1. Following the Meeting of Commonwealth Heads of Government held in Lusaka from 1 to 7 August, Her Majesty's Government issued invitations to Bishop Muzorewa and the leaders of the Patriotic Front to participate in a Constitutional Conference at Lancaster House. The purpose of the Conference was to discuss and reach agreement on the terms of an Independence Constitution, and that elections should be supervised under British authority to enable Rhodesia to proceed to legal independence and the parties to settle their differences by political means.

2. The Conference opened on 10 September under the chairmanship of Lord Carrington, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. The Conference concluded on 15 December, after 47 plenary sessions. A list of the official delegates to the Conference is at Annex A. The text of Lord Carrington's opening address is at Annex B, together with statements made by Mr Nkomo on behalf of his and Mr Mugabe's delegation and by Bishop Muzorewa on behalf of his delegation.

3. In the course of its proceedings the Conference reached agreement on the following issues:

— Summary of the Independence Constitution (attached as Annex C to this report)*
—arrangements for the pre-independence period (Annex D)
—a cease-fire agreement signed by the parties (Annex E)

4. In concluding this agreement and signing this report the parties undertake:

(a) to accept the authority of the Governor;
(b) to abide by the Independence Constitution;
(c) to comply with the pre-independence arrangements;
(d) to abide by the cease-fire agreement;
(e) to campaign peacefully and without intimidation;
(f) to renounce the use of force for political ends;
(g) to accept the outcome of the elections and instruct any forces under their authority to do the same.

*The Constitution, which was enacted by Order in Council on 6 December 1979, gives full effect to this Summary.

Signed at Lancaster House, London
this twenty-first day of December, 1979




Lord Carrington (Chairman)
Sir I Gilmour Bt
Sir M Havers*
Lord Harlech*
Mr R Luce
Sir M Palliser
Sir A Duff*
Mr D M Day
Mr R A C Byatt*
Mr R W Renwick
Mr P R N Fifoot
Mr N M Fenn
Mr G G H Walden
Mr C D Powell
Mr P J Barlow
Mr R D Wilkinson
Mr A M Layden
Mr R M J Lyne
Mr M J Richardson*
Mr C R L de Chassiron*
Mrs A J Phillips*
Mr M C Wood

*Replaced by Sir J Graham, Mr S J Gomersall, Gen M Farndale, Mr R Jackling, Col A Gurdon, Col C Dunphie and Mr B Watkins for some sessions of the Conference.


Mr J M Nkomo
Mr J M Chinamano
Mr E Z Tekere
Gen J M Tongogara
Mr E R Kadungure
Dr H Ushewokunze
Mr D Mutumbuka
Mr J Tungamirai
Mr E Zvobgo
Mr S Mubako*
Mr W Kamba
Mr J W Msika
Mr T G Silundika*
Mr A M Chambati
Mr John Nkomo*
Mr L Baron*
Mr S K Sibanda*
Mr E Mlambo*
Mr C Ndlovu*
Miss E Siziba

*Replaced by Mr W Musarurwa, Mr D Dabengwa, Mr A Ndlovu, Mr R Austin, Mr R Mpoko, Mr R Manyika and Mr L Mafela for some sessions of the Conference.



Bishop A T Muzorewa
Dr S C Mundawarara
Mr E L Bulle
Mr F Zindoga
Mr D C Mukome*
Mr G B Nyandoro*
Rev N Sithole
Mr L Nyemba*
Chief K Ndiweni
Mr Z M Bafanah*
Mr I D Smith
Mr D C Smith
Mr R Cronje
Mr C Andersen
Dr J Kamusikiri
Mr G Pincus*
Mr L G Smith
Air Vice Marshal H Hawkins
Mr D Zamchiya
Mr S V Mutambanengwe
Mr M A Adam
Mr P Claypole

*Replaced by Mr A R McMillan, Mr D V M Bradley, Gen P Walls, Mr K Flower and Mr P K Allum for some sessions of the Conference.


Mr J M Willson
Mr R S Dewar
Mr R P Ralph
Mr N E Sheinwald




Lord Carrington: I am glad to welcome you to this Conference and to open its proceedings.

When the British Government issued invitations to this Conference on 14 August, after extensive consultations, we naturally hoped for and expected a positive response. Our consultations had revealed a strong desire that the United Kingdom should take the initiative in making a further attempt to achieve a final settlement of the problem of Rhodesia, in fulfilment of its constitutional responsibilities. There was also a widespread feeling that continuation or intensification of the war was not in the best interests of any of the parties to the dispute, nor of the people of Rhodesia as a whole. Nevertheless, it is not a simple matter for those who have been involved in a bitter and tragic military confrontation to sit round a conference table together. The British Government felt strongly that it had the responsibility to bring that about.

When inviting you here we appealed to you, in the interests of the people of Rhodesia, to approach these negotiations in a positive spirit and to seek to build up areas of agreement. We hope thereby to lay the foundations for a free, independent and democratic society in which all the people of Rhodesia, irrespective of their race or political beliefs, would be able to live in security and at peace with each other and with their neighbours. The act of coming together is important. It is now up to us to build on that.

Since 1965, and indeed long before, many meetings have been held to try to resolve this problem. I am under no illusions, nor are any of my colleagues with me under any illusion, about the magnitude of the task before us. The problem is one which has defeated the efforts of successive British Governments, all of whom sought to achieve the objective of a peaceful settlement in conditions which would guarantee to the people of Rhodesia the full enjoyment of their rights. But I have no intention of going back over the history of those attempts; and I hope that you also will be prepared to look to the future rather than to the past.

I would like to hope that there is a difference between this meeting and those which have preceded it. This is a constitutional conference, the purpose of which is to decide the proper basis for the granting of legal independence to the people of Rhodesia. Many conferences like this have been held in this very building. A great many former dependent territories of the United Kingdom have successfully made the transition to independent statehood on the basis of constitutions agreed here. It is our intention to approach this Conference on the basis of the same principles and with no less strong a determination to succeed than in the case of those other conferences, which resulted in the granting of independence by this country to our former dependent territories. I believe that we can take some pride in the part we have played at conferences held at Lancaster House in the process of decolonisation. As Commonwealth leaders agreed at Lusaka, Britain has had no lack of experience as a decolonising power.


The agreement reached at Lusaka has made it possible for the British Government to convene this Conference with the very real hope that it will lead to an internationally acceptable settlement. I would like to pay tribute to the Commonwealth Heads of Government and the Commonwealth Secretary-General, all of whom worked so hard at Lusaka to establish an agreed position. In summary, the Commonwealth Heads of Government at Lusaka confirmed that they were wholly committed to genuine majority rule for the people of Rhodesia, and accepted that this requires the adoption of a democratic constitution including appropriate safeguards for minorities. They reiterated that it is the responsibility of the British Government to grant legal independence to Rhodesia. They agreed that the government formed under the independence constitution must be chosen through free and fair elections, properly supervised under British Government authority, and with Commonwealth observers. They welcomed the British Government's intention to convene this Conference, and recognised that the search for a settlement must involve all parties to the conflict. We should do well, I think, to bear in mind throughout our discussions the framework thus set out in the Lusaka communique. Not only does it incorporate the views of the British Government, but it sets out the approach which the Commonwealth will support and which will gain international acceptance.

Against this background I approach the search for a fair constitutional settlement in Rhodesia with the conviction that it is illusory to think that any settlement can fully satisfy the requirements of either side. An agreement can only be reached if there is a willingness to compromise.

The British Government has put to you an outline of the kind of constitution on the basis of which we would be prepared to grant independence. We wish to discuss these proposals with you at this Conference, and will be prepared to elaborate them in the light of our discussions. If we can reach agreement at this Conference, there will be an end to the war. That is an outcome which I believe will be greeted with immense relief by the people of Rhodesia and throughout Africa. Rhodesia will proceed to legal independence with a government formed by whichever party and whichever leader can show that they command the confidence of the people. I must confess that I find it difficult to see how any party or group or leader can hope to benefit from what would follow failure to reach agreement along the general lines we have put before you, and those who would suffer most would be the people of Rhodesia, towards whom our real responsibility lies.

A quarter of the population of Rhodesia has been born since 1965. Their lives have been overshadowed, not merely by a tragic and unnecessary political dispute, but by armed conflict. Many of them have died as innocent victims of the war. Or they have lost their parents, or their brothers or their sisters. Or they have lost their homes. Many of them, black and white, face the prospect of themselves having to fight, on one side or the other, or of being deprived indefinitely of peaceful residence in the land of their birth - a quarter of a million people are now in refugee camps in other countries. If we, who are assembled in this room, cannot agree on a way to end the fighting and to provide for you to settle your differences by political means, this is what will happen.

This generation now at risk had no part in the initial causes of the conflict. It was not born when the problem of Rhodesia came to a crisis in 1965. But


now there is acceptance by all the parties of a society free from racial discrimination, of universal suffrage and majority rule. We can make this objective a reality if - and only if - we are prepared to look at the problems on the basis of principles on which both sides should be able to agree. I believe that the people assembled in this room have it in their power to end the war and to enable the people of Rhodesia to decide their future by peaceful means. We - you and I - bear a heavy responsibility, and I do not believe that the people of Rhodesia will readily forgive any party which deprives them of this opportunity to settle their future by peaceful means. That is a thought which should be in all our minds throughout the whole of this Conference.

It is, I must say, a matter of great regret and disappointment to me and my colleagues that hostilities are continuing during this Conference. Progress towards agreement on political issues - which I hope we are all determined to achieve - will by definition mean progress towards removing the causes of the war. It must be our objective to proceed as soon as possible to a stage at which there can be agreement on a ceasefire. We shall fall short of what we ought to achieve for the people of Rhodesia if we do not give them a chance to make a fresh start, its causes and its consequences put firmly in the past.

Gentlemen, Britain has at times, and variously, been described on the one side as choosing to stand with arms folded on the touchline; and on the other as not being serious in its determination to decolonise. Let me assure you today, if anyone is in any doubt, that we could not be more serious in our intention to achieve a satisfactory basis for the granting of legal independence for the people of Rhodesia, and in this attempt to bring about an end to the war.

Since we were elected the government of this country at the beginning of May we have engaged in extensive consultations on the best way of achieving these objectives. Lord Harlech visited Africa early in the life of this Government to consult with the parties to the dispute and with the Commonwealth and other African governments most closely concerned. He found a general conviction that a solution to the problem of bringing Rhodesia to legal independence must stem from Britain as the constitutionally responsible authority, and that we must put forward proposals to achieve that objective. He also found that there was criticism of the present constitutional arrangements, in particular of the blocking power given to the white minority over a wide range of legislation, and of the character of the Public Service and other Commissions.

In the period of consultations, we made it clear that we would attach particular importance to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Lusaka. At Lusaka the British Prime Minister said that the British Government were wholly committed to genuine majority rule in Rhodesia. The principle of majority rule has been accepted by all the delegates at this Conference. The Prime Minister, at Lusaka, also recognised the importance of encouraging the European minority to remain as an integral part of the community. The Prime Minister emphasised that Britain fully accepted its constitutional responsibility to bring Rhodesia to legal independence on a basis of justice and democracy, comparable with the arrangements we have made for the independence of other countries.

The British Government took action immediately to give effect to the Lusaka declaration by convening this Conference and by putting forward constitutional


proposals in accordance with the principles which were agreed at Lusaka and which have formed the basis for other independence constitutions in Africa and elsewhere.

The constitution is the fundamental problem to which we must address ourselves. I am of course well aware that there are other aspects of a settlement which must in due course be resolved. But it is essential to the prospects of success that we should first seek agreement on our destination - which is the independence constitution. If that can be achieved it will be necessary to decide the arrangements to give effect to that agreement. The British Government has stated clearly that it will be prepared to accept its full share of the responsibility for the practical implementation of those arrangements. The central element will be free and fair elections, properly supervised under British Government authority.

The British Government's outline proposals for an independence constitution have been before you for four weeks. I did not suggest that this Conference should be held on the basis of prior acceptance of this document. Instead, I would like to take the document as the starting point for our discussions. The British Government have been asked to put forward proposals and we have done so. Unless there is a focus for our discussion it will be impossible to make progress.

There are certain general points which I would make in introducing them. First, as the constitutional authority for Southern Rhodesia, the United Kingdom intends to take direct responsibility for the independence constitution. What you have before you are the British Government's proposals, taking account of the points made to us in our consultations. They are intended to give effect to the principles which have been accepted by successive British Governments as the proper basis for independence, and you will recollect them very clearly. They are that the principle of majority rule must be maintained and guaranteed; that there must be guarantees against retrogressive amendments to the constitution; that there should be immediate improvement in the political status of the African population; that racial discrimination is unacceptable; that we must ensure that, regardless of race, there is no oppression of majority by minority or of minority by majority; and that what is agreed must be shown to be acceptable to the people of Rhodesia.

Second, our proposals are comparable to the basis on which the United Kingdom has granted independence to other former dependent territories, in particular those in Africa. We have no doubt, therefore, that a solution on this basis will be accepted by the international community, as giving effect to the principles we have accepted in granting independence to other former dependent territories. In the case of Rhodesia, as in all other cases, a constitution must take account of special circumstances. But the broad lines of independence constitutions are clear enough; and in the precedents there are points which can help us towards a solution, for example on the representation of minorities.

Third, we have made it unequivocally clear that our constitutional proposals represent in outline the kind of constitution on the basis of which the British Government would be prepared to grant legal independence. If agreement could be reached on alternative proposals which meet the British Government's


criteria, we would be ready to grant independence on that basis. But we believe that the best hope of success lies in negotiation on the lines we have proposed, in accordance with the Commonwealth declaration.

If it is possible to get agreement on the general framework for the independence constitution, the British Government will be prepared to put forward more detailed proposals to give effect to that agreement. We shall therefore have further suggestions to put before the Conference. But, before we advance to that stage, we must establish what measure of agreement exists on the outline proposals, and where the major difficulties, if any, will lie. As the first step, therefore, I shall hope to hear your views on the outline proposals.

Before inviting you, in our next session - because 1 think it would be appropriate to leave it to the next session - to state your positions on the constitutional framework for independence, I would like very briefly to speak about the arrangements to give effect to an agreement on the constitution.

In other countries approaching independence, the United Kingdom's role has invariably been to establish just conditions for independence, and not to encourage the aspirations of this or that party. Our role in Rhodesia will be the same as in other dependent territories. The international community is well aware of this and of our constitutional responsibility. In many countries we have handed over power to people who had previously been confirmed opponents of the policy of the United Kingdom, if they have been elected by the people of their countries. In the position which we agreed with other Commonwealth Governments at Lusaka, we stated that there must be free and fair elections, properly supervised under British Government authority and with Commonwealth observers. This has been accepted by all Commonwealth Governments; and, as I have already said, the British Government will be ready to carry out its responsibilities in this regard.

I turn now briefly to the way in which we might proceed at this Conference. The Conference is being held under my Chairmanship. I attach the highest priority to bringing it to a successful conclusion, and 1 assure you I intend to play the fullest part in the proceedings. At times when I am prevented from being here, I would propose to ask the Lord Privy Seal, Sir lan Gilmour, to take the Chair.

We have made no attempt to fix the duration of the Conference. I hope that we can move forward rapidly. I trust that we can show real progress towards agreement on the constitution. We for our part are prepared to continue for as long as it is necessary, provided of course that progress is being made. In the opening plenary sessions I would ask you to set out fully your views on constitutional questions and on the outline proposals before the Conference, as I have done. Depending on the progress made, it might then be appropriate to consider aspects of the constitution in more detail, perhaps on the basis of further proposals tabled by the British Government. We may also wish to consider meeting in less formal groups at different levels. We shall have between us to decide on that as we proceed.

The Conference Secretariat, headed by the Conference Secretary, Mr Willson, is at the service of all delegates. Any questions on administrative arrangements


should be referred to Mr Willson and the Conference Officers assisting him.

The Secretariat will prepare summary records of discussions in the formal Conference sessions, that is to say, records which give a resume of the main points made by each speaker. They will circulate these records within 24 hours. If you wish to make corrections of substance to your own interventions I would be grateful if you would do so within two days. These will also be circulated. The summary records will not be made available to the press.

There will - and I dare say you have already seen it - be world-wide interest in the progress of the Conference. A great many journalists have been accredited to it. I shall be making public my own statement this afternoon; you may wish to do the same with your opening speeches. The press will not be admitted to Lancaster House, but there is a fully equipped press centre just across the road. This is at the disposal of all delegations. Mr Fenn will act as my spokesman as Chairman of the Conference. He will also release to the press any joint statements on which we may from time to time agree, and I invite each delegation, if they would be so good, to nominate a member of their staff as Press Secretary, to be in touch with Mr Fenn about these matters. They will of course be welcome to use the facilities at the press centre.

If there are other papers which you wish to have circulated to all particicipants, the Secretariat will be ready to have them reproduced and distributed as Conference documents.

May I say this in conclusion. This Conference has been convened in response to the statement agreed by the Commonwealth Heads of Government at Lusaka. We have put forward proposals designed to bring Rhodesia to legal independence. Your acceptance of our invitation has given hope to the people of Rhodesia and the neighbouring countries. It is within the power of the parties represented here to bring an end to the war.

I have deliberately avoided talking of a "last chance" of a settlement. Last chances have come and gone before. But I would put it differently. Since Geneva, the conflict has reached new levels. The cost of continuing it is very high. Since 1976 the number of men under arms on both sides has more than doubled. The war has spread into neighbouring states. The toll in casualties inside Rhodesia and in the neighbouring countries has continued to rise. Neither side has infinite resources. The price of failure at this Conference would be further prolonged bloodshed and further destruction of the life of whole communities. The responsibility for preventing this lies upon all those present here, and the eyes of the international community will be upon us all to see that we live up to that responsibility. The British Government is determined for its part to do everything in its power to bring this Conference to a successful conclusion. It is in that spirit that I ask all of you to address the task before us.

Now, gentlemen, having said that, I think the best thing that we can do is to adjourn until 10.30 tomorrow morning when I hope we shall hear the considered views on what I have said from the two sides; of course there is no limit on the number of those who can speak. Perhaps we might then adjourn now, and I hope very much to see as many of you as can come this evening, when we are having a small party downstairs.

Thank you very much.


Mr Nkomo: Mr Chairman, first I would like to apologise to the Conference, through you, that we in the first place requested that we had some time, as given in our letter, and secondly that we still were late. We apologise for that to the Conference.

Mr Chairman, the Patriotic Front is going to give a statement that represents the Front. Mr Mugabe and myself are presenting this statement on behalf of our group.

The Patriotic Front, deeply conscious of the need to bring an end to racism and colonialism which continue to plague the people of Zimbabwe, welcomes the British Government's stated aim to assist in this task of decolonisation. We have come to London to attend this Conference in response to the invitation recently extended to us by you, Mr Chairman, on behalf of the British Government. For us our presence here is by itself an act of immense sacrifice. The scarce material resources we have had to divert and the manpower we must of necessity tie down in London for the duration of this Conference should be enough evidence of our seriousness and good faith. We have always said that we will leave no stone unturned in our struggle for the total liquidation of colonialism in Zimbabwe.

In particular we welcome the fact that the British Government now states that it is prepared to help bring genuine majority rule to our country, Zimbabwe. We are anxious to discover whether that is in fact the intention. Equally we wish to make our position absolutely clear and understood in order to facilitate frank and meaningful discussions.

The unique reality of the situation is that for many years now a major war of national liberation has been raging in our country. This arose from the single tragic fact that Britain failed to meet her decolonisation responsibilities even in the face of the continuing of flagrant illegal acts of the secular minority which challenges the people of Zimbabwe to take up arms and decolonise themselves. Thus we are faced with the task of a peace Conference.

British secular colonisation in Zimbabwe presented special problems which did not disappear by being ignored for decades. The war is an additional special problem and cannot be ignored if it is to end.

To achieve decolonisation comparable to that in other Commonwealth states we must first achieve the basic conditions for the movement to independence which existed in those countries. That was peace, safety and security for all, in the context of which an independent state would be governed according to the agreed constitution by a government elected by a people who were essentitally free and secure when they chose their government. That essential preliminary situation does not yet prevail in Zimbabwe and even an accepted and agreed constitution will not create it. It is our basic task here to create those conditions.

Mr Chairman, the extent and character of the war of national liberation must be made perfectly clear. Ninety per cent of the country is covered by this war: the towns and cities are surrounded by and often penetrated by the armed struggle. Parts of the country the regime has written off and abandoned: these


we term the liberated areas. In other areas the regime can only achieve a temporary daily presence with punitive raids on the villages: these we term the semi-liberated areas. The remaining contested areas include the towns and the citadels of the regime which we are poised to conquer. Thus the Patriotic Front has now responsibilities not only to fight but also to ensure peace, order and good government - the 'problem of success' - inside Zimbabwe.

Clearly it is not our purpose in coming to London to betray or abandon any of these victories of the people of Zimbabwe who have partly liberated themselves and are continuing the task precisely because Britain failed to carry out her responsibilities.

This Conference is not only unique in British colonial history because it must achieve peace as well as a future constitution: it is unique because this is the first time that two decolonising forces have to co-operate in this task. The Patriotic Front representing the people of Zimbabwe are here as the effective decolonising factor, while Britain is here asserting her diminished legal authority. In this connection it must be pointed out that Britain, despite its claimed experience in decolonisation has had no success in Zimbabwe or did not give any determined effort. The task has had to be undertaken by the people themselves. Through their sweat and blood the process is well on its way. The most positive proof of this is the admission of Britain's agent in the form of the declaration of martial law in over nearly 90 per cent of the total area of the country.

Yet we are more aware than any of the destruction and tragic toll of our struggle, of the regime's continued ability and increasing determination to wreak havoc and mass destruction. It is thus our vital responsibility to achieve genuine independence, thereby bringing about peace and putting an end to the prevailing anarchy and chaos. This is no longer a solely British responsibility; we must - and our presence here demonstrates our will to do so - work together with Britain.

We have stated before and we repeat the fact that the Patriotic Front and the achievements of the Zimbabwean people are essential factors in the decolonising process. We have to do this together. This is vital.

The task of this peace Conference is to ensure through an indivisible comprehensive agreement the irreversible transfer of power to the people of Zimbabwe. This is one continuous interdependent process. It is complex but does not not lend itself to piecemeal treatment. The critical period leading to independence is as vital as the independence constitution itself. In practice the task of creating a suitable constitution for the crucial transitional period will serve the ultimate task of agreeing a constitutional model for independence for our country and assist us in that undertaking in understanding one another's constitutional preferences. There must be no doubt about the freedom and fairness of the context of pre- independence elections. As the recent history of our land so eloquently demonstrates, treachery, tribalism and mass murder is all that can result from a false solution. To accept such a Zimbabwe would be a betrayal of our people, of our principles and quite simply (since dead and detained men can neither canvass nor cast votes) a betrayal of ourselves. We must remember here that it has always been, and it remains, the basic objective of


the Patriotic Front to ensure that government of a genuine free Zimbabwe is based upon free and fair elections. We have said this, Mr Chairman, several times. We were the initiators of the principle of universal adult suffrage in Zimbabwe, in the face of its constant rejection by Britain herself and the minority regime in that country.

Zimbabwe must be a sovereign republic in which the sovereign nation pursues its own destiny, totally unshackled by any fetters or constraints.

The sovereign Zimbabwean people must, acting through their own freely chosen representatives in parliament, be free and fully vested with the power to exercise complete dominion over resources from time to time as need arises. They must be free to reorganise the social, political and economic institutions and structures and be free to shape their own destiny as a nation without having to pander to any racial, ethnic, tribal, religious, social or other interests or differences.

The safety and survival of the republic must be the sacred trust of the Zimbabwean nation, not the pawn in the hands of mercenaries and other alien adventurers and agents. We are irrevocably committed to the position that the Zimbabwean people, by whose blood and sacrifice colonialism was exorcised from the land, must themselves be the perpetual guarantors of sovereignty in the face of all challenges, domestic or foreign. Liberation and the process leading thereto must, once agreed, be irrevocable and irreversible. We know no other way of ensuring this than strict adherence to the principle that the people and their forces who have toppled minority rule must be entrusted with the task of ensuring that colonialism, under whatever guise, will not return to plague the nation once again.

Justice will not occur by accident in a sovereign Zimbabwe, nor will its administration and dispensation remain in the hands of privileged minority. It must conform to the social and cultural values of the Zimbabwe people themselves.

The socio-economic system must conform to the people's sense of justice, democracy and fair play.

These and similar goals, cherished vigorously by our people, and for which thousands now lie in mass graves throughout Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana and Angola must not be betrayed or compromised. In the past many people present here in Lancaster House, but who are now our antagonists cherished them too. It is personal ambition and greed that propelled them into betrayal and treason. We are sworn not to follow their example.

At this stage, Mr Chairman, having seen both the British proposals and yesterday's statement by Lord Carrington, we find the British proposals are too vague for us to judge whether they are adequate to our comprehensive task. The British Government must now be prepared to take us into their confidence and show us what their real proposals are. This is very essential if we are to discuss with clarity of mind. The present outline states no more than some of the elements of any constitution but contains also certain aspects which are very different from the normal British pattern and are also seriously retrogressive as compared with earlier British proposals such as the Anglo- American proposals.


It avoids the real issues which should be brought before this Conference and solved. Only by dealing with them can we hope to leave here and return to freedom and the prospect of peace and tranquillity in our country, Zimbabwe.

The essential questions we have posed constantly to ourselves and which we insist must be understood by all seriously concerned with a solution include the following:-

1. Will the people of Zimbabwe be really sovereign and be able to exercise their sovereign authority?
2. V/hose army shall defend Zimbabwe and its people? It must be noted here that 60% of the present white army are mercenaries.
3. Whose police force shall protect the people of Zimbabwe?
4. What type of administration and judiciary shall serve the people of our country, Zimbabwe?
5. Will any ethnic, religious, tribal or other group be able to hold the rest of the people of Zimbabwe hostage?
6. How do we create the situation for the holding of free and fair elections?
7. Whose laws will govern such elections?
8. In particular, apart from the British supervisors and the Commonwealth observers, who will administer the elections and ensure the safety of the voters and candidates?
9. What will be the future of the people's land?

These and similar issues are those which should be placed on the agenda of this Conference and before the world if real peace is to return to our beloved Zimbabwe. The time for evasion is long past and we insist that the final phase of decolonisation be seriously pursued now by the British and by ourselves.

We have won that position by our own sacrifice, our own struggle, our own blood. We are not requesting anybody to bestow this right on us. We have done it ourselves. We continue to do it.

Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Bishop Muzorewa: Mr Chairman, it gives our delegation great pleasure to be in this historic building representing the democratically elected government of Zimbabwe Rhodesia, seeking recognition and the lifting of sanctions.

I must first, on behalf of my delegation and on my own behalf, say how grateful we all are to Her Majesty's Government for the hospitality accorded us, the spirit in which we have been received here and, above all, for the opportunity to resolve, once and for all, the constitutional problems facing our country.


I was pleased to accept the invitation to attend this constitutional Conference and to lead the delegation of our Government of National Unity, because it enables me to report officially and in person to the British Government and the British people that we have fulfilled all the requirements insisted upon by successive British administrations. This being so, it is up to the British Government to recognise the new reality of the situation in our country and to act accordingly.

It is now the responsibility of your government, Mr Chairman, to accept and acknowledge this fact. You, Mr Chairman, have referred to the laying of foundations for a free, independent and democratic society. We would suggest that those foundations have already been laid, and Britain has a legal and moral duty in the name of democracy, integrity and fair play to follow its own hallowed principles and recognise the new popularly elected government in our country which is of the people, by the people and for the people.

Let me examine, Mr Chairman, the present situation in relation to the five principles listed by the British Government in 1965 and the sixth subsequently added in 1966. I might add, at this stage, that these principles have received general approval by other countries and were even endorsed by the United Nations Organisation.

Those principles were:

(a) unimpeded progress to majority rule must be maintained and guaranteed;
(b) there must be guarantees against retrogressive amendment to the constitution;
(c) there must be an immediate improvement in the political status of the black population;
(d) there must be progress towards ending racial discrimination;
(e) the constitutional proposals must be acceptable to the people of Rhodesia as a whole; and
(f) there must be no oppression of the majority by the minority or of the minority by the majority.

In connection with these six principles, universal adult suffrage has been accepted and introduced in our country and this change cannot be reversed. Thus, the political status of the black population has been fulfilled and majority rule is enshrined in the constitution. No retrogressive amendments can be made without the approval of the black representatives in Parliament. Racial discrimination has been totally abolished and there is no question but that the changes which have been brought about in our country are accepted by the people as a whole. There is in our country today no oppression of the majority by the minority or of the minority by the majority. I can confidently state therefore, Mr Chairman, that the requirements of previous British Governments have been fully satisfied and nothing should now stand in the way of our Government of Zimbabwe Rhodesia being granted their rightful recognition.

Let us accept one further fact. The reasons which led to the British and subsequent international action against our country were directed purely and


simply against a white minority government which unilaterally declared independence in 1965. Those reasons are no longer valid, Mr Chairman. That government, which was anathema to the majority of our people, no longer exists. It has now been replaced by a government popularly elected by 64.8 per cent of our electorate in elections which were conducted in an honest, impartial, democratic, free and fair manner. This was testified to by virtually all the observers sent to monitor our elections, including the team led by Lord Boyd which was sent by your party. You yourself, Mr Chairman, indicated in the House of Lords on 22nd May that the British Government would be guided by Lord Boyd's conclusions. I fear that in some measure you may have shifted your ground in this regard and, perhaps due to the pressures exerted on your Prime Minister in Lusaka, your commitment has not been followed through. I do most sincerely hope and trust that your government has no intention of accepting a situation where Zimbabwe Rhodesia becomes the sacrificial lamb on the altar of expediency.

I would now take you back to the 15th May of this year. At the opening of the present British Parliament your Prime Minister, Mrs Thatcher, said it was the objective of your government to build on the major change that had taken place in my country to achieve a return to legality in conditions of wide international recognition. Let me emphasise the word 'major', which is of the greatest importance. This is exactly what has happened in Zimbabwe Rhodesia. There is a total new reality in our country. In Parliament, the House of Assembly consists of 72 black and 28 white members, the Senate consists of 20 black and 10 white senators. The Cabinet contains 19 ministers, of whom 14 are black and 5 are white. Prior to May the two highest posts in the land, that of Prime Minister and President, were held by whites. Now these posts are filled by blacks. Furthermore, as Minister of Combined Operations and Minister of Defence, I have executive control and ultimate authority over all military matters in my country. The military commanders operate under my immediate policy directives. Similarly, my black colleague, the Minister of Law and Order, who is a member of my delegation, holds executive power over the police.

All racially discriminatory laws, including those relating to land tenure, have been repealed - I repeat, have been repealed. People of all races are now permitted to live where they choose, whether in rural or urban residential areas. Our black population participates in all facets of business without any racial restrictions. Our schools and hospitals are now non-racial. All these significant developments were unheard of and thought impossible less than two years ago.

Mr Chairman, you said yesterday that in the case of Rhodesia, as in all other cases, the constitution must take account of special circumstances. That is precisely what we have done. We have a new constitution drafted by both black and white members of the four parties to the 3rd March Agreement - it was drawn up by the people of our country to meet the needs of our country. We have a new flag, one that is symbolic of our country and all its people.

We have a new non-racial nation, one that is dedicating itself to be a good example to other countries, not only on the African continent but throughout the world. The successful conclusion of our agreement of the 3rd March 1978, and the implementation of our new constitution, has been achieved through the


tremendous courage displayed by the vast majority of our electorate during elections. They went to the polls happily and willingly to exercise their newly won democratic right to elect a government of their choice despite intimidation and threats of death. In doing so they clearly demonstrated their desire to determine the future course of their country and that this should be achieved through the ballot and not the bullet. The people voted because they had at last secured their inalienable right to do so, in spite of repeated threats by the Patriotic Front to disrupt our elections, to punish and maim our citizens who dared to vote and to execute the democratically elected black leaders of their government.

There are a number of most important matters on which we require a clear, binding and unequivocal undertaking from your government, Mr Chairman, from the very outset of this Conference. I repeat that we have met the six principles. Lord Boyd reported on the last outstanding principle and your government has not denied his finding that the fifth principle has been met.

We require to know clearly and categorically what more your government requires from us before you will remove sanctions and grant recognition to our government. Thereafter, if we are able to reach agreement, we shall require a firm commitment in specific terms from your government that it is prepared to support our government to the fullest extent, that sanctions will be lifted, and that recognition will be granted. Here I must make it absolutely clear that we are not prepared to see any negation of what has so far been achieved in our country on behalf of our people, unless it is in their interests and in the interests of their country.

We require from Her Majesty's Government a guarantee, made publicly, to the effect that no one - I repeat, no one - will have the power of veto over the stated scope and focus of this Conference and that the same will apply to any decisions that may be agreed.

Mr Chairman, yesterday you asked us to set down fully our views on the constitutional questions and on the outline proposals published by the British Government when extending the invitation to this Conference. I have already dealt with the constitutional questions. As far as the outline proposals are concerned, the Constitutional Agreement of 3rd March 1978, and our present constitution, substantially meet all the points that are made. We sincerely trust that you will not insist on us making changes to our constitution, which is already working very well, merely for the sake of appeasing other countries who do not appreciate the position in Zimbabwe Rhodesia. I repeat what you yourself said yesterday, Mr Chairman: in the case of Zimbabwe Rhodesia, as in all other cases, the constitution must take account of special circumstances. The constitution of Zimbabwe Rhodesia was agreed in that country, and for that reason it is likely to stand the test of time. History has shown that many constitutions which have been agreed in this place have not lasted for any appreciable period. We do not want the same thing to happen to us.

The British Government, in its invitation to this Conference, strongly urged both sides to observe a ceasefire. Yesterday, Mr Chairman, you said it was a matter of great regret and disappointment to you that hostilities are continuing during this Conference. My delegation would like to have it placed on record


that we accepted that appeal by the British Government and, in fact, we are still prepared to co-operate fully in trying to bring about a ceasefire. However, no ceasefire can be achieved unless all the parties to the conflict agree to observe this.

Finally, Mr Chairman, in your address yesterday it was clear that you personally, and your government, earnestly desire to see this Conference succeed, and that you have the sincere determination to achieve this noble objective. You struck a chord which resounds in our own hearts when you deplored the terrible and useless loss of lives in our country. You challenged us in the name of humanity to adopt a constructive approach and contribute to the successful outcome of our deliberations.

I wish to assure you, Mr Chairman, that I and my delegation are most willing, and indeed anxious, to respond to your challenge in the most positive manner. We shall do so in the true spirit of the Christian and democratic principles which we have always followed. We shall do so because deep in our consciences and our souls we believe that this will lead to the salvation of our people, our country and our nation. You will not find us lacking, Mr Chairman, in our efforts to seek a realistic solution which will enable our country to progress to peace and prosperity. In God's name I pray that goodwill may prevail and that this Conference will be blessed with success.

Thank you, Mr Chairman.


Lancaster House Conference 1979 - Annex C