Agreements Of The Lancaster House Conference

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As Davidov (1984) put it, the PF was « forced to accept no doubt sincere but always vague promises of funding. » Nevertheless, the PF made a statement on the basis of which it would return to the conference. They intended to publicly register personal assurances on the financing of the land reform they had received. They met with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and showed them the statement that Nkomo read the next morning, when the conference resumed. The British team had decided in advance on many elements of the conference: the two sides distrusted each other and were deeply suspicious of the British. No one thought that the peace conference would be successful, but as Davidov (1984) put it, he was also not willing to « leave the field of negotiations to the other. » Military commanders for both sides, Peter Walls for Zimbabwe`s Rhodesia and Josiah Tongogara and Lookout Masuku for the PF, understood that the war had stalled, and both recommended a political solution that was infinitely preferable to the continuation of bloodshed. Delegations all believed that they were playing by a majority among black voters and were ready to allow elections to settle the issue. In addition, the two delegations were seriously divided coalitions: muzorewas often included opposing white and black members, while the PF was best described as a strategic negotiating tool for two political-military movements long divided by personal and ideological hostilities. They all wanted a quick ending and a total victory. In 1981, the British supported the establishment of a conference on reconstruction and development in Zimbabwe, at which more than $630 million in international aid was pledged. The Lancaster House conference brought together the delegation of the Patriotic Front (ZANU and ZAPU), jointly led by the writer and Joshua Nkomo, as well as the Zimbabwean-Rhodesia delegation, whose main members are Bishop Muzorewa, Silas Mundawarara, Ian Smith and Ndabaningi Sithole. The British delegation was led by Lord Carrington, who chaired the conference.

Lord Carrington`s diplomacy was marked by a bias in favour of the Muzorewa group. Muzorewa`s strategy became a strategy to oppose one of Britain`s constitutional proposals, and the Patriotic Front mocked its delegation, calling its members a « yes. » On the other hand, the Patriotic Front has taken a firm and principled view and has made some useful concessions, although they have also scraped the ground.

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