Before arriving in London for talks with the British Government, Rhodesian African National Council President, Bishop Abel ???
Before arriving in London for talks with the British Government, Rhodesian African National Council President, Bishop Abel ???Muzorewa forecast in an exclusive VISNEWS interview in Nairobi on Wednesday (6 August), that there will be a constitutional settlement of the Rhodesian issue within nine months.
The Bishop flew into London later the same day. He had been invited by the British Government to review the latest situation.
Bishop Muzorewa told VISNEWS reporter Paul Toulmin-Rothe that despite the chances of a peaceful settlement, there were still ??? causing concern. For example the build up of Rhodesian security forces.
But he welcomed the South African decision to withdraw their police units from Rhodesia. The Bishop said they should never have been ??? in the first place and that the withdrawal showed South Africa was very serious about reaching a peaceful settlement of the Rhodesian issue.
The Bishop said the A.N.C. thought the withdrawal would force Rhodesian Prime Minister Mr. Ian Smith to come to his senses.
Asked about the timetable for a constitutional conference, the Bishop replied that there should be a provisional government in power within nine months to pave the way for black-majority rule.
Bishop Muzorewa said that if the Smith government detained A.N.C. leaders and banned the organisation it would have little affect on the campaign for black-majority rule.
While the Rhodesian Front Government has agreed to a constitutional conference, the venue remains the centre of deadlock. Mr. Smith wants the conference held inside Rhodesia. The A.N.C. want it held outside the country.
A major reason for the London talks is that the British Government wants to play a constructive part in getting the conference launched.
But a British Foreign Office spokesman has said that it is for the A.N.C. and the Rhodesian Government to first find common-ground on the issue. A breakthrough may come when Mr. Smith meets South African Prime Minister Mr. John Vorster in Pretoria next weekend.
The A.N.C. has said it will agree to Pretoria as the site for the constitutional conference.