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
effectively marked the first shots of the
(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
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).
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
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
17 December 1965 British government
declares oil embargo against Rhodesia. Air lift of oil commences to
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).
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
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,
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
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.
Census revealed that majority of whites were not native-born
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.
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
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
30 June 1971
Arrival of Lord Goodman, British special envoy for talks with
15 November 1971 Arrival of Sir Alec
Douglas-Home, British Foreign Secretary, in Salisbury to discuss
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
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.
Pearce Commission arrives in Rhodesia to conduct test of
acceptability of settlement
10 March 1972
The ANC is transformed into a political organisation, calling for a
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
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”.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
Prior agreement by all parties
to a number of preconditions
‘Acceptance of the principle
of majority rule.
Elections for majority rule to
take place in 18-24 months.
Agreement that there will be
no independence before majority rule
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.
the negotiation of the actual
terms of the independence constitution.
2 April 1976
The proposals are endorsed by the Heads of Government of the
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
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.
28-Dec. 14 1976 Opening
All-Party Geneva Conference Geneva Conference on Kissinger Plan, under chairmanship of Mr
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
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
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
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
19 February 1977 Death of
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
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
Rev. Ndabaningi Sithole forms own branch of ANC, in opposition to Bishop Muzorewa
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
20 October 1977 The
Commonwealth Committee on Southern Africa reported on oil sanctions
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.
UN Security Council Resolution 421, Mandatory arms sanctions on
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.i)
Constitution to provide for majority rule on the basis of university adult
Includes provision for:
member legislative assembly (72 black and 28 white)
Declaration of Rights
independence, qualifications and security of the judiciary;
independent Public Services Board
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.
of the transitional government:
An Executive Council,
comprising Bishop Muzorewa, the Rev. Sithole, Chief Chirau and Mr
Smith (chairmanship by rotation);
A Ministerial council, with
black and white parity (chairmanship by alteration), responsible for
initiating legislation and for duties referred to it by the Executive
of Parliament during the life of the
transitional government for the purpose of passing or
enacting legislation as
required to implement the
ix) independence on 31 December 1978.
Dr Owen refuses to give assurances that Britain will not recognise the agreement without the involvement of the
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
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
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.
Dr Owen holds further talks in London with the Patriotic Front
leaders, Chief Chirau and
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
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.
Mr Smith accepted idea of a new conference provided it does not
entail the renegotiation of the internal settlement.
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.
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)
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.
Executive Council call for ceasefire, and lift 16-year ban on ZAPU and ZANU.
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.
May 1978 Debate
in House of Commons on Rhodesia. Dr Owen announces that Mr John Graham will go to Africa to President Kaunda agrees in London that there should
be round table talks and appeals to Mr
Smith to go to the conference table.
prepare the say for round table talks. He will work closely with
Mr Stephen Low and will keep in touch with all the parties.
The Executive Council announces that there will be a constitutional rather than an
executive President in Zimbabwe after independence.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
3, 1978: Hunyani (Air Rhodesia Viscount) shot down by ZIPRA Sam7. 10 of 18 survivors killed by ZIPRA
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
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
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.
between Prime Minister Callaghan, Dr Owen and President Kaunda in Kano,
Nigeria. Fails to inject new impetus.
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
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
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
for holding free and fair elections
of armed forces to serve the independent government
principles to be included in the independence constitution, including
guarantee of individual rights.
Nkomo rejects all-party conference. Endorsed by Kaunda.
Mounting pressure on President Carter and Prime Minister Callaghan
to endorse an all-party conference.
7 November 1978 US
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
15 November 1978 South African Premier
PW Botha and R F Botha meeting with members of the Executive Council for
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
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).
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
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
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
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
2 January 1979
Publication of proposed new Constitution. The country is to be
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
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
5 February 1979 Executive
Council invites Britain and US to send official observers to witness
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.
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
Final session of the Rhodesian Parliament in its present form.
Dr Gabellah resigns from ZANU, and quits Ministerial Council.
UN Security Council adopts Resolution 445 condemning the Rhodesian elections and urging
member States not to send observers.
March 1979 Announcement
of Zimbabwe/Rhodesia general Election
March 1979 US Foreign
Relations Committee pass motion to send unofficial observers to election.
March 1979 Prime Minister
Callaghan declines to send official British observers.
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.
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
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)
UK/US join move to lift sanctions
to the PF to close ranks.
Leaders of Front Line States meet in Dar es Salaam and appeal
Conservative party announce it will recognise Rhodesian government after
House of Representatives closely rejects sending US observers to Zimbabwe/Rhodesia (190-180
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
12-13 April 1979 CIO
sponsored assassination attempt on Nkomo, and destruction of ZAPU’s
headquarters in Lusaka.
Arrival of ‘Boyd Commission’ (Lord Boyd, Lord Elton,
Viscount Colville, Sir Charles Johnston,
Miles Hudson, and John Drinkwater, Role to act as ‘apolitical advisers’).
Commencement of poll for 72 Common Roll seats.
Commencement of Rhodesian ballot
Reverend Sithole calls for independent commission to investigate his charges of irregularity in the election after
withdrawing his earlier ‘free and fair’ statement
Election Results announced:
1,212,639 votes (67.27%)
262,928 votes (14.59%)
194,446 votes (10.79%)
18,175 votes (1.00%)
Following the announcement of the election results Mr Sithole
called for a commission of
enquiry into “gross irregularities.”
OAU declares the Rhodesian election results “null and void”.
28 April 1979
Presidents Kaunda and Machel meet in Maputo with Mr Nkomo and Mr
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
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).
Rhodesian Parliament dissolved.
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.
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".
Final 8 white MPs elected. ZANU (Sithole) boycott of all Parliamentary
Members of the new Rhodesian House of Assembly sworn in. Election of Mr John Chirimbani
as Speaker and Mr Walter Mthinkhulu as Deputy Speaker.
May 1979 Bishop Muzorewa as PM designate officially appeals to US for
May 1979 Mr Joshua Nkomo visits
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.
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
May 1979 Opening of the first session of the new British Parliament;
a return to legality in
conditions of wide international
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
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
20-23 May 1979 Mr
Cyrus Vance visits Britain for discussions with Lord Carrington.
May 1979 Statements by Mrs Thatcher and Lord Carrington in Houses of Commons and Lords. Mrs Thatcher repeats her pre-election Government would be guided by
Lord Boyd’s conclusions. He
undertaking. Lord Carrington indicates that the British
announces Mr Derek Day to be
envoy to Rhodesia on a
frequent ‘report back’
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.
Publication of reports by Lord Boyd and Mr John Drinkwater QC on the results of the
Rhodesian elections.Meeting of OAU Liberation Committee warns UK and US
against recognition of new regime in Zimbabwe/Rhodesia.
Announcement in London that Mr
Derek Day, Assistant Under
Secretary at the FCO, is to go
to Salisbury to consult the new Administration.
Lord Harlech named as the Prime Minister’s special envoy to Africa.
Bishop Muzorewa sworn in as Prime Minister.
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
May 1979 Mr Derek Day arrives in Salisbury.
Mr Nkomo and Mr Mugabe meet in Dar es Salaam.
June 1979 Rhodesian constitution comes into effect.
June 1979 Bishop Muzorewa, as Prime Minister, offers an amnesty to guerrillas but says that
Rhodesia will continue to defend herself.
June 1979 Front Line States meeting in Dar es Salaam; also attended by Nigerian Foreign Minister.
June 1979 Renewed air/ground strikes into Mozambique
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.
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.
June 1979 US Senate rejects (52:41) Carter Administration compromise proposal that sanctions would not be lifted until 1 December.
June 1979 US Senate support for a rider on a military bill calling on the
US Administration to lift sanctions immediately.
June1979 Bishop Muzorewa visit to Republic of South Africa for
talks with Prime Minister Botha and Foreign Minister (R F Botha)
June 1979 Mr Richard Luce MP visits Zaire, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Liberia.
June 1979 Mr James Chikerema resigns from UANC to form the Zimbabwe Democratic Party.
June 1979 Lord Harlech and Mr Day report to Lord Carrington. Mr Jeffrey Davidow named as US
unofficial envoy to Rhodesia.
June 1979 Opening of Rhodesian Parliament, boycotted by 12 ZANU
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
July 1979 Lord Harlech meets Bishop Muzorewa, Chief Ndiweni, Rev.
Mr Ian Mr Smith and General Walls in Salisbury.
July 1979 Lord Harlech reports to Lord Carrington on his discussions.
July 1979 Bishop Muzorewa visit to Washington.
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
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
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
July 1979 Bishop Muzorewa visits
London at his own request for talks with the Prime Minister and
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
July 1979 ZANU (Sithole) file a High Court petition alleging corrupt and illegal practices during the
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.
July 1979 The Prime Minister formally acknowledges the ‘Boyd Report’ in written response to Lord
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
August 1979 Commonwealth Prime Ministers Conference convenes in
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
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
In relation to the situation
in Rhodesia, the Commonwealth appropriate procedure for advancing towards these
objectives would be for them to call a Constitutional Conference to which
all parties would be invited; and
Heads of Government:
Confirm that they are wholly
committed to black
majority rule for the people
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
Recognise that the search for
a lasting settlement must
involve all parties to the
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
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
Welcome the British
Government’s indication that an
Consequently, accept that it
must be a major objective
to bring about the cessation
of hostilities and an end to
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.
August 1979 Mr Derek Day returns to
Salisbury for talks with Government
for constitutional Conference to be held the following month.
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.
August 1979 Zimbabwe/Rhodesia
Government and PF invited to send 12 delegates each to the
Zimbabwe Government accepts
invitation. ZANLA and ZIPRA forces clash in the Midlands
August 1979 PF announces it will
attend the Conference in London
August 1979 Zimbabwe/Rhodesian Air
force jets strike against Mulungushi and Solwezi, Zambia
Advance delegation from Zimbabwe arrives in London
Deputy Prime Minister (Mr David Smith) arrives in London
Zimbabwe security forces strike against bases in Mozambique
Zimbabwe Prime Minister and delegation arrive in London
7-9 September 1979
Meeting of Non-Aligned Movement in Havana, attended by Patriotic
Lord George-Brown arrives in Salisbury on fact-finding tour
Formal opening of Lancaster House Conference in London.
Further clashes between ZIPRA and ZANLA forces in 7 Tribal Trust Lands
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
lifts sanctions against
Donald McHenry appointed US Ambassador to the UN.
Patriotic Front issue own plan for transitional arrangements.
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.
Patriotic Front accept 20% proportion of reserve
representation for whites
26 September 1979
Bishop Muzorewa visit to Vienna for talks with Austrian Chancellor
2 October 1979 Security
forces raids into Mozambique
Lord Carrington proposes third Constitutional
draft. Delegates given until 8 October to decide.
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.
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
Conservative Party Conference
Lord Carrington postpones Lancaster House Conference
privately indicates Britain will be
prepared to offer financial
aid for land settlement/redistribution
Smith returns to
Lord Carrington schedules press conference, at which he announces he is entering
bilateral negotiations with Bishop Muzorewa.
Meeting between Lord Carrington and Sir Shridath Ramphal.
Arrival in London of South African Foreign
Minister, RF ‘Pik’ Botha.
British Government puts transitional proposals to delegations.
‘Pik’ Botha meeting with Mrs Thatcher and Lord
Carrington. Arrival of General Sir Peter Walls.
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
Chief Justice of Zimbabwe/Rhodesia arrives in London to
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.
Lord Carrington announces he is prepared to extend the transitional period by
approximately two-three weeks.
Lord Carrington presents amplified 41-point transitional plan.
Nove mber 1979
Bishop Muzorewa formally accepts 41 point plan.
cuts rail link to Zambia for
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
British government announces it is prepared to contribute to a Commonwealth monitoring force.
President Kaunda visits London and has meetings with Mrs Thatcher and Lord Carrington.
Also meets Patriotic Front and
Secretary General Ramphal
Mr Smith and part of Zimbabwe/Rhodesia delegation return to Salisbury from London
Independence Bill enacted
in House of Commons
House of Lords approves Bill for independence for
US President Carter informs Congress he is prepared to lift sanctions
after arrival of British Governor and the process of elections has
15 November 1979
Rhodesian Front caucus supports London Constitutiontransitional
period: Britain to house and feel returning guerrilla fighter during
transitional period. British Governor to control civil service, and police
and defence force.
. Travel ban lifted on Zimbabwean/Rhodesians
British and Patriotic Front delegations accept plans for
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.
Bishop Muzorewa’s delegation formally accepts ceasefire
Patriotic Front visit Dar-es-Salaam for meeting with Front Line
RF ‘Pik’ Botha visits London. PW Botha announces South African forces have been operating in
Zimbabwe/Rhodesia ‘for some time’.
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.
Lord Soames named British Governor.
Zimbabwe/Rhodesian security forces launch major raids into
Mozambique and Zambia.
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
Agreement signed at Lancaster House for a cease-fire between Government of Zimbabwe/Rhodesia and PF, and new Constitution.
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.'"
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"
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
December 21, 1979: Agreement
signed at Lancaster House.
1980: Ten black parties registered for the elections.
Nkomo registered ZAPU under the name of Patriotic Front.
1980: The state of emergency was extended until July.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.