Nkomo (left) meets Mandela

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: The Struggle for Independence in Colonial Zimbabwe 1900-1980:National Democratic Party (NDP)

  • When the ANC was banned Africans viewed this as imperialists did not want to end racial segregation
  • The bans were only temporal as other African nationalists educated in the diaspora rose, such as Edison Zvobgo, G T Silundika, A Mawema, E Nkala among others who formed the National Democratic Party (NDP)
  • The NDP was formed on January 1 1960 and was a continuation of the ANC and Nkomo was appointed president in absentia
  • It was more powerful and it forced the British to amend its constitution in the area of constitutional rights for the protection of Africans
  • The NDP called for a conference where all parties would be present and they would discuss a new constitution that would include African representation in Parliament
  • They wanted a Parliament with 50 seats with half being Africans
  • They organized strikes, rallies and riots and wanted to get rid of the colonial government
  • The National Constitutional Conference started in February 1961 and was chaired by Duncan Sandys
  • The outcome of the conference showed that peaceful negotiations were not working
  • The declaration of rights, the removal of stigma and discrimination and protection of rights were accepted by courts but no progress was made on the franchise
  • The One Man One Vote phenomenon was rejected and out of 50 seats Africans were given 15 only
  • Nkomo accepted the new constitution as an achievement about his colleagues rejected it
  • Nkomo was then viewed by other nationalists as a sell out
  • The attacks on the new constitution led to high levels of social unrest among natives and Nkomo had to go back on his support for the constitution
  • The government then organized a referendum to approve the constitution but the NDP organized its own for Africans rejecting the constitution on 26 July 1961
  • As a result of the African referendum, the colonial government banned all political activities for Africans
  • The NDP was banned on 9 December 1961 after operating for 11 months and its leaders were confined to their birth areas

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