On 1 February 1963, a statement announcing the collapse of the Federation of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and Nyasaland (now Malawi) was made. In 1959, before the fall of the federation, nationalist movements within the federation were growing rapidly. Subsequently, Nyasaland nationalists called for action, and the resultant disturbances forced the authorities to declare a state of emergency. Nationalist leaders, amongst them, Dr Hastings Banda, were detained without trial.
In 1960, following his release, Banda fled to London, where with Kenneth Kaunda and Joshua Nkomo continued to campaign for an end to the federation. In 1960 British Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan gave his famous 'winds of change' speech here in South Africa. By 1962 the British Government had already decided that Nyasaland should be allowed to withdraw from the federation. A conference held in early 1963 at Victoria Falls was seen as a last-ditch attempt to save the federation.
The history of the federation dates back to 1953.