Bishop Abel Tendekayi Muzorewa (14 April 1925 – 8 April 2010) served as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia from the Internal Settlement to the Lancaster House Agreement in 1979. A United Methodist Church bishop and nationalist leader, he held office for only a few months.
Abel Tendekayi Muzorewa
Muzorewa in 1977
|Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia|
1 June 1979 – 18 April 1980
|President||Josiah Zion Gumede|
|Preceded by||Ian Smith|
As Prime Minister of Rhodesia
|Succeeded by||Robert Mugabe|
As Prime Minister of Zimbabwe
|Born||14 April 1925|
Umtali, Manicaland, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe)
|Died||8 April 2010 (aged 84)|
Borrowdale, Harare, Zimbabwe
|Political party||United African National Council|
Muzorewa was the eldest of a lay preacher's eight children and was educated at the United Methodist School, Old Umtali, near Mutare. He was a school teacher at Mrewa between 1943 and 1947 before becoming a full-time lay preacher at Mtoko between 1947 and 1949. He then studied theology at Old Umtali Biblical College (1949–1952) and was ordained as a Minister at Umtali in August 1953. He was a pastor at Chiduku, near Rusape, from 1955 to 1958.
Muzorewa attended Central College in Fayette, Missouri, later Central Methodist University. By then he had a wife and three sons, who lived with him in prefabricated student housing, while his sons attended a segregated school. His youngest son Wesley and playmate Mark Elrod (son of the college Librarian J. McRee Elrod) attempted to integrate the ice cream counter of the local drug store, but were turned away.
When Elrod took Muzorewa to visit Scarritt College in Nashville Tennessee, they were turned away from an eating facility, an incident he mentions in his autobiography. However, he later graduated as a Master of Arts from Scarritt (now a conference center).
In July 1963, Muzorewa became pastor of Old Umtali. A year later he was appointed National Director of the Christian Youth Movement and was seconded to the Christian Council. In 1966, he became Secretary of the Student Christian Movement. In 1968, at Masera in Botswana, he was consecrated as the United Methodist Church's Bishop of Rhodesia.
In 1971 the British government struck a deal with Ian Smith that provided for a transition to "majority rule" in exchange for an end to sanctions against the government. Muzorewa joined an inexperienced cleric, the Reverend Canaan Banana, to form the United African National Council (UANC) to oppose the settlement, under the acronym NIBMAR (no independence before majority rule).
The proposed referendum was withdrawn and Muzorewa found himself a national leader and an international personality. The government opposition movements—the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) of Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole and the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) of Joshua Nkomo—both placed themselves under the UANC umbrella even though they had some doubts when Muzorewa founded a national party.
On 3 March 1978, Muzorewa, Sithole and other non-exiled leaders signed an agreement at Government House, Salisbury, which paved the way for the interim government, the leadership of which was an Executive Council made up of Muzorewa, Sithole and Jeremiah Chirau, along with Ian Smith.
This Executive Council was to run the affairs of state prior to elections taking place. A new constitution was drafted reserving 10 seats in the Senate and 28 seats in the House of Assembly for the white minority, and a quarter of the Cabinet positions. The constitution was approved in a nearly Whites-only referendum that took place in January 1979. An overwhelming majority of 85% voted yes.
Elections were held, and the UANC won. Josiah Gumede was the first President, Muzorewa became prime minister and the country's name was changed to Zimbabwe Rhodesia. However, the war that Smith hoped to stem as a result of the settlement continued unabated. Mugabe and Nkomo rejected the settlement, ending any realistic chance for Muzorewa to gain any international legitimacy. While ZANU and ZAPU could have taken part in the elections if they laid down their arms, they refused to do so. The internal settlement was also condemned by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 423 of 1978, which declared any settlement drafted under the "illegal racist minority regime" to be "illegal and unacceptable."
The British government asked all parties to come to London for negotiations to find a lasting solution to the Bush War. Nkomo and Mugabe attended the conference under the "Patriotic Front" (PF) banner. The conference was held from 10 September to 15 December 1979, under the chairmanship of Lord Carrington, the British Foreign Secretary. Muzorewa was persuaded to accept fresh elections, to be held in early 1980. In accordance with the final agreement, Muzorewa's government revoked UDI on 11 December 1979 and dissolved itself. As part of a transition to internationally recognised independence, the country once again became the British colony of Southern Rhodesia pending elections.
The parliamentary elections took place at the end of February 1980, after a campaign filled with much intimidation by Mugabe's ZANU. The British government briefly considered disqualifying ZANU from participating in the elections for flagrant violation of the Lancaster House Agreement, but in the end did nothing. On 4 March 1980, the elections resulted in a majority for Mugabe and ZANU. The UANC won only three out of 80 seats reserved for Africans in the House of Assembly. Under Mugabe, "Zimbabwe Rhodesia" became the Republic of Zimbabwe, or "Zimbabwe".
Muzorewa visited Israel on 21 October 1983. He urged Mugabe to establish diplomatic relations, saying his political policies hurt Zimbabwe's agriculture and technology industries. The Zimbabwean government arrested Muzorewa on 1 November on charges of conspiring against Mugabe for the South African government. Two days later Mugabe warned Ndabaningi Sithole and Joshua Nkomo against 'conspiring'. Muzorewa then went on a hunger strike, which lasted from 3 to 11 November.
Muzorewa stood against Mugabe in the presidential election of 1996, but pulled out after the Supreme Court turned down his bid to postpone the elections on the basis that the electoral rules were unfair (as state funds were only available to parties with 15 or more seats in parliament). He remained on the ballot and won 4.8% of the popular vote.
On 21 June 2007, Muzorewa said citizens, black and white alike, came to his house and asked him to run for president. He said Zimbabwe was "bleeding, economically and socially. It is painful to listen to them talk." He asked people to pray that negotiations between ZANU-PF and the MDC, mediated by South African President Thabo Mbeki, would be successful and for Zimbabwe's "salvation." Ultimately Muzorewa did not run in the 2008 presidential election.
Muzorewa died aged 84 from cancer at his home in Harare on 8 April 2010. The Director of Christian Care, Reverend Forbes Matonga, described Muzorewa's legacy as including "his role in the country's transition to independence, the Methodist Church and the founding of Africa University in the eastern Zimbabwean city of Mutare". Political commentator John Makumbe said Muzorewa's legacy in Zimbabwe would be that of "a man of peace".
| Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia
The following lists events that happened during 1971 in Rhodesia.1973 in Rhodesia
The following lists events that happened during 1973 in Rhodesia.1979 Rhodesian constitutional referendum
A constitutional referendum was held in Rhodesia on 30 January 1979. It followed the Internal Settlement drawn up between Prime Minister Ian Smith and Abel Muzorewa, leader of the non-violent UANC. The new constitution would bring in black majority rule in the country, which would be renamed Zimbabwe Rhodesia. The settlement was supported by the ruling Rhodesian Front, but opposed by the Rhodesian Action Party, which had broken away from the Front.
The referendum was open only to white voters, passing by 85%. Voter turnout was 71.5%.Despite the transition to majority rule following elections in March, the country remained unrecognised by the international community, and the Patriotic Front parties continued the Bush War until the signing of the Lancaster House Agreement and fresh elections in 1980.1979 Zimbabwe Rhodesia general election
The Zimbabwe Rhodesia general election of April 1979 was held under the Internal Settlement negotiated by the Rhodesian Front government of Ian Smith intended to provide a peaceful transition to majority rule on terms not harmful to Rhodesians of white descent. The internal settlement was not approved internationally but the incoming government under Bishop Abel Muzorewa did decide to participate in the Lancaster House talks which led to the end of the dispute and the creation of Zimbabwe.1979 in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia
The following lists events that happened during 1979 in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia.1996 Zimbabwean presidential election
Presidential elections was held in Zimbabwe on 16 and 17 March 1996. The elections were contested by the incumbent President Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe Rhodesia-era Prime Minister Abel Muzorewa, and ZANU–Ndonga leader Ndabaningi Sithole. Mugabe won, claiming over 90% of the vote, though turnout was just 32.3%, largely as a result of Sithole and Muzorewa withdrawing their candidacies shortly before the election (though their names remained on the ballot) due to threats of violence.
Sithole (who was under virtual house arrest due to charges of attempting to assassinate Mugabe) withdrew after claiming that Mugabe's ZANU–PF was undermining his campaign, whilst Muzorewa pulled out after the Supreme Court turned down his bid to postpone the elections on the basis that the electoral rules were unfair (as state funds were only available to parties with 15 or more seats in parliament). In December 1997 Sithole was convicted of conspiring to assassinate Mugabe; he appealed but died whilst out on bail.
There were 4,822,289 voters registered for the election.Byron Hove
Byron R. Hove (born in 1940) served as Justice Minister in Zimbabwe Rhodesia with Hilary Squires as co-minister. He supported and participated in Prime Minister Ian Smith's Internal Settlement. He later served as MP for Gokwe until April 1986 when he lost his position for misdemeanors.On April 18, 1978, he was unexpectedly fired after he criticized the government for excluding blacks from high-level jobs.In 1980 Hove was thrown out of Parliament after he openly criticized the Mugabe administration for corruption, saying,
On 4/1/99 information about Byron Hove's life and death was posted in the soc.culture.zimbabwe newsgroup.
It was taken that day from the Herald, and read as follows:
FORMER outspoken Mberengwa West MP and prominent Harare
lawyer, Dr Byron Reuben Hove, died at St Anne’s Hospital in Harare
on Sunday evening (January 3. 1999) after a short illness. He was 59.
At the time of his death, Dr Hove, who was known for his
outspokenness during the time he was a legislator, was a partner
with Hove, Dzimba and Associates. He was also vice-president of
the standing Commission of the International Com-mittee of the Red
Cross based in Geneva, Switzerland.
His cousin, Professor Ngwabi Bhebhe, said Dr Hove had only been
sick for a short time. He had complained of a cold when he came
back from Geneva a few weeks before the Easter holidays.
Dr Hove was born at Mnene Mission Hospital in Mberengwa district,
Midlands. He went to school at Mnene, Chegato, Zimuto and
Fletcher secondary schools.
He proceeded to the then University College of Rhodesia and
Nyasaland, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in
In 1969, Dr Hove obtained an LLB in the United Kingdom, where he
later practised law. In 1978, he was appointed Minister of Justice,
Law and Order and the Public Service in the short-liv ed
Zimbabwe-Rhodesia gov-ernment of Bishop Abel Muzorewa. He was
also the then UANC’s deputy secretary for foreign affairs.
The former MP begun his political career when he was elected the
first black president of the Student Representative Council at the
University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
He combined student activism and nationalist politics as a member
of the National Democratic Party. Thereafter, he held various
positions in the major nationalist parties, including Zapu and Zanu
After independence, he was elected Zanu (PF) Midlands provincial
chairman and MP for Mberengwa West.
Dr Hove also served as chairman of the National Railways of
Zimbabwe and chairman of the Red Cross of Zimbabwe. Dr Hove was
survived by his wife, Ivy, and three children.
He was buried on January 5.at Mwembe in Mberengwa district.Geneva Conference (1976)
The Geneva Conference (28 October – 14 December 1976) took place in Geneva, Switzerland during the Rhodesian Bush War. Held under British mediation, its participants were the unrecognised government of Rhodesia, led by Ian Smith, and a number of rival Rhodesian black nationalist parties: the African National Council, led by Bishop Abel Muzorewa; the Front for the Liberation of Zimbabwe, led by James Chikerema; and a joint "Patriotic Front" made up of Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union and the Zimbabwe African People's Union led by Joshua Nkomo. The purpose of the conference was to attempt to agree on a new constitution for Rhodesia and in doing so find a way to end the Bush War raging between the government and the guerrillas commanded by Mugabe and Nkomo respectively.
The Geneva Conference had its origins in the South African "détente" policy instituted in late 1974, and more directly in the peace initiative headed by the United States Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, earlier in 1976. After the Kissinger plan was rejected by the nationalists, talks were organised in Geneva by Britain to try to salvage a deal. The proceedings began on 28 October 1976, eight days behind schedule, and were chaired by a British mediator, Ivor Richard, who offended both delegations before the conference even started. When Richard read an opening statement from British prime minister James Callaghan which referred to the country as "Zimbabwe", the nationalists were somewhat placated, while Smith's team was insulted yet further. Little progress was made during the two sides' discussions, causing the conference to be indefinitely adjourned on 14 December 1976. It was never reconvened.Internal Settlement
The Internal Settlement was an agreement which was signed on 3 March 1978 between Prime Minister of Rhodesia Ian Smith and the moderate African nationalist leaders comprising Bishop Abel Muzorewa, Ndabaningi Sithole and Senator Chief Jeremiah Chirau. After almost 15 years of the Rhodesian Bush War, and under pressure from the sanctions placed on Rhodesia by the international community, and political pressure from South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the Rhodesian government met with some of the internally based moderate African nationalist leaders in order to reach an agreement on the political future for the country.
The agreement led to the creation of an interim government in which Africans were included in leading positions for the first time. This in turn was to lead to the achievement of the settlement's main goal which was for the country to gain international recognition, which in turn implied that sanctions imposed on Rhodesia which came about as a result of the announcement of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence of 1965, would be abolished.
Following the agreement, the election of March 1979 was held which brought Muzorewa and his UANC party to power. The electorate was not qualified by race, but purely on meeting certain conditions, such as educational standard and/or income and/or worth of property owned enabling a majority of Africans to vote for the first time. The election process was witnessed by international observers, who were in agreement that the process had, in the main, been free and fair.James Chikerema
James Robert Dambaza Chikerema (2 April 1925 – 22 March 2006) served as the President of the Front for the Liberation of Zimbabwe. He changed his views on militant struggle in the late 1970s and supported the 'internal settlement', serving in the attempted power-sharing governments.Kayisa Ndiweni
Khayisa Ndiweni (1913–2010) was chief in Zimbabwe. He was hugely respected in Matabeleland and a revered figure among his people in Ntabazinduna.He became a chief of the Matebele people of Ntabazinduna and Mbembezi in 1939. He was a leading figure in the Zimbabwe United People's Organisation (ZUPO) party in the late 1970s but left to found the United National Federal Party. He attended the 1979 Lancaster House Conference in London, where Zimbabwe’s independence from white minority rule was negotiated. He served as the Minister for Works in the government of Abel Muzorewa in 1979 to 1980. He was an advocate of a federal state for Zimbabwe and a strong critic of the style of governance of Robert Mugabe.Lancaster House Agreement
The Lancaster House Agreement, signed on 21 December 1979, declared a ceasefire, ending the Rhodesian Bush War; and directly led to the creation and recognition of the Republic of Zimbabwe. It required the imposition of direct British rule, nullifying Rhodesia’s 1965 Unilateral Declaration of Independence. British governance would be strictly proscribed to the duration of a proposed election period; after which independence would follow. Crucially, the political wings of the black nationalist groups ZANU and ZAPU, who had been waging the escalating, and increasingly violent insurgency, would be permitted to stand candidates in the forthcoming elections. This was however conditional to compliance with the ceasefire and the verified absence of voter intimidation.
The Agreement would lead to the dissolution of the unrecognised state of Zimbabwe Rhodesia, created months earlier by the Internal Settlement; an agreement forged between moderate black nationalists and Prime Minister Ian Smith's Government. While Zimbabwe-Rhodesia remained unrecognised, the Internal Settlement enfranchised the majority of blacks (hitherto the key British demand) and resulted in the election of the country's first black Prime Minister.
Lancaster House covered the Independence Constitution, pre-independence arrangements and the terms of ceasefire. The Agreement is named after Lancaster House in London, where the parties interested to the settlement attended the conference on independence from 10 September to 15 December 1979.
The parties represented during the conference were: the British Government, the Patriotic Front led by Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo, ZAPU (Zimbabwe African Peoples Union) and ZANU (Zimbabwe African National Union) and the Zimbabwe Rhodesia Government, represented by Prime Minister, Bishop Abel Muzorewa and Minister Without Portfolio, Ian Smith.Lusaka Declaration
The Lusaka Declaration on the Commonwealth on Racism and Racial Prejudice (short: the Lusaka Declaration) was a declaration of the Commonwealth of Nations on the issues of racism and egalitarianism within and between Commonwealth member states. It was agreed and issued on 7 August 1979 in Lusaka, Zambia, at the conclusion of the fifth Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
The declaration followed the 1971 Singapore Declaration, which laid out the first political, social, and economic membership criteria. In that document, three paragraphs were dedicated to egalitarianism of all forms, of which, one was concentrated entirely upon racism. The impending collapse of the breakaway government of Rhodesia (then styled as 'Zimbabwe Rhodesia' under the Internal Settlement) was seen as demanding a restatement of the Commonwealth's principles of racial equality, and so the Lusaka Declaration was made to further expound and clarify the Heads of Governments' position.
The first article of the declaration demanded legal equality 'without any distinction or exclusion based on race, colour, sex, descent, or national or ethnic origin'. It later stated that no degree of respect for separate cultures could justify racial discrimination, and that the 'infamous policy' of Apartheid was an 'affront to humanity', and that it was the duty of the Commonwealth to effect its 'total eradication'. To compensate for the effects of past colonialism and racism, it was agreed that special provisions may be made to achieve social and economic redress, paving the way for land reform in Zimbabwe. In addition to demanding respect and equality for indigenous peoples, the Lusaka Declaration also demanded equal respect for immigrant communities.The declaration was accompanied by the CHOGM's general communiqué, which explicitly iterated these principles with regards to Zimbabwe, and which led to the invitation of Abel Muzorewa to take part in the Lancaster House Conference.Prime Minister of Rhodesia
The Prime Minister of Rhodesia (before 1964, of Southern Rhodesia) was the head of government in Rhodesia. Rhodesia, which became a self-governing colony of Britain in 1923, unilaterally declared independence on 11 November 1965, and was thereafter an unrecognized state in practice until 1979. In December 1979, the country came under temporary British control, and in April 1980 the country gained recognized independence as Zimbabwe.
Rhodesia's political system was modeled on the Westminster system, and the Prime Minister's role was similar to that of the same position in other countries with similar constitutional histories – Canada, for example, or Australia.Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia
The position of Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia was the head of government of Zimbabwe Rhodesia. Like the country itself, it was never internationally recognized.
The only Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia was Abel Muzorewa.Rhodesian Bush War
The Rhodesian Bush War—also called the Second Chimurenga and the Zimbabwe War of Liberation—was a civil conflict from July 1964 to December 1979 in the unrecognised country of Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe-Rhodesia).
The conflict pitted three forces against one another: the Rhodesian government, led by Ian Smith (later the Zimbabwe-Rhodesian government of Bishop Abel Muzorewa); the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army, the military wing of Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union; and the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army of Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe African People's Union.
The war and its subsequent Internal Settlement, signed in 1978 by Smith and Muzorewa, led to the implementation of universal suffrage in June 1979 and the end of white minority rule in Rhodesia, which was renamed Zimbabwe Rhodesia under a black majority government. However, this new order failed to win international recognition and the war continued. Neither side achieved a military victory and a compromise was later reached.Negotiations between the government of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, the UK Government and Mugabe and Nkomo's united "Patriotic Front" took place at Lancaster House, London in December 1979, and the Lancaster House Agreement was signed. The country returned temporarily to British control and new elections were held under British and Commonwealth supervision in March 1980. ZANU won the election and Mugabe became the first Prime Minister of Zimbabwe on 18 April 1980, when the country achieved internationally recognised independence.Salisbury Woolworths bombing
On 6 August 1977, during the Rhodesian Bush War, a Woolworths store in Salisbury, Rhodesia (today Harare, Zimbabwe) was bombed by Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA). Eleven civilians were killed and 76 were injured. Of those killed, eight were black Rhodesians, including two pregnant women and a young boy, and three were whites, members of a single family, Gillian and Donald Mayor and their mother. Mr Mayor and another daughter, Wendy, were seated in a car outside when the bomb went off. The bomb, comprising about 75 pounds (34 kg) of high explosives, was planted in an area where customers checked packages in before shopping on the upper floor of the two-storey building. It detonated shortly before the crowded store was to close at noon that Saturday. The perpetrators, two teachers, afterwards escaped to Mozambique.Ian Smith, the Rhodesian Prime Minister, expressed horror at the bombing. "Those who have perpetrated this barbarous outrage can hardly be described as human," he said. Rhodesian black nationalist leaders Bishop Abel Muzorewa and the Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole also condemned the attack.Super Zimbabwe African People's Union
The Super Zimbabwe African People's Union was a militant organization, made up of former members of the Rhodesian Security Forces, which operated in Zimbabwe in the 1980s. Super ZAPU members worked for either Ian Smith, the former Prime Minister of Rhodesia; Abel Muzorewa, the first and only Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia; Ndabaningi Sithole, the founder of the Zimbabwe African National Union; or the apartheid Government of South Africa.Author Joseph Hanlon argues in Beggar Your Neighbours: Apartheid power in Southern Africa that Super ZAPU members were former Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army fighters who fought on behalf of the South African government.United African National Council
The United African National Council (UANC) was a political party in Zimbabwe.
In 1979, led by Bishop Abel Muzorewa, the UANC Party held formal power in Zimbabwe during the short-lived period of the Internal Settlement. For this short period of time, Zimbabwe (which had been called Rhodesia) became known as Zimbabwe Rhodesia.
In 1980, during the Zimbabwean parliamentary election, the UANC Party was generally defeated by Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) Party. The UANC Party was unable to win any parliamentary seats in the 1985 and 1990 elections. The party joined with other opposition parties to form United Parties to support Muzorewa in the 1996 presidential election, but he subsequently pulled out (albeit with his name remaining on the ballot). The party still exists today.
Mugabe and his ZANU-PF Party have had almost total control over Zimbabwe since the early 1990s. But, with the economy of Zimbabwe in ruins, Muzorewa considered running again in 2008.
|Southern Rhodesia |
(1923–1965, the internationally accepted legal name until 1980)
|Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland |
(1953–1963, of which Southern Rhodesia was part)
(1965–1979, an unrecognised state)
|Zimbabwe Rhodesia |
(1979, an unrecognised state)