Anglo-American hopes of arranging an all-parties conference on the future of Rhodesia appeared on Thursday (30 November) to have suffered a further setback.
SV ZOOM INTO CU Rhodesian Prime Minister In Smith speaking.
SV ZOOM IN TO SCU Smith being asked question and black nationalist leader the Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole steps forward to answer.
SV Black nationalist leader Bishop Abel Muzorewa speaking.
SMITH: "I have a statement here to make on behalf of the Executive Council and the Ministerial Council. The Transitional Government confirms its decision taken on 10th October that discrimination will be removed completely and the necessary steps to achieve this are being taken expeditiously. The Government also confirms that it is committed to the holding of a Majority Rule General Election, by no later than 20th of April 1979. The Transitional Government is very conscious of the many problems which will face the new Government when it takes office following the elections to be held in April. Foremost among these are the security situation and the urgent necessity to revive and develop the economy so as to provide increased employment opportunities. The need for a period of political stability is fully appreciated and Ministers of both Councils have agreed unanimously that this would best be achieved by establishing a Government of National Unity, in which party considerations would be secondary to the national interest and in which all parties commanding a reasonable degree of support from the electorate would participate."
REPORTER: "Prime Minister do you think that the decisions taken with regards to community control over community affairs will enhance the prospect of a `yes'-vote at the white referendum?"
SMITH: "Maybe, what do you think?"
SITHOLE: "Well, no, the decision is not so much one of enhancing the favourable attitude of the whites towards the referendum, but rather of giving people in various areas to run their own affairs. At the present the tendency on the part of Salisbury has been one of (INDISTINCT) and devolution is extremely important so that people can get on with their won development locally."
MUZOREWA: "We are here concerned first of all with the stability of the country and we believe that -- suggested by a question I heard long ago -- that in a situation where we are passing through a crisis this will unite the people reduce very considerably -- except those who are out of their minds -- the tendency for sectional fighting and all that, and the tendency to sabotage a new Government in Salisbury."
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Background: Anglo-American hopes of arranging an all-parties conference on the future of Rhodesia appeared on Thursday (30 November) to have suffered a further setback. The Salisbury government announced that it was deferring the introduction of total black majority rule. It said that elections in April would be followed by a government of national unity in which whites would still maintain a prominent position in the cabinet. This arrangement is expected to last until at least 194. Following the decision Prime Minister Ian Smith spoke to newsmen - and his stand was supported by black nationalist members of the transitional government, the Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole and Bishop Abel Muzorewa.