In Zimbabwe Rhodesia, the Government of Bishop able Muzorewa has decided to release political detainees before a British governor arrived in Salisbury to supervise the planned elections.
In Zimbabwe Rhodesia, the Government of Bishop able Muzorewa has decided to release political detainees before a British governor arrived in Salisbury to supervise the planned elections. Among the first batch to be released were 32 supporters of Mr. Joshua Nkomo's ZAPU organisation, who were serving lengthy sentences in Salisbury's Chikurusi prison. They said they were released on condition the did not participate in political activities during the period that their prison sentences should have run. About one thousand seven hundred political prisoners will be released in terms of the amnesty which Bishop Muzorewa announced in Salisbury on Thursday (22 November).
A drink of beer under a shady tree -- that was hoe these 32 former political prisoners celebrated their release from jail. Most of them were in their early twenties. All of them denied ever training at guerrilla camps in zambia. They were convicted in special courts for recruiting fighters for Joshua Nkomo's army, providing shelter for guerrillas, or carrying weapons. Many wore ragged clothes, and some said they had left prison without even a pair of shoes.
And then they left for their homes, with a song. Despite spending up to seven years in jail for what they'd done, the former detainees had no regrets. They left singing the praises of their leader, Joshua Nkomo. And in terms of Bishop Muzorewa's amnesty, these men will be joined by many more political prisoners.
But there is to be no amnesty for the huge numbers of people who're being detained in Army camps and makeshift detention centres under present martial law regulations. There are hopes, however, that the British Governor will release them when he takes office.