HARARE – Lord Carrington, Margaret Thatcher’s Foreign minister and one of the chief architects of a peaceful outcome to the 1979 Lancaster House Conference that ushered Zimbabwe’s independence, has died.
He was aged 99.
The Conservative politician, who was also Britain’s former defence secretary, masterminded an agreement that led to the first one person-one vote elections in Zimbabwe’s history.
Carrington convinced Robert Mugabe, who was reluctant to sign the Lancaster House Agreement because he felt convinced that he could take power — not through the ballot box — but through reliance on his guerrillas, to ink the peace pact that ended white minority rule.
The late Bishop Abel Muzorewa wanted peace and so did Joshua Nkomo. But not Mugabe, who was persuaded by Lord Carrington to ink the pact.
Lord Carrington’s constituency MP, Cabinet Office minister David Lidington said: “His career was given to public service.”
No 10 Downing Street described his death as “very sad news”.