Bishop Abel Muzorewa's key faction in the government decided yesterday to defer for a week a decision on whether to pull out of the coalition in protest over the firing of a top black official.

After a four-hour meeting, a spokesman for the United African National Council said that it is "reviewing the whole question of its continued participation" in the government as a result of the firing of black Co-Justice Minister Byron Hove, who Muzorewa appointed. The matter is to be taken up next Sunday.

On Saturday, Muzorewa had predicted a decision on the issue within 24 hours.

Supporters of Hove continued to demand his reinstatement, saying that otherwise they will call for the resignation of three top white officials.

Hove, 38, was fired by the executive body of the new government after he called for aggressive recruiting and promoting of blacks in the police. He refused to retract the statements, which deemed "political." The resultant firing threatens the unity of the government at a crucial time.

Last night, the breakaway British colony's only daily newspaper for blacks, the Zimbabwe Times, was ordered not to publish any information about what has come to known here as "the Hove affair."

The fledging government faces a week of uncertainty in the midst of preparations for a massive campaign to get an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 guerillas fighting the Rhodesian army to lay down their arms and support the government, which is pledged to give way to rule by the 6.7 million black majority this year.

The guerrillas, led by Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe, oppose the March 3 Salisbury agreement that established the transition government, saying it leaves intact too many privileges for the 270,000 whites.

The signers of the agreement include Prime Minister Ian Smith and three black leaders, Muzorewa, the Rev. Ndabaningi Sithole and Chief Jeremiah Chirau.

Western nations have refused to recognize the arrangement, saying it is doomed to failure without the participation of Nkomo or Mugabe.

The government is hoping to gain sympathy abroad by attracting large numbers of the exiled guerilla leaders forces to their side. That program could be shattered by withdrawal of Muzorewa, who is regarded as having the majority support of the black population.

About 1,500 demonstrators outside the meeting of Muzorewa's organization waved placards urging their leaders to back out of the settlement if Hove is not returned to his post

Sithole, meanwhile, said that if Muzorewa and his group pull out, the government wil continue to carry out its duties without them.

Ernest Bulle, minister of Finance and vice president of Muzorewa's Council said that if Hove is not reinstated the council will demand the removal of three whites . . . minister of justice, Hilary Squires; the commander of Rhodesia's military forces, Lt. Gen. Peter Walls, and Police Commissioner Peter Allum, "for meddling in politics as civil servants."

These men had criticized Hove for his statements, saying that they were not in accord with the spirit of the Salisbury agreement.

The council also expressed its "full confidence" in Muzorewa and condemned the other three co-rulers for their "unilateral decision" on Hove. That decision was "unconstitutional," the statement said, because Muzorewa was not present when it was taken.

Both Chirau and Sithole, however, say that Muzorewa was involved in the decision and that it was unanimous.

In trying to explain the discrepancy, senior government officials from the Muzorewa and his group pull out, the government, will continue to carry out its duties without them.

Ernest Bulle, minister of finance and vice president of Muzorewa's Council said if Hove is not reinstated the council will demand the removal of three whites minister of justice, Hilary Squires; the commander of Rhodesia's military forces, Lt. Gen. Peter Walls, and police Commissioner Peter Allum, "for meddling in politics as civil servants."

These men had criticized Hove for their "unilateral decision" on Hove. That decision was "unconstitutional", the statement said, because Muzorewa was not present when it was taken.

Both Chirau and Sithole, however, say that Muzorewa was involved in the decision and that it was unanimous.