Seven African tribal chiefs were sworn in as Rhodesian ministers in Salisbury on Wednesday (28 April) in a move seen by the white minority as a major step towards multi-racial government.
GV EXTERIOR government house Salisbury
SV Chief Mlingo taking oath
MV ministers looking on PAN TO Mlingo shaking hands with President and Mr. Ian Smith
MV Chief Mungate taking oath watched by Smith
MV Mungate signing papers watched by other ministers (2 shots)
MV Mungate shakes hands with Smith
MV Mr. Smith leads new ministers onto lawn
MV Smith talking with new ministers (2 shots)
CU TV Screen with Smith speaking
This film is serviced with part of a speech by Mr. Ian Smith. A transcript follows:
"For some years now, the potential African leadership has been sitting on the fence because of the constitutional impasse and also because of intimidation. I hope that with this new initiative they will have the courage of their convictions and be prepared to nail their flag to the mast, indicating where they stand".
Initials RH/1715 RH/PK/DK/1734
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Seven African tribal chiefs were sworn in as Rhodesian ministers in Salisbury on Wednesday (28 April) in a move seen by the white minority as a major step towards multi-racial government.
Four of the chiefs have been made full government ministers. Three others were also sworn in as deputy ministers and three more chiefs have been announced as deputy ministers and will be sworn in at a later date.
According to a government statement, all 10 will be responsible for general development in African areas, will represent the views of black Rhodesians and will enjoy equal status with their European colleagues in the Rhodesian government.
However, according to Reuters, Rhodesian nationalists demanding immediate black majority rule have dismissed the move as a meaningless, cosmetic gesture. Reuters quote nationalist leaders as saying that the appointments in no way meet their demands for black majority government.
Meanwhile, Rhodesian Prime Minister, Mr. Ian Smith, went on television to declare his hope that the appointments would persuade black Rhodesians to support the government.
The four chiefs appointed full ministers are: the President of the Council of Chiefs, Chief J.S. Cairau; the Vice President of the Council of Chiefs, Chief Kayisa Ndiweni; Chief Z. Charumbira and Chief T.C. Mangwende.
The three chiefs sworn in as deputy ministers are: Chief Zaphania Bafnah; Chief Fanny Mlingo and Chief Aron Mungate. The names of the three other deputy ministers are to be announced later.
According to Reuters, all are unanimously opposed to guerrilla war, which the nationalists have stepped up following the breakdown of constitutional talks over the future of Rhodesia. The total number of guerrillas killed in three years now stands at 788, with 148 dead this year. 94 members of the Rhodesian security forces have died during the three year period.
Dr. Elliott Gabellah, deputy president of Bishop Abel Muzorewa's external faction of the divided African National Council has said that Mr. Smith was burying his head in the sand by appointing the chiefs to the government, Mr. Josiah Chinamano, Dr. Gabellah's opposite number in the rival nationalist camp led by Mr. Joshua Nkomo, also condemned the appointments. He said that it wasn't enough to present a black face - the people would have to choose representatives they support.
United Nations Secretary General, Dr. Kurt Waldheim, has said the appointments could not be regarded as meeting the fundamental conditions for the solution of the Rhodesian problem.
United States Secretary of State, Dr. Henry Kissinger, in a speech in Lusaka, Zambia, has attacked Mr. Smith for intransigence and pledged full support for the United Kingdom demand that Rhodesia's white minority government agree to black majority rule within two years.