Lancaster House Agreement

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Jump to: navigation, search

The Lancaster House Agreement was the independence agreement for Rhodesia, nowadays known as Zimbabwe. It was signed on 21 December 1979. This agreement effectively ended the white rule in Rhodesia under Ian Smith. The agreement was signed between the Patriotic Front (PF), consisting of ZAPU (Zimbabwe African Peoples Union) and ZANU (Zimbabwe African National Union) and the Rhodesian government, represented at that time by Bishop Abel Muzorewa and Ian Smith.

Following the Meeting of Commonwealth Heads of Government held in Lusaka from 1 to 7th August 1979, the British Government issued invitations to Bishop Muzorewa and the leaders of the Patriotic Front to participate in a Constitutional Conference at Lancaster House. The purpose of the Conference was to discuss and reach agreement on the terms of an Independence Constitution, and that elections should be supervised under British authority to enable Rhodesia to proceed to legal independence and the parties to settle their differences by political means.

The Conference opened on 10th September 1979 under the chairmanship of Lord Carrington, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. The Conference concluded on 15th December 1979, after 47 plenary sessions.

In the course of its proceedings the Conference reached agreement on the following issues:

  • Summary of the Independence Constitution
  • arrangements for the pre-independence period
  • a cease-fire agreement signed by the parties

In concluding this agreement and signing this report the parties undertook:

  • to accept the authority of the Governor;
  • to abide by the Independence Constitution;
  • to comply with the pre-independence arrangements;
  • to abide by the cease-fire agreement;
  • to campaign peacefully and without intimidation;
  • to renounce the use of force for political ends;
  • to accept the outcome of the elections and instruct any forces under their authority to do the same.

Under the Independence Constitution, 20 per cent of seats in the country's Parliament were reserved for whites.

The three-month long conference almost failed to reach conclusion, due to disagreements on Land reform. Mugabe was pressured to sign and land was the key stumbling block. Both British and American governments of the day offered to buy land from willing white settlers who could not accept reconciliation (the "Willing buyer, Willing seller" principle) and a fund was established, to operate for 10 years from 1980 to 1990.

The report was signed by Lord Carrington, Sir I Gilmour, Robert Mugabe, Joshua Nkomo, Bishop Abel Muzorewa and Dr S C Mundawarara.

The British assisted in setting up the Zimbabwe conference on reconstruction and development in 1981. At that conference, more than £630 million of aid was pledged. The first phase of land reform in the 1980, which was partially funded by the United Kingdom, successfully resettled around 70,000 landless people on more than 20,000 km² of land.

Further discussion to be found at Land reform in Zimbabwe.

United Kingdom delegation

  • Lord Carrington (Chairman)
  • Sir I Gilmour Bt
  • Sir M Havers
  • Lord Harlech
  • Mr R Luce
  • Sir M Palliser
  • Sir A Duff
  • Mr D M Day
  • Mr R A C Byatt
  • Mr R W Renwick
  • Mr P R N Fifoot
  • Mr N M Fenn
  • Mr G G H Walden
  • Mr C D Powell
  • Mr P J Barlow
  • Mr R D Wilkinson
  • Mr A M Layden
  • Mr R M J Lyne
  • Mr M J Richardson
  • Mr C R L de Chassiron
  • Mrs A J Phillips
  • Mr M C Wood

Mr Mugabe, Mr Nkomo and delegation

  • Mr Robert Mugabe - future Prime minister of Zimbabwe
  • Mr Joshua Nkomo - ZAPU leader
  • Mr Josiah Mushore Chinamano - ZAPU leader, moderate, detained with Nkomo, future government minister
  • Mr E Z Tekere - future Government minister, expelled from the party in 1988 after he denounced plans to establish a one-party state in Zimbabwe. He also emerged as a vocal critic of the massacre of civilians in Matabeleland after government launched a crackdown against so-called dissidents in the region. He formed his own party, Zimbabwe Unity Movement (ZUM) in 1989 ahead of general elections in 1990.
  • Gen Josiah Tongogara, ZANLA general, from ZANU militant external wing
  • Mr Ernest R Kadungure, ZAPU, future Finance secretary
  • Dr H Ushewokunze - first health minister, director of energy and transportation, director of political affairs. Flamboyant and often controversial, he often clashed with the Mugabe administration and was thrown out of the government, welcomed back in, then thrown out again. He died in 1995 and was buried in Zimbabwe's national cemetery. He was declared a national hero.
  • Mr Dzingai Mutumbuka - future minister of education
  • Mr Josiah Tungamirai - future Air force chief, after retirement as MP for Gutu North.
  • Mr Edson Zvobgo - lawyer, Harvard graduate, future Government minister, clashed with Mugabe around press freedom, buried a national hero.
  • Mr S Mubako
  • Mr W Kamba
  • Mr J W Msika - ZAPU leader, detained with Nkomo, future vice-president
  • Mr T George Silundika - militant ZAPU-in-exile leader.
  • Mr A M Chambati
  • Mr John Nkomo
  • Mr L Baron
  • Mr S K Sibanda
  • Mr E Mlambo
  • Mr C Ndlovu
  • Miss E Siziba

Bishop Muzorewa and delegation

  • Bishop Abel Muzorewa
  • Dr S C Mundawarara
  • Mr E L Bulle
  • Mr F Zindoga
  • Mr D C Mukome
  • Mr G B Nyandoro
  • Rev Ndabaningi Sithole
  • Mr L Nyemba
  • Chief K Ndiweni
  • Mr Z M Bafanah
  • Mr Ian Smith - leader of previous white-minority government
  • Mr D C Smith
  • Mr R Cronje
  • Mr C Andersen
  • Dr J Kamusikiri
  • Mr G Pincus
  • Mr L G Smith
  • Air Vice Marshal H Hawkins
  • Dr E M F Chitate
  • Mr D Zamchiya
  • Mr S V Mutambanengwe
  • Mr M A Adam
  • Mr P Claypole
Personal tools