The Zimbabwe African People's Union held its first major rally inside Rhodesia on Saturday (27 May) since the lifting three weeks ago of a 15-year old ban.
The Zimbabwe African People's Union held its first major rally inside Rhodesia on Saturday (27 May) since the lifting three weeks ago of a 15-year old ban. ZAPU is the section of the Patriotic Front which follows the exiled guerrilla leader Mr. Joshua Nkomo.
SYNOPSIS: More than 50-thousand people packed the stadium in Bulawayo to condemn the Rhodesian internal settlement. The rally was the second-biggest gathering of black Rhodesians since the signing of the internal agreement in March. The main speaker was Josiah Chinamano, spokesman inside Rhodesia for the exiled Joshau Nkomo. The massive rally served to show the potency of ZAPU as a political force, not only among the guerrillas but also among the ordinary blacks of Rhodesia. This was its first legal political rally inside the country for 15 years. Josiah Chinamano was given a heroe's welcome and his theme fort he rally was that the internal settlement allowed blacks to appear to rule, but he said the reality was that white supremacy continued, basically unchanged. Speaking in English, with an interpreter to translate his words into the local dialect, he said the Patriotic Front was non-racial.
The rally was held in Mr. Nkomo's political heartland. Even though it was a large and significant rally, Bishop Abel Muzorewa, a member of the transitional government, addressed three times as many only a few week ago. But with that single exception, no other meeting held by a black leader in Rhodesia has been able to attract the support of this ZAPU rally. The crowd was lively but good-humoured and even though there were large numbers of police with sub-machine guns and riot shotguns, there were no incidents.