The South African arms issue was a natter of life and death for Zambia and not just a question of principle, Zambia's President Kenneth Kaunda said in Singapore today (Monday).
AV Singapore harbour
SCU Kaunda interviewed
Singapore harbour; President Kaunda and interviewer. (SOF)
TRANSCRIPT: INTERVIEWER: (SEQ. 2) "That no arms, not even a frigate or two, should be sold to South Africa? or that the Commonwealth should continue in business to try and deal with all the other problems of the world which are not confined to Southern Africa?
KAUNDA: Well obviously I prefer to see the Commonwealth continue. I value this organisation very much indeed for reasons I have given several times. I would rather have continued this organisation which definitely is a force for good in the whole international community. This is how I see it.
INTERVIEWER: But do you think that if Britain sells arms for South Africa this is so important that it would mean Zambia and perhaps other countries leaving and not continuing in the Commonwealth relationship?
KAUNDA: I would say this, that this is more than a matter of principle for us in Zambia. It is a matter of life and death. I have said before that so many times we have been attacked as a country by these racist regimes, because we have got refugees there, thousand of them, form all around us - Mozambique, Angola, Rhodesia, and South Africa, Namibia (South West Africa). So you see we have had our airspace violated, we have had our people killed, and cur property destroyed. This is not a matter of just principle here, its is a matter of life and death as I said.
INTERVIEWER: You see Mr Heath as Wanting to arm your enemies.
Initials JMR/BOB/SGM/0239 JMR/BOB/SGM/0243
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The South African arms issue was a natter of life and death for Zambia and not just a question of principle, Zambia's President Kenneth Kaunda said in Singapore today (Monday). He was being interviewed for the British Broadcasting Corporation's programma "Panorama", screened tonight.
President Kaunda answered in the affirmative when he was asked if he considered Britain's Prime Minister, Mr Heath, as wanting to arm Zambia's enemies.