On the eve of the opening of the Commonwealth Conference in Lusaka, (31 July) Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda urged member countries not to leave the organisation in protest, if Britaineconomic sanctions against Zimbabwe Rhodesia.
On the eve of the opening of the Commonwealth Conference in Lusaka, (31 July) Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda urged member countries not to leave the organisation in protest, if Britaineconomic sanctions against Zimbabwe Rhodesia. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher arrived in Lusaka on Monday (30 July) and was resting before holding private talks with some of the other Commonwealth heads. She has angered most African states by welcoming the new black-majority government in Salisbury -- and she is under pressure in Britain to recognise the Muzorewa administration and lift trade sanctions. Meanwhile queen Elizabeth continued her state visit to Zambia and prepared to begin a series of consultations with Commonwealth leaders.
SYNOPSIS: Preparations for the Commonwealth Conference in Lusaka have gone ahead smoothly with few signs that the capital is the headquarters of the guerrilla movement fighting in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia. The Commonwealth leaders will stay in Mulungushi village near the conference hall and security is more relaxed than expected. A new press centre boasts all the facilities to cover what could be a heated conference, as the front-line States, -- Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana, Angola and Mozambique prepare to underline their opposition to the present Zimbabwe Rhodesian government.
Unalike the rather cool reception given to the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Queen Elizabeth's state visit to Zambians been well received. On the third day of her schedule the Queen, accompanied by Prince Philip and Prince Andrew attended a service at the Holy Cross. So far the Queen has not entered into direct discussion of the Zimbabwe Rhodesian issue, but has expressed hopes that the summit will lead to a strengthening of the Commonwealth and a narrowing of the differences between member states.
Following the church service the Queen had lunch at the British High Commissioner's residence and met members of Zambia's British Community. About 27,000 Britons live in Zambia and most of them are based in the copperbelt. The Queen visited Kitwe on Sunday (28 July) just twenty miles (32 km) from Solwezi, where earlier in the year Zimbabwe-Rhodesian forces raided as base of guerrillas loyal to Joshua Nkomo, the black nationalist leader who has pledged to overthrow the Salisbury government. The queen's visit to Kitwe had caused some concern in British political circles, but went without incident.
The Queen want on to visit the Commonwealth Youth Development Centre at the University of Zambia. Her visit was commemorated with the unveiling of a plaque. But after a day at Luangwa National Park in Northeast Zambia the Queen's state visit came to an end on Tuesday (31 July) and her attention turned to matters surrounding the crucial Commonwealth Summit. On Tuesday (31 July) Zambian President Kaunda was quoted as saying that since Britain is not the owner of the Commonwealth, there is no reason for other countries to pull out, should Margaret Thatcher's conservative government decide to lift sanctions against the Zimbabwe Rhodesian government.