Nyasaland's African leader, Dr. Hastings Banda, was released, Apr 1, after being detained for 13?
Nyasaland's African leader, Dr. Hastings Banda, was released, Apr 1, after being detained for 13 months following rioting early last year in Nyasaland. Dr. Banda - after release from Gwelo prison, Southern Rhodesia, went to the home of Mr. Orton Chirwa, leader of the caretaker Malawi Congress Party, in Blantyre, joining with him and Governor Sir Robert Armitage in a radio appeal for peace and calm in Nyasaland, although his release - carefully planned to avoid demonstrations - was on the whole quietly received by the Nyasaland crowds.
His release, coinciding with British Colonial Secretary Macleod's visit to Nyasaland, dramatically highlighted the difference between British and South African policy. Two days earlier, South African Premier Dr. Verwoerd imprisoned Nationalist leader Chief Albert Luthuli.
At Government House, Zomba, Colonial Secretary Macleod and Governor Armitage had talks with Dr. Banda on the day of his release, and again on the two following days. There was no comment on the talks from Dr. Banda or his supporters, but speaking at Limbe Dr. Banda did say he would be going to London for constitutional talks and told his audience of Africans "If you listen to me you will have your own Government." Mr. Macleod has commented that his first aim in the talks was to see if there was common ground between himself and Dr. Banda to form a basis for the start of constitutional talks.
Dr. Banda launched the Nyasaland movement against Federation with Southern and Northern Rhodesia which led to the rioting last year. He returned to Nyasaland in 1958 after 40 years of voluntary exile. His release is expected to help Britain's Monckton commission, now carrying out an enquiry concerning the constitutional future of the Federation, and is now in Nyasaland, where it is hoped the African Congress movement will relax its intimidation of witnesses.