All 100 seats in the House of Assembly
General elections were held in Southern Rhodesia in February 1980 to elect a government which would govern the country after it was granted independence as Zimbabwe, in accordance with the conclusions of the Lancaster House Agreement. The result was a victory for ZANU, which won 57 of the 100 seats. Its leader, Robert Mugabe became the first Prime Minister of Zimbabwe when the country officially became independent from the United Kingdom in April.
Agreement at Lancaster House on the fundamentals of the constitution was relatively easy. The new House of Assembly was to comprise 100 members, of whom 80 would be elected on a common roll by every adult citizen. The intention was to move to election in single member constituencies but owing to the lack of an electoral roll and the timescale, the first election was to be conducted by provinces using closed lists put forward by the political parties. Voters had their fingers marked with an invisible ink that showed up under Ultraviolet light to detect attempts to vote twice. To qualify for seats in a province, a party needed to achieve a threshold of 10% of the vote, and then the seats among the eligible parties were divided proportionately.
The remaining 20 members of the House of Assembly were to be elected by the 'white roll' comprising those people (mostly white) who had previously qualified to vote. This election was conducted in 20 single member constituencies which had been drawn up by a Delimitation Commission in 1978 and were the same as those used in the 1979 'internal settlement' election. Voters who were registered on the white roll were ineligible to participate in the common roll election.
Following the passage in Zimbabwe Rhodesia of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Rhodesia (Amendment) No. 4 Act 1979 on 11 December 1979, and the arrival of Lord Soames as Governor the next day, the fourteen year U.D.I. rebellion came to an end and the colony of Southern Rhodesia returned to legality under British law. The United Kingdom Parliament then passed the Zimbabwe Act to put in place the country's independence constitution. On 21 December 1979, the formal agreement to a ceasefire in the Rhodesian Bush War (or second Chimurenga) was signed; Lord Soames also signed proclamations lifting the ban on ZANU-PF and the Zimbabwe African People's Union and granting a general amnesty to all those who had taken up arms in the war. British Army forces then set up 16 assembly points throughout Southern Rhodesia where Patriotic Front guerillas could disarm and return to civilian life; 18,300 did so by the deadline of 6 January.
While the Rhodesian authorities were in charge of administration on the ground, the formal Returning Officer was Sir John Boynton (1918-2007) who had just retired as chief executive of Cheshire County Council.
Over Christmas 1979, many former Patriotic Front soldiers returned to their former homes to prepare for the election. Tragically for ZANU-PF, its military leader Josiah Tongogara was killed in a car crash in Mozambique. Tongogara was known to be a supporter of the two Patriotic Front parties, ZANU-PF and ZAPU, fighting the election with a joint list, and it was immediately speculated that his death was arranged by opponents of this policy.
On 13 January, Joshua Nkomo, leader of ZAPU, returned to Southern Rhodesia after three years' exile and addressed a rally of between 100,000 and 150,000 at Highfield township in Salisbury. He was followed on 27 January by Robert Mugabe of ZANU-PF, who addressed 200,000 (the crowd would have been larger had organisers not turned some away for safety reasons).
Abel Muzorewa, who had led the unity government of Zimbabwe Rhodesia, campaigned vigorously on behalf of his United African National Council which had won the most votes the previous year. However, attendance at his rallies was reported to be poor, and Muzorewa's habit of inveighing against other Zimbabwean politicians was thought to detract from his appeal as a man of unity. James Chikerema, who had fallen out with Muzorewa in June 1979, entered the field with his Zimbabwe Democratic Party which grew increasingly close to ZAPU (he held unity talks with Nkomo); Chikerema complained about intimidation by supporters of ZANU-PF.
ZANU-PF presented a moderate manifesto that showed little of the party's professed alliance with communist China, although party speakers often threatened that the war might continue if the party did not win. The party complained bitterly to Lord Soames about official bias against it. The Registrar-General of Elections refused to put the party's intended logo on ballot papers because it contained an image of an AK47 rifle and he considered it detrimental to public order. ZANU-PF posters were confiscated if they were considered inflammatory, and many party activists and some candidates were arrested. Soames responded by accusing ZANU-PF of intimidating voters in 23 out of the 56 districts of the colony.
ZAPU caused something of a stir by deciding to fight the elections under the name "Patriotic Front". They campaigned most heavily in the Ndebele areas, where the ZAPU army ZIPRA made particular strides in trying to integrate with the Southern Rhodesian forces.
Comparatively little interest was shown in the election for the 20 white roll seats, partly because those elected were unlikely to have much influence in the independent Zimbabwe, but mostly because all seats were expected to be won easily by the Rhodesian Front under Ian Smith. Fourteen out of the twenty seats were filled unopposed, and only two candidates in the other seats could put up a reasonable challenge to the Rhodesian Front candidate. One was Dr Timothy Stamps, a newcomer to politics, in the Kopje constituency covering the centre of Salisbury. Stamps advocated co-operation with the new black-led government. In addition, Nick McNally, who had led the liberal 'National Unifying Force' which opposed white dominance, fought in Mount Pleasant in the Salisbury suburbs.
Twelve out of the 20 Rhodesian Front candidates were reported to favour merging their party with Muzorewa's United African National Council to create a biracial party, following their experience in government together in Zimbabwe Rhodesia. White opinion was generally supportive of Muzorewa's government for including competent Ministers, and hoped that Muzorewa would win enough common roll seats to deprive ZANU-PF of a majority.
|Party||White roll||Common roll||Total
|United African National Council||-||-||-||219,307||8.3||3||3|
|Zimbabwe Democratic Party||-||-||-||28,181||1.1||0||0|
|National Front of Zimbabwe||-||-||-||18,794||0.7||0||0|
|National Democratic Union||-||-||-||15,056||0.6||0||0|
|United National Federal Party||-||-||-||5,796||0.2||0||0|
|United People's Association of Matabeleland||-||-||-||1,181||0.0||0||0|
|Source: African Elections Database|
|Mashonaland Central (6)||1,216||0.7||1,086||0.6||3,947||2.3||-||14,985||8.6||-||3,671||2.1||146,665||83.8||6||2,446||1.4||UNFP 914 (0.5%)|
|Mashonaland East (16)||2,359||0.4||1,668||0.3||28,805||4.6||-||75,237||11.9||2||9,499||1.5||508,813||80.5||14||4,466||0.7||UNFP 1,593 (0.3%)|
|Mashonaland West (8)||2,211||0.8||2,589||0.9||37,888||13.4||1||28,728||10.2||1||4,688||1.7||203,567||71.9||6||3,261||1.2||-|
|Matabeleland North (10)||1,840||0.5||4,517||1.1||313,435||79.0||9||30,274||7.6||-||3,218||0.8||39,819||10.0||1||1,333||0.3||UNFP 1,340 (0.3%), UPAM 729 (0.2%)|
|Matabeleland South (6)||927||0.5||2,494||1.4||148,745||86.4||6||5,615||3.3||-||694||0.4||11,787||6.8||-||775||0.5||UNFP 619 (0.4%), UPAM 452 (0.3%)|
|Midlands (12)||2,218||0.6||3,087||0.9||94,960||27.1||4||30,245||8.6||-||5,792||1.7||209,092||59.7||8||3,387||1.0||UNFP 1,330 (0.4%)|
|1. M.T. Muchabaiwa||1. L. Mazaiwana||1. P. Chipudla||1. E.S. Mazaiwana||1. N. Sithole||1. K. Kangai||1. A.K. Chinhamora|
|2. L. Mazaiwana||2. J. Nxahe||2. G. Marange||2. D.C.Z. Mukome||2. N. Mukono||2. M. Nyagumbo||2. M.T. Marange|
|3. T. Shamu||3. E. Chapita||3. A. Chadzingwa||3. J.M. Chirimbani||3. D. Zamchiya||3. D. Mutasa||3. F.H.M. Hlatwayo|
|4. B. Mufunde||4. M. Sithole||4. P. Makoni||4. E.S.M. Nyandoro||4. A. Sawanha||4. W. Ndangana||4. J. Nyandoro|
|5. S. Makoni||5. M. Mutendeni||5. L. Dlakama||5. M.P. Chambara||5. L. Guramatumhu||5. F. Shava||5. D.S. Musanesa|
|6. P. Tsungo||6. C. Mushonga||6. T.C. Ngorima||6. L. Mtungwazi||6. M. Sithole||6. V. Chitepo||6. A.A. Manyati|
|7. N. Chiza||7. P. Makoni||7. W. Dlamini||7. J.Z. Ruredzo||7. D. Mungunyana||7. N.P. Nhiwatiwa||7. F.H.T. Govera|
|8. A. Makoni||8. L. Chimbwanda||8. S. Chatsama||8. B. Gwanzura||8. M. Gurira||8. M. Mahachi||8. D.M. Mlambo|
|9. E. Chasarasara||9. H. Bonga||9. M. Masiyakurima||9. J.R. Zvinoira||9. W. Nduku||9. T. Dube||9. J. Mkandi|
|10. M. Mundopah||10. D. Tsikai||10. O. Chibanda||10. L.C. Charidza||10. N. M'tambara||10. C. Makoni||10. A. Siwela|
|11. C. Matsvaira||11. L. Munyuki||11. S. Hhahla||11. F.K. Kadzombe||11. F. Mamvura||11. E. Sanyangare||11. M. Nyabadza|
|1. F. Maruta||1. M. Chikanda||1. J. Msika||1. A.B. Mutiti||1. C.N. Zhanje||1. E. Tsvaringe||1. E.Z. Tekere||1. E.M. Zhuwarara|
|2. J.C.M. Chereni||2. C. Murwira||2. P. Takundwa||2. J.B. Cohen||2. M. Mukono||2. B. Gambanga||2. T.R. Nhongo||2. N.Z. Mombemuriwo|
|3. W. Murewerwi||3. M. Wandakanda||3. T. Chimanikire||3. E.P.S. Ncube||3. J.C. Matonzi||3. B. Muchenje||3. S.T. Sekeramayi||3. C.G. Kusema|
|4. L. Tsangadzi||4. C. Maroodza||4. A. Masawi||4. E. Chidavaenzi||4. M. Gombe||4. F.C. Dotito||4. F.J. Masango||4. J.C. Negomo|
|5. T. Magwaro||5. E.R. Mazarura||5. J. Padzakashamba||5. C.C. Mabharanga||5. J. Eppie||5. T. Mufunga||5. G. Rutanhire||5. J. Tendere|
|6. P. Mavunga||6. S. Mabasa||6. S. Kakora||6. M.N. Chagadama||6. R. Ruwaridzo||6. S. Chimanikire||6. J. Kaparadza||6. J. Chigariro|
|1. H.T. Chihota||1. C. Chitando||1. J. Chinamano||1. A.T. Muzorewa||1. B.C. Chanetsa||1. J. Mandaza||1. R.G. Mugabe||1. J.R.D. Chikerema|
|2. K.N.K. Muskwe||2. A. Mutungi||2. Felix Magalela Mafa Sibanda||2. S.C. Mundawarara||2. G.T. Chinyani||2. K.N. Malindi||2. DUBE||2. E. Dumbutshena|
|3. D. Madamombe||3. M. Gwande||3. D. Madzimbamuto||3. D.T. Nyamuswa||3. J. Malindi||3. T. Chizengeni||3. R. Marere||3. P. Wakatama|
|4. L. Jero||4. F. Nhamo||4. S. Marembo||4. S.V. Mtambenengwe||4. J. Masawi||4. D. Mudzi||4. W. Mangwende||4. A.E. Chikandamina|
|5. G. Nyawiri||5. M. Moyo||5. E. Jirira||5. M.A. Mawema||5. D. Mugomeza||5. J. Kadziviti||5. M. Mvenge||5. D.T. Gomo|
|6. C. Mudzudzu||6. C. Mvura||6. K. Ndluni||6. A.G. Rumano||6. M. Musara||6. E. Nyandoro||6. E. Shirihuru||6. P. Makahamadze|
|7. E. Tafirenyika||7. M. Dube||7. S. Mutunyani||7. B.M. Mutasa||7. K. Bakasa||7. M.J. Mudzi||7. E. Pswarayi||7. C. Zvimba|
|8. A.T. Muskwe||8. C. Matenga||8. G. Musariri||8. F.D.H. Muzorewa||8. W. Badza||8. W. Marimo||8. G. Ziyenge||8. P. Kunaka|
|9. C. Mbirori||9. J. Moyo||9. R. Nyandoro||9. J.M. Gopo||9. O. Zhakata||9. W. Pasipanodya||9. P. Murambiwa||9. Z.M. Gamanya|
|10. A. Madamombe||10. T. Mutandi||10. J. Chirisa||10. G.M. Magaramombe||10. D. Tafira||10. P. Foya||10. J. Hunda||10. N. Samkange|
|11. S. Mupfuwi||11. S. Muchenje||11. D. Katsande||11. C.J.K. Nyahwata||11. P.C. Mutandwa||11. R. Rutsito||11. H. Nyazika||11. E. Matiza|
|12. M. Vera||12. E. Mukamba||12. S. Metha||12. A. Chikwanha||12. M.Z. Charumbira||12. C.C. Musambwa||12. G.G. Chidyausiku||12. N. Mukahadzi|
|13. C. Chiponda||13. P. Musarurwa||13. T.V. Mpofu||13. N.T. Mtandi||13. R. Kachindamoto||13. C. Manomano||13. A. Kabasa||13. C. Chimutsa|
|14. A. Nyandoro||14. J. Fambisayi||14. S. Bgoni||14. L. Kabaira||14. J. Mupandaguta||14. C. Matanganyidze||14. S. Rambanepasi||14. T. Takadiyi|
|15. I. Chivunga||15. S. Mhike||15. E. Patsike||15. D.M. Mbidzo||15. F. Nevanji||15. J. Chimwala||15. T. Munyati||15. W. Mabvakure|
|16. R. Muswaka||16. T. Jangire||16. Mrs. Mangwende||16. H.H. Mufanechiya||16. H. Nyagomo||16. E. Sithole||16. J. Jekanyika||16. D. Nyere|
|1. X. Mutenderi||1. F. Kavande||1. A.M. Chambati||1. T.G. Mukarati||1. P. Mhlanga||1. R.D. Manyika||1. S.J. Samkange|
|2. M. Mani||2. P. Makoni||2. K. Mano||2. Ken Chitate||2. N. Bangajena||2. J. Chivaura||2. M.B. Gumbo|
|3. L. Marufu||3. C. Pasipamire||3. L. Chiwanza||3. R.C.N. Madzima||3. E. Machingauta||3. N. Shamuyarira||3. S. Paraffin|
|4. F. Chikosha||4. V. Muketiwa||4. M. Nziramasanga||4. S.B. Kawonza||4. P. Mombeshora||4. A. Mudzingwa||4. T.E.T. Madamombe|
|5. P. Muzowoneyi||5. J. Ngondo||5. K. Bhebe||5. J.Z. Mudzengi||5. T. Dlamini||5. S. Mombeshora||5. M. Hoyi|
|6. B. Mashoko||6. A. Maririmba||6. C. Kadenhe||6. R.T. Sadomba||6. J. Madiro||6. E. Chikowore||6. D.B. Goromonzi|
|7. P. Mbizi||7. B. Munyuki||7. C. Mashayamombe||7. I.A. Adam||7. P. Munyuki||7. M. Chivende||7. P. Kutama|
|8. S. Nyakadzino||8. N. Kamwana||8. M. Musarurwa||8. T.T. Tsanangurai||8. S. Chinembiri||8. N. Bangure||8. G. Maseko|
Polling day was 14 February 1980. A dagger () indicates a member of the Zimbabwe Rhodesia House of Assembly for that constituency. A double dagger (?) indicates a white non-constituency member.
|AVONDALE||John Alfred Landau||RF||unopposed|
|BORROWDALE||David Colville Smith||RF||unopposed|
|BULAWAYO CENTRAL||Patrick Francis Shields||RF||unopposed|
|BULAWAYO NORTH||Wilfred Denis Walker||RF||unopposed|
|BULAWAYO SOUTH||Wallace Evelyn Stuttaford||RF||3,715||92.0|
|Dr Francis Robert Bertrand||Ind||289||7.2|
|Jan (John) Francis Betch||Ind||36||0.9|
|GATOOMA/HARTLEY||Pieter Kenyon Fleming-Voltelyn van der Byl||RF||unopposed|
|HIGHLANDS||Robert James Gaunt||RF||unopposed|
|Dr Timothy John Stamps||Ind||1,053||34.5|
|LUNDI||Donald Galbraith Goddard||RF||unopposed|
|MAKONI||Norman Arthur Tapson||RF||1,396||76.4|
|Petrus Christophel van der Merwe||Ind||431||23.6|
|MARLBOROUGH||William Michie Irvine||RF||unopposed|
|MAZOE/MTOKO||?André Sothern Holland||RF||unopposed|
|MIDLANDS||Henry Swan Elsworth||RF||unopposed|
|MOUNT PLEASANT||Jonas Christian Andersen||RF||2,683||79.4|
|Nicholas John McNally||Ind||698||20.6|
|NORTHERN||Esmond Meryl Micklem||RF||unopposed|
|SOUTHERN||Ian Douglas Smith||RF||2,253||93.8|
|Johannes Jacobus Hulley||Ind||113||4.7|
|Donovan Peter Speedie||Ind||37||1.5|
|Lawrence Alastair Bronson||Ind||124||7.3|
"The Election Commissioner concluded that, despite some distortion of voting as a result of intimidation in certain areas, the overall result would broadly reflect the wishes of the people."
"These Commonwealth observers also knew that intimidation could be overt, or subtle and covert; but there was a limited amount they could do about this. "
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