Rhodesia's first black Prime Minister-elect - Bishop A??? Muzorewa - has declared he will promote?
Rhodesia's first black Prime Minister-elect - Bishop A??? Muzorewa - has declared he will promote economic cooperation as widely as possible within the Southern African region. Speaking at the official opening of the Zimbabwe-Rhodesia Trade Fair in Bulawayo on Monday (21 may), the Bishop said he was confident Britain and the United States would lead the way in lifting sanctions and in recognising his black administration--an administration that is expected to take control of Rhodesia before the end of this month.
SYNOPSIS: Ian Smith, the outgoing Prime Minister and author of the unilateral declaration of independence in 1965 that resulted in worldwide sanctions against Rhodesia, was present at the trade fair with his wife. After 14 years, it now appears his country will soon be officially recognised once more.
Prime Minister-designate Bishop Muzorewa is optimistic about Rhodesia-Zimbabwe's trading future - an optimism he stressed during his visit to the fair. He said he was committed to entering into new trade agreements with neighbouring countries, to re-establishing former links and to expanding existing ones.
The United States Senate voted overwhelmingly last week (15 May) to lift the sanctions against Rhodesia - despite the Carter administration's continued support for an all-parties conference. And in Britain on Tuesday (22 May), the new Conservative government announced two diplomatic initiatives aimed to accelerate Rhodesia's return to legality. A senior Foreign Office official is to go to Salisbury within the next few days to develop close contact with the new black majority government. Another emissary will also leave London soon to talk with Commonwealth and black African leaders to explain British's analysis of the prospects for a settlement of the Rhodesian rebellion. Bishop Muzorewa says he is greatly encouraged by Britain's attitude and apparent determination to resolve the independence issue.
The Bishop's United African National Council has been split by tribal infighting but its caucus on Tuesday (22 May) unanimously elected a member of the minority Ndebele-speaking people of Matabele land as the country's first black president.
He is Mr. Josiah Gumede who has a distinguished record of public service. Only one other candidate has been put forward - Mr. Timothy Ndhlovu, also a Matabele - and an election will be held next Monday (28 May).