Northern Rhodesian general election, 1964

From Chalo Chatu, Zambia online encyclopedia

General elections were held in Northern Rhodesia on 20 and 21 January 1964. There were two voter rolls for the Legislative Council, a main roll that elected 65 seats, and a reserved roll that elected 10. Africans elected the main roll, whilst Europeans elected the reserve roll. Other ethnicities were allowed to choose which roll to be part of.[1] The United National Independence Party won the elections, taking 55 of the common roll seats. Its leader, Kenneth Kaunda became Prime Minister, leading the country to independence in October that year, at which point he became President.[2] Voter turnout was 94.8% for the main roll and 74.1% for the reserved roll.[3]


The Northern Rhodesian African National Congress (NRANC) sought to delay the elections, claiming that twelve of its candidates had been prevented from registering,[4] and its request for the nomination process to be extended was granted.[5] NRANC leader Harry Nkumbula claimed that failure to postpone the elections would lead to "passive resistance" and that any violence would be "the entire responsibility of the Governor and his officers."[4] The election date was also criticised by the People's Democratic Congress, which claimed that good weather during the month would encourage people to do farmwork rather than go out to vote. It also criticised the registration process, claiing that some people had to walk over 30 miles in order to register to vote.[5]


UNIP contested all 10 reserved roll seats, putting up candidates including former Liberal Party leader John Moffat and ex-minister Charles Cousins.[6]

UNIP won 24 of the 75 common roll seats unopposed,[6] whilst the NRANC also had five members returned unopposed, although all of them defected to UNIP.[7]


Seven people were killed in the Chinsali area by members of the Lumpa Church sect, who were trying to prevent people from joining political parties. Following reports of violence, Kaunda flew to the area to attempt to broker a truce.[8]

The election campaign also saw clashes between NRANC and UNIP supporters, with two UNIP members killed.[4] Fighting between the two in Mufulira in mid-January had to be broken up with tear gas, whilst two children were killed near Fort Jameson when a house inhabited by NRANC supporters was burned down.[6]


Party Main roll seats Reserved roll seats Total seats +/−
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
United National Independence Party 570,612 69.1 55 6,177 35.2 0 55 +41
Northern Rhodesian African National Congress 251,963 30.5 10 165 0.9 0 10 +3
National Progressive Party 11,157 63.6 10 10 New
Independents 3,662 0.4 0 35 0.2 0 0 0
Invalid/blank votes 4,178 224
Total 830,415 100 65 17,758 100 10 75 +30
Registered voters/turnout 876,212 94.8 23,981 74.1
Source: Nohlen et al.


A new UNIP-led government was sworn in shortly before the end of January. Governor Evelyn Dennison Hone retained responsibility for foreign affairs, defence and policing.[7]

Position Minister
Prime Minister Kenneth Kaunda
Minister of Agriculture Elijah Mudenda
Minister of Commerce and Industry Alexander Grey Zulu
Minister of Education John Mwanakatwe
Minister of Finance Arthur Wina
Minister of Health Sikota Wina
Minister of Home Affairs Simon Kapwepwe
Minister of Housing and Social Development Dingiswayo Banda
Minister of Justice Mainza Chona
Minister of Labour and Mines Justin Chimba
Minister of Land and Works Solomon Kalulu
Minister of Local Government Nalumino Mundia
Minister of Natural Resources Munukayumbwa Sipalo
Minister of Transport and Communications Reuben Kamanga

See also


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  1. Zambia: 1964 Elections EISA
  2. Elections in Zambia African Elections Database
  3. Nohlen, D, Krennerich, M & Thibaut, B (1999) Elections in Africa: A data handbook, p949 ISBN 0-19-829645-2
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 ""Dismiss Governor" A.N.C. Calls: Fears of Violence in Northern Rhodesia", East Africa and Rhodesia, 9 January 1964, p395
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Protest at Election Date: Favouritism for North-East", East Africa and Rhodesia, 9 January 1964, p395
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Northern Rhodesian Elections: Independence Wanted in October", East Africa and Rhodesia, 23 January 1964
  7. 7.0 7.1 "U.N.I.P. Cabinet Sworn In: "Racial" Seats Must Go: Mr. Kaunda", East Africa and Rhodesia, 30 January 1964, p449
  8. "Election Unrest", East Africa and Rhodesia, 2 January 1964, p375