                 Mr  Smith announces at a Press Conference in Cape Town (after talks with Mr R F Botha) that he was confident that a general election would be held before the end of the year at which point he would stand down as Prime Minister.

27 May 1978                 Speech by Mr Vorster,  expressing support for the internal settlement, and plea for international recognition and removal of sanctions.

30 May 1978                 Executive Council announces “party list” system will be used to elect 72 black MPs in forthcoming election (under this system each party submits list of candidates, electors vote for party of their choice, and seats are then allocated in proportion to votes cast for each party).

1-4 June 1978                Mr Graham and Mr Low hold talks with the parties to prepare the way for a round table conference. In Lusaka, they meet ZAPU representatives; Mr Mark Chona, Special Adviser to President Kaunda; and Mr Nkomo.

6-14 June 1978              Graham-Low visit to Salisbury to try to persuade Zimbabwe/Rhodesian government to accept the idea of an all-party conference. (Talks with Rev N Sithole, Chief Chirau (ZUPO), Bishop Muzorewa, and the 4 Deputies of the Executive Council.

                                    Visit to Maputo to try and persuade Mr Mugabe to participate in direct talks with Bishop Muzorewa.

13 June 1978                 Four Rhodesian African MPs publish a memorandum criticising the internal agreement.

15 June 1978                 Mr Graham and Mr Low have discussions with a ZANU delegation led by Mr Mugabe, in Maputo. Smith, in a BBC Television interview, says the efforts of the transitional administration to achieve a ceasefire are not proving as successful as he had hoped. He calls on Britain to give more support to the transitional administration and to arrange for sanctions to be lifted.

16-20 June 1978            Mr Graham and Mr Low have talks with representatives of the Tanzanian Government and of the OAU in Dar es Salaam; with ZAPU officials in Lusaka; with President Khama in Gaborone, and with Mr Fourie, South African Secretary for Foreign Affairs, in Pretoria.

19 June 1978                 Mr Nkomo meeting with State Dept officials in Washington: rejects idea of all-party settlement.


20 June 1978                 Dr Owen holds talks with Mr Mark Chona in London.

21-28 June 1978            Mr Graham and Mr Low have meetings in Salisbury with Mr  Smith and other officials of the transitional administration.

22 June 1978                 13 of the 15 African MPs in the Rhodesian Parliament issue a statement calling on all nationalist leaders to agree to attend an all-party conference.


23 June 1978                 Precipitates Conservative criticism of Labour government’s policy: calls for Dr Owen to rule out further talks with PF, and to recognise internal settlement. Smith announces in Parliament that the transitional administration is not opposed to attending an all-party conference provided that the arrangements are “constructive” and there is a chance of success.

Massacre of missionaries at Elim Mission.

28-29 June 1978            Mr Graham and Mr Low have talks with President Banda in Malawi and with Mr Nkomo in Lusaka.


29 June 1978                 US  pro-Rhodesian pressure group, led by Senator Jesse Helms, resolution calling for lifting of sanctions by September 1979. Resolution is defeated 48-42.


3 July 1978                    Mr John Davies, Opposition spokesman on Foreign Affairs, has talks in Lusaka with President Kaunda and Mr Nkomo.


4-6 July 1978                 Mr Graham and Mr Low talks with Mr Chikerema in Salisbury, with Mr Fourie in Pretoria, and with President Machel and Mr Mugabe in Maputo.


5 July 1978                    Mr John Davies arrives in Salisbury on fact-finding mission.


4-9 July 1978                 Bishop Muzorewa pays an official visit to South Africa.


5 July 1978                    The transitional administration forms a committee of six ministers (three white and three African) to investigate ways of removing racial discrimination. A government spokesman says that it has been accepted in principle that discrimination should be abolished “except where its retention is necessary or desirable in the national interest”.

                                    Mr  Smith says he still hopes that an all-party conference wit the Patriotic Front is possible.

6 July 1978                    Mr Davis has talks in Salisbury with political leaders, the Security Force Commander and representatives of commerce and industry.

6-7 July 1978                 Mr Graham and Mr Low talk with Mr Mugabe in Maputo and Mr Nkomo in Lusaka.

10-11 July 1978             Mr Graham and Mr Low hold talks with President Kaunda in Lusaka and with President Nyerere in Dar es Salaam.

11 July 1978                  A spokesman for the Council of OAU Foreign Ministers in Khartoum announces that “while supporting the Patriotic Front in the context of the armed struggle, the Council still maintains that other political groups should be involved in an all-party conference (and) choice of leaders in Zimbabwe is up to the people of Zimbabwe.”

12 July 1978                  Mr Graham and Mr Low begin discussions in Salisbury, lasting several days, with Mr  Smith and members of the transitional administration.

17 July 1978                  Bishop Muzorewa visit to Washington, to lobby for the lifting of sanctions.

19 July 1978                  Chief Chirau says that ZUPO would be prepared in principle to attend all-party talks.

26 July 1978                  US Senate votes by 48-42 against an amendment to the Foreign Aid Bill, providing for the immediate lifting of sanctions. After a conference with the House of Representatives, which also debated a similar amendment, Senators Case-Javitz compromise amendment, calling for sanctions to be lifted by December 31 1978, ‘if the President determined that the Rhodesian government had demonstrated its willingness to attend an all-party conference’ and a new government had been installed following ‘free, internationally supervised elections.’ Approved by the Senate 59-36.

                                    Mr Rowan Cronje, Rhodesian Joint Minister of Manpower and Social Affairs, said at Salisbury news conference, at which the provisional timetable for the election was announced, that UN and OAU observers would be welcome at the election. Polling would be between 4-6 December. A referendum on the Independence Constitution would be held among the white electorate on 20 October.

31 July 1978                  Mr Shridath (‘Sonny’)  Ramphal, Commonwealth Secretary-General, said in Botswana that Britain should take full charge of Rhodesia as a colonial power. He urges Mr  Smith to invite the British Government to step in.   

2 August 1978               During House of Commons debate on Rhodesia, Dr Owen

reaffirms the government’s determination to achieve a

negotiated settlement which will bring an end to the war, and to maintain its policy on sanctions.

                                    Conservative attempt to force Government to lift sanctions defeated in House of Commons 171-165.

3 August 1978               Case-Javitz Amendment ratified by House of Representatives

4 August                       Dr Owen has talks with Chief Chirau in London.

6-16 August 1978           Mr Graham and Mr Low have further talks in Salisbury with Mr  Smith, Mr Gabellah, Bishop Muzorewa and Rev N Sithole.

8 August 1978               Executive Council announces a partial relaxation of racially discriminatory legislation: all public places (mainly of entertainment) will be open to people of all races and restrictions will be removed on trading and industrial areas, on facilities operated by local authorities and on voting in local government elections. However, hospitals, schools, the government service and residential areas are not included.  

10 August 1978             Joint committee from both Houses of Congress meets to resolve differences over resolutions concerning lifting of sanctions. Case-Javitz Amendment approved.

13 August                     Dr Owen holds talks with Mr Sithole at the latter’s request.

                                    200 provincial delegates of the UANC unanimously pass a vote of confidence in Bishop Muzorewa; reject the Anglo-US proposal for an all-party meeting, and decide to expel from the party four senior officials who had criticised Bishop Muzorewa.

August 1978                  Meeting between Brigadier Garba and Julius Nyerere

14 August 1978             Mr  Smith-Mr Nkomo secret meeting in Lusaka, attended by Brigadier Garba of Nigeria.

17 August 1978             Chief Chirau says that ZUPO will fully support the proposal for an all-party conference.

18 August 1978             Mr  Smith tells a Rhodesian Front rally in Bulawayo that the transitional administration would support an all-party conference if it were convinced that it would be in the interests of the country. They would first want to know what was on the agenda.

18-20 August 1978         Mr Nkomo and Mr Mugabe meet for a Patriotic Front coordination meeting in Lusaka. Following this, Mr Mugabe flies to Lagos and returns with Brigadier Garba, the Nigerian Foreign Minister, who has talks with the Front leaders and with President Kaunda. Brigadier Garba later flies to Maputo for talks with President Machel. Mr Mugabe announces to the Press that ZAPU and ZANU will soon unify under one leader.

20 August 1978             Mr  Smith says on television that the “government” needed clarification as to the aim and nature of an all-party conference. He would not discuss the disbandment of the Security Forces at such a meeting.

23-25 August 1978         Mr Graham and Mr Low hold talks in Salisbury with Chief Chirau; representatives of the Catholic Archbishops and the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace; and Bishop Muzorewa.

24 August 1978             Mr R F Botha, South African Foreign Minister, has talks in Salisbury with members of the Executive Council.

31 August 1978             Sithole publicly accuses Mr Smith of negotiating secretly with Nkomo.

                                    It is announced in London that the Bingham Report on oil supplies to Rhodesia is to be published in full and that it is being referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

1-2 September 1978       Emergency meeting of Front Line Presidents (Presidents Kaunda, Nyerere, Khama, Neto and Machelto discuss Nkomo-Mr Smith talks. (Also present re the PF leaders and the new Nigerian Commissioner for External Affairs, Major-General H E Adefope). Reaffirm support for Anglo-American plan.

2 September 1978          Nkomo reveals details of the meeting on 14 August. He said that he refused Mr  Smith’s offer of the chairmanship of the transitional administration. Mr  Smith also confirms that the meeting had taken place, but denies having made any specific offer to Mr Nkomo.

September 3, 1978: Hunyani (Air Rhodesia Viscount) shot down by ZIPRA Sam7. 10 of 18 survivors killed by ZIPRA guerrillas; February 12, 1979 Viscount Umniati downed in same way.

8 September 1978          Mr Graham and Mr Low have talks with Mr Mugabe in Maputo.

9 September 1978          In London, following a review of the situation by Dr Owen, Mr Richard Moose, US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Mr Anthony Lake, Director of Policy Planning at the US State Dept, Lord Carver, Mr Graham and Mr Low, a statement is issued expressing the conviction of both the British and American Governments that a negotiated settlement can be achieved and their determination to continue to work towards a successful meeting of all the parties.

10 September 1978        Mr  Smith announces the introduction of martial law in certain areas; and a ban on ZAPU and ZANU inside Rhodesia.

11 September 1978        In response to Mr  Smith’s statement, Mr Nkomo, speaking as President of ZAPU and not as joint leader of the PF, states in Lusaka that an all-party conference is “dead and buried.”

                                    US Senate approves the Foreign Aid Bill.

12 September 1978        Mr Edgar Tekere, Secretary-General of ZANU (Mugabe), says in Lusaka that the PF is still committed to negotiations.

18 September 1978        The Executive Council announces that it has accepted an invitation from 27 Democratic and Republican Senators to visit the US.

22-23 September 1978          Meeting between Prime Minister Callaghan, Dr Owen and President Kaunda in Kano, Nigeria. Fails to inject new impetus.

27 September 1978        Speaking at the UN General Assembly Dr Owen says that Britain will live up to her responsibilities as the colonial power in Rhodesia, and would continue efforts to achieve a satisfactory solution on principles endorsed by the UN and approved by the British Parliament. Britain had ruled out the use of force to settle the dispute and had committed herself to seeking a solution through the international community.

4 October 1978              State Dept grant visas to Mr Smith and members of the Executive Council for visit to USA, in face of African protest.

7-20 October 1978         Meeting between Vance, British Ambassador to Washington, Mr Smith and Sithole: Mr Smith still refuses to attend all-party conference.

12 October 1978            Mr Smith concedes in US Foreign Relations Committee that the Rhodesian Executive Council would attend ‘an adequately prepared all-party conference’ (in compliance with Case-Javitz amendment, and in face of Muzorewa’s objections.)

13 October 1978            Bishop Muzorewa and Chief Chirau arrive in Washington

20 October 1978            Meeting between US and UK officials with Executive Council at State Department. At conclusion of meeting, Mr Smith announces agreement to five basic points with which the conference will be associated

i)              provision for holding free and fair elections

ii)             cease-fire

iii)            transitional administration

iv)            formation of armed forces to serve the independent government

v)             basic principles to be included in the independence constitution, including guarantee of individual rights.


22 October 1978            Nkomo rejects all-party conference. Endorsed by Kaunda.


November 1978              Mounting pressure on President Carter and Prime Minister Callaghan to endorse an all-party conference.

7 November 1978           US mid-term elections.

7,8,9 November              House of Commons Debate on the Bingham Report. Both Houses of Parliament then vote by large majorities of the renewal of the legislation providing power for the enforcement of UN sanctions against Rhodesia.

8 November 1978           Chief Ndiweni resigns from Transitional Government and calls for the return of Nkomo

15 November 1978         South African Premier PW Botha and R F Botha meeting with members of the Executive Council for talks.  

16 November 1978         Executive and Ministerial Councils decide it is not possible to meet the 31 December date set down for the transfer of power. A revised election date set for 20 April 1979.

                                    The new timetable provides for a white referendum in January on the acceptability of the new constitution, which would then be passed in Parliament at the beginning of March. Nomination day would be at the end of March, leaving one month for campaigning for the elections.

                                    Mr Mugabe issues a “death list” of more than 50 Africans associated with the Salisbury regime who would be shot unless they resign their positions.

                                    Following his resignation as Joint Minister for Foreign Affairs and Vice-President of ZUPO, Chief Ndiweni announces that he is to form a new political party: the United National Federal Party (UNFP).

November 1978              Lord Carver and FO team tour of Southern Africa

23 November 1978         Mr Callaghan  announcement of another initiative: tour of Mr Cledwyn Hughes, to be accompanied by Stephen Low to Nigeria and Southern Africa, to investigate whether conditions were ‘right’ for convening all-party conference.

24 November 1978         A further 27 areas of Rhodesia declared under martial law (introduced on 10 September) bringing about 75% of the country under restriction.

29 November – 12 December 1978         In the course of his mission, in which he is accompanied by US Ambassador Low, Mr Cledwyn Hughes holds discussions with members of the Executive Council (collectively and individually) and other representatives of Rhodesian opinion in Salisbury; with Mr Nkomo and Mr Mugabe; and with all the Front Line Presidents, the Nigerian Head of State and the South African Foreign Minister.

30 November 1978         Resignation of Lord Carver as Resident Commissioner designate.

12 December 1978         US Senator George McGovern arrives in Salisbury on a fact finding mission.

13 December 1978         UN General Assembly adopts resolution condemning the transitional administration and calling for strengthening of sanctions. Britain, the US, France, Canada and West Germany abstain.  

15 December 1978         Mr Callaghan announces that the government would recommend to Parliament the establishment of a special committee of enquiry into the handling of oil sanctions.

2 January 1979              Publication of proposed new Constitution. The country is to be called Zimbabwe-Rhodesia.

9 January 1979              Constitutional Referendum campaign opens

17 January 1979            Publication of Mr Hughes’ report. Mr Callaghan announces in Parliament that he has accepted Mr Hughes’ advice that no good purpose would be served by convening a meeting of the parties to the conflict in the immediate future.

30 January 1979            Constitutional referendum for white voters. Of the total European electorate of 94,700, 57,269 vote in favour whi9lst 9,805 “no” votes are cast. Results declared the following day: 71.5% vote, 85% of which vote in favour.

1 February 1979             Referendum rejected by British and American governments.

2 February 1979             Eight anti-discrimination Bills passed by Senate at the end of January enter into force.

5 February 1979             Executive Council invites Britain and US to send official observers to witness forthcoming elections.

10 February 1979           US Senate table formal motion to lift sanctions against Rhodesia by 30 April.

12 February 1979           ZIPRA shoot down another Viscount aircraft.

6 February 1979             Publication of     Conservative Party Manifesto:

                                    ‘If the Six Principles, which all British Governments have

                                    supported for the last 15 years, are fully satisfied following the

                                    Rhodesian Elections, the next Government will have a duty to

                                    return Rhodesia to a state of legality, move to lift sanctions and

                                    do its utmost to ensure that the new independent state gains

                                    international recognition.’

28 February 1979           Final session of the Rhodesian Parliament in its present form.

5 March 1979                Dr Gabellah resigns from ZANU, and quits Ministerial Council.

8 March 1979                UN Security Council adopts Resolution 445 condemning the Rhodesian elections and urging member States not to send observers.

12 March 1979   Announcement of Zimbabwe/Rhodesia general Election

14 March 1979   US Foreign Relations Committee pass motion to send unofficial observers to election.

15 March 1979   Prime Minister Callaghan declines to send official British observers.

17 March 1979   Executive Council (EXCO) announce general amnesty to ZANLA/ZIPRA

22-29 March 1979          Messrs Low and Renwick (of FCO) visit Salisbury, Maputo and Lusaka.

28 March 1979   UK Government defeated in vote of no confidence. US Senate vote 66-27 on the McGovern/Hayakawa resolution proposing that observers should be sent to the Rhodesian elections.

24 March 1979   Speech by Mrs Thatcher, stating that the Conservative party would judge the election on the basis of the report by a team of party observers (3 April 1979 names team to observe elections)

4 April 1979                   UK/US join move to lift sanctions

5-9 April 1979                Leaders of Front Line States meet in Dar es Salaam and appeal to the PF to close ranks.

9 April 1979                   Conservative party announce it will recognise Rhodesian government after ‘satisfactory elections’

                                    House of Representatives closely rejects sending US observers to Zimbabwe/Rhodesia (190-180 votes).

10 April 1979                 Parliament elections held (boycotted by ZANU and ZAPU) - an 64.45 turnout, although Africans had been advised by ZANU and ZAPU that safety for those refusing to vote could not be guaranteed. African National Council, headed by Muzorewa won The white electorate vote for 20 of the 28 white seats. The Rhodesian Front party won all four contested seats as well as the unopposed seats.

12-13 April 1979             CIO sponsored assassination attempt on Nkomo, and destruction of ZAPU’s headquarters in Lusaka.

13 April 1979                 Arrival of ‘Boyd Commission’ (Lord Boyd, Lord Elton, Viscount Colville, Sir Charles Johnston, Miles Hudson, and John Drinkwater, Role to act as ‘apolitical advisers’).

15 April 1979                 Commencement of poll for 72 Common Roll seats.

17 April 1979                 Commencement of Rhodesian ballot

21 April 1979                 Polling ends  

23 April 1979                 Reverend Sithole calls for independent commission to investigate his charges of irregularity in the election after withdrawing his earlier ‘free and fair’ statement

24 April             Election Results announced:

                                    UANC                           1,212,639 votes (67.27%)           51 seats

                                    ZANU (Sithole)      262,928 votes (14.59%)           12 seats   

                                    UNFP                              194,446 votes (10.79%)             0 seats

                                    NDU                                  18,175 votes (1.00%)   0 seats


                                    Following the announcement of the election results Mr Sithole

called for a commission of enquiry into “gross irregularities.”


26 April 1979                 OAU declares the Rhodesian election results “null and void”.


28 April 1979                 Presidents Kaunda and Machel meet in Maputo with Mr Nkomo and Mr Mugabe.               


29 April 1979                 Mr Sithole says that the 12 ZANU members would not take part in the establishment of the new government unless an independent commission of enquiry investigated his charges of election irregularities.

30 April 1979  Adoption by UN Security Council of a Resolution condemning the April elections in Rhodesia and reiterating the call on member States not to accord recognition to the ensuing government. The UK, US and France abstain.

3 May 1979  Conservative victory in British General Election seemed to offer some hope -  the Conservative Manifestation had said that if certain principles were met, Zimbabwe-Rhodesia would be recognized by Britain. (Although the expected Commonwealth Support was not forthcoming - the Australian Prime Minister, Malcom Fraser, announced that Australia was in agreement with the Front-line states, who were opposed to any recognition of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia - a later plan was agreed where Britain received a mandate to mediate - invitations to Muzorewa and the Patriotic Front were extended).

4 May 1979                   Rhodesian Parliament dissolved.

6 May 1979                   Lord Carrington, new British Foreign Secretary, statement: ‘I do not think anyone can ignore an election in which 65% of people voted.’ Announces that the British Government was committed to restoring Rhodesia to legality if the elections were found to have been free and fair.

 May 1, 1979: Muzorewa became Prime Minister of the newly named Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, but international diplomatic recognition did not take place, even though the new t-shirts, stickers and general detritus of life were to announce "Zimbabwe Rhodesia - you're still super".

7 May 1979                   Final 8 white MPs elected. ZANU (Sithole) boycott of all Parliamentary proceedings.

8 May 1979                   Members of the new Rhodesian House of Assembly sworn in. Election of Mr John Chirimbani as Speaker and Mr Walter Mthinkhulu as Deputy Speaker.

10 May 1979 Bishop Muzorewa as PM designate officially appeals to US for recognition.

10-14 May 1979 Mr Joshua Nkomo visits Lagos.

14 May 1979                 Vote in US Senate 75:19 calling on President Carter to lift sanctions within 10 days of formation of black-majority government in Zimbabwe/Rhodesia.

15 May 1979 Opening of the first session of the new British Parliament; during the debate on the Queen’s speech, Mrs Thatcher, the Prime Minister says that the government’s objective is to build on the major change that has taken place in Rhodesia to achieve a return to legality in conditions of wide international recognition.

US Senate adopts a “sense of the Congress” Resolution calling on President Carter to lift sanctions against Rhodesia.

15-18 May 1979             Visit by Sir Anthony Duff, Deputy Permanent Under-Secretary of State in FCO, to Salisbury.

16 May 1979                 Lord Boyd reports to the Prime Minister.

18 May 1979 Sir Ian Gilmour, Lord Privy Seal, speaking in the House of Commons, emphasises that the British Government will make a new approach to the problem, taking into account the fundamental change in circumstances inside Rhodesia brought about by the emergence of a black majority in Parliament.

20-23 May 1979 Mr Cyrus Vance visits Britain for discussions with Lord Carrington.

22 May 1979  Statements by Mrs Thatcher and Lord Carrington in Houses of Commons and Lords. Mrs Thatcher repeats her pre-election undertaking. Lord Carrington indicates that the British Government would be guided by Lord Boyd’s conclusions. He announces Mr Derek Day to be envoy to Rhodesia on a frequent ‘report back’  basis.

23 May 1979                 Deputation of Commonwealth High Commissioners and Mr Ramphal are told by Lord Carrington that the Thatcher government believed the Rhodesian election had transformed that country’s position.

24 May 1979                 Publication of reports by Lord Boyd and Mr John Drinkwater QC on the results of the Rhodesian elections. Announcement in London that Mr Derek Day, Assistant Under Secretary at the FCO, is to go to Salisbury to consult the new Administration.Meeting of OAU Liberation Committee warns UK and US                                       against recognition of new regime in Zimbabwe/Rhodesia.

26 May 1979                 Lord Harlech named as the Prime Minister’s special envoy to Africa.

29 May 1979                 Bishop Muzorewa sworn in as Prime Minister.

30 May 1979                 Bishop Muzorewa names his 17-man Cabinet. Ian Mr Smith to act as Minister without Portfolio. P K van der Byl, David Smith, William Irvine and Christopher Anderson also included in Cabinet. Bishop Muzorewa himself took on the War and Defence Ministry.

31 May 1979 Mr Derek Day arrives in Salisbury. Mr Nkomo and Mr Mugabe meet in Dar es Salaam.

1 June 1979 Rhodesian constitution comes into effect.

2 June 1979 Bishop Muzorewa, as Prime Minister, offers an amnesty to guerrillas but says that Rhodesia will continue to defend herself.

3 June 1979 Front Line States meeting in Dar es Salaam; also attended by Nigerian Foreign Minister.

4 June 1979 Renewed air/ground strikes into Mozambique

 7 June 1979 President Carter announces that the US will continue to impose sanctions as the recent elections do not comply with the requirements of the Case-Javitz amendment.

11 June 1979 Lord Harlech leaves London for tour of African states. He visits Botswana, Lusaka, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Angola and Nigeria. Returns to London 4 July 1979.

12 June 1979 US Senate rejects (52:41) Carter Administration compromise proposal that sanctions would not be lifted until 1 December.

13 June 1979 US Senate support for a rider on a military bill calling on the US Administration to lift sanctions immediately.

15 June1979 Bishop Muzorewa visit to Republic of South Africa for talks with Prime Minister Botha and Foreign Minister (R F Botha)

18-24 June 1979 Mr Richard Luce MP visits Zaire, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Liberia.

 20 June 1979 Mr James Chikerema resigns from UANC to form the Zimbabwe Democratic Party.

25 June 1979  Lord Harlech and Mr Day report to Lord Carrington. Mr Jeffrey Davidow named as US unofficial envoy to Rhodesia.

26 June 1979  Opening of Rhodesian Parliament, boycotted by 12 ZANU (Sithole) MPs.

28 June 1979 US House of Representatives votes 350-37 in favour of a Bill, initiated by Representatives Solarz and already approved unanimously by the Foreign Affairs Committee, calling for the termination of sanctions against Rhodesia on 15 October unless President Carter determines that it is against US interests to do so.

2-4 July 1979 Lord Harlech meets Bishop Muzorewa, Chief Ndiweni, Rev. Sithole, Mr Ian Mr Smith and General Walls in Salisbury.

5 July 1979 Lord Harlech reports to Lord Carrington on his discussions.

8 July 1979 Bishop Muzorewa visit to Washington.

10 July 1979 Lord Carrington informs the House of Lords that Britain has a constitutional responsibility to achieve a proper basis for Rhodesian independence. It is the government’s intention, when consultations have been completed, to make firm proposals to bring Rhodesia to legal independence on a basis which Britain believed would be acceptable to the international community.

11 July 1979  Bishop Muzorewa meets President Carter and Mr Vance, together with Congressional and other leaders in Washington, to put the case for lifting US sanctions against Rhodesia.

11 July 1979 Liberian Government announces that no representatives from the Rhodesian administration, nor anyone who had participated in the internal settlement in Rhodesia, would be permitted to enter Liberia to attend the OAU summit.

12-14 July 1979 Bishop Muzorewa visits London at his own request for talks with the Prime Minister and Lord Carrington.

21 July 1979 The 16th meeting of the Heads of State of the OAU adopt a resolution calling on member states to “apply effective cultural, political, commercial and economic sanctions against any State which accords recognition of the illegal racist minority regime in Zimbabwe or lifts the mandatory sanctions against it in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions”. The resolution recognises the PF as “the sole, legitimate and authentic representative of the people of Zimbabwe”. Five countries – Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Lesotho, Liberia and Zaire – enter reservations on this section.  

23 July 1979 ZANU (Sithole) file a High Court petition alleging corrupt and illegal practices during the Rhodesian elections.

25 July 1979 Mrs Thatcher says in the House of Commons that the British Government is now engaged in a process of consultation with a view to bringing Rhodesia to legal independence with the widest possible international acceptance. It will put forward proposals, based on the six principles which have been supported by successive governments, after further consultations at the Meeting of Commonwealth Heads of Government in Lusaka.

 30 July 1979 The Prime Minister formally acknowledges the ‘Boyd Report’ in written response to Lord Boyd. Joint US Senate/House of Representative Committee agree that President Carter is required to end sanctions by 15 November 1979 unless it is against the national interest.

1 August 1979 Commonwealth Prime Ministers Conference convenes in Lusaka.

2 August 1979 Nigerian Government announces it will nationalise BP interests in the country   

12 ZANU members their seats in the Zimbabwe/Rhodesia House of Assembly

Mrs Thatcher says that the British Government is wholly committed to genuine black majority rule in Rhodesia. Britain accepted constitutional responsibility for granting legal independence. The present Rhodesian constitution was defective in certain important respects. The British Government’s objective was to establish independence on the basis of a constitution comparable with constitutions agreed with other countries.

President Nyerere of Tanzania calls for a ceasefire in Rhodesia, a fresh constitution, and elections.

In relation to the situation in Rhodesia, the Commonwealth Heads of Government: Confirm that they are wholly committed to black majority rule for the people of Zimbabwe; Recognise, in this context, that the internal settlement constitution is defective in certain important respects; Fully accept that it is the constitutional responsibility of the British Government to grant legal independence to Zimbabwe on the basis of majority rule; Recognise that the search for a lasting settlement must involve all parties to the conflict; Are deeply conscious of the urgent need to achieve such a settlement and bring peace to the people of Zimbabwe and their neighbours; Accept that independence on the basis of majority rule requires the adoption of a democratic constitution including appropriate safeguards for minorities; Acknowledge that the Government formed under such an independent constitution must be chosen through free and fair elections properly supervised under British Government authority, and with Commonwealth observers; Welcome the British Government’s indication that an appropriate procedure for advancing towards these objectives would be for them to call a Constitutional Conference to which all parties would be invited; and Consequently, accept that it must be a major objective to bring about the cessation of hostilities and an end to sanctions;

 8 August 1979  Z/R security forces attack ZIPRA target in Botswana. Mr Derek Day returns to London to brief Lord Carrington on Bishop Muzorewa’s reaction.

12 August 1979 Mr Derek Day returns to Salisbury for talks with Government                                 for constitutional Conference to be held the following month.

14 August 1979 British Government announces it will convene a Constitution Conference in London in September aimed at ending the conflict in Zimbabwe/Rhodesia. Outline proposals for an independent constitution published.

15 August 1979 Zimbabwe/Rhodesia Government and PF invited to send 12 delegates each to the Conference. Zimbabwe Government accepts invitation. ZANLA and ZIPRA forces clash in the Midlands

20 August 1979 PF announces it will attend the Conference in London

22 August 1979 Zimbabwe/Rhodesian Air force jets strike against Mulungushi and Solwezi, Zambia

4 September 1979          Advance delegation from Zimbabwe arrives in London  

5 September 1979          Deputy Prime Minister (Mr David Smith) arrives in London

6 September 1979          Zimbabwe security forces strike against bases in Mozambique

7 September 1979          Zimbabwe Prime Minister and delegation arrive in London

7-9 September 1979       Meeting of Non-Aligned Movement in Havana, attended by Patriotic Front.

9 September 1979          Lord George-Brown arrives in Salisbury on fact-finding tour

10 September 1979        Formal opening of Lancaster House Conference in London.

                                    Further clashes between ZIPRA and ZANLA forces in 7 Tribal Trust Lands

14 September 1979        British and Patriotic Front draft Constitutions published.

15 September 1979        Lord Soames given authority to create more assembly points. Mrs Thatcher and Lord Carrington leave for official visit to the United States US lifts sanctions against Rhodesia.  

17 September 1979        Donald McHenry appointed US Ambassador to the UN.

18 September 1979        Patriotic Front issue own plan for transitional arrangements.

21 September 1979        Zimbabwe/Rhodesia government announces acceptance ‘in principle’ of British constitutional proposals in return for the lifting of sanctions (11:1 vote). Acceptance by secret ballot.

24 September 1979        Patriotic Front accept 20% proportion of reserve representation for whites

26 September 1979        Bishop Muzorewa visit to Vienna for talks with Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky

  2 October 1979            Security forces raids into Mozambique

2 October 1979   Lord Carrington proposes third Constitutional draft. Delegates given until 8 October to decide.

3 October 1979  Death of John Giles, legal draftsman to Zimbabwe/Rhodesian delegation in London.

5 October 1979 Bishop Muzorewa accepts expanded British draft constitution (11:1). Announces will also accept new elections.

7 October 1979  Smith return to Salisbury to brief Rhodesian Front caucus

8 October 1979              Lord Carrington demands formal decision from Patriotic Front by 11 October. Lord Jellicoe, former leader of House of Lords, arrives in Salisbury

10 October 1979            Conservative Party Conference

12 October 1979            Lord Carrington postpones Lancaster House Conference

indefinitely. However, privately indicates Britain will be

prepared to offer financial aid for land settlement/redistribution


13 October 1979            Smith returns to London

15 October 1979            Lord Carrington schedules press conference, at which he announces he is entering bilateral negotiations with Bishop Muzorewa.

16 October 1979            Meeting between Lord Carrington and Sir Shridath Ramphal. Arrival in London of South African Foreign Minister, RF ‘Pik’ Botha.

17 October 1979            British Government puts transitional proposals to delegations. ‘Pik’ Botha meeting with Mrs Thatcher and Lord Carrington. Arrival of General Sir Peter Walls.

18 October 1979            Patriotic Front accepts constitution ‘if (they) are satisfied beyond doubt about the vital issues of the transitional government.’ Patriotic Front confirms British and American assurances on land issue ‘go a long way to alleviate (their) concern over the whole land question’.

21 October 1979            Chief Justice of Zimbabwe/Rhodesia arrives in London to attend talks.

22 October 1979            Lord Carrington issues 13 paragraph proposal for transitional arrangements. (British governor will assume direct control.)

28 October 1979            Bishop Muzorewa accepts the British proposals for transitional arrangements.

1 November 1979           Lord Carrington announces he is prepared to extend the transitional period by approximately two-three weeks.

2 November 1979           Lord Carrington presents amplified 41-point transitional plan.

5 Nove  mber 1979         Bishop Muzorewa formally accepts 41 point plan. Zimbabwe/Rhodesian Government cuts rail link to Zambia for maize imports

7 November 1979 Lord Gilmour informs House of Commons that Mrs Thatcher will not seek to renew sanctions legislation, but most will remain in force. Lord Gilmour introduces legislation to enable Government to implement portions of the Constitution, appointment of a British governor and to hold elections.

9 November 1979           British government announces it is prepared to contribute to a Commonwealth monitoring force.

11 November 1979         President Kaunda visits London and has meetings with Mrs Thatcher and Lord Carrington. Also meets Patriotic Front and Secretary General Ramphal

11  November 1979        Mr Smith and part of Zimbabwe/Rhodesia delegation return to Salisbury from London

13 November 1979         Independence Bill enacted in House of Commons

14 November 1979         House of Lords approves Bill for independence for Zimbabwe/Rhodesia. US President Carter informs Congress he is prepared to lift sanctions after arrival of British Governor and the process of elections has commenced.

15 November 1979         Rhodesian Front caucus supports London Constitution. Travel ban lifted on Zimbabwean/Rhodesians British and Patriotic Front delegations accept plans for transitional period: Britain to house and feel returning guerrilla fighter during transitional period. British Governor to control civil service, and police and defence force.

16 November 1979         Lord Carrington introduces 10 point Ceasefire proposal.

18 November 1979         Bishop Muzorewa and delegation return to Salisbury, via Johannesburg.

20 November 1979         President Kaunda mobilizes Zambia for war situation against Zimbabwe/Rhodesia.                             

24 November 1979         Lord Carrington publishes amplified ceasefire proposals.

26 November 1979         Bishop Muzorewa’s delegation formally accepts ceasefire proposals.

                                    Patriotic Front visit Dar-es-Salaam for meeting with Front Line Presidents.

28 – 30 November 1979         RF ‘Pik’ Botha visits London. PW Botha announces South African forces have been operating in Zimbabwe/Rhodesia ‘for some time’.

3 December 1979           Acting Chairman of Bishop Muzorewa’s delegation informs Lord Carrington, he is departing for Salisbury. Lord Carrington obtains Order in Council giving Mrs Thatcher authority to select the British Governor. Also applies for another Order In Council to give British legal authority to introduce a new Zimbabwe/Rhodesian Constitution.

6 December 1979           Lord Soames named British Governor.

8 – 9 December 1979           Zimbabwe/Rhodesian security forces launch major raids into Mozambique and Zambia.

11 December 1979         Zimbabwe/Rhodesia Constitutional Amendment Bill is passed in both Houses of Parliament in Britain

                                    Lord Carrington announces Lord Soames’ departure for Salisbury; also that the expanded (now 1,200) Commonwealth Monitoring force will be at the 15 assembly points.

12 December 1979         Lord Soames arrives in Salisbury as Governor of Rhodesia - UDI ends, and sanctions lifted by Britain.

13 December 1979         British establishment of ceasefire monitoring headquarters in Salisbury  

14 December 1979         Lord Carrington ultimatum to Patriotic Front that ceasefire arrangements must be agreed by 15 December.

17 December 1979         PF initial ceasefire agreement

21 December 1979         Agreement signed at Lancaster House for a cease-fire between Government of Zimbabwe/Rhodesia and PF, and new Constitution.

March 1980                   Election in Zimbabwe/Rhodesia.

                                    Victory for Mugabe.  

April 15, 1980: Lt. Gen. Peter Walls appointed to head the new Zimbabwean army.

April 15, 1980: Britain proclaimed that it would give Zimbabwe $165 million between 1981-83, partly to train black civil servants and the Zimbabwean army.

April 17, 1980: Zimbabwe-Rhodesia officially became the independent nation of Zimbabwe. The US was the first country to open an embassy (the unofficial embassy opened by American mercenaries in Rhodesia not counting).

May 30, 1980: Mugabe asked for more British military training personnel to help integrate the new national army. Mozambique and Zimbabwe "exchanged pledges of assistance in security matters".

June 27, 1980: Zimbabwe closed South Africa's diplomatic mission in Salisbury.

July 17, 1980: Lt. Gen. Peter Walls announced that he intended to leave his post July 29 because "'it's the overcoming of the problems which has made me feel that it is okay for me to retire now.'"



September 7-9, 1979: The Nonaligned Movement summit meeting in Cuba, saw Patriotic Front members agreeing to a London meeting, the Patriotic Front having said they would only negotiate with the British. The first Lancaster House meeting (September 10, 1979) was to create a constitution, leading to new elections. Cease-fire plans also took place, although as guerillas headed for the assembly points, clashes continued. By the deadline (January 4, 1980) over 18,000 guerillas were in the assembly points, although many Rhodesian sources have subsequently claimed that many in the points were simply "mujibas" - the real guerillas were remaining outside to "intimidate" voters.

September 10, 1979: Lancaster House, London -  attempts to draw up a constitution that would be satisfactory to both the Patriotic Front and the Zimbabwe-Rhodesia government - also discussion on transitional arrangements and new elections, and finally the cease-fire plan.

December 21, 1979: Agreement signed at Lancaster House.

January 14, 1980: Ten black parties registered for the elections. Nkomo registered ZAPU under the name of Patriotic Front.

January 18, 1980: The state of emergency was extended until July.

January 22, 1980: British governor Lord Soames accused both Mugabe's ZANU and Muzorewa's auxiliaries of truce violations. Nothing done in reality to prevent further activities.

January 26, 1980: The withdrawal of 26 South African contingents guarding links from South Africa to Zimbabwe-Rhodesia announced; many staying just inside border as insurance policy both for anticipated unrest, and to safe-guard expected mass-departures.

January 27, 1980: Mugabe returned after more than four years in exile - a number of attempted assassinations failed.

February 2, 1980: UNSC adopted a resolution calling upon Great Britain to ensure fair elections for a black majority government took place.

February 14, 1980: Whites voted. Ian Smith's Rhodesian Front won all 20 seats reserved for the whites. (Click here for a British newspaper review of the last days of Rhodesia)

February 25, 1980: The process of readmitting refugees was halted until after the election. A ZAPU contingent began manoeuvres with the regular army - a possible future ally, had Op Quartz been initiated?.

February 27-29, 1980: Voting (93.6% turnout) in the election took place.

March 2, 1980: Commonwealth observation team concluded that the election had been free and fair.

March 3, 1980: Lord Soames and Zimbabwe-Rhodesian officials went on television to urge the population to remain calm after it was clear that Mugabe would win. (Did they have any knowledge of the proposed "Op Quartz"?) The withdrawal of Commonwealth peacekeeping forces began.

March 4, 1980: ZANU won the elections for a new black government in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia (62.9% of the popular vote - 57 of the 80 seats reserved for blacks in the 100-member parliament; essentially demonstrating the voting on tribal lines, Nkomo received 24.1% (20 seats); Muzorewa caused great discomfort to Rhodesians by only obtaining 8.2% (3 seats).

March 5, 1980: ZANU guerrillas started training with the regular army.

March 11, 1980: Prime Minister-elect Mugabe presented a list of his Cabinet appointments to Lord Soames - two whites were given portfolios. Mugabe kept for himself the post of defence minister; Nkomo was given the post of home affairs (= control of the police).

March 13, 1980: Mugabe promised changes to enable more blacks to enter the civil service. 

July 23, 1980: The Parliament renewed for six months the state of emergency first introduced in 1964. This would prove extremely useful.

August 31, 1980: Ian Smith urged the whites to remain, and was initially positive about the majority-rule government.

Nov. 10-11, 1980: Near Bulawayo (where more than 3,000 former guerrilla soldiers from both factions had been resettled) at least 40 were killed and several hundred injured in the most violent fighting between the rival guerrilla factions since independence. Ex-Rhodesian forces instrumental in quelling the unrest, which also helped to prompt the creation of the Fifth Brigade.

1980 onwards. Many Rhodesians who took the gap continue fighting in South Africa, often with special force units. Within Zimbabwe to this day echoes are still to be heard - the Fifth Brigade, repossessions, general mismanagement, Mugabe hanging on as long as he can. Whilst initially Mugabe was hailed as being a truly positive image for Africa, his subsequent actions have unfortunately done much to convince Rhodesians of the correctness of their struggle.