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Lord Soames's son to work hard to improve Zimbabwe, UK relations

by Staff reporter
05 Oct 2017 at 06:44hrs | Views
President Mugabe yesterday met Mr Nicholas Soames, son to the Britain's last colonial Governor in Rhodesia, who presided over Zimbabwe's transition to majority rule.

In an interview soon after meeting the Head of State and Government at State House, Mr Soames said he would work hard to improve bilateral relations between Harare and London.

"Yes, it is 37 years since the Lancaster House Agreement and my father, Lord Soames was the Governor of Southern Rhodesia. He was here when Zimbabwe was born with Mr Mugabe and 37 years later I have come back to see Mr Mugabe to say 'hello' to him and say I want to feel this beautiful country. I have very much enjoyed and pleased to meet him again. I hope very much that we can improve relations between our countries," said Mr Soames in a brief interview.

Mr Soames, sometimes known as Nick Soames, is a British Conservative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Mid Sussex since 1997.

He is a grandson of former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.

He was first elected to Parliament in 1983 for Crawley.

He was Minister of State for the Armed Forces from 1994 to 1997 in the government of Prime Minister John Major.

His father, Load Soames' four-month stint as Governor of Rhodesia led to first democratic elections that resulted in independence on April 18 1980.

After talks in London in 1979 produced an agreement between Rhodesia's white leaders led by Ian Smith and freedom fighters led by President Mugabe to return to British colonial status in preparation for majority rule, Mrs Margaret Thatcher sent Lord Soames to Rhodesia as Governor to preside over the transition.

Mrs Thatcher was at the time Prime Minister of Britain.

Load Soames died in September 16, 1987 at the age of 66 at the family home in Hampshire.

Lord Carrington who was Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and Foreign Secretary when Lord Soames was dispatched to Rhodesia, commended the then governor saying he had done a job that "I don't think anyone else could have done.''

President Mugabe met Mr Soames hours after he returned home yesterday from South Africa where he attended the high level Zimbabwe South Africa Bi-National Commission (BNC) .

President Mugabe's visit to South Africa was highly successful as the two countries firmly committed to revamp Beitbridge Border Post.

Zimbabwe and South Africa also signed five bilateral agreements in cross border trading cooperation, energy, environment, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Sports and Recreation to boost economic prosperity for people on both sides of the Limpopo.

Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, Cabinet Ministers, senior Government officials and service chiefs welcomed President Mugabe on his return at the Harare International Airport.

Source - chronicle