When many Council members were arrested in the late 1960s, Banana and his family fled to the United States and did not return until 1975. Banana was arrested on his return but was released a year later, kept under house arrest, and then allowed to participate in Abel Muzorewa’s plans for the country. However, he abandoned that effort and joined ZANU (led by Robert Mugabe), which was dedicated to overthrowing the Smith administration. Returning to Rhodesia in December 1976, Banana was arrested once more for his support of ZANU; upon the appointment of Lord Soames as Governor of Southern Rhodesia, he was released from prison.
Under the country’s new constitution, Banana became the first president in 1980. In 1982, a law was passed fo… Continue Reading (3 minute read)