In Rhodesia, the small town of Wedza, 80 kilometres (50 miles) from Salisbury, was attacked by black nationalist guerrillas on Monday night (22 May) only a few hours before leaders of the country's transitional government were due to address a rally there.
GV: Small gathering around speakers platform.
SV: Smith and Sithole seated together under canopy.
GV PAN OF: People listening.
GV: Army and security police standing around. (5 SHOTS)
SCU: Sithole speaking.
SV PAN FROM: Crowd TO Smith leaving. (2 SHOTS)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In Rhodesia, the small town of Wedza, 80 kilometres (50 miles) from Salisbury, was attacked by black nationalist guerrillas on Monday night (22 May) only a few hours before leaders of the country's transitional government were due to address a rally there. Reports said the raiders, firing small arms and mortars, aimed at houses, shops and a police camp before scattering into the bush. The Military Command said the guerrillas damaged on property and caused no casualties in the 55 minute attack. The rally went ahead as planned, the third in a planned series of meetings throughout the country aimed at explaining the March 3 majority rule agreement to rural Africans.
SYNOPSIS: Only 500 people turned out for the rally. Officials had been expecting a crowd of 1,000. The white Prime Minister, Mr. Ian Smith and African leader, the Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole faced the audience without their other colleagues in the Supreme Executive Council.
Bishop Abel Muzorewa boycotted the heavily guarded rally in protest against the recent dismissal of a co-minister in the Transitional Government, Mr. Byron Hove, who belonged to the Bishop's party. In Wedza, security forces described the previous night's attack as ineffectual but enough to keep people away from the rally.
The Reverend Sithole, with the assistance of a translator, told the crowd how the transitional government hoped to achieve a ceasefire and hold one-man, one-vote elections bringing black majority rule on December 31. He said the leaders of the transitional government were holding the rallies to see what the people wanted from a democratic Zimbabwe. As Mr. Smith left the rally, a spokesman for the Patriotic Front in Salisbury, said the attack on Wedza underlined that the Front must be included in any settlement arrangement if the war is to stop. He said there was no point in Mr. Smith and other transitional government leaders going around the country pretending everything was well. He said they were cheating the people and cheating the government.