FIRST REPORT ON THE RHODESIAN GENERAL ELECTION OF 1980 BY AN INDEPENDENT AMERICAN OBSERVER DELEGATION

Delegation Composed of Representatives of: American Committee on Africa, TransAfrica and the NAACP, Washington Office on Africa
by American Committee on Africa, NAACP, TransAfrica, Washington Office on Africa
Washington, DC, United States
March 3, 1980
Publisher: Washington Office on Africa
8 pages
Report of a delegation of independent American observers to the Rhodesian General Election, including Cynthia Cannady, representing TransAfrica and the NAACP; Dr. Robert Edgar of Howard University's African Studies Center; George Houser and Dr. Tilden LeMelle representing the American Committee on Africa; and Edgar Lockwood, representing the Washington Office on Africa. The report say the election went much better than might have been expected, given the conditions of war from which the country has barely emerged, the rapidity with which the election process was put in motion, and the shortness of time for the two movements forming the Patriotic Front to re-establish themselves in the country and to organize an election campaign after being banned for so many years. Nevertheless, there were serious irregularities in the campaign process and to a lesser extent in the voting itself which could have an effect on the election and could call the "free and fair" principle into question. The report discusses newspapers, television and radio. The report discusses security forces, auxiliaries and guerillas as well as the deployment of auxiliaries to the tribal trust lands. The report says the ballot appeared to be truly secret and the level of violence during the three days of balloting was down significantly from the period of campaigning. The report says there were approximately 350 deaths (5 deaths per day) during the campaign. The report discusses refugees in Zambia and Mozambique. The report discusses the continuation of martial law and emergency regulations. The report raises the concern that the Governor may not call on the political party that wins the most seats in the House of Assembly to attempt to form a government. The report discusses Bishop Abel Muzorewa and the United African National Council, Joshua Nkomo and the Patriotic Front, ZANU-PF, and the Rhodesian Front. • PART I • PART II • A. Auxiliaries: Campaign Disruption and Intimidation • B. Arrests and Detentions • C. Illegal Campaigning by Rhodesian Military • D. Dirty Tricks: Efforts to Discredit ZANU-PF and the Patriotic Front
Used by permission of the Washington Office on Africa.
Collection: Private collection of David Wiley and Christine Root