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Abel Tendekayi Muzorewa


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(b. 14 Apr. 1925; d. 8 Apr. 2010).

Prime Minister of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia 1979. Born in Old Umtali, he was ordained in 1963, and in 1968 became a bishop in the United Methodist Church. In 1971, he founded the moderate African National Council (ANC), and in 1977–8 was one of the principal negotiators with Ian Smith in discussions which led to Black majority rule. The ensuing elections of April 1979 resulted in a victory for the ANC and his appointment as the first Black Prime Minister of what was now known as Zimbabwe-Rhodesia. However, the elections had been boycotted by the main parties, ZANU and ZAPU, who continued their guerrilla warfare. Soon seen as Smith's puppet, he was also shunned by the international community, so that he had to concede renewed negotiations to include representatives of all Black groups. In the free elections of March 1980, his party won but three of the eighty seats, which led to his subsequent political marginalization.

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