Eugene Makayi writes:
WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW – 1962 NORTHERN RHODESIA COALITION GOVERNMENT
Most may assume that Northern Rhodesia immediately jumped from British colonial or white settler rule to independent Zambia. That was not the case.
Before Mr. Kenneth Kaunda became tbe First indigenous African Prime minister of Northern Rhodesia, he was also a minister in a coalition government.
The penultimate elections of Northern Rhodesia on 30th October 1962, with by-elections for several seats held on 10th December, 1962 produced a hung parliament.
Though the mostly White led United Federal Party (UFP) had more seats than other political parties, the African National Congress (ANC) reneged on a loose pre-electoral pact with the UFP to instead form a coalition government with the United National Independence Party (UNIP), paving way for the first ever popularly elected African cabinet in Northern Rhodesia.
This election was also the MOST racially diverse and representative election with ALL the major political parties fielding candidates from the European, African and Asian communities thanks to the “15-15-15” electoral system.
15 seats were elected by an upper roll, 15 seats by a lower roll and 15 seats by the national roll.
The national roll seats consisted of four ‘reserved’ two-seat constituencies returning an African and a European member; three two-member ‘open’ constituencies that would return two members of any race, and one nationwide constituency for Asians.
UFP 16 seats (final including by elections)
UNIP 14 seats (final including by elections)
ANC 7 seats (final including by elections)
BNP (Barotseland National Party) 0 seats
LP (Liberal Party) 0 seats
RRP (Rhodesia Republican Party) 0 seats
*Kenneth David Kaunda who won his seat on the lower roll from Bangweulu Constituency on the United National Independence Party ticket became Minister of Local Government and Social Welfare.
*Simon Kapwepwe of the United National Independence Party won on the lower roll from Northern Constituency and became Minister of African Agriculture.
*Harry Nkumbula leader of the Northern Rhodesian African National Congress win on the lower roll from South-Western Constituency and became Minister of African Education
*Trevor Gardner was an Ex officio cabinet member as Minister of Finance.
*Reuben Kamanga of the United National Independence Party won from South-Eastern Constituency on the lower roll and became Minister of Labour and Mines.
*Charles Cousins of the Northern Rhodesian African National Congress on the reserved European seat from Luangwa became Minister of Land and Natural Resources.
*Brian Andre Doyle was an Ex officio cabinet member and Minister for Legal Affairs and Attorney General.
*Frederick Thomas was also an Ex officio cabinet member as Minister of Native Affairs.
*Francis Stubbs of the Northern Rhodesian African National Congress on the reserved European seat from Luapula became Minister of Transport and Works.
*Richard Luyt was an Ex officio cabinet member as Chief Secretary.
This was the first and last coalition government of Northern Rhodesia.
On 20th and 21st January 1964, the last general elections of Northern Rhodesia were held and ushered in the first indigenous African Prime minister Mr. Kenneth David Kaunda and his majority African government of Northern Rhodesia.