Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Robert Mugabe said on Saturday (15 November) that his government was considering disarming thousands of nationalist guerrillas following last week's bitter fighting in Bulawayo that left 55 people dead.
CU & SV Zimbabwe Prime Minister Robert Mubabe speaking in English at Marandellas as white farmers listen and applaud (7 shots)
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 1: MUGABE: "At Lancaster House, we -- our delegation of ZANU-ZAPU the Patriotic Frontists, there was argued for a process to be struck, after the ceasefire had been achieved, to bring the armies together. (as heard). The British government was unwilling that process be stared. Well, they had their own reasons. I take it is also because of the short time scale for the elections that they felt that exercise was not manageable. But they wanted it to be a function of a government that was going to be elected, to bring unity of the forces. In Bulawayo, we've had to disarm them, and to ensure that only those who keep guard are allowed arms. But I take you point, that perhaps the time has come for us to begin a process of disarming. It mustn't be a process which brings about greater hostility than there is at the moment, because of the undertaking that has been given. Now, our view is that if the integration process is accelerated, and we have more instructors to ensure that this happens, then as you bring these chaps together, you disarm them and issue them with weapons, necessary only when they need them either for their training or when they are being deployed for duty."(APPLAUSE).
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Background: Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Robert Mugabe said on Saturday (15 November) that his government was considering disarming thousands of nationalist guerrillas following last week's bitter fighting in Bulawayo that left 55 people dead. Mr. Mugabe travelled to the town of Marandellas, east of Salisbury to attempt to calm fears of white farmers over issues ranging from beef prices and land reform to the presence of 20,000 armed guerrillas still in assembly camps. He told the 200 assembled farmers that perhaps an answer to the Guerrilla problem lay in an acceleration of their integration into the National Army.