On Tuesday (21 March), Rhodesia's new multiracial Executive Council was officially sworn in as the country's highest body in the transitional Government.
GV: Chief Chirau followed by Bishop Muzorewa, PM Ian Smith and Rev Sithole leave PM's residence.
CU: Smith talking to newsmen.
GV: Chinamano supporters. (2 SHOTS)
SV: Chinamano seated watching dancers.
SV: Chinamano speaking newsmen.
SV INTERIOR: Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole seated at news conference.
SV: Newsmen listening as question asked.
CU: Sithole listening and answering question.
SMITH: "Well we decided this afternoon that we would have chairmen on a four-weekly basis. And we drew lots for this."
REPORTER: "Who's the first one?"
SMITH: "I'm the first chairman. I think number two was Chief Chirau, number three was the Reverend Sithole, and number four was Bishop Muzorewa. So that's the way it's going to go."
CHINAMANO: "If the elections are going to take place against the whole atmosphere of illegality, if the elections are going to take place on a platform that has been staged-managed by Mr. Smith and his puppets, certainly we are not going to take part in them."
REPORTER: "There's no question is there that the, that Mr. Smith, and his colleagues are prepared for the return of the guerrillas without recriminations against them. There's no question that they'll come back and be locked up?"
SITHOLE "No. That of course is out of the question. That will not be in the spirit of the agreement. After all this country'll never be the same. Those who think that it will remain as it is are quite mistaken. We are there to see that these people are treated as fairly as possible, after all, we are the party going into power, and the R.F. is the party going out of power."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: On Tuesday (21 March), Rhodesia's new multiracial Executive Council was officially sworn in as the country's highest body in the transitional Government. The four members, Mr. Ian Smith, Chief Chirau, Bishop Muzorewa and the Reverend Sithole met at Mr. Smith's official residence for just over an hour and-a-half. When they emerged from their historic meeting, it was to face a large contingent of newsmen waiting for the outcome.
SYNOPSIS: The four leaders came out of the swearing-in ceremony looking relaxed. The ceremony had been conducted by the Anglican Bishop of Mashonaland. Mr. Smith gave details of the meeting.
But the idea of Rhodesia's executive power being in the hands of the four men has not pleased all. The internal spokesman for the Patriotic Front, Josiah Chinamano, held a rally outside Salisbury the following day, where he made it clear that his group would not support elections planned for later this year.
The Reverend Sithole also held a news conference on Wednesday (22 March) where he expressed confidence in the future.