A Rhodesian Historical Timeline

Start DateEnd DateEventPlace

1817Mzilikazi, Shaka's greatest general, has to flee for his life from the wrath of Shaka. He gathers a powerful army and treks northward, eventually settling in Matabeleland, near Bulawayo. He founds the Matabele nation and becomes their king.

15 Feb 1853Alfred Beit born at Hamburg

05 Jul 1853Cecil John Rhodes is born in vicarage at Bishop's Stortford

1855Dr. David Livingstone discovers the Victoria Falls

1859Inyati Mission Station founded by Dr. Robert Moffat. This was the first permanent settlement by Europeans in Rhodesia

1868Adam Renders discovers the Zimbabwe Ruins

1868Death of Mzilikazi

1870Lobengula, son of Mzilikazi, installed as king of the Matabele

1870Rhodes emigrates to Natal on account of his health

29 Aug 1871Lobengula signs Baines Concession

1872Rhodes follows his brother Herbert to the new diamond diggings at Kimberley

1880Rhodes founds the De Beers Diamond Mining Company and enters the Cape House of Assembly

14 Mar 1885Bechuanaland Protectorate declared

30 Jul 1887Lobengula signs treaty with Transvaal's P. Grobler

11 Feb 1888Lobengula signs Moffat Treaty

30 Oct 1888Lobengula signs Rudd Concession giving him the mineral rights of the territory

29 Oct 1889British South Africa Company incorporated by Royal Charter

1890Rhodes becomes Prime Minister of the Cape Colony at the age of 37

06 May 1890The Pioneer Column leaves Kimberley for Macloutsie

28 Jun 1890British South Africa Company's Pioneer Column enters Rhodesia

01 Jul 1890180 Pioneers, 500 Police and 117 wagons reach Tuli

13 Aug 1890The long and difficult ascent of Providential Pass begins, and at noon next day the first wagon emerges on to the plateau. The Pioneers build a fort some distance from the Pass and name it Fort Victoria

12 Sep 1890The Column reaches the foot of Harari Hill, now Salisbury Kopje

13 Sep 1890Hoisting of the flag and the Pioneer Column founds Fort Salisbury

01 Oct 1890The Pioneer Corps is disbanded

15 Feb 1891Temporary frontier with Portuguese territory established in Manicaland

08 May 1891British Order-in-Council declares protectorates over Bechuanaland, Matabeleland and Mashonaland

12 Jun 1891Anglo-Portuguese agreement and boundary convention signed

17 Nov 1891Lobengula signs Lippert Concession

17 Feb 1892Telegraph to Fort Salisbury completed

05 May 1892Moodie's Trek sets out for Rhodesia

10 Oct 1892Dominican Sisters open the first school for European children

1893Jesuit Fathers open a school in Bulawayo, later transferred to Salisbury as St. George's College

1893Moodie's Trek reaches Chipinga

18 Jul 1893Ndebele raid Shona near Fort Victoria

03 Oct 1893War on Matabele authorized

24 Oct 1893Battle of Shangani - Matabele forces of 5 000 engaged and routed

01 Nov 1893Battle of Bembezi - 7 000 Matabele defeated

03 Nov 1893Bulawayo destroyed by fire on order of Lobengula

04 Nov 1893British occupy Bulawayo - Union Flag and BSAC flag hoisted in Bulawayo for the first time

04 Dec 1893Major Allan Wilson and his patrol of 33 men annihilated near Shangani River, 100 miles north of Bulawayo

1894The death of Lobengula is presumed

03 May 1895Territory proclaimed Rhodesia

29 Dec 1895Jameson Raid leaves Mafeking

02 Jan 1896Dr. Jameson surrenders near Krugersdorp in the Transvaal

02 Jan 1896Rhodes resigns from all public offices

20 Mar 1896Ndebele Revolt begins and 141 settlers are murdered

02 Apr 1896The Rt. Hon. Earl Grey succeeds Dr. Jameson as Administrator of Rhodesia

14 Jun 1896Shona Revolt begins and 103 settlers are murdered

21 Aug 1896First of Rhodes' five Indabas with southern Ndebele rebels at the Matopos

13 Oct 1896Submission of Matabele chiefs

1897Municipalities of Salisbury and Bulawayo created

27 Oct 1897Shona Revolt pronounced ended

04 Nov 1897Railway from the south reaches Bulawayo

04 Feb 1898Railway from Beira reached Umtali

15 May 1899First session of Legislative Council

22 May 1899Beira railroad reaches Salisbury

11 Oct 1899Outbreak of Boer War - Rhodes is besieged in Kimberley

Feb 1900Relief of Kimberley

Dec 1901W. H. Milton is appointed Administrator of Southern Rhodesia

26 Mar 1902Death of Cecil John Rhodes at Muizenberg

10 Apr 1902Rhodes is buried at World's View in the Matopos

31 May 1902End of the Boer War

06 Oct 1902Bulawayo-Salisbury Railway is completed

19 Jun 1904The railway to the Victoria Falls is completed

12 Sep 1904Victoria Falls Bridge is opened

16 Jul 1906Death of Alfred Beit

03 Jan 1913Death of the Duke of Abercorn, President of the British South Africa Company, Sir Starr Jameson succeeds him

04 Aug 1914Outbreak of World War I

01 Nov 1914Mr. (later Sir) Drummond Chaplin appointed Administrator of Southern Rhodesia

13 Mar 1915British South Africa Charter extended 10 years

26 Nov 1917Death of Sir Starr Jameson

11 Nov 1918End of World War I

08 Apr 1919Ian Douglas Smith born in Selukwe, Rhodesia

30 Apr 1920Elections for last Legislative Council under the British South Africa Company Administration

12 May 1920Council debate and approve Responsible Government by 12 votes to 5

1921Deputation to England regarding new constitution

Apr 1922Delegation to Cape Town to interview South African Government in regard to terms of admission of Rhodesia into the Union of South Africa

27 Oct 1922Referendum on whether Southern Rhodesia should join the Union or assume Responsible Government. 2,785 majority for Responsible Government

12 Sep 1923Great Britain annexes Southern Rhodesia as a Crown Colony with J.R. Chancellor as first Governor

01 Oct 1923Responsible Government established with Coghlan as first premier

1924First elections to Legislative Assembly

1924Sir Charles Coghlan becomes first Prime Minister

30 May 1924New Legislative Assembly opens

02 Sep 1927H.U. Moffat (a grandson of the famous missionary, Dr. Robert Moffat) succeeds Coghlan as premier after latter's death

14 Jul 1928New Zealand vs Rhodesia Rugby Score: 44-8Bulawayo Athletic Club, Bulawayo

31 Aug 1929Beit Bridge opened on Limpopo

10 Oct 1930Promulgation of the Land Apportionment Act

29 Jun 1933Government buys British South Africa Company's mineral rights for 2 000 000

06 Jul 1933The Hon. H. U. Moffat resigns Premiership and is succeeded by the Hon. George Mitchell

06 Sep 1933General Election. The Hon. G. M. Huggins becomes Prime Minister

1934Split in the Reform Party. A General Election is held and the United Party is returned with large majority. Hon. G. M. Huggins, Prime Minister

1935Birchenough Bridge across the Sabi River is opened

1935First State Lottery draw is held

1935Rhodesia House, 429, Strand, London, is opened

1935Salisbury becomes a city

1935Trade agreement with South Africa comes into force

1937Royal Commission under Lord Bledisloe considers question of closer association between the Rhodesias and Nyasaland

21 Mar 1939Publication of the Bledisloe Report respecting amalgamation of the Rhodesias

14 Apr 1939Huggins' United Party again carries general election

24 May 1939Otto Beit Bridge over the Zambezi River at Chirundu is opened

03 Sep 1939Outbreak of World War II

1940Army camps were established in Salisbury, Bulawayo and Umtali for initial and advanced training. During the 1939-45 war, Southern Rhodesia contributed, on a pro rata population basis, more fighting men than any other Commonwealth country

24 May 1940First Empire Training School for the Royal Air Force is opened at Salisbury

1942Southern Rhodesia Military Forces come under Union of South Africa Command

18 Oct 1944Establishment of Central African Council

08 May 1945Surrender of all German Forces in Europe

15 Aug 1945Japan surrenders. End of World War II

25 Apr 1946Huggins' United Party wins general election in which Liberal Party shows major gains

07 Apr 1947Royal visit to Southern Rhodesia. The Royal Family arrive by air in Salisbury and King George VI opens the second session of the Sixth Parliament

30 Apr 1947Parliament agrees to purchase the Rhodesia Railways for 30 million

15 Sep 1948Sir Godfrey Huggins' United Party again wins general election, in which Ian Smith enters Legislative Assembly

Feb 1949Preliminary conference at the Victoria Falls between representatives of the Southern Rhodesia Government and unofficial representatives of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland on the federation of the three territories

27 Jul 1949New Zealand vs Rhodesia Rugby Score: 8-10Hartsfield, Bulawayo

30 Jul 1949New Zealand vs Rhodesia Rugby Score: 3-3Old Hararian's Ground, Salisbury

12 Mar 1951100 young Rhodesians depart for the Far East to form a squadron of the Malayan Scouts

06 Feb 1952Death of King George VI

08 Feb 1952Princess Elizabeth proclaimed Queen

18 Jun 1952The White Paper on the proposed federation of the Rhodesias and Nyasaland is tabled in the Legislative Assembly

29 Sep 1952Lake McIlwaine near Salisbury is opened

Jan 1953The Prime Minister, Sir Godfrey Huggins, attends the final conference on federation in London

09 Apr 1953European voters ratify federation in general referendum. 25,560 voted for, and 14,729 voted against

03 Jul 1953Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother opened the Central African Rhodes Centenary Exhibition at Bulawayo

07 Sep 1953Sir Godfrey Huggins resigns his Premiership and is succeeded by Mr. R. S. Garfield Todd

15 Dec 1953General Election for the First Federal Assembly was won by the Federal Party with Sir Godfrey Huggins as Prime Minister

27 Jan 1954The General Election for Southern Rhodesia's eighth Parliament is won by the United Rhodesia Party. R. S. Garfield Todd, Prime Minister

03 Feb 1954First session of the first Parliament of the Federation opened

01 Apr 1954Sir Gilbert Rennie, formerly Governor of Northern Rhodesia, becomes the first Federal High Commissioner in the United Kingdom

01 Mar 1955The Federal Government announces its decision to proceed with the construction of the Kariba hydro-electric power project, and in August the river diversion works are started

01 Aug 1955The new railway line to Lourenco Marques, through the Lowveld, s opened

03 Mar 1956Mr. Winston Field is elected leader of a new political party, the Dominion Party, at a meeting in Salisbury

01 Jun 1956The first day of official civil operations at Salisbury's new international airport

31 Oct 1956Roy Welensky succeeds Huggins (now Lord Malvern) as federal prime minister

06 Jun 1957Mr. Winston Field wins the Mrewa by-election and becomes Leader of the Opposition in the Federal Parliament

12 Sep 1957Founding of African National Congress

1958Dr. Hastings Banda returns to Nyasaland after an absence of 40 years and assumes leadership of African National Congress party

18 Feb 1958Edgar Whitehead replaces Todd as Southern Rhodesian prime minister after cabinet revolt. Sir Edgar forms Cabinet and stands for Parliament in by-election at Hillside (Bulawayo) but is defeated by Dominion Party opponent

05 Jun 1958Rhodesia Party merges with Federal Party to form United Federal Party . Whitehead retained as prime minister after UFP barely carries general election (17 seats to 13 for the Dominion Party)

1959Troops and police from Southern Rhodesia sent to assist local security forces. Dr. Banda and principal lieutenants arrested and sent to Southern Rhodesia for detention

1959Widespread riots and disturbances break out in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, being particularly serious in Nyasaland where plot to murder Governor and top officials is revealed

25 Feb 1959Security Branch in Southern Rhodesia arrests African Congress leaders and nips planned rising in bud. In Northern Rhodesia the Governor, Sir Arthur Benson, bans the A.N.C.

1960Monckton Commission appointed to consider future of the Federation, and visits all three territories. It is boycotted by the African nationalists in the two northern territories. The Commission recommends that individual territories be given the right of secession

01 Jan 1960Formation of National Democratic Party

17 May 1960Kariba Dam formally opened by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother

29 Jun 1960New Zealand vs A Rhodesian XV Rugby Score: 13-9Kitwe Ground, Kitwe, Northern Rhodesia

02 Jul 1960New Zealand vs Rhodesia Rugby Score: 29-14Glamis Park, Salisbury

19 Jul 1960Arrest of National Democratic Party leaders leads to bloody rioting

Dec 1960Federal Review Conference assembles at Lancaster House, London, under chairmanship of British Prime Minister, Mr. Harold McMillan. African nationalist leaders of three territories walk out on opening day. Conference adjourns for Christmas break and is not resumed

1961New Constitution granted to Northern Rhodesia which aggravates relations between Federal and British Governments

Feb 1961Conference to review Southern Rhodesia's Constitution opens in Salisbury with British Commonwealth Secretary, Mr. Duncan Sandys, as chairman. Conference agrees on removal of reservations in return for Declaration of Rights and appointment of Constitutional Council. Parliament to be enlarged from 30 to 65 members and Africans to be given representation through "B" Roll. African Nationalist militants start civil disturbances

26 Jul 1961New constitutional proposals approved in referendum by 41,940 votes to 21,836

18 Sep 1961Dag Hammarskjold, Secretary-General of the UN, was killed in a suspicious plane crash in Northern Rhodesia. He was flying to negotiate a cease-fire in the Congo. Hammarskjold was the son of a former Swedish prime minister. In 1953, he was elected to the top UN post and in 1957 was reelected. During his second term, he initiated and directed the United Nation's vigorous role in the Belgian Congo.

09 Dec 1961National Democratic Party banned

18 Dec 1961Zimbabwe African People's Union founded

1962New Constitutions granted to Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland which ensure the return of African nationalist governments

16 Mar 1962British Government creates new office of Central African Affairs, headed by Mr. R. A. Butler, Home Secretary, to look after Federation and constituent territories

16 Mar 1962Sir Roy Welensky resigns to hold General Election to obtain new mandate on future of Federation. Official opposition, Rhodesian Front (formerly Dominion Party), decides not to contest election

27 Apr 1962General Election results in U.F.P. controlling 54 out of 59 seats in Federal Assembly

May 1962Mr. R. A. Butler visits Federation and indicates that Nyasaland will be allowed to secede

Jun 1962Team of advisors to investigate consequences of Federal break-up

20 Sep 1962Zimbabwe African People's Union banned

Nov 1962New Nyasaland constitutional talks held in London. Territory to be granted self-government without delay

Dec 1962Officially announced that Nyasaland will be allowed to secede. British decision is bitterly attacked by Sir Roy Welensky, who charges Britain with "bad faith"

14 Dec 1962Rhodesian Front wins Southern Rhodesian election, Winston Field becomes prime minister. Rhodesian Front gains 35 seats to U.F.P.'s 29, and Central Africa Party (left wing) eliminated

Mar 1963Federal, Northern Rhodesian and Southern Rhodesian Governments invited to London to prepare agenda for conference on future of federation

26 Mar 1963Kaunda demands that Northern Rhodesia be given right to secede

29 Mar 1963British Government announces that any territory will have right to secede

Jun 1963Federal break-up conference held at Victoria Falls with all governments represented

08 Aug 1963Zimbabwe African National Union founded, Communist-trained saboteurs are arrested

10 Aug 1963People's Caretaker Council formed as ZAPU front

27 Sep 1963Order-in-Council signed by Queen detailing functions to be handed back to territorial governments

10 Dec 1963Federal Parliament meets and is prorogued for last time by Acting Governor-General, Sir Humphrey Gibbs

12 Dec 1963British Order-in-Council published detailing arrangements for liquidating the Federation

31 Dec 1963Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland officially dissolved

01 Jan 1964Mr. Evan Campbell, C.B.E., appointed Rhodesian High Commissioner in London

01 Jan 1964Southern Rhodesian Government launches drive to stamp out intimidation in African townships

13 Apr 1964Ian Smith (Minister of the Treasury) displaces Winston Field a prime minister

16 Apr 1964Government detains Joshua Nkomo

May 1964Dr. W. Alexander, Speaker of the Legislature Assembly dies. He is succeeded in July by Mr. A. R. W. Stumbles, M.P. for Avondale

26 Aug 1964Government bans ZANU, PCC, and African Daily News and declares Highfield an emergency area. Sithole and Mugabe detained

Oct 1964By-elections held in Arundel and Avondale constituencies. Sir Roy Welensky, Rhodesia Party leader, is defeated at Arundel by Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. C. W. Dupont, and Rhodesian Front candidate wins Avondale. Both are Front gains from Rhodesia Party

Oct 1964Rhodesian Chiefs hold indaba at Domboshawa, near Salisbury, and vote unanimously in favour of independence. Indaba is boycotted by British Government

Oct 1964Southern Rhodesia to be henceforth known as "Rhodesia"

24 Oct 1964Northern Rhodesia becomes independent as Zambia

05 Nov 1964Public referendum by European voters endorses independence. Votes in favour 58,176, votes against 6,101. Overall percentage poll, 61,6 per cent, of which 89,1 per cent, votes "yes"

Dec 1964Sir Roy Welensky announces his retirement from Rhodesian politics and resigns as leader of the Rhodesia Party

Feb 1965British Secretary for Commonwealth Relations, Mr. A. G. Bottomley, and the Lord Chancellor, Lord Gardiner, visit Rhodesia to discuss independence issue with all sections of the population. Mr. Bottomley stresses that while the British Government favoured a peaceful

Apr 1965Prime Minister announces General Election with a view to securing a two-thirds majority in Parliament. On Nomination Day 22 Rhodesian Front members are returned unopposed

07 May 1965Country goes to the polls. Result is a clean sweep of all the 28 "A" Roll seats contested in favour of the Rhodesian Front. Rhodesia Party secures majority of "B" Roll seats. An African member, Mr. Gondo, is appointed Leader of the Opposition

31 May 1965United Peoples Party founded

Jun 1965Rhodesia Party is dissolved

09 Jun 1965Official opening of the First Session of the 11th Parliament of Rhodesia. In the Speech from the Throne, the Governor, Sir Humphrey Gibbs, said that the Government's return to power at the General Election with a greatly increased majority was a mandate for it to lead Rhodesia to full independence. Referring to the economy, the Governor said that it was poised for an even higher rate of growth than that achieved in 1964

16 Jun 1965Mr. Campbell, C.B.E., relinquishes his appointment as Rhodesian High Commissioner in London, and is succeeded by Brigadier A. Skeen, O.B.E.

21 Jul 1965Mr. Gledwyn Hughes, Minister of State for Commonwealth Affairs, arrived in Rhodesia to have personal talks with Mr. Smith concerning negotiations on Independence

27 Jul 1965Mr. Gledwyn Hughes leaves to report progress to Mr. Bottomley with specific proposals on the Independence issue from Mr. Smith

08 Oct 1965London talks break down. Independence based on 1961 Constitution not acceptable to Britain

17 Oct 1965The Prime Minister, Mr. Smith, returns from London. Mr. Wilson proposed a Commonwealth Prime Minister's mission to be sent to Rhodesia in a bid to solve Rhodesian independence crisis

20 Oct 1965Mr. Smith proposes Independence on 1961 Constitution and offers treaty to guarantee undertaking not to vary it after Independence

26 Oct 1965Harold Wilson and Mr. Bottomley visits Salisbury to discuss independence

30 Oct 1965Royal Commission proposed to find a solution to Rhodesian problem to consist of Chief Justice of Rhodesia as Chairman and two other persons, one appointed by Rhodesian Government and one by British Government. Mr. Wilson leaves

11 Nov 1965Press censorship imposed

11 Nov 1965Unilateral Declaration of Independence issued under 1965 Constitution. This new Constitution being based on the 1961 Constitution, amended as necessary to suit a fully independent Sovereign State

16 Nov 1965British Government passes Southern Rhodesian Enabling Act permitting Orders in Council to make provision to amend, revoke or add to any of the provisions of the 1961 Constitution and also to apply sanctions against Rhodesia

17 Nov 1965Mr. C. W. Dupont appointed as Acting Officer Administering the Government

25 Nov 1965British Parliament approves sanctions imposed by Orders in Council on 16th November

03 Dec 1965British Government suspends Governor and Directors of Reserve Bank of Rhodesia and seized Rhodesian reserves in Great Britain.

16 Dec 1965Wilson appeals to U.N.O. for support to end "rebellion" in Rhodesia. He rules out use of force and accepts responsibility for dealing with the matter

17 Dec 1965Wilson, having received U.N.O. support, declares oil embargo against Rhodesia and starts oil airlift to Zambia. Rhodesia bans oil exports to Zambia

28 Dec 1965Petrol rationing introduced in Rhodesia

02 Jan 1966The Prime Minister, Mr. Smith, offers to restore flow of petrol and oil to Zambia quite unconditionally, subject to acceptable arrangements for payment

14 Jan 1966Lagos Commonwealth Prime Minister's Conference. Wilson accepts that use of force cannot be precluded

31 Jan 1966Wilson imposes total embargo on all trade with Rhodesia

18 Feb 1966His Excellency the Officer Administering the Government, Mr. Clifford Dupont, assents to the Constitution (Ratification) Bill which had previously been passed by Parliament by more than a two-thirds majority. The 1965 Constitution therefore becomes Law

10 Apr 1966Security Council agrees that Britain should use force to prevent oil flowing to Rhodesia via Beira

27 Apr 1966British Prime Minister announces informal talks at official level with Rhodesia

28 Apr 1966ZANLA combatants engage Rhodesian Security Forces at battle of Sinoia

16 May 1966European farmer and wife murdered by terrorists

19 Sep 1966Royal Air Force units withdrawn from Zambia. Oil airlift ended

02 Dec 1966Harold Wilson and Ian Smith meet off Gibraltar on board H.M.S. Tiger in "Tiger Talks"

05 Dec 1966Rhodesian Government accept Wilson's proposals as a basis for a new Constitution, but reject those concerning the return to so-called legality by handing over powers to the Governor, and renouncing its Independence

16 Dec 1966On the illegal application of the British Government, the United Nations unlawfully vote for Selected Mandatory Sanctions, including oil, against Rhodesia

20 Dec 1966The British Prime Minister states in their House of Commons that Rhodesia will not be granted Independence before African Majority rule

09 Mar 1967Five-man Constitutional Commission headed by Mr. W. R. Whaley sworn in by the Officer Administering the Government

14 Jun 1967British Prime Minister sends Lord Alport, ex-British High Commissioner to the defunct Federation, to Rhodesia to see if the 18-month deadlock can be broken

26 Jul 1967Mr. Wilson announces a new initiative on Rhodesia, which amounted to discovering whether the Tiger constitutional proposals should be re-negotiated through Sir Humphrey Gibbs, by correspondence

09 Nov 1967Mr. Thompson and Rhodesian Prime Minister have four-hour secret personal discussions

24 Feb 1968Sir Alec Douglas-Home visits Rhodesia

03 Mar 1968Rhodesia's' Appeal Court dismissed the appeal of three Africans convicted of brutal murder, as it had been decided that the Rhodesian Government was the de facto Government, and there was no right of Appeal to the Privy Council, under the 1965 Constitution. The Queen reprieves the three Africans under sentence of death that night, and commutes death sentences to one of life imprisonment

04 Mar 1968Mr. Justice Fieldsend resigns as a Judge of the High Court in protest against recent happenings

05 Mar 1968Application to the Appellate Division of the High Court following the Queen's reprieve. Application dismissed

06 Mar 1968Three African murderers hanged in accordance with the Law. Rhodesian Government issues statement on the execution

31 Mar 1968Francistown Radio closed

06 Apr 1968Censorship in Rhodesia lifted

10 Apr 1968Whaley Commission Report published

11 Apr 1968Mr. J. M. Greenfield appointed Judge of the High Court in terms of the 1965 Constitution

09 May 1968Sir Frederick Crawford, Resident Director of Anglo-American Corporation, has his passport impounded by British Government on a visit to London

29 May 1968United Nations votes comprehensive mandatory sanctions

18 Jun 1968House of Lords defeats sanctions order passed by House of Commons

04 Jul 1968Mr. W. J. Harper, Minister of Internal Affairs, resigns his post at the request of the Prime Minister

09 Aug 1968High Court refuses to accept order from Judicial Committee of the Privy Council

13 Aug 1968Mr. Justice Dendy Young resigns as a Judge of the High Court

28 Aug 1968Abel Muzorewa made UMC Bishop of Rhodesia

13 Sep 1968The Appellate Division of the High Court of Rhodesia ruled that the Government was now in its opinion the de jure Government

30 Sep 1968Bechuanaland becomes independent as Republic of Botswana

10 Oct 196813 Oct 1968Talks between Mr. Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia, and Mr. Wilson, Prime Minister of Great Britain, aboard H.M.S. Fearless

04 Nov 1968Talks begin in Salisbury between Mr. Thompson and Mr. Smith

11 Nov 1968New (green and white) flag raised in Rhodesia

18 Nov 1968Mr. Thompson's mission ends in failure. Rhodesia's rejection of the proposals based on Fearless talks announced

Jan 1969Rhodesia attacked at Commonwealth Conference in London

12 Jan 1969Four hundred demonstrators attack Rhodesia House and South Africa House

13 Feb 1969The Rev. Ndabaningi Sithole, leader of the banned Zimbabwe African National Union, is sentenced to six years' imprisonment in Salisbury for plotting to assassinate Mr. Ian Smith and two members of the Rhodesian Cabinet

16 Mar 1969Mr. Winston Field, C.M.G., M.B.E., the first Rhodesian Front Party Prime Minister, dies in Salisbury

19 May 1969Mr. Ian Smith said that the "intractable British attitude" had ended hopes of a negotiated settlement of the independence dispute. He announces that proposals for a new constitution were to be published in a White Paper on 20th May, which would be voted on at a referendum on 20th June. The referendum would also decide whether Rhodesia should assume Republican status

20 Jun 1969European electorate votes in favour of a Republic in referendum. Eighty-one per cent, of the votes cast were in favour of becoming a Republic and 72,5 per cent were in favour of adopting the Constitutional proposals put forward by the Rhodesian Government

24 Jun 1969Mr. Clifford Dupont, the Officer Administering the Government, opens the last session of the Rhodesian Parliament

24 Jun 1969Sir Humphrey Gibbs resigns as governor

09 Jul 1969Sir Humphrey Gibbs is appointed a member of the Privy Council and promoted to Knight Grand Cross of the Victorian Order

14 Jul 1969Rhodesia House in London, and the British Residual Mission in Salisbury, both close

17 Nov 1969The Constitutional Bill is passed by the Rhodesian Parliament

29 Nov 1969New constitution becomes law. Mr. Clifford Dupont, Officer Administering the Government, signs the new constitution

19 Dec 1969The University College of Rhodesia decides that it will award its own degrees and not those of the University of London

17 Feb 1970Decimal currency is introduced into Rhodesia

02 Mar 1970New Constitution comes into effect (including Land Tenure Act)

02 Mar 1970Rhodesia declared a republic. Parliament is dissolved

17 Mar 1970Great Britain and the United States of America both use their United Nations veto to avoid complete sanctions against Rhodesia being made mandatory

17 Mar 1970United States Consulate closes down

10 Apr 1970Rhodesian Front sweeps European seats in general election

16 Apr 1970Clifford Dupont sworn in as first President

28 May 1970First Senators sworn in

28 May 1970Rhodesia's first Republican Parliament is opened by the President

21 Jul 1970New Zealand vs Rhodesia Rugby Score; 27-14Rhodesian Police Ground, Salisbury

08 May 1971Death of Lord Malvern (G. Huggins)

14 May 1971Petrol rationing, in force since 1965, ends

30 Jun 1971Britain's special envoy, Lord Goodman, arrives for talks with Rhodesian officials

07 Jul 1971Johannesburg Consolidated Investment Co. Ltd. announces that at least $20,000,000 will be invested in a nickel copper mine, concentrator and smelter in the Shangani area

15 Nov 1971Sir Alec Douglas-Home arrives in Salisbury to discuss settlement proposals

17 Nov 1971U.S. President Richard Nixon signs bill containing "Byrd Amendment"

24 Nov 1971Ian Smith and Sir Alec Douglas Home sign Anglo-Rhodesian Settlement Proposals

16 Dec 1971African National Council formed

11 Jan 1972Pearce Commission under Lord Pearce arrives in Rhodesia to carry out a test of acceptability in terms of the settlement proposals

13 Jan 1972Commissioners of the Pearce Commission commence their enquiries in the seven provinces

19 Jan 1972Violence erupts in the African township of Harare in Salisbury and in Gwelo and Umtali African townships

11 Mar 1972The whole Pearce Commission leaves Rhodesia

23 May 1972Pearce Commission's Report published in London. The Prime Minister broadcasts to the nation on the report of the Pearce Commission, who found that the proposals were not acceptable to the people of Rhodesia as a whole

31 May 1972The U.S. Senate votes against reimposing an embargo on Rhodesian chrome

06 Jun 1972An underground explosion and cave-in at Wankie Colliery's No. 2 shaft claims 427 victims

22 Aug 1972The Rhodesian team is barred from participating in the Munich Olympics

31 Oct 1972The Rhodesia Party is formally launched

21 Dec 1972Altena Farm in the Centenary area, attacked by ZANLA terrorists wounding an 8-year-old girl, marking beginning of new stage of large scale terrorist war in north-east

09 Jan 1973Rhodesia closes border with Zambia , pending the assurance that Zambia will not harbour terrorists

01 Feb 1973Zambia closes its border with Rhodesia

04 Feb 1973As a result of messages received, Rhodesia opens its border with Zambia, though Zambia's side remains closed

09 Feb 1973A Rhodesian angler is killed on the Zambezi by machine-gun fire from the Zambian Army

14 Apr 1973Air Rhodesia acquires three Boeing 707 jet aircraft from an undisclosed source

15 May 1973Zambian troops open fire on a group of tourists at Victoria Falls from across the gorge, killing two Canadian girls and wounding an American man

22 May 1973Britain and the U.S.A. veto a United Nations Security Council resolution to extend sanctions against Rhodesia

17 Jun 1973Five R.C. Bishops stated in a resolution that they would not comply with some of the provisions of the amendment to the Land Tenure Act and the African Affairs Act

23 Jun 1973Members of the British Foreign Office visit Rhodesia and have talks with Rhodesian officials and Bishop Muzorewa, in order to report back to the British Foreign Secretary

05 Jul 1973A heavily armed gang of terrorists abducted 295 African pupils and staff members of St. Alberts Mission in the north-eastern border area. All but eight of those abducted were very shortly rescued

03 Aug 1973About 150 African students demonstrated against low wages paid to African workers at the University of Rhodesia

07 Aug 1973On a recommendation by a disciplinary committee that six students should be expelled, and eight suspended for their activities, rioting African students stoned buildings on the campus. The Principal called for police protection, and as a result 155 students were arrested

01 Feb 1974Petrol rationing comes into force

17 Apr 1974Government offers cash awards for information leading to the death or capture of terrorists

25 Apr 1974Portuguese government falls in coup d'etat; new government pledges independence for African colonies

19 Jun 1974New York Office of Air Rhodesia closed, U.S. Treasury order issued under sanctions regulations making it impossible to continue operations

31 Jul 1974The Rhodesian Front win all 50 European seats in the General Election

27 Aug 1974The Rhodesian National Anthem played for the first time at the opening of Parliament

15 Sep 1974Direct railway link to South Africa opened through Beit Bridge

18 Sep 1974The Rutenga-Beit Bridge rail link is completed and officially opened by the Prime Minister

02 Oct 1974Z.A.N.U. offices in Lusaka blown up by a bomb and destroyed

16 Oct 1974Bishop Muzorewa stated in a circular that he had been cheated into signing the undertaking he signed on 17th August

08 Nov 1974The Sanctions Order against Rhodesia, signed by the British Government for the tenth time

11 Nov 1974The Prime Minister in a broadcast to the Nation stated that as a result of recent developments in other countries there was a possibility of a settlement

11 Nov 1974Two ministers in Government, Mr. Howman and Mr. Lance Smith retired

14 Nov 1974The weekly Roman Catholic publication Moto permanently banned

06 Dec 1974Cabora Bassa gates fixed and lake begins to fill

08 Dec 1974Leaders of ZANU, ZAPU, and FROLIZI announce acceptance of ANC as "umbrella" organization with Muzorewa as head

11 Dec 1974Ian Smith announces agreement with nationalists for cease-fire, release of political prisoners, and plan for new constitutional conference

12 Dec 1974The South African Prime Minister stated the S.A. Police will be withdrawn from Rhodesia once it is clear that terrorism has ended

25 Dec 1974The British Foreign Secretary stated he will meet Rhodesian African leaders in Lusaka, during his African tour next month

1975Marxist-oriented FRELIMO assumed power in Mozambique and its independence made it easier for the guerrillas to attack Rhodesia

10 Jan 1975Release of detainees halted as terrorist incursions increase

06 Feb 1975McIntosh, the sanctions spy serving a 14-year sentence, escaped from jail

06 Feb 1975Rhodesian Prime Minister and leaders of the A.N.C. meet for two hours

25 Feb 1975Portuguese Frontier Police handed Mclntosh back to Rhodesian Police

05 Mar 1975Rev. Ndabaningi Sithole detained on the grounds of plotting to assassinate certain opponents

15 Mar 1975Rhodesian Prime Minister and senior Ministers go to South Africa for talks

18 Mar 1975Rhodesia's Diplomatic Mission in Lisbon told to leave by 30th April

19 Mar 1975Herbert Chitepo and his bodyguard killed by a land-mine in Lusaka

03 Apr 1975Special Court reviewing Sithole's detention found it was fully warranted

06 Apr 1975Acting on the request of Bishop Muzorewa and supported by the S.A. Government and other African Heads of State, Sithole was released from detention in order to attend the O.A.U. meeting in Tanzania

27 May 1975Rhodesian Prime Minister issued an ultimatum to the A.N.C.- get to the Conference table or Government will turn to other groups

02 Jun 1975Thirteen people killed and 28 injured when police opened fire on a crowd of 5,000 Africans in Highfields who were rival nationalist factions

05 Jun 1975Number of arrests made on allegations of recruiting for terrorist training

07 Jun 1975Bishop Muzorewa returns to Salisbury

15 Jun 1975Meeting between Prime Minister and A.N.C. ended in deadlock over venue for a Constitutional Conference

25 Jun 1975Minister for Information and five other Rhodesian M.P.s visited President Kaunda in Lusaka over the weekend

25 Jun 1975Mozambique becomes independent with Samora Machel as President

25 Jun 1975Opening of Parliament

29 Jun 1975The Prime Minister and Mr. Ennals had a 90-minute talk together on the settlement issue

08 Jul 1975Rhodesian government announces set-up of anti-terrorist campaign after failure of cease-fire

09 Jul 1975Government sets up a Commission to investigate racial discrimination

25 Jul 1975Curfew put on 500-km strip down the Eastern border

06 Aug 1975Curfew imposed along the Botswana border

13 Aug 1975Government confirmed that a Constitutional Conference would be held in South African Railway's coaches on the Victoria Falls Bridge. Conference will be subject to an agreement made in Pretoria between the Rhodesian Government and the A.N.C. representative, and subscribed to by other heads of State

25 Aug 1975Conference opened at the Victoria Falls Bridge, attended by President Kaunda and Mr. Vorster

28 Aug 1975Government is to introduce a national registration for all residents irrespective of race

03 Sep 1975Rev. Ndabaningi Sithole announced an external wing of the A.N.C. to be formed called the Zimbabwe Liberation Council (Z.L.C.)

04 Sep 1975Split appears in the A.N.C. between members of the former Z.A.N.U. and Z.A.P.U.

10 Dec 1975J.J. Wrathall succeeds Dupont as president

15 Dec 1975Ian Smith and Joshua Nkomo begin weekly talks in Salisbury

03 Mar 1976Mozambique closes its borders to Rhodesia

19 Mar 1976Smith-Nkomo talks break down

26 Apr 1976Government publishes regulations increasing censorship

27 Apr 1976Ian Smith announces addition of government chiefs to his cabinet

09 Aug 1976Raid on Nyadzonya terrorist base by Rhodesian forces in Frelimo disguise. Over 1200 ZANLA killed

19 Sep 1976Ian Smith and U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger meet in Pretoria

24 Sep 1976Ian Smith announces willingness to bring about African majority rule within two years

09 Oct 1976Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe (ZANU and ZAPU) announce formation of Patriotic Front. The military forces of the two also combined to form ZIPA

14 Oct 197614 Dec 1976All-Party Geneva Conference on Rhodesia held. This was a mediation effort involving US secretary of state Henry Kissinger and John Vorster. Kissinger practiced "'lying to both sides'" and failed. A commitment from Smith to majority rule was obtained

09 Dec 1976Geneva Conference adjourns for holidays, never to reopen

29 Dec 1976Government chiefs found Zimbabwe United People's Organization

1977197 Rhodesians were killed in action and close to 11,000 emigrated

18 Mar 1977U.S. President Jimmy Carter signs repeal of "Byrd Agreement"

Apr 1977Dec 1978The Anglo-American mediation effort carried out by Britain's foreign secretary David Owen and US secretary of state Cyrus Vance failed

01 Apr 1977Amendments to Land Tenure Act lift some colour bar laws

13 Apr 1977British Foreign Secretary David Owen presents Anglo-American constitutional proposals to Ian Smith in Cape Town

16 Apr 1977David Owen consults with Ian Smith in Salisbury, becoming first British cabinet-level official to visit Rhodesia in six years

18 Apr 1977Emergency Rhodesian Front convention endorses principle of eventual majority rule

29 Apr 1977Ian Smith expels hard-line opponents from the Rhodesian Front

16 May 1977President Kaunda announces that Zambia is "in a state of war" with Rhodesia

27 May 1977UN Security Council tightens mandatory sanctions

04 Jul 1977Rhodesian Action Party formed

05 Jul 1977General meeting of OAU endorses Patriotic Front as sole representative of people of Zimbabwe

31 Aug 1977Rhodesian Front sweeps European seats in general election

01 Sep 1977British Foreign Secretary Owen and U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance announce proposals acknowledging that the Patriotic Front must play a leadership role in any future government, and that armed forces of an in dependant Zimbabwe should be based upon ZANLA and ZIPRA forces

24 Sep 1977Frontline President's group endorses Anglo-American plan

28 Sep 1977Britain presents Anglo-American proposals to UN Security Council

23 Nov 197724 Nov 1977Rhodesian Security Forces mount major raids into Mozambique. Massive air and ground strike on Chimoio and Tembue terrorist bases. Over 2,000 ZANLA killed for 1 Rhodesian killed and 8 wounded

24 Nov 1977Ian Smith announces conditional acceptance of "one man, one vote" principle

02 Dec 1977Ian Smith opens new round of internal negotiations with Abel Muzorewa, Ndabaningi Sithole and Jeremiah Chirau

07 Dec 1977Zambia announces withdrawal of support for Anglo-American plan

06 Feb 1978Abel Muzorewa, Ndabaningi Sithole and Jeremiah Chirau reject Anglo-American plan

03 Mar 1978Ian Smith, Abel Muzorewa, Ndabaningi Sithole and Jeremiah Chirau sign internal settlement agreement; agreement is immediately denounced by leaders of both the Patriotic Front and the Frontline States. Black majority rule (one person, one vote) was granted but interests of the whites were protected

21 Mar 1978Rhodesia officially governed by an Executive Council, with Ian Smith, Abel Muzorewa, Ndabaningi Sithole and Jeremiah Chirau alternating chairmanship.

Jul 1978At Khartoum, OAU Council of Ministers denounced the internal settlement and praised the Patriotic Front

03 Sep 1978ZIPRA terrorists shoot down a civilian commuter Air Rhodesia plane (the Hunyani) near Kariba with a SAM-7 missile. Eighteen of the 56 passengers and crew survived the resulting crash, but 10 of them were almost immediately callously murdered by ZAPU terrorists

09 Sep 1978Memorial service held by the Very Rev. John da Costa, Anglican Dean of Salisbury in the Anglican Cathedral of St. Mary and All Saints. His sermon titled, "The Silence is Deafening", accused the world of ignoring atrocities against Rhodesian civilians

19 Oct 1978The legendary "Green Leader" raid on terrorist camps in Zambia, while the Rhodesian Air Force completely controlled Zambian air space. The series of raids carried out resulted in 1,600 ZIPRA dead for the loss of one Rhodesian soldier

20 Dec 1978The war was into its thirteenth year. In 1978, 13,000 whites had emigrated and 2,450 guerrillas, 282 Rhodesian troops, 3,406 black civilians, and 173 white non-combatants lost their lives. The civil war cost Rhodesia one million dollars each day and whites emigrated at a rate of 1,000 per month

02 Jan 1979Government announces plan for new constitution to implement conditions agreed to in Internal Settlement

30 Jan 1979European electorate approves referendum on new constitution

12 Feb 1979ZIPRA terrorists shoot down a second Air Rhodesia civilian commuter plane (the Umniati) killing all 59 people on board outright

21 Feb 1979UN Human Rights Commission rejects the Internal settlement

28 Feb 1979Ian Smith dissolves Rhodesian Parliament, officially ending 88 years of white rule

14 Apr 1979SAS raid on Nkomo's headquarters in Lusaka

17 Apr 1979First general elections in which Africans vote for government officials are held, and 64 percent of African electorate cast votes; Rhodesian Front wins all 28 seats reserved for Europeans, while UANC under Abel Muzorewa wins 51 of 72 seats elected by African voters: Sithole and Chirau refuse to recognize results as official

01 May 1979Smith hands the office of prime minister to Muzorewa but the whites retain the key points in the civil service, government and in the army. International diplomatic recognition of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, as it was now called, did not take place

03 May 1979Conservatives win the elections in Great Britain. Margaret Thatcher wants to be rid of the Rhodesian problem. The Conservative Manifestation had said that if Rhodesia met certain principles then it would be recognized by Britain

20 May 1979Zimbabwe Rhodesia declared an independent republic

25 May 1979OAU announces its opposition to Muzorewa's government and lifting of sanctions

28 May 1979Abel Muzorewa sworn in as first African prime minister

01 Jul 1979At Canberra, the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, startles Thatcher by announcing that Australia was against any leniency towards Smith and Muzorewa and that they are in agreement with the Front-line states

01 Aug 1979Commonwealth Conference in Lusaka opens. A compromise plan is agreed. Britain receives a mandate to mediate

14 Aug 1979Britain extends invitations to Muzorewa government and the Patriotic Front

01 Sep 1979The Rhodesian Green and White flag lowered for the last time, to be replaced by a new Zimbabwe-Rhodesia flag the next day

05 Sep 1979Operation Uric starts, external raids on ZANLA and Frelimo bases in Mozambique

07 Sep 197909 Sep 1979At Non-aligned Movement summit meeting in Cuba, Patriotic Front members are coerced into going to London. Patriotic Front say that they will only negotiate with the British

10 Sep 1979Britain convenes Lancaster House Conference under chairmanship of British Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington; government of Zimbabwe Rhodesia delegation led by Muzorewa and Ian Smith, and Patriotic Front delegation led by Mugabe and Nkomo. Carrington's agenda constituted first agreeing on a constitution, followed by transitional arrangements and new elections, and finally the cease-fire plan

10 Sep 1979Lord Carrington delivered his opening address and presented his outline of the constitution as the basis for negotiations and maintained that constitutional issue must be solved first. Patriotic Front put forward its own agenda

12 Sep 1979Smith caused the first split in the Rhodesian side by supporting the Patriotic Front agenda (he wanted to see the entire deal)

14 Sep 1979Patriotic Front presented its constitutional proposals; Carrington said that only British proposals could be negotiated

18 Sep 1979Carrington decided to hold bilateral meetings (and the practice of first negotiating with Rhodesian commenced)

19 Sep 197921 Sep 1979Ian Smith argued that white safeguards must not be diluted. Carrington presented the Salisbury delegation with numbers (twenty out of 100 seats would be reserved for the whites and seventy votes would be necessary to amend the constitution). The Salisbury delegation accepted the offer

02 Oct 1979The negotiations between the British and the Patriotic Front became heated. Mugabe and Nkomo gave their first joint press conference and accused the British of complicity with Rhodesia

03 Oct 197909 Oct 1979Carrington delivered his first deadline: He wanted an answer by the eight. Muzorewa accepted but the Patriotic Front refused and offered to move on to the next item. Carrington rejected the offer and extended the deadline

11 Oct 1979Carrington decided to seek support from the presidents of the Front-line states and the Commonwealth

15 Oct 1979So as to break the deadlock, Carrington used, for the first time, a 'second-class solution' tool. This tool would have meant recognizing Rhodesia. To make the threat more credible, he suspended the Patriotic Front from the negotiations. This resulted in the secretary-general of the Commonwealth, Shridath Ramphal, scolding Carrington. Britain became more accommodating

15 Oct 197918 Oct 1979The United States offered economic support to Zimbabwe which was of crucial importance (i.e., compensation for land)

16 Oct 1979Patriotic Front started to back down and said that they would join the negotiations as soon as the issue of compensation for land was solved

18 Oct 1979Patriotic Front announced that "there will not be need to revert to the discussion on the constitution" provided that they were satisfied with the transitional arrangements

22 Oct 1979Carrington presented the British proposals on the transition period: It was to last for two months and a British governor was to direct the country, through the existing bureaucracy and the security forces, as well as supervise the elections. The plan was equally unwelcome to all sides

26 Oct 1979Patriotic Front denounced Carrington's "dictatorial attitude;" they were particularly angry at the fact that the British were going to be using the Rhodesian bureaucracy and security forces which they believed would not be impartial. They wanted UN and Patriotic Front forces to be used

28 Oct 1979Prime Minister Muzorewa agreed to step down after a night of prayer

01 Nov 1979Patriotic Front threatened to leave the negotiations but, without support from the Front-line states, they did not seem credible

02 Nov 1979Britain wanted an answer by the fifth. The date was important because that week the British Parliament would debate the continuation of sanctions imposed on Rhodesia

05 Nov 1979Muzorewa said that they had accepted the British proposals. Patriotic Front was not forthcoming

07 Nov 1979Britain introduced into its Parliament a bill that would have started the motion of bringing Rhodesia back under British authority; the Patriotic Front was furious. Carrington placed a deadline for the next day

08 Nov 1979Carrington rebuked the Patriotic Front for not providing an answer. The Patriotic Front said it was a misunderstanding and that they had met President Kaunda of Zambia who had flown to London to help break the deadlock. Ian Smith accepted 'defeat' and said "'the time has come to tell our people back home that to continue the fight would now be sterile, even counter-productive.'"

10 Nov 1979Britain agreed to set up a Commonwealth force and gave more time and increased the transition time by a couple of weeks

13 Nov 1979Carrington offered the Patriotic Front a face-saver by recognizing the equality of the forces in the conflict

14 Nov 1979Carrington and Mugabe discussed areas of agreement and disagreement

15 Nov 1979Patriotic Front accepted the transition plan

16 Nov 1979Britain presented its cease-fire plan which called for the cessation of movement of troops (bases for the Rhodesian troops; assembly points for the guerrillas), and coming under the command of the British governor

16 Nov 197919 Nov 1979Zambia's few remaining links to the outside world were bombed by Rhodesian troops but President Kaunda did not retaliate

19 Nov 1979The Patriotic Front counter-proposals demanded a substantial Commonwealth presence and the disbandment of certain Rhodesian units

22 Nov 1979Britain presented ultimatums (demanding a reply by November 26th) which resulted in Mugabe remarking that Lord Carrington "could 'go to hell.'"

25 Nov 1979Following a meeting with the Front-line Presidents at Dar es Salaam, Nkomo and Mugabe declared that they had their backing but in private, the Presidents urged greater accommodation

26 Nov 1979Muzorewa's delegation embraced the British proposals but the Patriotic Front took their time

06 Dec 1979Patriotic Front gave partial acceptance but demanded more time and more assembly points

07 Dec 1979Queen Elizabeth appoints Lord Soames as governor and the Zimbabwe bill on the granting of a status of republic was published angering the Patriotic Front in the process

11 Dec 1979The Rhodesian Parliament dissolved itself

12 Dec 19791979 Zimbabwe Rhodesia House of Assembly votes to return country to colonial status; later that day Lord Soames arrives in Salisbury to take office, officially marking end of UDI

13 Dec 1979Sanctions on Rhodesia were lifted (and further angered the Patriotic Front who believed that the British were acting rashly)

14 Dec 1979Carrington demanded firm reply which caused the Patriotic Front to express their hostility: "Thatcher can jump in the Thames;" "The answer, Lord Carrington, is No . . . No . . . No . . .;" and "Carrington can go to hell". President Machel stepped in and supposedly had a message delivered to Mugabe to accept or "he would be welcomed back to Mozambique and given a beach villa where he could write his memoirs."

17 Dec 1979The Patriotic Front signed the cease-fire agreement

21 Dec 1979The final agreement was signed by all parties on the 102nd day of the conference

29 Dec 1979Cease-fire takes effect, ZANLA and ZIPRA terrorists begin to gather at 16 assembly points throughout rural areas; Rhodesian security forces assemble at their bases

01 Jan 1980Seven guerrillas were killed in a clash with Zimbabwe-Rhodesian forces 60 miles north of Salisbury

04 Jan 1980By the deadline, 18,500 Patriot Front guerrillas had reported to assembly points around Zimbabwe-Rhodesia

09 Jan 1980First direct links with outside world were re-established with the arrival of a passenger airline flight from Lusaka, Zambia

13 Jan 1980Joshua Nkomo returns to Zimbabwe-Rhodesia after three years of exile. 100,000 greeted him

14 Jan 1980Ten black parties registered for the elections. Nkomo registered ZAPU under the name of Patriotic Front

18 Jan 1980The state of emergency was extended until July

21 Jan 1980First group of refugees (1,000) returned from Botswana

22 Jan 1980Lord Soames, British governor, accused Mugabe's ZANU and outgoing Prime Minister Muzorewa's irregular troops of truce violations

26 Jan 1980The withdrawal of 26 South African contingents guarding links from South Africa to Zimbabwe-Rhodesia was announced

27 Jan 1980Robert Mugabe returns after more than four years in exile, more than 200,000 greeted him

02 Feb 1980UNSC adopted a resolution calling upon Great Britain to insure fair elections for a black majority government took place

10 Feb 1980Mugabe escaped assassination as a bomb blew off behind his car amid growing political violence

14 Feb 1980Whites voted. Ian Smith's Rhodesian Front won all 20 seats reserved for the whites

25 Feb 1980The process of readmitting refugees was halted until after the election. A symbolic step toward creating an integrated force took place when a contingent of ZAPU's guerrillas started manoeuvres with the regular army

27 Feb 198029 Feb 1980General elections in which 94 percent of the African electorate casts votes; ZANU wins overwhelming victory with 63 percent of the African vote and 57 of 80 parliamentary seats; ZAPU receives 24 percent of the vote and wins 20 seats

02 Mar 1980A Commonwealth observation team concluded that the election had been free and fair. Other observers pointed to wide-scale intimidation by Mugabe's ZANU

03 Mar 1980Lord Soames and Zimbabwe-Rhodesian officials went on television to urge the population to remain calm after it was clear that Mugabe would win. Soames had by this time sorted out his differences with Mugabe and allowed his intimidation of voters to go unchallenged. The withdrawal of Commonwealth peacekeeping forces began

04 Mar 1980Robert Mugabe's ZANU won the elections for a new black government in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia. ZANU obtained 62.9% of the popular vote which meant 57 of the 80 seats reserved for blacks in the 100-member parliament; Nkomo received 24.1% (20 seats); and Muzorewa got 8.2% (3 seats). In Mugabe's public announcements, he appeared moderate

05 Mar 1980Mugabe agrees to form a coalition government, but appoints only four ZAPU party members, including Joshua Nkomo as minister of home affairs, to ministerial posts

05 Mar 1980ZANU guerrillas started training with the regular army

11 Mar 1980Prime Minister-elect Mugabe presented a list of his Cabinet appointments to Lord Soames. Two whites were given portfolios. Mugabe kept for himself the post of defence minister; Nkomo was given the post of home affairs (i.e., control of the police). There was one woman in the Cabinet

13 Mar 1980Mugabe promised changes to enable more blacks to enter the civil service. Nkomo would also oversee immigration. The government announced that it would respect all old debts, as long as they were not for arms purchases

15 Apr 1980Britain proclaimed that it would give Zimbabwe $165 million between 1981-83 partly to train black civil servants and the Zimbabwean army

15 Apr 1980Lt. Gen. Walls was appointed to head the new Zimbabwean army

17 Apr 1980The US was the first country to open an embassy

17 Apr 1980Zimbabwe-Rhodesia officially became the independent nation of Zimbabwe

18 Apr 1980Republic of Zimbabwe declared

19 Apr 1980The 21 ministers were sworn in

20 Apr 1980The government's first official action was issuing the budget which gave priority to helping poor blacks

30 May 1980Prime Minister Mugabe asked for more British military training personnel to help integrate the armies into the new national army. Mozambique and Zimbabwe "exchanged pledges of assistance in security matters"

27 Jun 1980Zimbabwe closed South Africa's diplomatic mission in Salisbury

17 Jul 1980Lt. Gen. Peter Walls, the white chief of Zimbabwe's joint Military High Command, announced that he intended to leave his post as of July 29 because "'it's the overcoming of the problems which has made me feel that it is okay for me to retire now.'"

23 Jul 1980The Parliament renewed for six months the state of emergency first introduced by the white Rhodesian government in 1964

25 Aug 1980Zimbabwe became the 153rd member of the UN

27 Aug 1980In New York City, Prime Minister Mugabe praised President Carter for his role in settling the civil war

31 Aug 1980Ian Smith urged the whites to remain and made favourable comments about the majority-rule government

30 Sep 1980Emigration had risen in August to its highest level since 1978

10 Nov 198011 Nov 1980Near Bulawayo, the country's second largest city, where more than 3,000 former guerrilla soldiers from both factions had been resettled, at least 43 persons were killed and 300 injured in the most violent fighting between the rival guerrilla factions since independence

13 Oct 2002Sir Garfield Todd (93) prime minister 1953-1958 died after suffering a stroke


Many Thanks to Richard Allport and Hugh Bomford for their contributions
Created by Ed Goldberg Dec 2003 egoli@telus.net