On Friday (1 June) turbulent and hitherto white-ruled Rhodesia officially became the new black-dominated nation of Zimbabwe Rhodesia.
GV People celebrating on streets of Salisbury (3 shots)
LV Statue of Cecil Rhodes with banner on it
GV & SV People chanting (2 shots)
SV White demonstrator pulling down banner
SV Blacks shouting at white man as he is dragged away (2 shots)
(NEXT MORNING) GV People cheering as new ministers are announced (3 shots)
SV Bishop Abel Muzorewa arriving and photographers and cameramen filming (3 shots)
SCU Prime Minister Muzorewa speaking in English
SV K SCU INTERIOR Muzorewa watching as Smith is sworn in (3 shots)
HUMPHRYS: "There was no formal ceremony to mark the occasion, but at midnight groups of people, nearly all of them black, gathered in the streets of Salisbury and the surrounding townships to celebrate the birth of the new Zimbabwe Rhodesia, or perhaps more specifically the end of nearly ninety years of uncontested white rule. Some hung a notice on the statue of Cecil Rhodes, the man for whom the country was named. It read "This space to let." When a group of young whites arrived on the scene they took exception to it, eventually tearing it down. Insults were traded and the police arrived and made a few arrests. But this was the exception and overall it was very low-key.
"By morning thousands of Muzorewa supporters had gathered outside the party headquarters, cheering loudly as they were introduced to the members of their new government. The man at the head of that government, now Prime Minister Muzorewa, ...arrived promptly at nine a.m. at the office Ian Smith had occupied for fourteen years. Asked what he thought of Mr. Smith's comments that black majority rule had come too soon, the Bishop had three-word reply."
MUZOREWA: "Well, forget it. It's here."
REPORTER: "Prime Minister, he also said he hoped the changes in the new government would be slow ones."
MUZOREWA: "Well, people can always hope, but he are hoping that it will be very fast."
SMITH: "That I would be of all things a true and faithful member thereof, so help me God."
HUMPHRYS: "After Mr. Smith himself had taken the oath of office along with the other new cabinet ministers he was congratulated by the Bishop, the man he had once dismissed as an 'incompetent'."
Zimbabwe Rhodesia's new biracial cabinet, formally known as the Executive Council, was sworn in on Friday morning by the President, Josiah Gumede. The cabinet includes ten members of Bishop Muzorewa's United African National Council, five members of the white Rhodesian Front -- including Ian Smith -- and two members of the black United national Federal Party.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: On Friday (1 June) turbulent and hitherto white-ruled Rhodesia officially became the new black-dominated nation of Zimbabwe Rhodesia. When its first black Prime Minister, Bishop Abel Muzorewa, arrived for work he told newsmen he would start in spirit of reconciliation towards the Patriotic Front guerrillas based in Mozambique and Zambia. The new leaders of Zimbabwe Rhodesia have offered a general amnesty to guerrillas who wish to return to their homes in peace, but the Front has declared that it will fight the biracial coalition government as fiercely as it did the white rulers. From Salisbury, the BBC's John Humphrys reports on the last moments of the old Rhodesia and the first of the new Zimbabwe.