Tilden J. LeMelle recounts his observations about the 1980 independence elections in Zimbabwe, at which he was a member of observer delegation for the American Committee on Africa (ACOA). LeMelle served on the Board of Directors of ACOA from 1971 to 2001. He served as ACOA's interim president for two years. He also served on the Board of Trustees of ACOA's tax-exempt affiliate, The Africa Fund, from 1979 to 2001 and Chairman from 1987 to 2001. The article discusses George Houser, the UN (United Nations), Hunter College, the 1980 parliamentary elections, Lancaster House, Bishop Abel Muzorewa, President Jimmy Carter, sanctions, ZAPU, ZANU, Cynthia Cannady, TransAfrica, the NAACP, Robert Edgar, Howard University, Ted Lockwood, the Washington Office on Africa (WOA), Mike Shuster, Pacifica Radio, Rhodesia, Walter Sisulu, the Universal Declaration of Independence (UDI), Ian Smith, Lord Christopher Soames, colonial status, combat with the African guerilla fighters, an African customs agent, prohibited immigrants, Anthony Parsons, Robert Mugabe, Joshua Nkomo, the Patriotic Front, ZANU-PF, ZAPU-PF, UANC (United African National Congress), a curfew, the tribal trust lands, Ndabaningi Sithole, Mass, a Catholic church, Bulawayo, Gwelo, the Motopos Hills area, the Chiota Tribal Trust Land, campaigning, the Furamera School, the village of Mahusekwa, government soldiers, armed soldiers, weapons, Special Branch Police, the British authorities, and harassment.
Used by permission of Tilden J. LeMelle. This article was written for the African Activist Archive Project.