History Monday: The Lancaster House Agreement Part 3

The conference took place from 10 September-15 December 1979 with 47 plenary sessions. In the course of its proceedings the conference reached agreement on the following issues:

  • An outline of the Independence Constitution;
  • arrangements for the pre-independence period;
  • a cease-fire agreement signed by all the parties.

In concluding this agreement and signing its report, the parties undertook:

  • to accept the authority of the Governor;
  • to abide by the Independence Constitution;
  • to comply with the pre-independence arrangements;
  • to abide by the cease-fire agreement;
  • to campaign peacefully and without intimidation;
  • to renounce the use of force for political ends;
  • to accept the outcome of the elections and to instruct any forces under their authority to do the same.

Under the Independence Constitution agreed, 20 per cent of the seats in the country’s parliament were to be reserved for whites. This provision remained in the constitution until 1987. Lord Carrington and Sir Ian Gilmour signed the Agreement on behalf of the United Kingdom, Bishop Abel Muzorewa  and Dr Silas Mundawarara signed for the Government of Zimbabwe Rhodesia and Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo for the Patriotic Front.


  1. Preston, M. (2004) ‘Ending Civil War: Rhodesia and Lebanon in Perspective’
  2. Martin, D and Johnson, P. (1981) ‘The struggle for Zimbabwe’



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