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Rhodesia

Volume 977: debated on Monday 28 January 1980

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asked the Lord Privy Seal what is the present position in respect of the name ZANU to be used by political parties at the forthcoming elections in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia.

A party led by Mr. Sit hole has registered as ZANU, and a party led by Mr. Mutable as ZANU(PF). The Governor has enacted an ordinance which has the effect of deferring until after the elections any legal action challenging the registered names of the political parties.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement in regard to Her Majesty's Government's plans for the safeguarding of pensions of present and previous Rhodesian Government employees.

The Government take the view that the financial responsibility for these pensions will fall on the future Government of Zimbabwe. The Rhodesian Civil Service has never been a service for which the Secretary of State has been responsible. From its annexation in 1923, Rhodesia was an internally self-governing colony and its public service has been a local not an expatriate service, for which the Secretary of State has never had responsibility in respect of recruitment or terms of service.The then Minister for Overseas Development, Mr. Richard Wood, made clear in the debate on the Second Reading of the Overseas Pensions Act on 1 March 1973—[

Official Report, c. 1764]—that section 1, which provides for the conclusion of pensions takeover agreements, was intended to apply only to the pensions of expatriate public officers (and their dependants) in our former colonial dependencies.

The independence constitution of Zimbabwe, which was agreed by all participants at the Lancaster House conference, includes provision for the protection of the pension rights of public officers and former public officers (including those who have left Rhodesia) and of their dependants.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether the exchange control regulations which have been in force in Rhodesia are to be lifted.

The Rhodesian Ministry of Finance announced on 14 December the relaxation of exchange controls relating to payments of current interest, royalties and certain professional fees and payments to heirs in Rhodesian estates. Current restrictions on accumulated blocked funds, capital disinvestment and loan repayments will remain in force for the present.I have arranged for copies of the Ministry's statement to be placed in the House of Commons Library.