Northern Rhodesian general election, 1959

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General elections were held in Northern Rhodesia on 20 March 1959,[1] although voting did not take place in two constituencies until 9 April.[2] The United Federal Party (UFP) was expected to win the elections,[1] and did so by taking 13 of the 22 elected seats on the Legislative Council.[2]

Electoral system[edit]

The elections were the first held under the Lennox-Boyd constitution.[3] It provided for a 30 member Legislative Council with 22 elected members, six official members and two appointed members.[3] The 22 elected seats were divided into 12 "ordinary" seats with mostly European voters, six "special" seats mainly reserved for African voters, two reserved for African candidates and two reserved for European candidates.[2] "Ordinary" voters had to have at least four years of secondary education and either an income of at least £300 a year or own property worth £500. They could also qualify by having primary education and earning at least £480 a year or owning £1,000 of property, or for those not meeting the educational requirements, have an annual income of at least £720 or own over £1,500 of property. Certain people were automatically entitled to register as "ordinary voters", including ministers of religion, chiefs recognised by the Governor and wives of anyone qualified as an "ordinary" voter (although in the case of polygamous marriages, only the senior wife qualified).[4] "Special" voters had to have at least two years of secondary education and an income of at least £120 a year, or have an income of at least £150 or own property worth £500 or more. Automatic qualification as a "special" voter was given to pensioners receiving a monthly or annual pension for at least 20 years' service for one employer, headmen or herediary councillors with at least two years of unpaid service and who were recognised by their chief, or be the wife (or senior wife) of any qualified "special" voter.[4] All voters had to be over 21, able to complete their registration form in English and have lived in the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland for at two years and in their constituency for three months.[4]

The African reserved seats were created by combining several ordinary seats, whilst the European reserved seats were based on combinations of the special seats. Every voter had two votes, one for their special or ordinary constituency member, and one for their reserved member. In the ordinary and European reserved seats, special votes were not allowed to account for more than a third of the total.[5]

A total of 30,234 people were registered to vote, up from 15,505 for the 1954 elections. Of the 23,388 "ordinary" voters, 20,546 were Europeans, 2,046 Indians and 796 Africans. The 6,846 special voters included 6,821 Africans, 20 Europeans and five Indians.[5]

Constituencies
Ordinary Reserved African Ordinary voters Special voters
Broken Hill South Central 2,208 394
Livingstone 1,200 140
Lusaka Central 1,428 102
Lusaka East 1,503 289
Lusaka West 2,483 163
Southern 1,243 381
Chingola Copperbelt 1,317 325
Kitwe East 1,485 195
Kitwe West 1,672 366
Luanshya 2,296 275
Mufulira 1,729 403
Ndola 2,943 267
Special Reserved European Ordinary voters Special voters
Barotseland Western Rural 239 488
North Western 187 637
South Western 197 620
Eastern Eastern Rural 686 790
Luapula 306 473
Northern 266 538
Total 23,388 6,846
Source: East Africa and Rhodesia[5]

Campaign[edit]

A total of 54 candidates contested the elections, of which 20 were African.[1] Four parties ran in the election, with the UFP led by John Roberts putting forward 18 candidates, the Dominion Party 10, the Central Africa Party led by John Moffat seven and the Northern Rhodesian African National Congress led by Harry Nkumbula one (Nkumbula himself). Seventeen candidates ran as independents, with one running as a Central Africa Party independent. The Zambian African National Congress, a breakaway from the NRANC, called for a boycott.[1] The UFP were unopposed in two seats.[6] No candidates were nominated for the Northern and Luapula Special constituencies,[5] requiring nominations to be reopened until 19 March.

The UFP held a centrist position, supporting dominion status for the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland and opposing the British Colonial Office (reflecting the views of most white Northern Rhodesians).[1] The Dominion Party put forward a right-wing platform including supporting a partition of the Federation into European and African areas.[1] The Central Africa Party ran on a liberal platform.[1]

Results[edit]

Party Votes % Seats +/–
United Federal Party 17,376 52.4 13 +3
Dominion Party 3,719 11.2 1 New
Central Africa Party 3,302 10.0 3 New
Northern Rhodesian African National Congress 572 1.7 1 New
Independents 8,211 24.7 2 0
Vacant 2
Invalid/blank votes
Total 33,180 100 22 +10
Source: East Africa and Rhodesia[7]

By voter roll[edit]

Party Ordinary seats Special seats African seats European seats Total
seats
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
United Federal Party 8,540 61.2 11 421 14.3 0 7,855 53.6 2 560 34.4 0 13
Dominion Party 2,993 21.5 1 1
Central Africa Party 876 6.3 0 571 19.4 1 787 5.4 0 1,068 35.6 2 3
Northern Rhodesian African National Congress 572 19.4 1 726 4.9 0 1
Independents 1,540 11.0 0 1,380 46.9 2 5,291 36.1 0 2
Vacant 2 2
Total 13,949 100 12 2,944 100 6 14,659 100 2 1,628 100 2 22
Source: East Africa and Rhodesia[7]

By constituency[edit]

Constituency Candidate Party Votes %
Ordinary Broken Hill John Roberts United Federal Party 1,275 74.43
Gladys Douglas Independent 438 25.57
Chingola William Gray Dunlop United Federal Party Unopposed
Kitwe East Hugh Stanley United Federal Party 831 76.52
Francis Smith Dominion Party 255 23.48
Kitwe West Jerry Steyn United Federal Party 890 73.92
Cecil Earl Dominion Party 314 26.08
Livingstone Maurice Rabb United Federal Party Unopposed
Luanshya Rodney Malcomson United Federal Party 1,208 74.38
Robert Greer Dominion Party 416 25.62
Lusaka Central Ernest Sergeant United Federal Party 607 62.64
Donald Clarke Independent 188 19.40
Frederick Gray Independent 121 12.49
Cyril Thatcher Dominion Party 53 5.47
Lusaka East Alfred Carlisle United Federal Party 562 46.22
Alexander Scott Independent 405 33.31
Charles Fleming Dominion Party 234 19.24
Irene Buchanan Independent 15 1.23
Lusaka West Eric Grindley-Ferris United Federal Party 735 45.20
Frank Derby Dominion Party 282 17.34
Douglas Edmonds Independent 271 16.67
Ralph Seal Central Africa Party 236 14.51
Margaretha Seibrits Independent 102 6.27
Mufulira Peter Wulff United Federal Party 734 52.32
Bertram Redmond Dominion Party 669 47.68
Ndola Cecil Dennistoun Burney United Federal Party 1,094 57.73
Norman Hunt Central Africa Party 640 33.77
William van Zyl Dominion Party 161 8.50
Southern Gert Smith Dominion Party 609 50.21
Geoffrey Beckett United Federal Party 604 49.79
Special Barotseland Kwalombota Mulonda Independent 382 66.90
Mufaya Mubuna United Federal Party 168 29.42
Yuyi Nganga Independent 21 3.68
Eastern Alfred Gondwe Central Africa Party 398 36.28
Chiwala Banda Independent 292 26.62
Isaac Nkholoma United Federal Party 253 23.06
Shadrick Cheme Independent 154 14.04
Luapula No candidate nominated
North Western William Nkanza Independent Central Africa Party 247 39.02
Samuel Mbilishi Independent 213 23.65
Beston Muluku Central Africa Party 173 27.33
Northern No candidate nominated
South Western Harry Nkumbula Northern Rhodesian African National Congress 572 88.96
Robinson Nabulyato Independent 71 11.04
African
Reserved
Copperbelt Gabriel Musumbulwa United Federal Party 4,451 58.26
Lawrence Katilungu Independent 2,674 35.00
Robinson Puta Independent 313 4.10
Pascale Sokata Independent 202 2.64
South Central William Kazokah United Federal Party 3,404 48.50
Safeli Chileshe Independent 2,102 29.95
Gwale Habanyama Central Africa Party 787 11.21
Noah Chyapeni Dominion Party 726 10.34
European
Reserved
Eastern Rural John Moffat Central Africa Party 662 60.90
Reuben Kidson United Federal Party 425 39.10
Western Rural Harry Franklin Central Africa Party 406 75.05
Hugh Mitcheley United Federal Party 135 24.95
Source: East Africa and Rhodesia[7]

By-elections[edit]

By-elections were held in the Luapula and Northern Special constituencies on 9 April.

Constituency Candidate Party Votes %
Luapula S M Mununga Independent 234 51.88
M M Simfukwe 113 25.06
John Mutale 57 12.64
G E Tafuna 47 10.42
Northern Lakement Ngandu Independent 228 42.22
M G M Chali 223 41.30
Mateyo Kakumbi 89 16.48
Source: East Africa and Rhodesia[8]

Aftermath[edit]

Following the election, Governor Arthur Benson appointed six ministers; John Roberts as Minister of Labour and Mines, Alfred Carlisle as Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, William Gray Dunlop as Minister of Transport and Works, Rodney Malcomson as Minister of Local Government, Gabriel Musumbulwa as Minister of African Education and Edson Mwamba as Minister of African Agriculture.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Racial Issue In N. Rhodesia Elections: African Boycott", The Times, 12 March 1959, p11, Issue 54407
  2. ^ a b c "Sir R. Welensky Gains Election Victory: Party Sure Of 13 Seats", The Times, 23 March 1959, p10, Issue 54416
  3. ^ a b "Election Move By Africans" The Times, 23 December 1958
  4. ^ a b c David C. Mulford (1964) The Northern Rhodesian General Election 1962, Oxford University Press, pp11−12
  5. ^ a b c d "N Rhodesia's General Election: Full List of Candidates", East Africa and Rhodesia, 12 March 1959, p821
  6. ^ "Northern Rhodesia Elections", East Africa and Rhodesia, 26 March 1959, p880
  7. ^ a b c "Northern Rhodesian Election Results", East Africa and Rhodesia, 2 April 1959, p913
  8. ^ "Election Results", East Africa and Rhodesia, 25 April 1959, p1007
  9. ^ "New Ministers For N. Rhodesia: Two Africans Included", The Times, 28 March 1959, p5, Issue 54420