The Zimbabwe Rhodesia constitutional talks in London were said to have been pushed near to the verge of breaking down on Monday (8 October) after the Patriotic Front decided to reject the British proposals for a new constitution.
SV & CU Patriotic Front leader Joshua Nkomo speaking
CU Patriotic Front leader robert Mugabe speaking
SV Joshua Nkomo speaking
NKOMO: "You know, we have come to Britain to negotiate. It would be very unfortunate if the British, by looking at this document, they can see through that it is so different from what they have published that we cannot move forward. I don't think that the British would be doing the problem of Zimbabwe good service if they draw a document which appears now to be the Law of Moses. We have to negotiate. They have important points, which we mean to discuss until we strike equilibrium."
MUGABE: "Really there is no need why Britain should refuse that we proceed to the next stage of the conference, because reservation we will continues to have. We can't do away with the reservations because the certain areas are intertwined; certain aspect of the constitution have a relationship to the interim period and it's too much for Britain to expect that we can say 'yes'."
NKOMO: "As a matter of fact, if we had not continued the war after April 3, and after the purported elections, the shift by Britain to where she is today would not have been achieved. It tells of our stand, it tells of our sacrifice, that today Bishop Muzorewa said 'I have got a constitution'."
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Background: The Zimbabwe Rhodesia constitutional talks in London were said to have been pushed near to the verge of breaking down on Monday (8 October) after the Patriotic Front decided to reject the British proposals for a new constitution. The leaders of the Patriotic Front, Joshua Nkomo and robert Mugabe, had the weekend to discuss the latest British constitutional proposals. In the end Mr. Nkomo and Mr. Mugabe decided the proposed constitution did not go far enough. Rather than simply agreeing with or rejecting the plan, they came up with a document which set out their strong reservations and which made proposals substantially different from those of the British. At their news conference the Patriotic Front leaders explained their reasons for turning down the British plan and said how they wanted the conference to view their own proposals.