Ian Smith has the last laugh in his grave

via Ian Smith has the last laugh in his grave — Nehanda Radio NOVEMBER 25, 2013 By William Muchayi

Not so often in the history of mankind has humanity sacrificed so much for too insignificant a reward as is the paradox of the war of liberation in Africa as a whole and Zimbabwe in particular.

The bloody war of attrition not only cost precious lives but it created permanent scars among the living which are still fresh physically and mentally. But , it is the ordinary people and not Ian Smith who lost the war on reflection 33 years after independence as the gains of the struggle have been elusive to many except for a few.

Indeed, Zimbabwe is a failed state today with a non-functioning economy, a once-flourishing agricultural sector now moribund, and a population on the brink of starvation, mainly due to the incompetency of those in the corridors of power.

In contrast, Ian Smith, however ponderous, however humourless and unsophisticated he might have been, ran a successful emerging African state that competed on an equal footing with other powers not only in Africa, but even those to the North.

Isn’t Smith on record jokingly branding the Rhodesians as being more British than the British themselves, how Winston Churchill – had he been alive, would almost certainly have emigrated from England to Rhodesia?

This unique vision by the former Southern Rhodesia Prime Minister except for his deplorable racist shortcomings sets him over and above the majority of African leaders and Mugabe included in post-independence Africa.

The calibre of political leaders Africa has had past and present has an uninspiring vision , one that lacks direction, depth, clarity and creativity and Zimbabwe is no except. The African curse haunts the motherland and the country fast becomes a wasteland.

Smith took years to build the jewel of Southern Rhodesia which was the envy of the world to be inherited by Mugabe.

Contrary to widespread misconceptions among many in post-independence Zimbabwe that Mugabe’s policies were behind the stable economy that characterised the first few years after independence , it is an undeniable fact that indeed Zimbabweans were harvesting what Smith left behind but had no idea of re- generating that wealth until it got exhausted.

The country is in a state of wasteland today due to 33 years of gross economic mismanagement coupled by a culture of impunity, lack of accountability, incompetency and a general lack of leadership and direction. The country is on its knees not because of sanctions as Mugabe would want his subjects to believe but because the cow has been milked for too long without being fed.

Take for instance, last year when the government spent nearly US$50 million in foreign travels, a figure that is double what was spent on education [US$25 million] with the energy sector getting a meagre US$16 million. This sheer extravagancy happens when schools can’t afford to buy basic textbooks let alone universities having running water to drink and flash toilets.

In 2011, public documents show that Mugabe gobbled a staggering US$29 million in travel expenses and not to mention the recent trip to New York this year in September for the UN General Assembly Conference which is estimated to have cost the taxpayer around US$500 000 in just five days for the presidential entourage made up of 80 people.

Can Zimbabwe afford to foot the bill of such an inflated delegation and what does the country benefit from such trips to be worth undertaking except to line the pockets of a minority in travel expenses? Imagine how much it has cost the state to foot such endless and unnecessary trips since 1980.

Not only are these errands futile but they become laughable more so when one considers the fact that most of the time the incumbent and his delegation are asleep when others are busy deliberating on important issues on such conferences. Imagine the YouTube video that has gone viral on the internet showing the president fast asleep during the conference at the just ended Arab-Africa Summit.

Of late, the newly sworn government spoiled itself with a fleet of brand new executive vehicles costing Treasury around US$16 million. What about the presidential motorcade and how much it cost the state since 1980?

I have seen the Queen of England, presidents and prime ministers in the developed world who can afford such luxury but rarely live such a life of extravagancy as our leaders.

The milk that Zimbabweans have been harvesting from the jewel of Southern Rhodesia fast dries, hence the trepidations that are witnessed today and it will never rain but pour in the near future with this current blind leadership. The story is the same across Africa from Cape to Cairo and Accra to Nairobi.

Not only is the jewel being swallowed by a life of extravagancy on the part of the elite in power, but corruption plays its part. Zimbabwe ranks joint 163rd out of 176 countries in the 2012 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index ranking it alongside Equatorial Guinea and is renowned to be the most corrupt nation in the SADCC region.

Mugabe has presided over a corrupt administration since 1980 and his failure to stamp on the practice has indirectly made him an accomplice which has robbed the nation of billions of dollars since independence worsening the country’s woes.

According to International NGO Global Witness, about US$2 billion in diamond revenues have been unaccounted for since 2008 and to date no one has been prosecuted for the crimes.

In contrast, in spite of the punitive sanctions slapped on Ian Smith’s administration after the declaration of UDI in 1965 , the Rhodesian economy grew stronger although it benefited the minority white community more than the black population. The Rhodesian dollar was level with the British pound in terms of value on the market in 1979.

This is in stuck contrast with Zimbabwe’s economy which by 2008 had an inflation of 200 million percent before the abandonment of the local currency in favour of multi- currency and staggering debt of roughly US$11 billion.

Mugabe has made the country a wasteland and dozens of factories are lying idle with peeling paint, rusting machines and broken roofs in once bustling industrial districts, symbols of the huge economic mess the country finds itself in 33 years after ‘defeating’ Smith.

Rhodesian hospitals were the largest and best equipped in the whole of Central Africa and they compared favourably with those in Britain and North America. No wonder why Smith jokingly thought that Winston Churchill, if he was alive, would have considered the idea of emigrating from England to Rhodesia, the country he was so proud of.

In contrast, Mugabe flies to the Far East for medical treatment shunning Gomo, Parirenyatwa and Mpilo, hospitals he presided over for more than 3 decades.

Today, Zimbabwe’s healthcare system is grounded down, crippled with drugs, manpower, acute water and power shortages under the watchful eyes of Mugabe who has no answer either to address the crisis but is reluctant to step down after having such a dismal track record.

Ian Smith’s vision was to develop a healthcare system that was of international standard which could compete with those in developed countries. He dreamt of a scenario whereby those to the north get treatment in Africa , hence the reference to Winston Churchill emigrating to the continent , instead of a one way trend as is the case today with Africans flocking to the north.

The education system is under severe strain and unemployment has reached more than 70%. There is acute water shortage in urban areas with residents resorting to drilling boreholes and more than 70% of the population is poor.

As if that is not enough, local government embarks on Murambatsvina when residents survive on sewage contaminated water if they can’t afford to drill their own boreholes. Does Ignatius Chombo, a PhD holder has an idea as to what constitutes dirty in his crusade to clean up Harare of dirty?

Contrary to what Smith thought of Mugabe after being warmly welcomed at State House in April 1980 that ‘’ Here’s this chap , and he was speaking like a sophisticated , balanced, sensible man. I thought if he practices what he preaches, then it will be fine….’’, the truth of the matter is that Mugabe is none of the above as proven by the state of the country today.

He has failed just like other African leaders before him. Not to sound Eurocentric , I for one does acknowledge that there is absolutely something wrong that needs to be corrected in the way we do our business as Africans.

At present, the continent is in dire need of visionaries who can turn around her fortunes and the present leadership has failed and will not succeed trending on the current path. Australia, New Zealand and North America became what they are to be the envy of the whole world after the arrival of such visionaries.

Smith, in spite of his racist flaws and the atrocities which he committed for which he should have be charged for, was exceptional in terms of his vision of development compared to the current crop of leadership Africa has had so far.

Indeed, Smith must have the last laugh in his grave for contrary to what we all thought after independence that we were victorious, reality has proved that we are all villains except for Mugabe and a clique surrounding him in the corridors of power.

The beautiful ones are yet to be born!!!

William Muchayi is a pro-democracy and political analyst who can be contacted on wmuchayi@gmail.com

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 91
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    Tjingababili 8 years ago

    THE NATIVES ARE BUSY ENRICHING THEMSELVES AT THE EXPENSE OF THE MASSES THEY PURPORT TO REPRESENT!! KWAKEKUYI IHADZA!!

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    Smith never lost the bush war. It was the naive brits and yanks who were clueless in inflicting a terrorist cabal upon a hapless country. The boers thought this sacrifice would buy them time. ” the world is full of fools “

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      Kevin Watson 8 years ago

      In 1970 I drove with out a care in the world from Bulawayo to Victoria Falls. No one even mentioned the possibility of an ambush. In 1978 I was required to travel in convoy from Beitbridge to Bulawayo, because of the liklihood of an ambush. The war was being lost even if those such as yourself were too stupid to realise it at the time. Because the Rhodesian forces never lost a skirmish or a battle does not mean they were winning the war. The truth is they were losing and Vorster decided to cut his losses and fight South Africas own war on the Limpopo. Ultimately South Africa couldn’t win their own war not because their army was incapable but because a Government cannot make war on a majority of their own population ad infinitum.

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        Wrongsir 8 years ago

        That’s what happens when a country is at war. Rhodesia lost allies in Portuguese Mozambique. Pik Botha, by the way, is the one to blame for South Africa’s part. Their war could have continued as they had the target demographics militarily quarantined for the most part. The war couldn’t have lasted much longer even at that rate, though. Samora Michel even said Zanu and Zapu would no longer be welcome in Mozambique if he did not accept a deal to end hostilities. The Rhodies would never have tasted defeat.

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    Tjingababili 8 years ago

    SMITH vs BLACKSMITH!!!

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    When one is dealing with fools one had better walk away lest you are concise red a fool. Good article. I met Smith and he was not a racist. Mugabe and all Zanoids are extreme racists

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    holy moyo 8 years ago

    Rhodesia was life..Jobs ,food. Education golden dollar..Christmas was christmas..People came from all over Southern Africa..for work,schooling and good life.
    Now these mudering thieves led by this power hungry despot have turned our country into a daily life of misery abitrary arrests torture extra judicial kilings genocide deprivation Worse than Somalia..
    Children born after 1980 believe suffering is part of life.While these ZANU thugs under this corrupt filth Mugabe have multiple farms and looted money stashed in the far East..Eish

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    Canuck 8 years ago

    Yes, Smith was no panacea, but like Joe, I too met him on several oaacasiobs and I believe that given time he would have done much for the common good in Zim.
    How many of today’s Zim residents would prefer what they have today than what they had in the days under Smith ?
    Sad to say, I think very few.
    And that is a VERY sad situation……..

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      Kevin Watson 8 years ago

      Smith may not personally been an overt racist, but the Government he led was racist and reversed some of the liberal reforms instituted by Whiteheads Government prior to the Rhodesian front winning the 1962 election. After all it was a cabal led by Clifford Du Pont, William Harpur and Boss Lilford who ousted Winston Field from the leadership of the Rhodesian Front and those three were out and out racists. Boss Lilfords son beat a black man to death with a sjambok for which he ws jailed. The only reason that Smith was made Prime Minister was that those three gentlemen were unelectable as Prime Minister.

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        Wrongsir 8 years ago

        Conveniently, none of the “reversed … liberal reforms” included removal of blacks from government.

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    Doris 8 years ago

    Also, Smith could and did walk the streets of Harare, without a massive security team. He would stop and talk to the public in general and speak on the same level as them. He lived his life frugally, without pomp and ceremony. And yes, he had his faults, but he had the people of Zimbabwe at heart at all times and strived to make it a better place to live.

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    I AM HAPPY THAT AT LAST PEOPLE REALISE WHAT HAS BEEN CRSTAL CLEAR.WHEN SMITH FACED SANCTIONS TROM HIS KITH AND KIN, HE DID NOT CRY AND LAMBAST HIS MOTHER COUNTRY, HE CALLED UPON SERIOUS RHODESIANS TO STEER THE SHIP.THE TEAM COMPRISED THE NO NONSENSE DEPUTY CLIFFORD DUPONT.THEY MASTERMINDED AN ECONOMY BASED ON AGRICULTURE, MINING AND MANUFACTURING.IMPORT SUBSTITUTION WAS THE ORDER OF THE DAY.PEASANT FARMERS WERE TAUGHT AGRIC AND ANIMAL HUSBANTRY.SOUTH AFRICA BECAME AFRAID OF THE NOTHERN TIGER AND IT STARTED MOVES TO MAKE RHODESIA ITS 5TH PROVINCE AFTER TRANSVAL , ORANGE FREE STATE, NATAL AND THE CAPE .WHILE I CAN NOT CONDONE HUMAN ATROCITIES, THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT THE RHODESIANS WERE HANDS ON, NOT PROPAGANDA LIKE OUR FELLOW POT BELLIED LIARS WHO ALL CLAIM TO BE WAR VETERANS

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    Quite honestly, I do not believe Ian Smith would be laughing in he grave. He would be weeping.

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      Margaret Pretorius 7 years ago

      I agree… Ian Smith would never have wanted it to come to this!

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    Great article, and great comments!! I would like to see a zanoid moron get in the ring with this giant…OUCH!

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    reader 8 years ago

    Nicholas Monserat wrote 2 books “The Tribe that that lost it’s head” and “Richer than all his tribe”.
    Written around 1950 well before Britain started giving independence to the colonies.
    This is an actual prediction of what would happen in Africa and has proved true.
    Such a pity only a few persons saw this as fact and tried to avoid it Rhodesians tried but failed.
    Read these books if you care and perhaps the future will unfold for Africa.
    Our children may then have a future.

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    jakeM 8 years ago

    Alas, What about poor David Stevens ? like many both African and European, slaughtered in cold blood in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. Mugabe you are an utter disgrace ! UTTER DISGRACE !

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    bingo wajakata 8 years ago

    ZANU people where are you? Join the discussion and say the truth. Is our health care system better today than during Ian Smith’s time? Is access to education and quality of education better? Are there more jobs today that the time of Ian Smith? I know, I know, its sanctions, well Ian Smith had real sanctions not these purported sanctions. Add to that the fact that Ian Smith was fighting a war terrorists (I used to disagree with this terminology but 33 years of Mugabe and his murderers his taught me otherwise)at the same time but did industry collapse? No it actually thrived! Mugabe is a total failure, if he was to ever tell the truth he would admit it but I doubt that he remembers what the truth is anymore or he will do what is does best try to pass blame. By now he should be retired, playing with grandchildren and writing his memoirs but alas, the idiot is afraid that if he moves from the presidential chair his crimes might just catch up with him. The guy is a coward, look how he has not been able to keep his subordinates in line regarding performance and corruption. He is just but a clown at the wrong time, clowning with our lives and our children’s future. Except grand standing and shouting himself breathless at imaginary western enemies what good has Mugabe done for the ordinary man and woman in misery riddled Zimbabwe. I hope one day the people of my country will rise and desecrate the so called hero’s acre and throw Mugabe’s bones into a pit latrine or better still burn them and throw the ashes into same.

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    Been said before, Zanupf inherited the Jewel of Africa that was Rhodesia, even with out further development, at the bare minimum, if Zanupf had merely maintained what they had inherited, Zimbabweans would be 10 times better off than they are now!

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    I will go negetive i don’t care , the world particulary the westerns has failed Zimbabwe , remember Zimbabwe as a nation will never survive in isolation , Rhodesia was very much supported and hundred percent backed up by most western countries , after we got our independence in 1980 , the westerns became so reluctant to give support to us , they opposed our policies and they felt that we should be a puppert government of which we strongly disagreed , it was not going to assist us to let them continue controlling the wealth of the country after independence as they wanted to , the world/westerns didnt support our democracy thats why we are in crisis today , we refused to be a puppert government , and we still stand on that refusal , westerns have never stopped their war against Zimbabwe thats why even today they can’t lift the sanctions . Those who praise Smith , they are fine let them please England , its better to look east than to be a cheaper/puppert nation .

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      marasha 8 years ago

      Khabo ,you want support when you always utter that they should keep their Britain and you keep your zimbabwe why are you contradicting yourself

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      Fallenz 8 years ago

      Explain those “sanctions” that have inflicted such serious injury on the Zim economy. Waiting… waiting… waiting…

      Ya know, being a ZANUPF apologist has to be like that flat rock every cow looks for…

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      Thebiggerpicture 5 years ago

      Thank you Khabo. Finally a comment from someone who has obviously taken the time to read about the history of Rhodesia! Has anyone ever stop to think that once a country has decided to not be a puppet for another it is immediately sanctioned by the powers that may? If its a predominantly black one its classified as a “failed state”. The westerners turned their backs on Zimbabwe because they lost the war and the white man’s ego was bruised. Mugabe is very capable of directing the country in the right direction if the support is given.

      Another big elephant in the room for Zimbabweans is the issue of homosexuality. Mugabe is more inclined to not have a country to be so totally focused on this and he has made it clear but because western societies are so homosexualized they impose even stiffer sanctions. It is intended for Mugabe but all they are doing is hurting an entire country. Why dont we see all these sanctions against Russia who holds similar views about gays and hunts them down in the streets like wild animals? The answer is simple, they are not black.

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    Bunguse Tauyawo 8 years ago

    I am happy that the majority of Zimbabweans do not think like the ones whose comments are posted here. To just think that some people believe that Smith’s Rhodesia was better than Mugabe’s Zimbabwe makes me wonder whether the people who say so were there during that period and if they were, on which side they were. Granted things could be better and everyone surely condemns corruption but seriously, we cannot or rather, I cannot see how Smith’s rule can be adjudged better except, if the truth be told, by a white Rhodie or a miserably ignorant black man. We should be striving to make this a better place by moving with the times. Going against the current as is shown here only results in slow progress towards true independence and liberation

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      @bunguse you and probably about a thousand zanupf like you would naturally disagree with this article.please give us an explanation with everything and everybody willing to help did zims become such a failure under mugabe and zanupf???

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      Kevin Watson 8 years ago

      The racism of the Rhodesian Front government from 1962 to 1980 is undeniable. That atrocities were committted by certain elements within the Rhodesian security forces is also undeniable. However they were not a bunch of corrupt useless self serving idiots. The elements comprising the Patriotic Front were also racist (look at their policies in government), they also committed atrocities such as the murder of the survivors of the one Viscount shot down. However they are corrupt to the core, seeking only to enrich themselves and their associates. They have run the once thriving economy inherited from the Smith Government into the ground and have all but destroyed it. They have caused widespread starvation they have caused unemployment to soar to unprecedented levels, much more than the 70% quoted in this article an given rise to an estimated 4million economic refugees. They are in a nut shell corrupt useless self serving leeches on society and Zimbabweans deserve better.

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      marasha 8 years ago

      what is true independence&liberation? can we say we are liberated in zim,NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      Yep Liberation and total poverty, gukurahundi, murambastvina,CIO, Gangsters in police uniform, Murder rape and torture…Yep “LIBERTY FROM WHAT IDIOT!”

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      enda zvakanaka 8 years ago

      @Bunguse Tauyawo “Granted things could be better”…. understatement of the millennium!!! Seriously? Do you even live in Zimbabwe?

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    Dennywoof 8 years ago

    A.P. Smith, Minister of African Education managed to get 1/3 of the National Budget allocated to African Education in the hopes that educating the people would end up with a politically aware population. What percentage Education now?

    Ian Smith claimed we had the happiest Africans on the continent. I don’t think this means deliriously happy, but looking at the rest of Africa, now Zim. too, I guess he was right.

    He often drove himself around Salisbury in a black Peugeot 404.

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    John Steele 8 years ago

    Excellent article! Smithy would be weeping in his grave at how the Zanoids have destroyed a once prosperous country.

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      To me Smith and Mugabe are like a 6 and a 9. It depends which way you hold it. One 6 or 9 created a strong economy the other 6 or 9 destroyed it. Basically both had flawed policies which caused suffering on others.

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    Bruce 8 years ago

    Majority of Zimbabweans do think that Smith was far better than Mugabe. If they were not thinking like that there would not have voted for the party greately perceived by Mugabe and partners as western sponsored party. However the facts are very clear. The infrustructure left by Smith government worked way far into Mugabe’s erra. If Mugabe is to retire what infrustructure non fuctional industries, aged rail lines, broken bridges, pot holes on roads, obsolete NRZ trains, non fuctional air Zimbabwe, mounting loans, corrupt military, dry GMB silos, unemployment close to 80%. In 1979 and 1980 Zim dollar traded R1=25c $1Usd=80c pound 1=1,10 etc. now what is the case. Zimbabwe does not even have its own currency. Citizen of other African countries used to work in Zimbabwe, but now over 5 millions Zimbabweans are scattered the globe. SADC had given Zimbabwe the responsibility of feeding other SADC counties but now SADC is struggling to feed Zimbabwe. Then as Smith said Winston Churchill would have wanted to migrate to Zimbabwe, now they can not even vist. Insteady Mugabe is crying day and night to have targeted sanction removed so that he can visit, shop, and get medication in UK and Europe. Smith never wanted that because he had adequate medication and shops back in Zimbabwe.

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    marasha 8 years ago

    Jack RABBIT, you are lying, some of us we were there during the time of Smith most of the things were perfect.The country was well run.there was good sannitation,education,peace, no corruption, thieves were so scarce. i remember we used to leave clothes overnight on the line ,even sleeping outside during hot days.so you value an africa leader at the expense of the suffering whole nation

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      As I said a 6 and a 9

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      If other peoples opinions are different to yours they are lying but you forget the two sides of the coin.What you saw through your eyes is not the same as others seen through theirs. When the majority voted for Mugabe they had no idea what they were letting themselves in for. I appreciate anybody’s opinion and would not call you a liar. But I don’t think that comments in this column are reserved for either the supporters of the 6 or the 9.If things were reversed a lot of people including Ian Smith would have done things differently. It is for us to debate and maybe lessons can be leant from our debate. But the way you say I am lying is said with vermin and anger.

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    marasha 8 years ago

    thats true Bruce its pathetic and beyond imagination.i alws wonder ,what are they thinking everyday when they are sitting in the parliament

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      rudeboy 8 years ago

      did u mean to say sleeping in parliment..

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        B.Mathe 8 years ago

        GUYS WE ARE IN TROUBLE THE DICTATOR HAS THE NATIONAL ARMY ON HIS SIDE AND A LOT OF CAPACITY TO RIG ELECTIONS AND FOR WHAT I CAN IMAGINE THIS THIEF IS HERE TO STAY HE CAN GO ANOTHER 10YRS. WE NEED INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO COME TO OUR RESCUE BUT NOT SADAC OR AFRICAN UNION BECAUSE THEY ARE ALSO SCARED OF THE DICTATOR MUGABE.OUR OPPOSITION WITHOUT AN ARMY OF THEIR OWN WILL NOT STAND A CHANCE AGAINST THE TYRANT.MAYBE A NATIONAL MASS ACTION STARTING AT STATE HOUSE COZ WE ARE LOSING HOPE AS ZIMBABWEANS.

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    Tafadzwa Zim 8 years ago

    A good read! Why would Mugabe look after the blood, sweat and toil of others who built the country, he had no hand in this creation he inherited. Instead squandering his inheritance to the detriment of the people like a spoilt child.

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    chinoyi 8 years ago

    Well done on a well written article. I believe that the time is right to educate the younger generations and remind the older generations of Zimbabwe that things were not that bad in Rhodesia, yes there was discrimation, yes the majority did not have the vote…….and that was very very wrong, but I really think it is time we all looked back and analysed the last 30 odd years and asked ourselves, “what has the vote done for us”,”are we better off”, “are our children futures secure” and many more similar questions, then let’s educate our people of the true history of our country and destroy the ZANU pF self serving propaganda. Only when we all face the truth, accept that we have a huge problem, only then will we start to move forward, united in solving these issues for the betterment of all Zimbabweans regardless of colour or creed.

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      Well said, one man, one vote has not brought freedom to the black majority, as promised by the likes of Mugabe and Nkomo.
      The White minority Government was fighting for a way of life as they had seen what was happening to the North, can you blame them?
      Everything that was bad about the “liberated” countries north of Rhodesia has now come to fruition in Zimbabwe 10 times over!

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    Fallenz 8 years ago

    Ian Smith saw the nation as a prize to be developed… Mugabe and cohorts saw it as a prize to be looted. Both accomplished their goals. Pure and simple.

    Excellent article.

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    Look here , Smith was at his best for his own white people , i don’t praise him at all , have you forgotten that there was segregation during his time , best hospitals for white people , best schools only for white kids , best green parks for white people , best eduction for white people , for the blacks it was only bantu education taught only to be able to work for them and take instructions , blacks were used as cheap labour .

    @John Steele , Zanoids never destroyed their country , but they were destroyed by lake of support from the industrialsed countries like your ENGLAND , remember no nation servives in isolation , we need that support which was given to Smith by the outside world , they couldn’t give us the support as part of punishment because Zimbabwe refused to be under a puppert government

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      Wrongsir 8 years ago

      You… cannot be serious. Lack of support? Zimbabwe has received billions upon billions in aid from ALL of the West since 1980. Isolation? They’ve not been in isolation EVER since this government came into existence. You need to check into reality before you comment.

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    @Wrongsir , the problem is that you are too generalising you points (see the bigger picture here ) , aids specifically for a certain task will never be diverted to carter for the whole natoin , our country is under or developing , then developed countries most like the westerns must be supportive to the developing countries .It is incorrect from you to say we had been receiving support since from 1980 .

    Wrongsir bring your own dead comments , stop opposing me , have you ever been to brainstorming session .

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    Clemence Munyukwi 8 years ago

    If you are someone who happened to have lived on both sides of the world, Ian Smith era (1965-80) and Robert Mugabe (1980-present),you realize that comparing the two is like comparing two evils. Ian Smith was an oppressor and racist. Robert Mugabe is racist and a dictator. Both men’s traits are unjustifiable, to say the least. Although the argument here is that Ian Smith managed the economy well even though he was under sanctions I would say, like Mugabe, the Rhodisian economy under Smith benefited a few Elite Whites while the majority blacks ravished in poverty with virtually no education or health care. Zimbabwe under Mugabe did not make the situation any better for these poor folks who sacrificed their lives and whatever little they had to support the war. Little did they know they where simply jumping from the frying pan into the fire

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      Well said. The writer of the article wrote “Smith, in spite of his racist flaws and the atrocities which he committed for which he should have be charged for, was exceptional in terms of his vision of development compared to the current crop of leadership Africa has had so far.” In spite of this and everyone agreeing that this is a good article I pointed out the same. I am just surprised that one of the readers never a cussed the writer of lying but came out and said”Jack Rabbit you are lying. My point is that some people will comment according to what they lost ie the clothes that someone lost off the washing line during Mugabe’s rule.Others look at the injustices Zimbabweans have had to endured which one day as sure as the sun comes out will be corrected and Zimbaweans can say NEVER AGAIN.

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    Don Cox 8 years ago

    The decline of Zimbabwe after the British left is very similar to the decline of Britain after the Romans left. It took centuries to recover.

    One big driver of corruption is when a person had an impoverished childhood. To the son of a peasant farmer, a nice house with fitted kitchen and an SUV are dreams come true.

    The other big driver is “the boss does it”.

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    Stateyourname 8 years ago

    I was born in The late 1970s ,old enough to remember the change from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe, old enough to remember the good life, good schools,fair currency and seemingly endless opportunities available to the average Zimbabwean .
    I did reap the harvest sown by the Rhodesian government.one must however freely acknowledge the simple fact that the ‘harvest’was not burnt at independence, it nourished me and my generation It was fostered by the new government, until those in power began to believe it was their god given right to lead and that they were not accountable for their actions.That is one of the tragedy of ZANU PFs governance
    Now I see some proud Rhodesians looking back with nostalgia through rose tinted glasses. Looking back at the good old days is easy and there is a rough sense of satisfaction for some at the state of Zimbabwe now .
    shame on you for discounting the suffering of the many whose lifeblood and labour helped build your utopia,
    shame on you for looking away when sjamboks, kicks and insults fell on fellow human beings and you looked away.

    I am a black child of the 1970s had I been born just 10 years prior I would not have been able to reach for the stars , I would have been on the ground stuck refueling your rocket ship.denied the chance to even try.

    The war for independence was one fought to remove a government whose policies alienated and segregated the majority for the mistaken belief that ,based on the colour of your skin ,you could claim ownership and lordship over another.

    Do not think for a second that I give ZANU a pass because I am black. The ruling party has a lot to answer for and are guilty for leading us to this pass. For some it’s easier to blame the US ,the UK the West for broken promises and sabotages than it is to face the fact that they are failing as politicians , forgetting the people they are meant to represent.
    They too will reap the whirlwind that systemised oppression brings. You can not mete out pain and expect no reprecussions .

    Shame on us all for our silence and apathy and letting it happen while waiting for a savior

    I would have the possibility of sympathy for Ian Smith if he were crying in his grave rather than laughing at us from it.
    There are people that are trying hard to fight the good fight, who are asking the difficult questions from outside and inside the power structures.Do what you can to help.
    Lastly to my fellows, I do not think its a simple as Ian smiths rights vs mugabes wrongs. It’s about the People who by right, birth or choice call that land home. Those who look at themselves and their families and want nothing but the best for them.

    It’s about fighting for the right to be heard

    It’s about looking at the jewel of Zimbabwe, bloodied, tarnished and seeing its beauty and working to clean and share it
    Aluta continua

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      Well said stateyourname I concur.

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      Umwrong 8 years ago

      I tip my hat to you, sir. A Luta Continua.

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      Mat Brody 7 years ago

      Very well said

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      If the country had been left to find its own way forward, do you honestly believe that democracy would not have come anyway? Africa follows global trends, & world views changed rapidly during this era. South African voters voted for moving towards one man, one vote in the referendum – Is there any reason to believe that the community would not have demanded the same of their government?

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    @Clemence , that’s correct brother , i shake your hand .

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    Rwendo 8 years ago

    The one good thing that can be said of Smith is that by-and-large, he followed the right economic model. Mugabe spent years refusing to acknowledge what was going on around the world (even after the Berlin wall came down) and chose to stick to his concept of “Scientific Marxist-Leninist Socialism”, including trying to establish a one party state (by destroying opposition); blurring distinctions between “the party” and the state; taking a suspicious to hostile stance towards private enterprise and generally alienating investment (from the mid-80s into the 90s). I well remember people in ZANU (some now falling over themselves to “look East”) who at that stage accused post-Mao China of “selling out.” Mugabe did initially improve agricultural output, health and education (although quantity tended to be sacrificed for quality). On the other hand, Smith/the RF created ZANU through arrogance and short-sightedness. They forced the Nationalists into armed struggle, and from there, the Eastern Block and Marxism. The Afrikaners across our border learned from his mistakes. So really, the two are for me different sides of the same coin; stubborn, arrogant, resourceful, charismatic and cunning leaders. However, because of their lack of wisdom and foresight and the poor choices they made (UDI and half-baked Marxism respectively), they ended up using their talents to the detriment of our nation, by leading the country (each in his own way)into the bush. One telling difference – Smith was eventually able and willing to step down.

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    Canuck 8 years ago

    A lot of great commentary here, and well said all…….a good read……
    But WHO is doing anything to improve Zim’s lot these days…..
    NOBODY !!!!!!!
    And it is time to stop blaming sanctions for the mess……it is the INVESTMENT CLIMATE that is responsible for the inertia in ZIM
    NO-ONE is going to provide capital to help in the development of the country, thereby providing employment and economic boosting with ZANU policies……
    Will not happen, and crying in the beer will not help.
    Those living in Zim need to change things from the inside…..outsiders like me cannot do it.

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    Angela Wigmore 8 years ago

    Ian Smith was a pragmatist, not a racist. Have any of his detractors ever sought to ask the opinions of the many (black) people who worked for him, either in his government offices, home or farm? I would stake my life that not one would have anything but affection and goodwill towards him. He was not interested in self-aggrandizement – his concern and duty was towards the enrichment of Rhodesia and all its people. If he ignored black education, as some ignorant people say, how come three quarters of the University of Rhodesia’s students were black? And if he did not care about the health of black people, both urban and rural, how come all the hospitals and clinics were equipped and staffed to high world-standards? Ian Smith was a remarkably humble man. At a civic reception held on one of his visits to the small community of Binga, he insisted on helping to clear away the dirty glasses, ashtrays etc. so that our(black)cook/housekeeper did not have to do it the next morning. Can you imagine any other head-of-state doing that?

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      Ian Smith took Rhodesia back 50 years. Education, Health and the infrastructure of the country had been built up during the Federation. All that racist did was create a country where the only recourse the black people had was Nationalism. Doesn’t anyone remember how people like Jasper Savanhu who served in the Federal Government were ousted and segregated when Smith came to power? There was nothing good about Ian Smith, he was championed by a stupid, self serving greedy and racist minority and they got precisely what they deserved. The sadness is that a minority of white people who were against him all got tarred with the same brush.

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        Angela Wigmore 8 years ago

        @Miles Anderson: When were you born? How much do you know through actual experience what went on during Ian Smith’s leadership? How can you say he took Rhodesia back 50 years – that would be to 1915?! Absolute nonsense! And please inform us about this Jasper Savanhu and how great his input was – I admit I never heard of him. As for people ”being tarred with the same brush” – I have heard that Cathy Buckle was anti-Smith. If this is true she seems to have changed her tune. And, since you have responded to my comment, why have you not addressed any of my questions? If you are so sure your opinions are right, please back them up with facts.

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    Dayford 8 years ago

    Hear Hear Mr William Muchayi, you coudnt have put the facts together better. Mugabe and Zanu PF have taken 33 years to ruin our country…no longer Great Zimbabwe Ruins but hopelessly Zimbabwe Ruins today. We have been misled for too long by Zanu. I remember Eddison Zvobgo and Edgar Tekere telling us the President was surrounded by dead wood. The dead wood still surround him today and continue to formulate policy. Its time to challenge this Zimbabwe…It also appears as if the same dead wood have our president by the balls [excuse my language)and they will not let him leave office as they are busy lining their pockets with proceeds from our natural resourses. Open your eyes Zimbabwe and dont allow yourselves to be fooled by Zanu PF when they talk about sanctions. Let the truth be told….there are no sanctions crippling our economy…sanctions are targetted at individuals and we know this. We still have international development aid coming from UK, US and the EU for food aid, medicines and vaccines, antivirals etc but Zanu will still tell you about sanctions. Sanctions? What sanctions!!!!

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      Angela Wigmore 8 years ago

      @Dayford: I do hope you are telling the same facts to the many people you are in contact with who do not have access to the internet and therefore perhaps do not have access to the truth.

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        Dayford 8 years ago

        It is a challenge to us Zimbabweans to confront this beast that is Zanu PF. It saddens me to see my country slowly slide to the abbys and my heart bleeds for my fellow countrymen who have been fooled by Mugabe for so long. I am paying close attention to http://www.zunde.com , it appears they may have the right approach to our problems but they are yet to convince me. You are right Angela Wigmore, the ordinary people without access to the internet are the key to any meaningful change. I have seen the light, my own Dad fought for the liberation of Zimbabwe so I know these people well. They were once called gangsters by ID Smith, that is what they have proved to be. Our country is in the hands of gangsters

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    anthony 8 years ago

    As a white born in rhodesia, served in the bsap. Stayed in Zimbabwe, served in the zrp, I salute the author, and I know its too late, but maybe these were the debates we should have had in 1980. The indepth comments and knowledge is very inspiring, but – I somehow feel sadly, that’s what is done is done.! We maybe should have debated and discussed this more in 1980!

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    anthony 8 years ago

    Just a last comment…its all History now !

    As one comment stated, what about,Now.!

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    Joe doe 8 years ago

    Doubt if any of those fat bloated zanoids would join this debate,too much up their own bums to even care.

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    Robert Mbofana 8 years ago

    We have to be proud of our achievements Zimbabwe. You may say what achievement when people are hungry and the economy is in dire situation. Please think before you pine over racist Rhodesia. The current Zimbabwean ruling politician fought and brought independence with the help of the rest of Zimbabweans. If you and your followers thought these new politicians where also going to bring economic prosperity you are very much wrong. Please do not expect the world to be delivered into your lap. look at countries which were formally colonised by the West such as India and Brazil. They did not take only 33 years to build their economies after colonisation. India and Brazil were in a sorry state 33 years after their independence look at them now. They kept at it and did not look back to Europeans to help them. When their economy was poor some of them went abroad and gained employment and later returned home to invest and build their country, why can we not copy this great example instead denigrating our heroes. Remember the economy was in the hands of foreigners now it is in our hands it will take time for us to run it well. As for the huge wealth held by the top political elite name one country this is not so.
    Pamberi neZanu

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      Unfortunately you are another brain washed victim of Zanupf and don,t know it, Zanupf has been very thorough in the last 33 years in brain washing the population.

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      Dayford 8 years ago

      Robert Mbofana, ask yourself these questions, why are our ministers millionaires today yet we know how much they earn? Why do we have nearly 4 times the size of Cabinet as the one we had at independence? Why do we spend twice as much of foreign trips than on education or industry? an easy one, why does our President have a convoy of close to 30 cars when he is in the road? That is just but a small contribution to what is a systematic destrution of our fragile economy. We are in deep trouble Robert Mbofana, this economy is a sick patient today but i am afraid the patient will be in intensive care in the not too distant future. The medication for this poor patient has to be foreign investment and i am not sure if you keep looking east you will get it. Think again Robert and its time for you to open your eyes to the real Zimbabwe

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    Zimbandrew 8 years ago

    I have a vision for Zimbabwe, a powerful vision of wealth and posterity… But it is marred by the folly of ancient thinking, dead wood politics garnered by an elite ( word used reservedly) who have destroyed the wealth of those who could uplift Zimbabwe, purged the coffers of those who can ill afford to contribute, and ridden the wave of past colonial ‘oppression’, perceived racism and alleged atrocity of their former detractors. Such powerful commentary as this is, there is still the aroma of foul gullibility oozing out from people who should know better that to take the bait, hook line and sinker about the misdemeanors alleged of Smith. I never liked the man, but I would credit him for a great deal more capability in governance than the present shower of you know what. Yet Zimbabweans are still stuck in the rut of being victims of Smith and the Rhodesians and just cannot seem to climb up out of that deep hole they are making for their beloved leader to bury them in. There is no shame here, no pride and seemingly nobody to share my vision….
    8646

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    anthony 8 years ago

    This is a debate. As usual Mbofana if one does not agree with the current Status with Zimbabwe, one is racist, and thinking of the old days ! How wrong U are ! Its all History, and the current wasteland status of Zimbabwe, now, is fact ! If u read my comment correctly – I served both Governments on an equal time basis!

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    Michael 8 years ago

    Ian Smith had dignity, humility, morality and principles the traits very lacking in black politicians. After 14 years as prime minister he was no wealthier than when he first became prime minister.

    Robert Mugabe is a brutal dictatorial despotic murderer, a liar, and a thief, he has no dignity, no humility, no morality and no principles. From school teacher turned political activist in the late 1970’s to being list in the top ten richest people in the world by 1991.

    You do the maths and figure out who you would rather have running Zimbabwe.

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    Canuck 8 years ago

    Ant, your old sailing mate from Mazoe ……you still got my email address?……shoot me a line……sent one to you but suspect wrong address…..

    T

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    He who laughs last laughs most. Let’s say shame shame shame to the failed state of Zim.

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    Facts are stubborn. I have a liking for Mugabe but hey!! His policies or/and the implementers have let our Great Zimbabwe down. Am converted now. Who can Baptize me into this new light. Bye President of failed policies. Zezuru

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    Mthwakazi 8 years ago

    The problem with gukurawndi Mugabe is that, his outward appearance is very misleading. He loves presenting himself to the public as sophisticated, educated, progressive and modern; always in western suits, bespectacled and sounding polished in his command of the English language.

    However, just beneath the surface he is no different from the primitive, backward man-eaters Idi Amin and Mobutu Seseseko. He has the bush in him, though he is physically out of the bush.

    This is why he doesn’t reason and never sees the bigger picture when he gets angry. And at leadeship level, anger doesnt work. Taking far reaching decisions under anger is the last thing you need in a leader.

    Again like most African leaders, power is everything to him; and he will get it at what ever cost. Langauge such as “compromises” and “collective decision making” do not exist in his narrow world view.

    Everything is always about him and the accolades that accompany victory – damn the cost of that victory. It is therefore no surprise that he loves admiration and praises so much.

    If it were me, I would certainly be embarassed of people fawning at my feet; but for many African leaders, this is what they want. Even when they are praised and called “JESUS”, they will never see this as blasphemy, notwithstanding their claimed Christian beliefs.

    Ian Douglas Smith was certainly right on one thing; that in Africa, apart from maybe Nelson Mandela there are no Statesmen – we only have politicians. This is because a politician focuses on the next election, usually a time horizon of some five years but a Statesmen has a long term vision of the country; usually some twenty years ahead!!

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    nick Skipworth 8 years ago

    you have what you voted for and continue to vote for. Enjoy your “Democracy”.

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    Ian Douglas Smith 8 years ago

    Great debate.

    Its good to see eyes opening to the truth.

    I’m not “laughing”, yet, but I’ll admit to a little chuckle..

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    As a former freedom fighter I now realise and understand why Ian Douglas Smith called for a Responsible Government whereby those without Standard 6 are not allowed to vote. Mugabe and Nkomo both had Standard 2 so did not qualify to vote. Most of the barefooted Zpf supporters in Uzumba Maramba Kufunga could also not vote. Imagine the benefits?

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    Ian Smith took Rhodesia back 50 years. Education, Health and the infrastructure of the country had been built up during the Federation. All that racist did was create a country where the only recourse the black people had was Nationalism. Doesn’t anyone remember how people like Jasper Savanhu who served in the Federal Government were ousted and segregated when Smith came to power? There was nothing good about Ian Smith, he was championed by a stupid, self serving greedy and racist minority and they got precisely what they deserved. The sadness is that a minority of white people who were against him all got tarred with the same brush.

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      Clive Sutherland 8 years ago

      Not True, a lot of infrastructure development took place during the RF years. Are you saying todays Zimbabwe is a much better place to live and bring up children as opposed to Ian Smith,s Rhodesia years?

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      Umwrong 8 years ago

      Mr. Anderson,

      Please, don’t feed us that dreck. Southern Rhodesia dominated the federation and we all know it. As for “segregated,” the population eligible for the franchise was well-represented in parliament. The economy grew and at its end, Rhodesia had not only a currency worth more than the U.S. dollar, but was equal to or greater than the British pound. The nation also boasted more ethnic African millionaires than all of her neighbours combined. Check your facts and get back to us.

      Cheers.

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        Angela Wigmore 8 years ago

        Spot on Umwrong! I knew of a black millionaire in the 60s in the remote Binga area who amassed his fortune gradually, but surely, by developing his bus and tuck-shop business. No greed, corruption or friends-in-high-places: just common sense, business acumen and sheer determination and hard work. If there were more like him in modern Zimbabwe it could be a thriving country again.

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    What a lot of factual discussion with much truth; IDS will be turning in his grave with disgust in the state of zim today.

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    Andrew Matheson 6 years ago

    Rhodesia and Ian Smith were NOT racist.

    South Africa during the Afrikaaner regime (1948-1994) was nothing more than an African version of the third Reich.

    Rhodesia was a tranquil and civilised Christian democracy were everyone was welcome and benefited – regardless of their race, colour or religion.

    Zimbabwe is an abomination where sub-human savages conduct a reign of terror!

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    Pieter meyer 4 years ago

    As a South-African citizen, it is interesting to read all the views . . . .I would really like to learn from Zanu (Mugabe) supporters .. How are they explaining the serious state of affairs in the country of hunger, illness, lack of basic support systems, torture, murders, etc. etc. ? My dear friends . . . you must be blind or uneducated at all ! Thank you “good old Smitty !”. You have done well, mate !

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    Ian Smith's Ghost 4 years ago

    Time and time again, Africans have proven their inability to develop (or even sustain) a civilized culture and society. No one seems to understand why, but when they adopt communist ideas and expect them to work, the issue is surely a lack of intelligence and education. It is truly shocking that they built a systems that were even capable of tearing down all that Smith’s Rhodesians had built. The amount of damage we are talking about is amazing, and could barely have been accomplished with nuclear weapons in such a short period of time. The destructive nature of Africans perhaps explains why man fled the continent eons ago, and why he found the continent almost empty when he came back 400 years ago.

    When the rest of the world finally abandons them for a period of time, Europeans and Asians can return to an empty land awaiting exploit once again. One has to wonder if they will learn from past mistakes, and drive the few remaining Africans into the sea before investing a penny into the infrastructure. Surely Mugabe was ignorant of the vast wealth still remaining beneath the dirt, and the prosperity and bounty the soil still has to offer. I do not think the world will make the same mistake twice. Africa is far to valuable to mankind to allow it to go fallow, just so a few black men can feel empowered, while children die of hunger every second.

    It makes perfect logical sense that many more lives can be saved than will be exterminated in order to liberate this land for the greater good of humanity. That’s not so bad, because Ian Smith’s path for the country would have required no such extermination, but the people rejected it. They have voted for their own fate.