The government of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, which failed to win international recognition, ceased to exist tonight just hours before the arrival of a British governor to reestablish temporary British control in the breakaway colony.
Rhodesia's unilateral declaration of independence, declared amid fanfare by then prime minister Ian Smith to maintain white minority rule, lasted exactly 14 years and one month.
It ended with a murmur as most Hrodesians, black and white, seemed to be numbered by seven years of war and three months of British-sponsored negotiations in London with the Patriotic Front guerrillas.
A unanimous vote of the lower house to dissolve itself tonight was to be followed by routine approval of the 30-member Senate and signature of the bill by President Josiah Gumede, who had already vacated his official residence for the incoming British governor Lord Soames.
The moves were the last official acts of the 6-month-old government of Abel Muzoreqa, the country's first black prime minister.
Britain is to end sanctions Wednesday with the arrival of Soames and the United States is expected to follow shortly. The London talks have not yet reached final agreement with the Patriotic Front still differing over some details of Britain's plan for a cease-fire already accepted by Muzorewa.
Agreement is expected soon, however, with the installation of Soames seen as a final step by British Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington to pressure the Front into acceptance.
Soames is to supervise new elections for a government to rule on the basis of a constitution negotiated in London providing for black-majority rule.
Soames, the son-in-law of Winston Churchill and a cabinet-rank official in Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's government, will assume all executive and legislative authority upon arrival in Salisbury Wednesday afternoon.
Right up to the last minute the Zimbabwe-Rhodesia government kept operating as if nothing were changing. Parliament discussed declining profitability in the pig industry and the ministry of local government and housing announced a program designed to reduce payments for lower-income homeowners and convert rental property to home ownership.