Next Tuesday (17 April) will mark a significant change in the history of Rhodesia. for?
GV Rhodesian Africans seated on ground.
GV PAN TO Farmer holding placard with party names and speaking to crowd in Shona. (3 SHOTS)
GV Farmer holding rifle while speaking to crowd. (2 SHOTS)
CU Farmer speaking in English.
FARMER: "This was a fair reaction, you know, they were happy. they did respond to jokes, which was good."
REPORTER: "What sort of questions did you have?"
"One on the external leaders 'Can we vote for them?' Another was the international press, they were worried about."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Next Tuesday (17 April) will mark a significant change in the history of Rhodesia. for the first time, the country will hold general elections when blacks will have the opportunity to choose their own members of parliament. This changeover to black majority rule comes fourteen years after Prime Minister Ian Smith's Unilateral Declaration of Independence, and a campaign has been mounted to urge the black population to vote.
SYNOPSIS: Many of Rhodesia's two point eight million potential black voters live in rural areas. Teams of multi-lingual farmers are touring these regions explaining how to cast a vote and urging the voters to exercise their new right. The campaign strongly emphasises the fact that the ballot is secret. It is hoped that this will allay fears of reprisals from the Patriotic Front guerrilla movement. The Front's leaders have vowed to disrupt the poll and the Rhodesian army is taking strong measures to counteract guerrilla action.
Officials in Salisbury are predicting a turn-out of between sixty and eighty percent and hope that this election will pave the way for a lifting of economic sanctions against Rhodesia, international recognition and an end to the ten-year guerrilla war. In a security-conscious country, even this campaigning farmer is never without a gun.
Later he spoke about the voters' response.