A group of sixty-four Rhodesian nationalists, who were detained in neighbouring Mozambique as opponents of guerrilla leader Robert Mugabe, returned to Rhodesia on Monday (28 January).
SV Supporters of former Prime Minister Bishop Abel Muzorewa wearing T-shirts carrying his portrait jogging along road chanting and carrying banners
CU PULL BACK Groups of women and men with Muzorewa election posters singing and dancing (2 shots)
CU Picture of Zanu leader Ndabaningi Sithole on woman's T-shirt, with woman dancing with group of ZANU supporters on opposite side of road (2 shots)
SV Dancers with portrait of Sithole and ZANU election posters (2 shots)
GV Releases detainees leaving aircraft at Salisbury Airport waving
SV Men walking across tarmac waving
CU Man and woman hugging children
GV Released detainees boarding bus
GV Convoy of buses passing cheering crowds (ABOVE) leaving airport, and crowd runs after buses (2 shots)
FORMER DETAINEE: "Ladies and gentlemen of the Press, I will provide you with a statement later on. So arrangements will be made. We cannot give any statement at the moment. My name is (indistinct). There will be no questions answered at the moment."
REPORTER: "Just tell us what it's like to be back...."
FORMER DETAINEE: "No answers to any questions."
Earlier reports reaching Salisbury said more than seventy detainees were being held in Mozambique. Reuters news agency said it was not immediately clear whether the remainder had chosen to stay in Mozambique, or would be coming back to Salisbury by a different route.
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Background: A group of sixty-four Rhodesian nationalists, who were detained in neighbouring Mozambique as opponents of guerrilla leader Robert Mugabe, returned to Rhodesia on Monday (28 January). Political sources in Salisbury predicted the freeing of the detainees would have some impact on next month's elections for an independent parliament.
SYNOPSIS: Supporters of former Prime Minister, Bishop Abel Muzorewa, swarmed towards Salisbury airport to greet the detainees, being flown back from Beira on a British Air Force Hercules.
Rhodesia's British Governor, Lord Soames, had demanded the release of the group to comply with terms of the Lancaster House agreement, which called for all political detainees to be freed. It was alleged the group had been held in custody in Mozambique for three years at Mr Mugabe's request. British authorities had delayed granting permission for Mr. Mugabe to return to Rhodesia until they received assurances about the release. Supporters of Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) leader, Mr Ndabaningi Sithole, were among the waiting crowd.
Informed sources said Lord Soames would publish an ordinance this week (27 January/1 February) extending the deadline for nomination of candidates. This would allow returning detainees to contest the elections. Many belong to the large Karanga tribe, and the party they choose to back could sway Karanga voters. A leading detainee would not divulge his intentions.
Most of the detainees were locked up in 1977, though the leaders who were returning here were detained in January 1978, after plans were discovered to remove Mr Mugabe from the ZANU leadership. The majority were members of the Zimbabwe People's Army (ZIPA), set up at first as a high command to unify guerrilla factions. But their group fell out with ZANU shortly before the abortive peace conference on Rhodesia, held in Geneva. Under heavy guard, the returned exiles were driven to an undisclosed destination to rest and get their bearings.