Commonwealth leaders are holding intensive talks this weekend (4 August) in Zambia on the problem of Zimbabwe Rhodesia, but the threat of a split seems to have been averted as all sides have joined in criticising the constitution which put Bishop Muzorewa in power.
CU INTERIOR With suggested designs for new Zimbabwe Rhodesian flag. (2 SHOTS)
SV & CU Voters arriving at booth to elect black and white candidates in municipal elections. (3 SHOTS)
SV PAN Down Rhodesian flag outside the Frank Johnson school.
SV Black and white children entering classroom.
SV & CU White and black children in classroom. (2 SHOTS)
SV For sale sign outside houses. (2 SHOTS)
LV & CU Black woman and child standing in doorway. (2 SHOTS)
CU & LV House occupied by black people. (2 SHOTS)
LV PULL BACK TO GV Black person's house next to white person's house.
GV Mr. & Mrs Robert Desmond walking beside their swimming pool.
CU Mr. & Mrs Desmond walking speaking in English.
CU Mrs Desmond speaking in English.
LV & SV White people departing from airport and boarding South African airlines plane. (3 SHOTS)
GV PAN Aircraft taking off.
TRANSCRIPT: MR. DESMOND: SEQ 11: "I would hate to see my sons whom I dearly love killed in a bloody food war which cannot possibly be won. I've always said this war cannot be won. You can contain the situation probably, as Mr. Smith says, has said, almost for ever, but it's never going to be won."
MRS DESMOND: SEQ 12: "Hopefully in five or six years time Mr. Carter and Mrs Thatcher will go together with Mr. Giscard, the Frenchman, you know, and they might lift sanctions. We might have jobs here. Maybe the war will be finished."
COLE: "So you think it is worth having faith and hanging on?"
MRS DESMOND: "Yes, always, because I am so tired of running."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Commonwealth leaders are holding intensive talks this weekend (4 August) in Zambia on the problem of Zimbabwe Rhodesia, but the threat of a split seems to have been averted as all sides have joined in criticising the constitution which put Bishop Muzorewa in power. In Zimbabwe Rhodesia itself as bickering political leaders move closer to a stalemate in the dispute about election irregularities, white confidence in the new coalition appears to be ebbing -- four and a half thousand white Rhodesians are reported to have left the country in the first four months of this year -- that is double the 1978 figure.
SYNOPSIS: In Zimbabwe Rhodesia the new black majority government's search for a new identity is symbolised by the search for a new national flag and national anthem. Integration has been continuing apace. Both blacks and whites have been able to stand for the municipal elections and blacks are slowly finding their way into positions of responsibility in the civil service and security forces. But whites still retain constitutional privileges.
In schools too there are signs of increased integration. African parents who can afford fees of around one hundred pounds (220 dollars) a year can send their children here. The ration is fifty-four per cent white, forty-six per cent African. White parents worried about standards are already removing their children. Within five years the headmaster expects less than thirty per cent of the pupils to be white.
The exodus of whites from Rhodesia is growing although Prime Minister Bishop Abel Muzorewa is anxious for them to stay as their expertise is still vital for the country's economy. The Bishop plays down the emigration problem and one has to look hard in a newspaper to find any official emigration figures. But may white properties can be seen standing empty with little hope of attracting a European buyer. In the poorer suburbs Africans who can afford to move in are doing, so in increasing numbers.
If the constitutional changes proposed by the Commonwealth leaders in the Zambian capital Lusaka were implemented many more whites would join the exodus. Many families are divided over whether to leave or stay, Mr. and Mrs Bob Desmond explained their mixed feelings to Michael Cole.
So for Bishop Muzorewa and dilemma is a crucial one. To get recognition and the lifting of sanctions he must accept constitutional changes and he has already said he is prepared to consider written proposals by the British Government but he is mindful that these changes must be so great as to alienate the whites who will be even more vital in redeveloping the country after the lifting of sanctions. Much will depend on the outcome of the Commonwealth conference, so all Bishop Muzorewa can do is wait and see.