TERRORIST INCURSIONS FROM ZAMBIA

A Statement by the Prime Minister, THE HON. I.D. SMITH, and other proceedings of the Rhodesian Parliament

30th August, 1967

With the leave of the House, I wish to make a statement. I lay on the Table of the House a copy of the Note [see appendix] of 28th August, 1967, which the Rhodesia Government handed to the British Government yesterday in London drawing to the attention of the British Government the recent spate of terrorist incursions into Rhodesia, pointing out to them the encouragement and assistance given to these terrorists by the Zambian Government and, more important, emphasizing the fact that the British Government cannot escape its share of responsibility for these developments.

The British Government has rejected this Note. The head of the Rhodesian Residual Mission in London was informed that the Commonwealth Office had examined the document and had declared that it could not be accepted because Her Majesty's Government do not recognize the Rhodesian Government and cannot therefore accept any diplomatic Note emanating from them in that capacity.

I think this action by the British Government clearly expresses their disregard for the well-being of Rhodesia, in spite of their protests that they are opposed to violence and disorder. This attitude is in strange contrast to the military and police support which Rhodesia and Rhodesian forces have willingly given to the Commonwealth in the past.

I will not deal with the period of the last great war-the part played by Rhodesia throughout this epic struggle is too well known to warrant repetition.

Confining myself to the post-war era, let me remind Britain that in 1951 Rhodesia provided two fighter squadrons as a contribution to Commonwealth defence. For a further post-war period Rhodesia became the home of a Royal Air Force training group and the Rhodesian Government contributed towards its upkeep. From 1958 to 1963, on nine different occasions, Rhodesian Vampire and Canberra squadrons were detached to Aden and Cyprusrespectively and while there were under British command. In 1961 Rhodesian transport aircraft provided notable assistance to the Royal Air Force during the Kuwait crisis when Royal Rhodesian Air Force Canadairs transported British troops in the Middle East. Later in the same year Rhodesian Dakotas transported and dropped food to flood-stricken tribesmen in Somalia at the request of the British Government.

As for the Rhodesian Army: in late 1950 a squadron of 100 European volunteers with regular officers and non-commissioned officers was raised as part of the Rhodesian contribution to Commonwealth defence and went to Malaya to fight communist terrorists - the very type of trained men who are attempting to infiltrate Rhodesia today. The squadron served in Malaya from April, 1951, to March, 1953, where it operated as a separate entity - "C" Squadron of the 22nd Special Air Service Regiment. In July, 1962, the present "C" Squadron of the Special Air Service went to Aden for training and operated against terrorists and, again, as part of the 22nd Special Air Service Regiment. Today this same unit is in our front lines operating against the infiltrating communist terrorists.

In 1952 the First Battalion of the Rhodesian African Rifles served in the Suez Canal zone in the Middle East. This was followed by a tour of duty in Malaya from April, 1956, to February, 1958, fighting communist terrorists.

The British South Africa Police have given extensive postwar assistance to the British Government in Bechuanaland, Nyasaland, Kenya and Northern Rhodesia as they were then known, four different contingents varying from one officer and 75 members to two officers and 118 men were made available to Bechuanaland in 1950, 1951 and 1952. A large contingent of officers and members was sent to Nyasaland in 1953. Two officers and 52 men were lent to Northern Rhodesia in September/October, 1956. Northern Rhodesia, as it was then, Zambia as it is known today, I remind hon. members, is the country which is aiding and abetting the present terrorist incursion into Rhodesia. Finally, three officers and 250 members were sent to the assistance of British authorities in Nyasaland from February to March, 1959.

In January, 1965, I personally made representations to the British Prime Minister about the training of saboteurs and the harbouring of terrorists in Zambia and Tanzania. The British Prime Minister was unable to give me an entirely satisfactory reply. He took the opportunity of talking about the matter with the Zambian President and accepted the latter's denial that they were allowing Zambia to become a springboard for activities against Rhodesia. President Kaunda said that although his Government could not refuse entry to other Africans, they were exercising careful control over those claiming to be refugees and that they had put restrictions on the activities of political groups. In the light of present day events the value of such assurances can be seen for what they are-a hollow and deceitful mockery of the truth.

In June, 1965, I followed this up by sending Mr. Wilson a full account of the activities and training of Rhodesian subversive elements in Tanzania and Ghana and again the reply we received was unsatisfactory; Mr. Wilson saying that he would study carefully the information which the Rhodesian authorities had made available to him through his intelligence channels.

However, this latest case, which I have drawn to your attention today, is the most blatant example of Britain assisting and indeed encouraging the actions of terrorists against friendly countries. I do not wish to exaggerate the present encounter for there is no doubt that our security forces are managing to deal with the terrorist invaders in a most adequate manner, but it is a fact that there has been a resurgence of terrorist activity recently, and most of these people have been effectively indoctrinated with Chinese communism and are dedicated to committing the most atrocious acts of terrorism. Moreover, I think it should be placed on record that the great majority of this gang are members of the South African African National Congress, hoping to pass through Rhodesia in order to practise their deadly trade south of the Limpopo. All Governments, including the British Government, must be aware of a Joints press release issued in Lusaka on the 19th of this month signed by the Deputy Presidents of the Zimbabwe African People's Union, a Rhodesian organization, and the South African African National Congress, a South African organization, in which they declared that :

the fighting presently going on in the Wankie area is indeed being carried out by a combined force of the Zimbabwe African People's Union and the South African African National Congress which is marching on a common route, each bound to its destination, fighting the common settlers enemy to the finish.
On previous occasions when I have taken up the case of the British Government condoning and even supporting the infiltration of terrorists from Zambia, Mr. Wilson did at least reply, although evading the issue. But in this particular case his answer is that he cannot even consider my representations because they come from an illegal Government. Putting it in a nutshell, Mr. Wilson is prepared to deal with me and indeed meet me and talk to me, when it suits him personally and when he hopes to extricate himself from the hook of sanctions on which he is so firmly entangled, but when the lives of poor, decent, innocent people are involved, both black and white, Mr. Wilson has the nerve to say that he cannot accept my communication, because it comes from an illegal Government. This must take the "Oscar" for the greatest piece of hypocrisy of all time. I repeat, that when he thought I might be able to assist him to extricate his head from the sanctions noose, he was prepared, not only to receive a communication from me, but to dine and wine me on board one of his battleships.

This story will surely fill a memorable, but nevertheless shameful page in the history of the present British Labour Party Government and if by chance some unfortunate mishap should befall any innocent Rhodesian, or, for that matter, any inhabitant of Africa south of the Zambezi, then we all know upon whose shoulders a large portion of this blame will fall.

SPEECHES BY MEMBERS OF THE OPPOSITION AND OTHER MEMBERS AFTER ADJOURNMENT.

MR. BEHANE: I wish to comment on certain activities taking place in my part of the country. I am making this comment due to the fact that the Prime Minister made a statement to this House this afternoon concerning the same matters.

I must say that sitting in this House, I represent the people of Matabeleland North, which is the area within which western Matabeleland falls. I cannot but say that I have the interests of those people at heart, and I would be failing in my duty as a member of Parliament representing that area if I did not comment on the matters that are taking place in that part of the country.

It is very well known to this House, and indeed to the country at large, that I have always stood firmly against terrorism and that I always do. I believe that what is being done by our Forces in that part of the country is worth all the praise that this House can give. Apart from the security of the whole country these dedicated men are fighting to preserve peace among the people living in western Matabeleland, people who do not take any interest in what is happening; in fact they do not know what communism is and they do not even know what these infiltrators are trying to bring about. So, for the security of the country and in particular for the security of the people in that part of the country where these minor skirmishes are taking place at this moment, I believe our Forces are worthy of the praise that can emanate from this House. Not only so; reading in the papers we find that several members of our Forces and of the Police Force have lost their lives. They have done that in the belief that Rhodesia is a country whose standards are worthy of being preserved, a country where I still believe there is a chance for all the races to come together and settle their differences.

I will never accept any foreign doctrines as a substitute for our doctrines here. I will never believe that Russian communism or communist Chinese are the people who have the solutions for our problems in this country. If I did believe in that I would just as well believe that there is peace in the Congo today and that these forces have been able to resolve or bring about peace in the countries that have been destroyed to their lowest stage of economy where people have no peace. - [MR. MAJONGWE: And thousands of lives lost.] - I have sometimes said that these terrorists outside the country have done nothing to bring about peace, or indeed to improve the lot of the African in this country.

All they have done is they have brought despondency. if they were really interested in the welfare of this country I challenge the hon. gentleman who signed this document as attached to come down to Rhodesia themselves and do the fighting themselves. If they do not want to expose their skills to the bullets of our Forces then they at least should come down and solve issues in Rhodesia because our issues, I believe, will have to be solved in Rhodesia or never at all.

I have said the welfare of these people in western Matabeleland is in danger and it is our Forces who are gallantly trying to preserve peace in that part of the country. I may, in short, try and bring before this House the aims of these infiltrators. First of all, I would like to know where they have had the training, where they have had the arms and the ammunition - from people who would like to see this country destroyed. It is from people who would like to impose a worse type of government in this country, a worse type of persecution of the lower races by their members because they have not got enough room in their own countries and they would like to find room in Rhodesia. - [MR. CHIGOGO: In Africa as a whole.] - I say again praise to our Forces who are trying to preserve law and order, who are fighting, who are losing their lives and who are facing difficulties to try and maintain law and order in this country . . .

I speak as a family man; I have love for my family; I believe it is the same with every one of us here and apart from anything else I would love to see my children grow up happily and because I am involved in politics is no reason why my family should suffer from injustices. I believe indeed that if it is a sin that I am a politician then those sins must grossly come upon me and never upon my children because I made my choice and I will let my children grow up and make their choices. I believe it is the duty of everyone, every citizen of Rhodesia at this time when we are faced with foreign doctrines, to stand together, to forget politics and to strive never to bring politics into matters of national importance. I believe it is the duty of every citizen in this country to fight to preserve peace. It is the duty of every citizen to take up arms and defend this country from foreign infiltrators, indeed to defend this country from communism. I believe that our Forces at this moment need both moral and physical support, and this is one institution where such feelings should be voiced.

In conclusion, I would like to confirm and redirect the words of the reverend gentleman, the Dean of Bulawayo, who said that terrorism is lawless and must be condemned by all sections of this country, by all spheres, because it knows no law. We know that when these people have had the chance of infiltrating into this country they have killed at random people they had nothing against. They have killed for the sake of killing, for the sake of demonstrating that they can kill, and they have robbed not people like myself who can defend themselves but they have robbed elderly poor people, say, in the Mrewa District, elderly poor people who cannot defend themselves, and they have forced them to give them money. Why should such actions be condoned? Why should that be mistaken for politics? I believe that is not politics, it is only because a few people who are keeping themselves very safe in another country are satisfied to send their own brothers to come and die here in order that they may enjoy the fruits of life wherever they are. - [MR. MAJONGWE: They will not enjoy them for long.]

MR. RUBATIKA: It is a privilege for me to have the opportunity to comment on this motion on the adjournment. In fact I am bewildered at times when I see men holding responsible positions paying lip service to the principle of the maintenance of law and order in this country. When it is to their convenience they uphold law and order but when it is not to their convenience they do not uphold law and order. I have seen men some time ago who have gone almost weeping to the Minister of Law and Order asking for protection, but to-day those are the people who are giving the Minister of Law and Order a hard time because he has brought tranquillity to this country. They have one foot among the terrorists and another foot among the decent people for fear that should the terrorists win they will be accepted as having championed their cause.

Today there are some who are being intimidated because of these people. I am surprised that some of these people are still moving around and yet some of them are being paid by Government in certain institutions of Government. Wherever we move we are told that we are the people who support - I am sorry to use unparliamentary language - "I support Smith and Lardner-Burke". We have plainly told them that as far as we are concerned we might have differences, as members of a family, but we are one in the maintenance of law and order, we are one as a nation of Rhodesia.

I must register my strongest protest to Britain for lack of foresight. Let us say that these terrorists were given the MIGS to land in Zambia and the communists bombed our territory, what does Britain think would happen? The Rhodesian Air Force would start bombing the bases from which those MIGS came. Would this not escalate? We expect Britain, since it says it has responsibility over us up to date, to act as the Prime Minister stated, by exercising his influence on Zambia to stop terrorism and at least to register a protest on behalf of the African people whom it is stating it is championing. We do not want any loss of blood.

As far as my electoral district is concerned and all the electoral districts, all of us hate the chaos and disorder which happened some time ago. We stand in admiration of Government's stand on bringing about law and order. If by any eventuality the white man should fall we must pay the price and I am prepared to tell them to shoot me because I am dedicated to a cause and I shall live and die by it.

MR. CHIGOGO: I must heartily thank the hon. member for Matabeleland North (Mr. Behane) whose electoral district adjoins mine and, as he has said, these troubles are really taking place in his electoral district and equally the same in the Gokwe area. All I have to say here is not much, because a multitude of words is not going to help us at all. I will ask the Prime Minister to ask the Prime Minister of Great Britain whether this is a trick by which Britain would like to arm itself against Rhodesia to say people are fighting and there is chaos. If not, could the Prime Minister of Great Britain tell us where these people are being trained, whether he has any alliances with those training camps where the Rhodesian people are being trained to come and disturb the lives of the innocent Tribal Trust Land people and the innocent farmers who are feeding the 4,000,000 Africans and the 200,000 Europeans in this country?

These are the only questions I would like the Prime Minister to convey to the Prime Minister of Great Britain. Let us know if he is doing any good to those crying for freedom as such, whether the situation that he has been experiencing not only in the Congo, but in Nigeria, Tanzania and Ghana. One needs to mention all of these. Is that what Britain would like to see? May I know again through our Prime Minister whether Great Britain is going to honour Ghana and Nigeria to sit on the Prime Minister's Conference? Those people not only took their freedom but killed their own Prime Ministers; for what reason? I would like to know these answers if the Prime Minister would convey them.

MR. NEWINGTON: As a back-bencher, may I say how grateful we are on this side of the House to see honest courageous and determined men opposite, men who have the same purpose at heart as we do on this side of the House, and that is the safety and security of Rhodesia. I would like to give them my wholehearted congratulations and my appreciation for their courage. I feel though, at the same time, the finger should be placed firmly and fairly on the guilty and evil men.

THE PRIME MINISTER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to compliment the hon. member for Matabeleland North (Mr. Behane) on bringing this matter up and the other members who have joined in this small debate on the adjournment. It is indeed very refreshing to find that in times of national emergency when we are challenged as a country, that we can have people on both sides of the House taking the stand that we have, over the last 20 minutes, witnessed.

I believe that this attitude that has been portrayed here this evening is the attitude which goes throughout the length and breadth of this country. This is, in the main, the feeling of the broad mass of Rhodesians. There are exceptions of course, as there are exceptions in this House, Mr. Speaker, and this was quite evident earlier this afternoon but I am pleased to say that this is confined to a few people. I believe the majority concur with the views that have been expressed here.

How right it was to point out, Sir, what good have these people done to anybody in Rhodesia when they have come here killing people indiscriminately, black and white. Who can they claim to be assisting? The hon. member for Matabeleland North (Mr. Behane) put his finger very firmly on the spot when he said these are agents of communism, and I believe particularly the yellow communist, and that they would love to have this country for themselves. If they did ever get to this stage, then, Mr. Speaker, God help all Rhodesians, not one section or another section. I go along all the way with him and the other hon. members who supported him when they said that whatever problems we have in Rhodesia can only be solved by Rhodesians. This should be a golden rule.

I have no idea what Mr. Wilson is after. I am sorry, I cannot make a constructive reply to the question put to me by the hon. member for Gokwe (Mr. Chigogo).

I have tried to get him to face up to his responsibilities on a number of occasions and he has failed to do so. I do not think any useful purpose will be served by going on flogging a dead horse. Let us make up our minds that we here have got to produce the right solution for Rhodesia. Let us enjoy the system of democracy whereby we can argue and criticize one another; this is healthy. Opposition is part and parcel of our Government and we must have it. But when it comes to infiltration of people from outside, bringing in outside views and outside doctrines, this will only be to the detriment of everybody in Rhodesia because Rhodesia will be divided and people from outside, Mr. Speaker, I believe will ultimately come in and win the day and reap the benefits. There is room for all of us in Rhodesia, in this wonderful country which is the envy of so many other parts of the world. They are green with envy and this is why I believe so many of them are waging the war against us; they would love to have what we have.

So, as long as we can keep together and as long as we can have the sort of constructive debates which we have seen in this short adjournment, then I believe they will never succeed. I once again would like to compliment the responsible hon. members of the Opposition benches for their contribution. - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]

APPENDIX

NOTE TO THE UNITED KINGDOM GOVERNMENT FROM THE RHODESIAN GOVERNMENT

28th August, 1967.

The Rhodesia Government wishes to draw urgently to the attention of the British Government the following situation in Rhodesia.

2. Leaders of the two banned Rhodesian African Nationalist Organizations, the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) and the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) are now firmly established in Zambia and it is from Lusaka that these people plan subversive operations directed against the Government of Rhodesia, including the infiltration of armed terrorists and offensive materials into this country.

3. At one time the President of Zambia, through his security forces, tried to control the movement of terrorists and offensive materials through his country. From about the middle of 1966, however, when Rhodesian terrorist activities commenced to increase, all vestige of control appears to have vanished and the Zambian Government has since progressed from a policy of ignoring or condoning such activities to one of offering direct encouragement.

4. Rhodesian terrorists receive training in a number of communist countries, including Russia, Red China, Cuba and Algeria, and also at three or more camps in Tanzania. Irrespective of their place of training, terrorists invariably move from Tanzania to Zambia where they are billetted in specially constructed holding camps, established in the vicinity of Lusaka and within easy striking distance of Rhodesia.

5. In Zambia there are also a number of centres used by subversive organizations for the storage of arms, ammunition and other offensive materials used in the equipping of terrorist groups. At their respective holding camps ZAPU and ZANU Party officials indoctrinate the terrorists in Communist and Party Ideology, particularly in the context of the part they are to play in creating a sense of fear and uncertainty in Rhodesia.

6. Groups for terrorist incursions into Rhodesia are issued with arms and equipment and conveyed, quite openly, in ZAPU or ZANU vehicles along one or other of the Zambian road complexes to the Rhodesian border, where they are finally instructed on methods of infiltration and briefed on their targets in Rhodesia. During the hours of darkness they are expected to infiltrate across the Zambezi River into this country.

7. Not only does the Zambian Government condone the activities of Rhodesian terrorists in that country, but it is known that on occasions Zambian Government officials actually assist these people in passing through the border between Zambia and Tanzania.

8. The main supplier of arms and other offensive materials used by Rhodesian terrorists is the African Liberation Committee (A.L.C.) of the Organization of African Unity (O.A.U.) in Dar es Salaam. Here the material is received from a number of Communist countries and is stored by the Tanzanian Government, which is responsible for the control and subsequent issue of this material to various Nationalist movements.

9. Although there is no proof of direct co-operation between the Governments of Tanzania and Zambia in respect of the movement of offensive material, it is known that the former Government has already suggested to the latter that it adopts some method of control. It is extremely unlikely that the Zambian Government is ignorant of the movement and storage of terrorist arms in Zambia.

10. Since terrorist activity against Rhodesia was intensified about the middle of last year, an ever-increasing number of armed men, of both the ZAPU and ZANU factions, have been infiltrated into this country from Zambia. Initially, only small groups of terrorists entered across the Zambezi River from Zambia. In recent months larger bands-comprising up to thirty or more terrorists-have crossed into Rhodesia. Little credence can therefore be given to any denial by the Zambian Government that it is unaware of the movement of such large numbers of men and quantities of material.

11. The current security operation being waged against the large band of mixed South African African National Congress (SAANC) and ZAPU terrorists in Western Matabeleland shows without any doubt that the Zambian authorities are not only prepared to condone terrorist activities directed against Rhodesia, but are also willing to allow their country to be used as a rallying point for terrorists bent on a campaign of violence against South Africa.

12. The recent threat issued by the Organization of African Unity to Rhodesian nationalists that they can expect no further financial support unless they can produce proof of militant action against Rhodesia has had a two-fold effect. It has influenced both ZAPU and ZANU to intensify the infiltration of terrorists from Zambia across the Zambezi River, and has stimulated ZAPU to abduct over two hundred Rhodesian Africans, in legitimate employment in Zambia, for terrorist training in Tanzania. Thus the Zambian Government has become further implicated by permitting these activities with little or no intervention.

13. On the 19th August in Lusaka, James Robert Chikerema, Vice President of ZAPU, and Oliver Tambo, Deputy President of the SAANC, issued a joint Press release extolling the activities of their combined terrorist groups presently operating in Western Matabeleland.

14. The aim of these terrorist bands is to carry out indiscriminate killing, burning and looting in rural and urban areas. The Rhodesian Government will adopt the most vigorous measures to protect the people and their property and to seek out and destroy these terrorist bands and individual gunmen.

15. The British Government cannot escape its share of responsibility for these developments. There has been a complete absence of any protest by the British Government to the Zambian Government about the passage of arms and offensive material, the reception and harbouring of communist trained terrorists and the use of Zambia as a base for offensive operations against Rhodesia.

16. Here is a case where a Government of one Commonwealth country is lending itself to a policy of violence against another Commonwealth country which has committed no aggression and desires to be friendly and co-operative. The Rhodesian Government considers that Britain continues to have obligations in Zambia to influence that Government towards a policy of moderation and the discouragement of violence against Rhodesia. The Rhodesia Government accordingly lodges a strong protest against the British Government's lack of action in this respect and against its connivance of the hostile attitude of the Zambian Government towards peace and good government in Rhodesia.

Originally published by the Ministry of Information, Salisbury, 1967

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