Central Africa Party

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The Central Africa Party was a multi-racial political party in Northern Rhodesia, Nyasaland and Southern Rhodesia.


The CAP was established by Garfield Todd in 1959.[1] Led by John Moffat in Northern Rhodesia where it had taken on the liberal mantle from the Constitution Party,[2][3] the party nominated six candidates for the 1959 general elections,[4] winning three seats;[5] Moffat in Eastern Rural, Harry Franklin in Western Rural and Alfred Gondwe in Eastern.

In 1960 the party split into separate parties in the three territories it operated in.[6] In Northern Rhodesia it was renamed the Northern Rhodesian Liberal Party after being joined by other liberal groups; Moffat was elected party president.[7] In 1961 Moffat, Franklin and Gondwe all became ministers after the United Federal Party government resigned.[8] However, in the October 1962 general elections the Liberal Party failed to win a seat, and subsequently announced its disbandment in November, advising members to join or support the United National Independence Party.[9]

In Southern Rhodesia it continued under the Central Africa Party name. It put forward 14 candidates for the December 1962 general elections, but also failed to win a seat.


  1. ^ Africa Report, Volumes 5-7 1960, African-American Institute, plxx
  2. ^ The Last Great Fight The Spectator, 21 May 1959
  3. ^ Bizeck Jube Phiri (1991) "The Capricorn Africa Society Revisited: The Impact of Liberalism in Zambia's Colonial History, 1949-1963", The International Journal of African Historical Studies, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp65–83
  4. ^ "Racial Issue In N. Rhodesia Elections: African Boycott", The Times, 12 March 1959, p11, Issue 54407
  5. ^ Dolf Sternberger, Bernhard Vogel, Dieter Nohlen & Klaus Landfried (1978) Die Wahl der Parlamente: Band II: Afrika, Zweiter Halbband, pp1790–1791
  6. ^ "Central Africa Party Splits in Three Factions", Africa Report, Volumes 5-7, 1960
  7. ^ "Liberal Party for Northern Rhodesia" The Glasgow Herald, 31 October 1960
  8. ^ David C. Mulford (1964) The Northern Rhodesian General Election 1962, Oxford University Press, p47
  9. ^ "Legislative Council Boycott Threat", East Africa and Rhodesia, 15 November 1962, p243