In London, the constitutional conference on the future of Zimbabwe-Rhodesian has been continuing at a snail's pace with the combatants in the seven year old guerrilla war still not getting down to hard bargaining.
LONDON, UK (SEPTEMBER 13, 1979) (REUTERS)
GV: Lancaster House with Patriotic Front leader Joshua Nkomo arriving followed by Zimbabwe Rhodesia Prime Minister Bishop Abel Muzorewa (3 shots)
SCU: Bishop Muzorewa speaking in English.
SCU: Zimbabwe Rhodesian Party member Ndabaning Sithole speaking in English.
GV: Lancaster House with Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington.
SV: Joshua Nkomo arriving at Lancaster House followed by Lord Carrington and Patriotic Front leader Robert Mugabe. (3 shots)
MUZOREWA: "The people of Zimbabwe Rhodesia will not allow anyone, I repeat anyone, to rob them of the power they finally have. The people will reject with every means at their disposal any attempt by one or two arrogant dictators in the making to impose themselves or their foreign communist or Marxist ideologies and doctrine in our country. They are fully aware that these represent a form of oppression much worse than that which previously existed in our country and which we have only recently effectively removed. Those few who continue to oppose our democratically and popular elected government are blood-thirsty murderers intent only on genocide and the subjugation of seven million people. Zimbabwe Rhodesians jealously guard their newly won right to self-determination and their government will defend that right whatever may come."
REPORTER: "Mr. Sithole there is a rumour going around London that you are moving away from the government of National Unity and may even join the Patriotic Front (PF) can you comment on that?"
SITHOLE: "No truth whatsoever. It's utter rubbish."
REPORTER: "Well, can you say where the rumour may have started?"
SITHOLE: "I don't know where it started. It may be probably yesterday when I intervened in a procedural difficulty which facilitated what the P.F. was trying to say. Some people might have had the wrong impression that I wanted to go over there, but I want to make it quite clear that I am not for the P.F."
REPORTER: "Your position as a member of the government of National Unity is beyond question?"
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In London, the constitutional conference on the future of Zimbabwe-Rhodesian has been continuing at a snail's pace with the combatants in the seven year old guerrilla war still not getting down to hard bargaining. The fifth session since the talks started on Monday (10 September) was held on Thursday (13 September) and lasted only 35 minutes, with two of the main delegates in Prime Minister Bishop Abel Muzorewa's team failing to turn-up -- former Prime Minister Ian Smith was indisposed and the Reverend Ndabaning Sithole wanted to study the proposals made by Britain's Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington.
After a confusing and inconclusive day Bishop Abel Muzorewa called a press conference to plead his cause ??? rumours that the Reverend Ndabaning Sithole was moving closer to the Patriotic Front's position. Reverend Sithole later denied the allegations. Bishop Muzorewa had some harsh words for the Patriotic Front.
Britain's Lord Carrington has given Patriotic Front leaders Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe an assurance that agreement on a constitution will be 'contingent on accord being reached on transition questions, but on Thursday (13 September) Bishop Muzorewa threatened to leave the conference after discussion of the constitution.