Prime Minister of Rhodesia

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The Prime Minister of Rhodesia (until 1963 Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia) was the head of government in the colony of Rhodesia. Rhodesia's political system was modelled on Westminster and the prime minister's role was similar to that of the same position in other countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.

The British colony of Southern Rhodesia was created on October 1, 1923. From 1953 to 1963, Northern Rhodesia (later Zambia), Southern Rhodesia (later Rhodesia and then Zimbabwe) and Nyasaland (later Malawi) were joined in the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, which was also known as the Central African Federation, with Godfrey Martin Huggins as prime minister from 1953 to 1956 followed by Sir Roy Welensky from 1956 to the federation's dissolution on December 31, 1963. When Northern Rhodesia gained independence as Zambia on October 24, 1964, Southern Rhodesia changed its name to Rhodesia.

Prime Minister Ian Smith's government issued a Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Britain in 1965. However this was not recognised abroad and after a long period of conflict the Rhodesian government agreed to revert to colonial status in 1979 in order to facilitate the introduction of Black majority rule and the creation of the independent state of Zimbabwe. During this transitional period the colony was known as Zimbabwe-Rhodesia.

List of Premiers and Prime Ministers

No. Name Took Office Left Office Party
1Charles Patrick John CoghlanOctober 1, 1923August 28, 1927Rhodesian Reform Party
2Howard Unwin MoffatSeptember 2, 1927July 5, 1933Rhodesian Reform Party
3George MitchellJuly 5, 1933September 12, 1933 Rhodesian Reform Party
4Sir Godfrey Martin HugginsSeptember 12, 1933September 7, 1953United Rhodesia Party
5Garfield ToddSeptember 7, 1953February 17, 1958United Rhodesia Party/United Federal Party
6Sir Edgar WhiteheadFebruary 17, 1958December 17, 1962United Federal Party
7Winston Joseph FieldDecember 17, 1962April 13, 1964Dominion Party (Rhodesian Front)
8Ian Douglas SmithApril 13, 1964June 1, 1979Rhodesian Front
9Abel Tendekayi MuzorewaJune 1, 1979December 11, 1979transitional

The position of Premier became the position of Prime Minister in 1933.

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