Chapter 10
PARTNERSHIP AND POLITICAL POWER

a) Federal Political and Constitutional Rights

Three paths are open to Europeans faced with the problem of growing African demands for more participation in politics and government. The first is to suppress it utterly. The second is to surrender to it gracefully. The third path is to suppress it while appearing magnanimously to yield.

The first of these paths is followed by the Union of South Africa, where Africans are denied all direct participation in the process of parliamentary government. The second is that taken by Britain in promoting the political emancipation, step-by-step, of the native peoples of Nigeria, Ghana, Togoland, Uganda, Tanganyika, and even little Basutoland, a colonial enclave in the middle of South Africa.1

It appears to be the third route upon which the Government of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland has set itself. By a series of adroit maneuvers, the Federal Government has so altered the nature of African representation in the Federal Parliament and the African Affairs Board, that the militant voice of the African masses has been effectively replaced by the obsequiously modulated tones of men with black faces responsible only to white voters.

The Federal Government has proceeded in this direction in the honest belief that the African masses have no cognizable intellectual basis for political choice and that, therefore, they do not really hold political convictions. They merely follow like cattle the leaders who have thrust themselves forward. Change the bulls, and you change the direction of the herd. The Welensky government, in its manipulation of the 1953 constitutional formula, has devoted itself to ridding the Africans of their nationalistic leaders and replacing them with men whose views are more congenial to the Europeans, who are, in the parlance of the Rhodesias, "responsible natives."

-173-

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