The 200 delegates at the annual conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in Malawi, heard Dr.
The 200 delegates at the annual conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in Malawi, heard Dr. Kamuzu Banda, the country's life president, express his confidence in the future of the Commonwealth. "Since Rhodesia is now a stale issue, and since the sale of arms to South Africa is now a stale issue, there is no case for the Commonwealth to break up," he said.
But the white-minority regimes in Pretoria and Salisbury were later criticised by several speakers, including Tanzanian agricultural minister Joseph Mungai, who said countries dealing with South Africa were guilty of racism by association. He also referred to Uganda when he told the delegates they should guard against the mistake of encouraging military coups by quickly recognising military governments. Tanzania has still refused to recognise the military Ugandan government of General Idi Amin, who seized power while former President Dr. Milton Obote was returning from a Commonwealth Prime Ministers' conference in Singapore last year.
Dr. Gurdal Singh Dhillon, of India, said President Amin's policies showed worse racialism than the kind he had struggled against.
The gathering is the first in Central Africa. Traditionally, CPA conferences do not pass resolutions, but discuss current topics and reach a consensus. African topics are among those being discussed, but four African Commonwealth nations are not represented -- Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda, which are under military rule; and Lesotho, where there has been no Parliamentary activity since an electoral dispute nearly a year ago.
The final days of the conference this week will be devoted to Parliament's role in the modern world, with emphasis on improving efficiency and maintaining democracy.
The conference programme allowed time for the delegates to see different aspects of Malawi, ranging from a game park to a soccer match.