African nationalist leader Robert Mugabe and Rhodesia's Foreign Minister Pieter Van der Byl both laid the major part of the blame for the failure of the Rhodesian constitutional conference on Britain.
CU: Mugabe speaking (2 shots)
CU: Ivor Richard speaking.
CU: Van der Byl speaking.
SEQ. 1: MUGABE (TRANSCRIPT): "The Patriotic Front re-affirms its original stand over the conditions and objectives for the transfer of power. In consultations during recess and at the resumption of discussions in Geneva in January, The Patriotic Front will assert its stand more vigorously, to ensure the total defeat of any further conspiracies to install apartheid regime in Zimbabwe and guarantee the advent of genuine independence to Zimbabwe through struggle, and sacrifice. The Patriotic Front wishes to make it abundantly clear that the adjournment of the conference has been brought about by the failure of the British government with its protege the Rhodesian racist regime to come out with any concrete proposals for a transitional government."
SEQ. 2: RICHARD (TRANSCRIPT): "I think a great deal of useful work has been done in clarifying the positions of the various delegations, particularly on the structure of the interim government. There are certain common threads on the nationalist side which have clearly emerged First of all there's desire that the interim period should be a relatively short one, secondly there's general agreement that certain processes are necessary including, and I emphasise this, including general elections immediately prior to independence. Thirdly there seems to be a general feelings that the United Kingdom, should in one form or another now get involved in the interim government-more directly than was the case perhaps three weeks ago. For the British government, therefore, the position is now infinitely clearer is now infinitely clearer than when we stated and the possible way forward is now more aggarent."
SEQ. 3: VAN DER BYL (TRANSCRIPT): "The conference, far from having brought a solution nearer has probably had the effect of driving it further apart. I believe, in large measure, this can be attributed to the wrong handling of the conference from the beginning and I'm not here having a crack at Mr. Richard, chairman of the conference, but I am expressing the criticism of the whole British policy in this regard."
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Background: African nationalist leader Robert Mugabe and Rhodesia's Foreign Minister Pieter Van der Byl both laid the major part of the blame for the failure of the Rhodesian constitutional conference on Britain. The men made their accusations in Geneva on Wednesday (15 December) after the conference had been adjourned until early next year. The British conference chairman, Ivory Richard, said that the role his country had to play in the transition to majority role in Rhodesia had now become much clearer.