Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Robert Mugabe dismissed from his Ministry on Wednesday (17 February) the leader of the Zapu party, Joshua Nkomo.
1. GV Crowds outside Zimbabwe Broadcasting Company television office (2 shots) 0.08
2. SV INTERIOR Journalists at news conference with Robert Mugabe at table 0.10
3. SCU Mr. speaking 1.36
4. GV Government building with police outside (2 shots) 1.45
5. SV Newspaper billboard reading Nkomo sacked, men reading newspaper about sacking (3 shots) 1.53
6. SV PULL BACK GV Police on street during anti-Nkomo demonstration, with pro-Mugabe women singing, waving placards (4 shots) 2.15
7. GV Rally (2 shots) 2.24
8. SCU INTERIOR Nkomo speaking to reporter 3.48
SEQ. 3 MUGABE: "And so as government we have decided that those we believe are implicated cease if they are ministers, to be ministers forthwith and accordingly I've decided to drop from the government Mr. Joshua Nkomo, Mr. Josiah Chinamano, Mr. Joseph Msika, Mr. Entuta (phonetic) who was deputy-Minister of Mines. We have decided on this course after studying the cases what we view as the implication or involvement of these personalities in the whole exercise of acquiring farms for purposes of waging an armed struggle by using them as bases."
SEQ. 8 REPORTER: "What is your reaction to the accusation that Zapu, yourself as President of Zapu and General Walls were plotting together with the South African government to hold a coup and overthrow the Zimbabwe government?"
NKOMO: "That is a lie and Mugabe knows himself that it is not. He once talked to me about that, I'm very disgusted and it was proved that there is no such thing. I'm surprised that he's bringing it today. What I worry is that he has said we had brought about this stage of affairs by the arms that were found in one f our camps, one I must emphasise, one of our farms that is the neutron (phonetic) farm and to add to it he did not ask me. I would have expected a Prime Minister of a country having discovered something like this to have called me and said Nkomo what is this? He did not. I heard of it on the platform, I saw it being displayed in the, to the newspapers, it was over dramatised until it was quite clear that there was a purpose. If this was not a created purpose the Prime Minister should have come to me and talked it over with me. Anyway we are going to try and discover what really has happened."
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Background: SALISBURY, ZIMBABWE
Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Robert Mugabe dismissed from his Ministry on Wednesday (17 February) the leader of the Zapu party, Joshua Nkomo. He also sacked another two Zapu members -- transport Minister Josiah Chinamano and Natural Resources Minister Joseph Msika. The Prime Minister told a news conference he believed the Zapu ministers were implicated in a plot to stage an armed coup against the government. After the announcement, supporters of Mr. Mugabe gathered outside his office to acclaim their leader and demand the creation of a one-party stage. There were also anti-Nkomo demonstrations in the streets of Salisbury. When asked about his dismissal, Mr. Nkomo denied there was a coup to unseat the Prime Minister and accused Mr. Mugabe of lying. The removal of the Zapu ministers effectively ended Zimbabwe's coalition which has ruled for two years since independence which followed a bloody seven year civil war.
Source: BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION, SOUTH AFRICAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION AND REUTERS - CHRIS EVERSON