Zimbabwe Rhodesia has entered a period which could be crucial in its struggle for world recognition and its efforts to end almost seven years of war.
Zimbabwe Rhodesia has entered a period which could be crucial in its struggle for world recognition and its efforts to end almost seven years of war. On Tuesday (3 July), the British special envoy, Harlech, arrives in Salisbury to present his country's latest ideas for an internationally acceptable settlement. Prime Minister, Bishop Abel Muzorewa, will later leave for Washington and London where he'll plead for Western backing in his war with Patriotic Front guerrillas. On Saturday (30 June), Bishop Muzorewa took part in final ceremony, marking the handover black rule.
SYNOPSIS: The streets of Salisbury took on a carnival atmosphere as thousands of people -- most of them supporters of Bishop Muzorewa's United African National Council (UANC) -- gathered to escort their leader to his official residence.
Bishop Muzorewa asked his supporters to pray for peace and prosperity -- as well as oil. Zimbabwe Rhodesia is crippled by international trade sanctions. It depends of South Africa for oil for its industries and to continue its war against guerrilla belonging to the President Front??? The Bishop told the crowd that he would make certain they earned more money if trade sanctions were lifted. At present, blacks earn one tenth of the salaries earned by whites.
Then, Bishop Muzorewa drove through the streets of Salisbury in a hundred-year-old oxcart, borrowed from a city museum. For the five kilometre (three miles), journey, the oxcart was loaded with cooking pots, drums, baskets and bundles of blankets -- all traditional symbols of the move to a new home. The official residence was named "Independence" by former Premier, Ian Smith, after Rhodesia broke away from Britain in 1965. But the Bishop has re-named it "Dzimbahwe" -- meaning a chief's house, or palace.
The carnival was the climax of Bishop Muzorewa's first month in office. In that time, his authority has been cast in doubt by the rebellion of seven UANC Members of Parliament. But he is pinning his hopes on the vital meetings he will soon by holding with political leaders in the United States and Britain.