Rhodesian guerrilla leader Robert Mugabe has rejected plans by Anglo-American negotiators to start cease fire talks in the near future.
GV EXT: Airport building in Lusaka Zambia.
SV INT: VIP lounge, Alan Cowell of Reuters speaking to robert Mugabe, Rhodesian Guerrilla leader.
COWELL: "Mr, Mugabe, the Western negotiators want to initiate talks on a cease fire in the Rhodesian war. Are you prepared to halt your troops?"
MUGABE: "Of course we are not. We won't halt our troops for nothing. We have been fighting for a definite objective, to achieve independence, and the package which Dr. Owen has offered us is one which doesn't offer us that independence in the manner in which we would like to see it. In any case, we are yet to discuss the proposals which Dr. Owen submitted to us and this in our opinion come first and not cease fire talks."
COWELL: "When would you see a cease fire coming into being?"
MUGABE: "A cease fire can only be discussed after first: we have discussed Owen's proposals and secured an agreement of them; secondly: Smith's regime has been removed, and thirdly, because we will have agreed, we can discuss the cease fire question."
COWELL: "Do you see any room for compromise with the present regime in Salisbury on the question of forces during the transition to black majority rule."
MUGABE: "Of course not. We can never compromise on that question. If the independence is to come, and independence to us means the transference of full power including the physical instrument that safeguard that power, then our own forces must be constituted into the Zimbabwe national army."
Mr. Mugabe later came under scathing public attack for criticising President Kaunda's secret meeting with Rhodesian Premier Ian Smith last month. He told a news conference that the meeting should never have taken place...and the next day the Times of Zambia (a newspaper run by President Kaunda's ruling United National Independence Party) described Mr. Mugabe as a "so-called freedom fighter hopping from capital to capital in luxury jets".
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Background: Rhodesian guerrilla leader Robert Mugabe has rejected plans by Anglo-American negotiators to start cease fire talks in the near future. Mr. Mugabe, who is leader of the Zimbabwe African National Union, said the struggle would continue.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Mugabe, in Lusaka to meet president Kaunda talked to Alan Cowell, of Reuter's.