INTRODUCTION The Zimbabwe United People's Organisation (ZUPO) recently held a meeting in the Rhodesian township of Amazani in an effort to rally support for the party.
INTRODUCTION The Zimbabwe United People's Organisation (ZUPO) recently held a meeting in the Rhodesian township of Amazani in an effort to rally support for the party. Of Rhodesia's 4,5 million African population only 300 people attended the meeting.
SYNOPSIS: ZUPO was formed late last December when two African tribal chiefs announced their resignation fro the Rhodesian Cabinet to head the new political party. The chiefs were among seven African coopted into the government early in 1976 by Prime Minister Ian Smith, in an attempt to create a multi-racial image. Four were made ministers, with responsibility for the development of the tribal trust land and three became deputy ministers. The two who rehinged were Chief Chirau and Chief Ndeweni, both senators.
At the time of his resignation, Chief Chirau said ZUPO would be instrumental in bridging the gap between the government and the African nationalist groups. A spokesman for ZUPO said the party had the support of 254 chiefs, virtually all of the government recognised and financed chiefs, and 450 headmen. Although the chiefs had been close to the government for some time, they felt their official position imposed limitations on what they could do for the people.
During the meeting, party Chief Chirau reiterated ZUPO's aim to bring about majority rule as soon as possible and criticised the nationalist extremist parties for achieving nothing but bloodshed. Chief Chirau also said how instrumental ZUPO had been in bringing about Prime Minister Ian Smith's recent plans to abolish most race laws. A "peaceful" settlement was the main theme of Chief Chirau's address a settlement achieved internally and with an interim government.