Zimbabwe-Rhodesia Constitutional Conference Papers

Scope and Content

The collection comprises copies of documents presented at and concerning the Zimbabwe-Rhodesia Constitutional Conference held in 1979.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Zimbabwe-Rhodesia Constitutional Conference, held at Lancaster House, London, began on 10 September 1979. The delegates included Lord Carrington, the British Foreign Secretary; Bishop Abel Muzorewa, Prime Minister of Rhodesia since the general election in April, and other members of his Government of National Unity including the former premier, Ian Smith; Joshua Nkomo, head of the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) and Robert Mugabe, head of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), both representing the Patriotic Front. Although none of the participants began the conference with any real expectations that a solution would be reached, after four months of negotiation a settlement was concluded. On 21 December 1979 the delegates signed an agreement to accept a constitution for a new independent Zimbabwe and to implement a cease-fire in the civil war.


The main divisions of the material are as follows: preliminary documents; constitution; Patriotic Front documents; Zimbabwe-Rhodesia Government documents; British Government documents; press cuttings; 1976 Rhodesia Conference documents; miscellaneous documents, and Commonwealth Secretariat.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Donated in 1983.

Other Finding Aids

Unpublished handlist

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish, please contact Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library in the first instance