No, We Do Not All Miss Rhodesia!

    By Professor Cde Thom Chimuranga

    I read with absolute disgust an article written by T Williams and published on It was titled ‘We all miss Rhodesia and Ian Smith’. The writer had high praises for the leader of Rhodesia’s darkest hour, Ian Smith.

    That we all miss Rhodesia is the most misplaced embellishment in recent days. The supposition does not match the reality of things. I am especially perplexed by the irony that the writer was a member of the white minority who were minority beneficiaries of oppression.

    Surely, he would miss Rhodesia in those circumstances, I would miss it too! But, what was more disheartening about the article was that he had the audacity to assume that black people enjoyed the deprivation of education, economic opportunities, freedom of migration and social inclusion. The audacity of T Williams! Suffice to say, the writer demonstrated the highest form of insolence for Zimbabwe’s independence and sense of national pride. For that reason, he owes Zimbabweans a genuine apology.

    In the article, T Williams described Ian Smith as ‘exemplary, hardworking, dedicated and that he helped build a dynamic country called Rhodesia where everyone had access to food, quality life, plenty of jobs and world class cities with a well maintained infrastructure’. Of course, none of that is true.

    The million dollar question is, if things were that cozy and beautiful for all and sundry in Rhodesia, why was there a fight for independence in Zimbabwe and why did millions of black Zimbabweans celebrate our Independence in 1980?

    The fact of the matter is that the current economic meltdown in Zimbabwe should not necessarily purify the evil which characterized Zimbabwe’s previous invaders.

    T Williams also supported Ian Smith’s racist claim that Zimbabwe would never prosper under an all black leadership. By measurement of all logical standards, he was mistaken to reach that conclusion based on the reign of a single dictator. After all, Zimbabwe will not be ruled by Robert Mugabe infinitely.

    Therefore, it is premature and rigid to conclude that Zimbabwe would never produce an excellent leader capable of transforming the country to glory. By the way, there are numerous fine leaders already.

    The problem in Zimbabwe has never been Zanu Pf, or the militia, but Mugabe’s singlehanded selfishness and obsession with power. Everyone longs for a better future for the country.

    The families of most government Ministers, live outside Zimbabwe. That Mugabe’s daughter, Bona Mugabe, preferred to give birth in Singapore instead of Zimbabwe, confirms that the state of Zimbabwe’s health facilities is deplorable. By the way, maternity costs range from USD600 up to USD1000 in the wretched country.

    Zanu Pf has numerous levelheaded Zimbabweans who are also frustrated by Mugabe’s grip on power. A mere glance at Mugabe’s rallies would confirm my assertion. Mugabe’s followers would be visibly hungry, thirsty and malnourished.

    They have no option but to participate and attend Mugabe’s rallies or they would risk being labeled opposition members. In rural areas, being a member of the opposition is punishable by serious torture or death or both.

    The major cause of factionalism in the ruling party is that numerous members of Zanu Pf disapprove that a failed and ailing leader should continue to govern the country after years of successive anguish and gloom.

    The expulsion of Joice Mujuru in December 2014 is confirmation of the same principle. Suffice to say, those who remain on the side of the despot are either huge beneficiaries of his tyranny or members of his shrinking family.

    But, to suggest that Rhodesia was better than Zimbabwe, is to stretch it a little too far. Ian Smith was a horrible man who presided over one of the worst colonial governments in Southern Africa. The highlights of his prejudice speak for themselves. His government deprived black people of any form of education or formal employment.

    They were also deprived ownership of property including houses, businesses and land. As if that was not enough, black people had to carry a form of identification to be permitted to walk on the streets of their country. No form of dictatorship can overwhelm that.

    Of course, Mugabe is solely responsible for the complete obliteration of the country’s economy after Independence but that does not mean that the period before independence was any better. In the end, a man who was part of an evil force is not better placed to carry the voice of the oppressed, let alone to suppose that they enjoyed the oppression itself.

    • A professor, Cde Thom Chimuranga is a research fellow at the Institute of Politics in Finland. He writes in his own capacity. 

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    1. So much false information, blacks could own land during Smith’s rule and were educated. Not to mention they made up 70% of the Rhodesian military. However admittedly, whites were more advantageous during the regime, but not as much as you put it.

    2. Warning the next post is a long one do only read if interested

      this is typed in my own words and is based on information I have collected over the years my sources are many and have thus no time to post these if this interests you much there is a lot on this subject and most show both sides of the story but always look for other opinions never believe only one

      as for why no sources well I have no time for them like the kind sir above making claims which are factually contradicted in history a quick search will give you a more realistic image of Rhodesia than this article above

      we all miss Rhodesia is a pretty good statement for it was the last good hope for a self-sufficient Africa. The reality of things is that Rhodesia was by the standard then and now still one of the if not the best nation of Africa for all races. That the writer was part of the white minority does not matter for they were African-Rhodesians above all, and they may have had advantages due to the matter of their forefathers being the colonizers but that does not mean they themselves were automatically bad.

      We would all miss our homeland if we had to flee if staying meant being subjected to the terrorist (more on that down the line). he did not have to assume that that the native-African were happier because they were. Now you can say that I do not know this but there is a simple way to see why this is true look up the name of Rhodesia there will be a name mentioned Breadbasket of Africa. when you look up Zimbabwe there will probably be a mention of farmers having their land stolen and being attacked and also a later plea for the return of those farmers, for the corrupt politicians that apparently are ”the people” to which the land was given to do not know how to farm and the breadbasket has turned into a collections box begging the UN for them to save the poor people of their nation.

      ”enjoyed the deprivation of education” In the nation of Rhodesia there were laws separating ”Black” and ”white” Rhodesians in school this seems bad on a surface level but when reading deeper into it it makes sense. before I get into education I would like to make clear why many things seem ”racist” on a surface level and why Ian Smith was the best leader in Africa at the time. this is mostly due to his more blunt ways in all interviews he makes he intentions clear when being asked what he thought of ”black” majority rule he would reply along the lines of. ”I will not see black majority rule in my lifetime” this may seem racist at first but if most had the manners to listen to his reasoning it makes sense and so do his policies. More on this later but now education, the separation was as per Ian Smith to protect the native-Africans in their youth sounds weird at first. but if you think about it it makes sense for native-Africans families had no history of education this was in the 1st generation after colonization possible via the churches and in the second in the time of a more independent Rhodesia to more. so families had at best 2 generations of education this compared to White-Africans that had generations of education and thus, to put it bluntly, were more advanced and started on a higher learning level, as Ian Smith saw it would make for a safer and better learning environment for the native-Africans they would not have to feel inferior or be picked on because they were learning on another level.
      I personally think that this is a good way of handling it. that may sound racist but I myself know how it seems when you are in such a position for I had many setbacks in education myself from being entered in the lowest grade after being accepted on the highest and more I had to always look up to people who were deemed better that were hard for their material was not different there pacing was and for that small reason those above us always see it fit to try and ridicule those under them and this effect children greatly in their life. thus I think that the policy would have created a higher educated native population quicker than throwing them in one class with those already familiar with most of the teachings.

      economic opportunities were there the most ridiculous thing one can say that there were no economic opportunities for native-Africans because they made up most of the nation if they had no economic opportunities the nation would collapse under unemployment and a crumbling economy like modern Zimbabwe. there is a piece here on the life of Noah a native-African in Rhodesia at the time

      *note* was many unemployed native-Africans at the time but that is what happens when the demand is lower than the supply

      freedom of migration I do not know much about the laws on earlier migration in Rhodesia but I do know of the identification papers only native-Africans had to carry this again seems racist on the surface but as per Ian Smiths explanation at the time due to many surrounding nations being in a state of revolution, war or having massacres along tribe lines there was a surge in illegal immigration into Rhodesia. To keep the native-Africans in Rhodesia save from being mistaken for an illegal immigrant they were given identification papers but not the withes this was due to the difference in education for you and I can tell those around us where we are from in detail, but imagine that the authorities suddenly spoke mandarin i could not tell them were I lived and could be thrown out of my country for it thus that is why they received identification papers as we have cards today to be able to let the authorities know where you are from a thing at that time not readily in use in the world.

      social inclusion, this subject is the motherload of surface racism I will start with parliamentary elections firstly the house counted 100 if filled but it never was the lines were split 16 seats had to be filled with native-Africans and the seats for natives could go up to 50 but not over(more on that later) the seats for whites were almost always filled and could go up to 50 thus making 100 if filled but the ”black seats were almost never filled this is due to the voting system. the system had requirements that you had to meet to be able to vote you had to earn a certain amount and have a couple of years in education these were harder to meet for natives this can be seen as rasist I can see it this way too but it was to prevent voting along tribe lines and to prevent savvy people to influence the less educated to vote in a certain way. thus the 16 seats were filled with major leaders mostly tribe elders and representatives and those above 16 filled were the most they could reach with the population that could vote.

      the idea seems bad but after the revolution, a certain tribe got a lot of support from the government and started to slaughter their rival tribe those people had to flee over the border, also the vote was always being influenced after the revolution with violence by majority there are a lot of stories’s in the later ruling time of Mugabe that if you lived in a street where Mugabe supporters lived and you would vote against the party there would be consequences.

      the highest form of insolence for Zimbabwe’s independence and sense of national pride was performed by Mugabe after the revolution and thus we will talk about Mugabe these days he is a hated man by most but I myself can look up to the man at least in his early life there was a spark a shine in him if you see film of him recorded at that time you will see if he had the right ideas and could muster the support but in my opinion he misused his power. I also think that his intentions were lost in prison where he was held for 10 years by the Rhodesian government for being an insurgent which he had declared earlier. I do understand why the government imprisoned him and many other that declared that they were insurgents for all nations except South-Africa(which I find, to put it bluntly truly a racist place then for black people and now for all people)at the time were in a state of revolution. his son died while he was in prison and he could not go to bury him in Ghana it was not allowed by the Rhodesian government he even said at a time that he would go and return even if he had no guard only to bury his son and i myself believe that he would but the place Ghana is where he became a Marxist and where a pro-communist government was based thus letting him go there was the same as setting him free for I myself do also believe that by seeing his dead son he would be fired up and with support from Ghana which he had been involved with he could go back to the revolution. look the name Mugabe up on google and read/watch some things on him and you will find a good and a bad man under the same name the change happened in prison in my opinion but this is not about Mugabe to put it shortly after he took power he rode on the policies of the old government and kept the steering wheel stable until he was losing his usual ” I fought and got you freedom so vote me for minister” and did a radical thing steal all land from farmers white and black and give it to the people so they vote but the land that went to people was poor land and the people did not know agriculture and the thriving farms they stole were given to the corrupt lackeys of Mugabe thus after driving out all economic force either black or white they county died in the inside.

      Property in Rhodesia was closely managed and had a strict law to put it most simply the country was split into 3 pieces tribe land common land and white land thus tribe land was for natives and no white could buy a piece of land there except for cities which had a separate law all over with districts and apartments were on the owner to decide common land was to buy for all mostly whites for native the native population did not have the money or use for most land at the time.

      Ian Smith is often demonized because of the colonial past of Rhodesia but that is the problem Ian saw himself as an African Plain and simple and wanted to improve his country and did a lot of mind-breakingly things to improve the situation for all races. do under stand that majority rule sounds good and that no race should be discriminated but back in the day it was normal in the world to be racist and to be against racism was not popular in rhodesia there was change but the governement of Ian Smith believed in a theorie that if you look at today is the right one that is you can not give a country to those that do not have the education and abilitie thus we will have to teach them sounds again racist but it worked for people like mugabe and those who later fought against them were educated and had years of learning all sorst of things giving them an ablility to see that they could also do it and that how they are treated is racist but it makes them blind to the reality that they are the smallest group of thier people which makes it even sadder when power is gained and the white man is dealt with as revange which any people will do against their oppresser or desended of their oppresser and they realize that there are not enough educated people in the country to take over all position and thus people end up in places where they should not and money stats dissapearing and everything collapses this mugabe did understand abit for he kept most people of government and changed them over time slowly which would have worked if he did not snap in 2002 this did not make majority rule a scuces this was merely the product of a system that was set in motion to better the continent

      this subject I could type on for days and fill books on the deeper personal meaning of these ideas Ian had for them may seem racist he himself knew that he as an african felt guilty for his forefathers and wanted to help but had the mind to see that just giving it all at once was a bad idea he fore saw what happend and he cared for it was his home land Great britain did not care they would just give a colony their independance and retai all economic power in a nation but Rhodesia would not stand for it Ian an many other Africans like him wanted a thriving nation that would last a thousand years for all to see what it became was a short lived dream that was becoming prettier every year for all participating i personally believe if mugabe had used his education to pruesude his people to get educated more and show the benefits he had in his life time probably seen an election where atleast all seats would be filled but he choose to send thousand to their deaths in a useless war for the only reason that Rhodesia fell was not the world stong arming them into surrender or the just pitiful revolution but the losing support of the native people even when their children where hurled out of school s into guerilla training camps they still feld that mugabe’s revolution would bring them riches to no believe thus in 1980 there where many that celebrated and the children of those people where not scared of his power anymore and stoodup in 2009 against his wrong doings even when in 1979 Ian Signed a majority act and the governemt was filled with educated natives and the country had a majorty but militia groups may not participate in the politics this is logical for if you had fought for more than 10 years and not having won agianst the government once you would take revange thus a year later the militia took over the already open majority government

      if people would not let themselves be guilt-tripped into things all would have been better off for all was changing but as usually not fast enough and now we will probably not see much for another 50 years but there is hope in the smaller nations of Africa where there is not much richer thus no militias to try and take over all the time Africa’s hope lies in those small nations for the last ”Great” nation South Africa will fall soon to an overly nationalistic party that is trying to get rid of all white-owned business

      P.S if i am not mistaken the picture you use is of an american store in the usa
      that style of racism was forbidden in Rhodesia

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