Rhodesian black nationalist leader, Bishop Abel Muzorewa, has warned that there would be 'a disaster' in Rhodesia if elections were not held by the end of the year.
GV Crowds at Salisbury airport singing while waiting for black nationalist leader Bishop Abel Muzorewa. (3 SHOTS)
GV Bishop Muzorewa leaving aircraft and walking across tarmac waving.
SV Bishop Muzorewa walks up to microphone facing newsmen.
CU Bishop Muzorewa speaking. (3 SHOTS)
GV ZOOM OUT Poster of Muzorewa "UANC one man one vote" and crowd singing.
SV Bishop Muzorewa waving to crowd.
GV Crowd waiting at airport.
SCU Bishop Muzorewa leading crowd in chanting.
MUZOREWA: "As far as I'm concerned, the transitional government's policy is that the elections are o course, and somebody has to come with a real reason that will convince me and my party that it is necessary to postpone. But, otherwise, as far as I am concerned, we are on course, and it is disastrous to try to -- for any reason -- to try to change the date of the election."
REPORTER: "Bishop, are you (INDISTINCT) for elections?"
MUZOREWA: "Election (INDISTINCT) then December the 31st - it's going to happen."
In spite of the ecastatic welcome given to Bishop Muzorewa on his return, there are reports that his popularity is on the wane. In London, the Sunday Times newspaper says this is due to failure of the ruling four-man Executive Council to keep its promise to halt the war, get international recognition, end sanctions, and remove all race laws from the statute books. The newspaper claims that failure to hold elections before the end of the year could virtually finish the Bishop's political career.
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Background: Rhodesian black nationalist leader, Bishop Abel Muzorewa, has warned that there would be 'a disaster' in Rhodesia if elections were not held by the end of the year. He was reacting to a statement by Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith that it was mechanically impossible to hold elections before the 31st of December - the deadline set in the third of March internal settlement agreement.
SYNOPSIS: Bishop Muzorewa arrived back in Salisbury on Friday (3 November) after a three-week tour of the United States, London and other European capitals. At the airport to welcome him were two thousand enthusiastic supporters of his party -- the United African Nationalist Council.
Bishop Muzorewa was one of three black leaders who reached agreement with Mr. Smith on the third of March to bring about black rule in Rhodesia by the end of the year. The Bishop said that his party would counter an attempt at postponement 'with all its power".
Bishop Muzorewa also gave strong warning that failure to hand over Rhodesia to the black majority by the end of the year could undermine the transitional government's ceasefire programme. Delayed elections could, he said, also lead to urban violence, and destroy the credibility of the government.
Earlier, the Bishop renewed his appeals for Britain to back the internal settlement. He also asked Britain to stop supporting guerrilla leader, Joshua Nkomo, and his Patriotic Front.