The Victoria Falls Conference took place on the 26th August 1975 aboard a South African Railways train halfway across the Victoria Falls Bridge on the border between the unrecognised state of Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe) and Zambia. It was the culmination of the "détente" policy introduced and championed by B. J. Vorster, the Prime Minister of South Africa, which was then under apartheid and was attempting to improve its relations with the Frontline States to Rhodesia's north, west and east by helping to produce a settlement in Rhodesia. The participants in the conference were a delegation led by the Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith on behalf of his government, and a nationalist delegation attending under the banner of Abel Muzorewa's African National Council (UANC), which for this conference also incorporated delegates from the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) and the Front for the Liberation of Zimbabwe (FROLIZI). Vorster and the Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda acted as mediators in the conference, which was held on the border in an attempt to provide a venue both sides would accept as neutral.
Transnet Freight Rail is a South African rail transport company, formerly known as Spoornet. It was part of the South African Railways and Harbours Administration, a state-controlled organisation that employed hundreds of thousands of people for decades from the first half of the 20th century and was widely referred to by the initials SAR&H. Customer complaints about serious problems with Transnet Freight Rail's service were reported in 2010. Its head office is in Inyanda House in Parktown, Johannesburg.
The Victoria Falls Bridge crosses the Zambezi River just below the Victoria Falls and is built over the Second Gorge of the falls. As the river is the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, the bridge links the two countries and has border posts on the approaches to both ends, at the towns of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Livingstone, Zambia.
Rhodesia was a country in southern Africa from 1965 to 1979, equivalent in territory to modern Zimbabwe. Rhodesia was the de facto successor state to the British colony of Southern Rhodesia, which had been self-governing since achieving responsible government in 1923. A landlocked nation, Rhodesia was bordered by South Africa to the south, Bechuanaland to the southwest, Zambia to the northwest, and Mozambique to the east.
The conference failed to produce a settlement, breaking up on the same day it began with each side blaming the other for its unsuccessful outcome. Smith believed the nationalists were being unreasonable by requesting preconditions for talks—which they had previously agreed not to do—and asking for diplomatic immunity for their leaders and fighters. The nationalists contended that Smith was being deliberately intransigent and that they did not believe he was sincere in seeking an agreement if he was so adamant about not giving diplomatic immunity. Direct talks between the government and the Zimbabwe African People's Union followed in December 1975, but these also failed to produce any significant progress. The Victoria Falls Conference, the détente initiative and the associated ceasefire, though unsuccessful, did affect the course of the Rhodesian Bush War, as they gave the nationalist guerrillas significant time to regroup and reorganise themselves following the decisive security force counter-campaign of 1973–74. A further conference would follow in 1976, this time in Geneva.
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 . The conflict pitted three forces against one another: the Rhodesian government, led by Ian Smith ; 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 Rhodesian Security Forces were the military forces of the Rhodesian government. The Rhodesian Security Forces consisted of a ground force, the Rhodesian Air Force, the British South Africa Police and various personnel affiliated to the Rhodesian Ministry of Internal Affairs (INTAF). Despite the impact of economic and diplomatic sanctions, Rhodesia was able to develop and maintain a potent and professional military capability.
The Geneva Conference 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.
After the Wind of Change of the early 1960s, the British government under Harold Wilson and the predominantly white minority government of the self-governing colony of Rhodesia, led by the Prime Minister Ian Smith, were unable to agree terms for the latter's full independence. Rhodesia unilaterally declared independence on 11 November 1965. This was deemed illegal by Britain and the United Nations (UN), each of which imposed economic sanctions on Rhodesia.
The "Wind of Change" speech was a historically significant address made by the UK Prime Minister Harold Macmillan to the Parliament of South Africa, on 3 February 1960 in Cape Town. He had spent a month in Africa visiting a number of what were then British colonies. The speech signalled clearly that the Conservative-led UK Government had no intention to block the independence to many of these territories. The Labour government of 1945–51 had started a process of decolonisation, but this policy had been halted by the Conservative governments from 1951 onwards.
James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, was a British Labour politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1976.
In the British Empire, a self-governing colony was a colony with an elected government in which elected rulers were able to make most decisions without referring to the colonial power with nominal control of the colony. Most self-governing colonies had responsible government.
The two most prominent black nationalist parties in Rhodesia were the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU)—a predominantly Shona movement, influenced by Chinese Maoism—and the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU), which was Marxist–Leninist, and mostly Ndebele. ZANU and its military wing, the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA), received considerable backing in training, materiel and finances from the People's Republic of China and its allies, while the Warsaw Pact and associated nations, prominently Cuba, gave similar support to ZAPU and its Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA).ZAPU and ZIPRA were headed by Joshua Nkomo throughout their existence, while the Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole founded and initially led ZANU. The two rival nationalist movements began what they called their "Second Chimurenga " against the Rhodesian government and security forces, and, while based outside the country, sent groups of guerrillas into Rhodesia at regular intervals. Most of these early incursions, which had little success, were perpetrated by ZIPRA.
The Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) was a militant organisation that fought against white minority rule in Rhodesia, formed as a split from the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU). ZANU split in 1975 into wings loyal to Robert Mugabe and Ndabaningi Sithole, later respectively called ZANU–PF and ZANU - Ndonga. These two sub-divisions ran separately at the 1980 general election, where ZANU-PF has been in power ever since, and ZANU - Ndonga a minor opposition party.
The Shona are a Bantu ethnic group native to Zimbabwe and neighboring countries. The people are divided into five major clans and adjacent to other groups of very similar culture and languages. This name came into effect in the 19th century due to their skill of disappearing and hiding in caves when attacked. Hence Mzilikazi the great king called them amaShona meaning "those who just disappear." When the white settlers came to Mashonaland, they banned the Shona people from staying near caves and kopjes because of their hiding habits. This explanation is because there is no word called "Shona" in the Shona language vocabulary. There are various interpretations whom to subsume to the Shona proper and whom only to the Shona family.
Maoism, known in China as Mao Zedong Thought, is a communist political theory derived from the teachings of the Chinese political leader Mao Zedong, whose followers are known as Maoists. Developed from the 1950s until the Deng Xiaoping reforms in the 1970s, it was widely applied as the guiding political and military ideology of the Communist Party of China and as theory guiding revolutionary movements around the world. A key difference between Maoism and other forms of Marxism–Leninism is that peasants should be the bulwark of the revolutionary energy, led by the working class in China.
Wilson and Smith held abortive talks aboard HMS Tiger in 1966 and HMS Fearless two years later. A constitution was agreed upon by the Rhodesian and British governments in November 1971, but when the British gauged Rhodesian public opinion in early 1972 they abandoned the deal on the grounds that they perceived most blacks to be against it.The Rhodesian Bush War suddenly re-erupted after two years of relative inactivity on 21 December 1972 when ZANLA attacked Altena Farm near Centenary in the country's north-east. The security forces mounted a strong counter-campaign and by the end of 1974 had reduced the number of guerrillas active within the country to under 300. In the period October–November 1974, the Rhodesians killed more nationalist fighters than in the previous two years combined.
HMS Tiger was a conventional cruiser of the British Royal Navy, one of a three-ship class known as the Tiger class. Ordered during World War II, she was completed only after its end. The cruiser was later converted to a helicopter-carrying and guided missile cruiser in the early 1970s. She remained in service as such until placed in reserve in 1978 and was discarded in 1986.
HMS Fearless (L10) was a Royal Navy amphibious assault ship that served from 1965 until 2002. One of two Fearless-class landing platform docks, she was based in HMNB Portsmouth and saw service around the world over her 37-year life. She was the last steam-powered surface ship in the Royal Navy.
Centenary is a village in Mashonaland Central province in Zimbabwe. On June 21, 2001, Centenary was a pilgrimage for those who wanted to see the total solar eclipse, as it was one of the few areas of Zimbabwe that witnessed it.
The effect of the security forces' decisive counter-campaign was undone by two drastic changes to the geopolitical situation in 1974 and 1975, each relating to one of the Rhodesian government's two main backers, Portugal and South Africa. In Lisbon, a military coup on 25 April 1974 replaced the right-wing Estado Novo administration with a leftist government opposed to the unpopular Colonial War in Angola, Mozambique and Portugal's other African territories. 1,100 kilometres (680 mi) of border to defend and had to rely on South Africa alone for imports.Following this coup, which became known as the Carnation Revolution, Portuguese leadership was hurriedly withdrawn from Lisbon's overseas territories, each of which was earmarked for an immediate handover to communist guerrillas. Brief, frenzied negotiations with FRELIMO in Mozambique preceded the country's independence on 25 June 1975; FRELIMO took power without contesting an election, while Samora Machel assumed the presidency. Now that Mozambique was under a friendly government, ZANLA could freely base themselves there with the full support of Machel and FRELIMO, with whom an alliance had already existed since the late 1960s. The Rhodesian Security Forces, on the other hand, now had a further
Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal, with an estimated population of 505,526 within its administrative limits in an area of 100.05 km2. Its urban area extends beyond the city's administrative limits with a population of around 2.8 million people, being the 11th-most populous urban area in the European Union. About 3 million people live in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, including the Portuguese Riviera,. It is mainland Europe's westernmost capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coast. Lisbon lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus. The westernmost areas of its metro area form the westernmost point of Continental Europe, which is known as Cabo da Roca, located in the Sintra Mountains.
The Estado Novo, or the Second Republic, was the corporatist totalitarian regime installed in Portugal in 1933. It was deeply rooted in Catholic social thought that was highly influential among both liberals and conservatives in Portugal. It evolved from the Ditadura Nacional formed after the coup d'état of 28 May 1926 against the democratic and unstable First Republic. Together, the Ditadura Nacional and the Estado Novo are recognised as the Second Portuguese Republic. The Estado Novo, greatly inspired by conservative and authoritarian ideologies, was developed by António de Oliveira Salazar, President of the Council of Ministers of Portugal from 1932 to 1968, when illness illness forced him out of office. After 1945, his corporatist economic model was less and less useful and it retarded economic modernization.
.The Portuguese Colonial War, also known in Portugal as the Overseas War or in the former colonies as the War of Liberation, was fought between Portugal's military and the emerging nationalist movements in Portugal's African colonies between 1961 and 1974. The Portuguese regime was overthrown by a military coup in 1974, and the change in government brought the conflict to an end. The war was a decisive ideological struggle in Lusophone Africa, surrounding nations, and mainland Portugal.
The second event was more surprising for the Rhodesians. In late 1974, the government of Rhodesia's main ally and backer, South Africa, adopted a doctrine of "détente" with the Frontline States.In an attempt to resolve the situation in Rhodesia, the South African Prime Minister B. J. Vorster negotiated a deal: the Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda would prevent guerrilla infiltrations into Rhodesia from his country, and in return the Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith would agree to a ceasefire and "release all political detainees"—the leaders of ZANU and ZAPU—who would then attend a conference in Rhodesia, united under a single banner and led by Bishop Abel Muzorewa and his African National Council (UANC). Vorster hoped that if this were successful the Frontline States would enter full diplomatic relations with South Africa and allow it to retain apartheid. Under pressure from Pretoria to accept the terms, the Rhodesians agreed on 11 December 1974 and followed the terms of the ceasefire; Rhodesian military actions were temporarily halted and troops were ordered to allow retreating guerrillas to leave unhindered. Vorster withdrew some 2,000 members of the South African Police (SAP) from forward bases in Rhodesia, and by August 1975 had pulled the SAP out of Rhodesia completely.
The nationalists, on the other hand, ignored the agreed terms and used the sudden cessation of security force activity as an opportunity to regroup and re-establish themselves both inside and outside the country. Guerrilla operations continued: an average of six incidents a day were reported inside Rhodesia over the following months. Far from being seen as a gesture of potential reconciliation, the ceasefire and release of the nationalist leaders gave the message to the rural population that the security forces had been defeated, and that the guerrillas were in the process of emulating FRELIMO's victory in Mozambique. ZANU and ZANLA were unable to totally capitalise on the situation, however, because of internal conflict which had started earlier in 1974. Some ordinary ZANU cadres perceived the ZANU High Command members in Lusaka, the Zambian capital, to be following a luxurious lifestyle, contrary to the party's Maoist principles. This culminated in the Nhari rebellion of November 1974, in which mutinous guerrillas were forcibly put down by the ZANU defence chief, Josiah Tongogara. The ZANU and ZAPU leaders imprisoned in Rhodesia were released in December 1974 as part of the "détente" deal. Robert Mugabe had been elected ZANU president while they were incarcerated, though this was disputed by its founding leader, the Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole, who continued to be recognised as such by the Frontline States. On his release, Mugabe moved into Mozambique to consolidate his supremacy within ZANU and ZANLA, while Sithole prepared to take part in talks with the Rhodesian government as part of the UANC delegation. Sithole retained the ZANU leadership in the eyes of the Frontline States until late 1975.
According to the terms agreed in December 1974, the talks between the Rhodesian government and the UANC were to take place within Rhodesia, but in the event the black nationalist leaders were loath to attend a conference on ground they perceived as not neutral. The Rhodesians, however, were keen to adhere to the accord and meet at a Rhodesian venue. In an effort to placate both sides, Kaunda and Vorster relaxed the terms so that the two sides would instead meet aboard a train provided by the South African government, placed halfway across the Victoria Falls Bridge, on the Rhodesian–Zambian border. The Rhodesian delegates could therefore take their seats in Rhodesia and the nationalists, on the opposite side of the carriage, would be able to attend without leaving Zambia.As part of the détente policy, Kaunda and Vorster would act as mediators in the conference, which was set for 26 August 1975.
The UANC delegation was led, as expected, by Muzorewa and included Sithole representing ZANU, Nkomo for ZAPU and James Chikerema, the former ZAPU vice-president, for a third militant party, the Front for the Liberation of Zimbabwe.According to Rhodesian intelligence, the various nationalist factions had not patched up their differences, were not prepared to accept Muzorewa as their leader and, to this end, were hoping that the conference failed to produce an agreement. The Rhodesians relayed these concerns to Pretoria, which told them firmly that the UANC would surely not risk losing the support of Kaunda and the Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere by deliberately sabotaging the peace process. When the Rhodesians persisted in their complaints, citing evidence of nationalist infighting in Lusaka, the South Africans were terser still, eventually wiring Salisbury: "If you don't like what we are offering, you always have the alternative of going it alone!"
The conference started on the morning of 26 August as planned. The six Rhodesian delegates took their places first, then around 40 nationalists entered and crowded around Muzorewa on the opposite side of the cramped railway carriage. Vorster and Kaunda arrived and sat on the Rhodesian side, where there was more space, and each spoke in turn, giving their blessing to the negotiations. Muzorewa then opened the proceedings at Smith's invitation. Speaking assertively, the bishop gave three concessions which would have to be given by the Rhodesian side for talks to begin: first, one man, one vote was established by Muzorewa to be "a basic necessity"; second, an amnesty would have to be given for all guerrilla fighters, including those convicted of murder by the High Court in Salisbury; and finally, all of the nationalists would have to be given permission to return to Rhodesia as soon as possible to begin political campaigning. Smith replied calmly that Kaunda, Nyerere and Vorster had all assured him that the UANC had agreed not to demand preconditions for talks, and that Kaunda and Vorster had in fact confirmed this to him that same morning; his delegation was therefore surprised by Muzorewa's confrontational opening speech.
Smith says that his reply "provoked a flood of rhetoric"; the nationalists evaded his words and, one by one, gave passionate speeches about being "a suppressed people ... denied freedom in their own country" who only wanted to "return home and live normal, peaceful lives". Smith sat back and waited for them to finish, then responded that there was nothing stopping them from going home at any time and living peacefully if they so wished, and that they were in this situation by their own hand. They themselves, he said, had refused the Anglo-Rhodesian accord agreed four years previously, which he said had offered Rhodesian blacks "preferential franchise facilities", and they themselves had chosen to use "unconstitutional means and terrorism in order to overthrow the legal government of our country." The UANC delegates countered by railing against Smith even more strongly than before, repeating their previous arguments and rejecting the right of Britain to negotiate on their behalf. This argument went on for nine and a half hours before the conference broke up, Smith refusing outright to grant diplomatic immunity to the UANC's "terrorist leaders who bear responsibility for ... murders and other atrocities". Muzorewa said that he doubted Smith's sincerity in seeking a resolution if he was unwilling to grant such a "very small thing" as immunity to the nationalist leaders. The conference broke up without any agreement or progress having been made.
After the failure of the talks across the Falls, even the facade of a united front amongst the nationalists was broken on 11 September, when Muzorewa expelled Nkomo and four of his deputies from the council after they suggested a new leadership election be held.ZAPU contacted Salisbury soon after, stating that they wished to enter talks directly with the government. Smith "opted for the unthinkable", in the words of Eliakim Sibanda, reasoning that for all of their differences, Nkomo was still, as Sibanda writes, "a seasoned and pragmatic politician", who commanded a not insignificant force of guerrillas. The ZAPU leader was popular, too, not only locally but also regionally and internationally. If he could be brought into an internal government, and ZIPRA onto the side of the security forces, Smith thought, ZANU would find it difficult to justify continuing the guerrilla war, and even if they did so, they would be less likely to win.
Dr Elliot Gabellah, Muzorewa's deputy in the UANC, told Smith that Nkomo was "the most balanced and experienced" of the nationalist leaders, and that most Ndebele now favoured open negotiation. He said that most Ndebele would support a deal between the government and Nkomo, and that Muzorewa probably would as well.Meetings between Nkomo and Smith were duly arranged, and the first took place in secret in October 1975. After a few clandestine sessions passed without major problems, the two leaders agreed to have formal talks in the capital in December 1975.
Nkomo was wary of being labelled a "sell-out" by his ZANU rivals, particularly Mugabe, so to prevent this from happening he first consulted Kaunda, Machel and Nyerere, the presidents of the Frontline States.Each of the presidents gave his approval to ZAPU's participation in direct talks, and with their blessing Nkomo and Smith signed a declaration of intent to negotiate on 1 December 1975. Constitutional negotiations between the government and ZAPU began in Salisbury ten days later. The ZAPU delegation proposed an immediate switch to black majority rule, a government elected on a "strictly non-racial" basis, and reluctantly offered some sweeteners for the Rhodesian white population, "which we detested", Nkomo says, including some reserved seats for whites in parliament. The talks dragged on for months afterwards, with little progress being made, though Smith notes the "congenial atmosphere, with both sides ready to crack a joke". Nkomo's account of the meetings is less favourable, stressing Smith's perceived intransigence: "We went to great lengths to offer conditions that the Rhodesian régime might find acceptable, but Smith would not budge."
Ian Douglas Smith was a politician, farmer, and fighter pilot who served as Prime Minister of Rhodesia from 1964 to 1979. As the country's first premier not born abroad, he led the predominantly white government that unilaterally declared independence from the United Kingdom in 1965, following prolonged dispute over the terms. He remained Prime Minister for almost all of the fourteen years of international isolation which followed, and oversaw Rhodesia's security forces during most of the Bush War, which pitted the unrecognised administration against communist-backed black nationalist guerrilla groups. Smith, who has been described as personifying white Rhodesia, remains a highly controversial figure—supporters venerate him as a man of integrity and vision "who understood the uncomfortable truths of Africa", while critics describe an unrepentant racist whose policies and actions caused the deaths of thousands and contributed to Zimbabwe's later crises.
Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo was a Zimbabwean politician who served as Second Vice-President of Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe from 1987 to 1999. He was leader and founder of the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) party, and a member of the Kalanga people.
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.
Herbert Wiltshire Pfumaindini Chitepo led the Zimbabwe African National Union until he was assassinated on March 1975. Although his murderer remains unidentified, the Rhodesian author Peter Stiff says that a former British SAS soldier, Hugh Hind was responsible.
Bishop Abel Tendekayi Muzorewa 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.
Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) was the military wing of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), a militant African nationalist organisation that participated in the Rhodesian Bush War against white minority rule of Rhodesia.
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 Rhodesia general election of 30 July 1974 saw the Rhodesian Front of Ian Smith re-elected, once more winning every one of the 50 seats elected by white voters.
The following lists events that happened during 1975 in the Republic of Rhodesia.
James Robert Dambaza Chikerema 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.
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.
General elections were held in Southern Rhodesia in February 1980 to elect a government which would govern the country after it was granted internationally recognised independence as Zimbabwe, in accordance with the conclusions of the Lancaster House Agreement. The result was a victory for ZANU, which won 57 of the 100 seats. Its leader, Robert Mugabe became the first Prime Minister of Zimbabwe when the country officially became independent from the United Kingdom in April.
The Southern Rhodesia African National Congress (SRANC) was a political party active between 1957–1959 in Southern Rhodesia. Committed to the promotion of indigenous African welfare, it was the first fully fledged black nationalist organisation in the country. While short-lived—it was outlawed by the predominantly white minority government in 1959—it marked the beginning of political action towards black majority rule in Southern Rhodesia, and was the original incarnation of the National Democratic Party (NDP); the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU); the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU); and the Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF), which has governed Zimbabwe continuously since 1980. Many political figures who later became prominent, including Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo, were members of the SRANC.
The history of Rhodesia from 1965 to 1979 covers Rhodesia's time as a state unrecognised by the international community following the predominantly white minority government's Unilateral Declaration of Independence on 11 November 1965. Headed by Prime Minister Ian Smith, the Rhodesian Front remained in government until 1 June 1979, when the country was reconstituted as Zimbabwe Rhodesia.
Air Rhodesia Flight 825 was a scheduled passenger flight that was shot down by the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) on 3 September 1978, during the Rhodesian Bush War. The aircraft involved, a Vickers Viscount named the Hunyani, was flying the last leg of Air Rhodesia's regular scheduled service from Victoria Falls to the capital Salisbury, via the resort town of Kariba.
The constitutional history of Zimbabwe starts with the arrival of white people to what was dubbed Southern Rhodesia in the 1890s. The country was initially run by an administrator appointed by the British South Africa Company. The prime ministerial role was first created in October 1923, when the country achieved responsible government, with Sir Charles Coghlan as its first Premier. The third Premier, George Mitchell, renamed the post Prime Minister in 1933.
Canaan Sodindo Banana was a Zimbabwean Methodist minister, theologian, and politician who served as the first President of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 1987. He was Zimbabwe's first head of state after the Lancaster House Agreement that led to the country’s independence. In 1987, he stepped down as President and was succeeded by Prime Minister Robert Mugabe, who became the country's executive president. In 1997, Banana was outed as a homosexual, and after a highly publicised trial, was convicted of 11 counts of sodomy and "unnatural acts", serving six months in prison.