Before arriving in London for talks with the British Government, Rhodesian African National Council President, Bishop Abel ???
SV Bishop seated with interviewer Rothe in Nairobi Airport lounge.
CU Muzorewa speaking.
TRANSCRIPT: BISHOP MUZOREWA: "I was invited by the Foreign Office in London, basically about the constitutional problem of Rhodesia."
REPORTER: "Do you feel now Bishop that the chances of a peaceful settlement with the Smith regime are in some way receding?"
BISHOP: "Well there are many and some reasons for cause for concern. Such as the fact that Mr. Smith seems to be mounting up military forces and so forth. But we are still hopeful that we could reach the settlement in a peaceful way. We are still hopeful."
REPORTER: "How do you interpret the withdrawal of South African so-called police forces from Rhodesia?"
BISHOP: "Well, first of all we are thankful that they are doing what they should have....they are withdrawing from something they should have never done before. And now we feel South Africa must be very serious about wanting to see a peaceful settlement in Rhodesia. Therefore, since this military presence in Rhodesia was one of the reasons which made Mr. Smith have an exaggerated importance in security. We feel that it is going to help to force Mr. Smith to come to his senses."
REPORTER: "Speaking realistically Bishop how do you see affairs developing in Rhodesia in the near future. Lets say the next eight months or two years?"
BISHOP: "Well, one can only judge with what we have seen. And what I am seeing is that very soon....the constitutional situation should be settled in Rhodesia. And we should have a provisional government preparing for the actual majority rule government. That is what I see happening within the next six to nine months."
REPORTER: "There are reports in the newspapers in the last couple of days that Smith may be planning to ban the A.N.C. altogether and may be even detain some of its leaders. Do you feel this is an immediate danger at present?"
BISHOP: "In the last few weeks there have been meetings when they have clearly tried to ban A.N.C. They have not done it yet. But we believe they may be doing it very soon. However, that does not shake us in any way because we have now reached a stage whether we are banned or whether the leaders are detained that is not going to stop us from becoming victorious in what we are doing."
Initials VS 17.40 VS 17.45 This film is serviced with an exclusive interview in English for VISNEWS by reporter Paul Toulmin-Rothe with Bishop Muzorewa before his departure for London.
REPORTER: PAUL TOULMIN-ROTHE
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Before arriving in London for talks with the British Government, Rhodesian African National Council President, Bishop Abel ???Muzorewa forecast in an exclusive VISNEWS interview in Nairobi on Wednesday (6 August), that there will be a constitutional settlement of the Rhodesian issue within nine months.
The Bishop flew into London later the same day. He had been invited by the British Government to review the latest situation.
Bishop Muzorewa told VISNEWS reporter Paul Toulmin-Rothe that despite the chances of a peaceful settlement, there were still ??? causing concern. For example the build up of Rhodesian security forces.
But he welcomed the South African decision to withdraw their police units from Rhodesia. The Bishop said they should never have been ??? in the first place and that the withdrawal showed South Africa was very serious about reaching a peaceful settlement of the Rhodesian issue.
The Bishop said the A.N.C. thought the withdrawal would force Rhodesian Prime Minister Mr. Ian Smith to come to his senses.
Asked about the timetable for a constitutional conference, the Bishop replied that there should be a provisional government in power within nine months to pave the way for black-majority rule.
Bishop Muzorewa said that if the Smith government detained A.N.C. leaders and banned the organisation it would have little affect on the campaign for black-majority rule.
While the Rhodesian Front Government has agreed to a constitutional conference, the venue remains the centre of deadlock. Mr. Smith wants the conference held inside Rhodesia. The A.N.C. want it held outside the country.
A major reason for the London talks is that the British Government wants to play a constructive part in getting the conference launched.
But a British Foreign Office spokesman has said that it is for the A.N.C. and the Rhodesian Government to first find common-ground on the issue. A breakthrough may come when Mr. Smith meets South African Prime Minister Mr. John Vorster in Pretoria next weekend.
The A.N.C. has said it will agree to Pretoria as the site for the constitutional conference.