From Rhodesia to Zimbabwe: An analysis of the 1980 elections and an assessment of the prospects

"Before attempting to analyze the four month period which started with rival of the British Governor, Lord Soames, in war-torn Rhodesia on 12 December 1979, and ended with the peaceful emergence of an independent Zimbabwe on 18 April, 1980, it is worthwhile to reflect upon the preceding six months The Lusaka and Lancaster House Agreements, which paved the way for Britain to assume colonial power in Rhodesia and for an internationally supervised ceasefire and internationally observed elections to take place, were the result of both agreement between the previously warring Rhodesian parties and an unprecedented degree of co-operation between states with very different interests in the outcome of the Rhodesian conflict. The period of intense diplomatic and political activity that culminated in the signing of the Lancaster House Agreement by the British Salisbury and Patriotic Front delegations less than a year after the British Labour government had concluded that the chance of an all-party conference succeeding was nil, requires some explanation before the election period itself is examined."