Political fervour grew in Salisbury, Rhodesia, as Britain's fact-finding Pearce Commission prepared to leave on Saturday (March 11) after two months of attempting to establish whether the proposed Anglo-Rhodesian settlement was acceptable to all Rhodesians.
GV EXT. Cafe where meeting was held
GV INT. Audience seated
CU Bishop Muzorewa speaks
SOF IN: "On this tenth day....."
ENDS:"...(applause & cheering)"
SV Audience applaud
LV PAN INT. Members enter Margolis Hall
SV Mr Len Idensohn on platform
Tracking shot Audience
SV Idensohn at microphone
BISHOP MUZOREWA: "On this tenth day of March, 1972, at Highfields, Salisbury, we, here assembled claiming no more than to be heirs to the people's struggle which has ceaselessly been waged since the imposition of alien rule in 1890 in the name of almighty God, who in his love and mercy created all people and all races in his image, do hereby proclaim, constitute and declare the African National Council to be the one sole voice and instrument of the African masses of Zimbabwe and all people of goodwill, in their just and normal struggle for emancipation from the yoke of racist and oppressive minority rule."
Initials SGM/2135 SGM/2200
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Background: Political fervour grew in Salisbury, Rhodesia, as Britain's fact-finding Pearce Commission prepared to leave on Saturday (March 11) after two months of attempting to establish whether the proposed Anglo-Rhodesian settlement was acceptable to all Rhodesians. The African National Council, originally a non-political organisation set up to oppose the proposed settlement of Rhodesia's controversial six-year-old declaration of independence, became a fully-fledged political party - the first since the Rhodesian Government banned all other African parties. The organisation was declared political at a meeting on Friday (March 10) by its leader, Bishop Muzorewa, who has warned of the possibility of a "bloodbath" in Rhodesia if the country continues to be ruled by a white minority.
Meanwhile, as the Africans prepared to take their political stand, white Rhodesians met in Salisbury's largest assembly hall to hear speakers from several right-wing groups opposed to African political progress. They were invited, by newspaper advertisements, to "roll up and show the Pearce Commission the size of the white backlash".
Reports from Salisbury indicate that the Commission, headed by former British judge Lord Pearce, has found the majority of Rhodesians -- that is, the African population which outnumbers whites by almost twenty to one -- opposed to the proposed settlement.
SYNOPSIS: Salisbury, Rhodesia....and African Nationalist Bishop Muzorewa proclaims the first African political party since Ian Smith's Unilateral Declaration of Independence six years ago.
The inauguration of Bishop Muzorewa's party, on the eve of the departure of the British Pearce Commission which was returning to London, was only one indication of growing political fervour in the country. At the other end of the political scale, white Rhodesians had gathered in Salisbury's largest assembly hall the previous night to hear speakers from white, right-wing political pressure groups. They were invited, in the words of a newspaper advertisement inserted by one right-wing organisation, to "roll up and show the Pearce Commission the size of the white backlash". The groups represented are dedicated to perpetuate white rule in Rhodesia.