In the 30th anniversary year of the Independence of Zimbabwe, Radio 4 has commissioned two Friday Plays from leading writers.
Kwame Kwei-armah's play tells the story of the tense negotiations around the Lancaster House Conference, and the road to Zimbabwe's Independence.
On 4th March 1980 the Shona majority in Rhodesia was decisive in electing Robert Mugabe to head the first post-independence government as Prime Minister.
Six weeks later, on April 18th, Zimbabwe celebrated its first Independence Day.
On the 21st December 1979, following three months of talks, the Lancaster House Agreement finally brought independence to Rhodesia following Ian Smith's Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965.
Margaret Thatcher's government had invitEd Bishop Muzorewa and Ian Smith, and the leaders of the Patriotic Front, led by Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe to participate in a Constitutional Conference at Lancaster House in London, to be chaired by the foreign secretary, Lord Carrington.
The purpose of the Conference was to discuss and reach agreement on the terms of an Independence Constitution, and to ensure that elections should be supervised under British authority to enable Rhodesia to proceed to legal independence and the parties to settle their differences by political means.
Robert Mugabe....Lucian Msamati
Edgar Tekere...Danny Sapani
Bishop Muzorewa...Chuk Iwuji
Lord Carrington...Richard Cordery
Robin Renwick...Tony Bell
Joshua Nkomo...Jude Akuwudike
Ian Smith...William Gaminara
Sir Shridath Ramphal...Kwame Kwei-armah
With Sean Baker, David Seddon, Alison Pettit
Directed by Jeremy Mortimer.
By Kwame Kwei-armah.
The story of how Robert Mugabe came to power in Zimbabwe.