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Southern Rhodesia Becomes Zimbabwe - History

Southern Rhodesia Becomes Zimbabwe - History



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The white-controlled government, under Ian Smith, successfully held out against majority rule until 1976. At that point, the South Africans decided to withhold further military aid. The white government then began negotiations with black nationalist groups and agreed to transfer majority rule to the Blacks by the end of 1978. In January 1979, white Rhodesians agreed to a constitutional change that would insure majority rule. In addition, they agreed to change the name of Rhodesia to Zimbabwe.

Rhodesia

Rhodesia ( / r oʊ ˈ d iː ʒ ə / , / r oʊ ˈ d iː ʃ ə / ), [1] officially from 1970 the Republic of Rhodesia, [2] was an unrecognised state in Southern Africa from 1965 to 1979, equivalent in territory to modern Zimbabwe. Rhodesia was the de facto successor state to the British colony of Southern Rhodesia, which had been self-governing since achieving responsible government in 1923. A landlocked nation, Rhodesia was bordered by South Africa to the south, Bechuanaland (later Botswana) to the southwest, Zambia to the northwest, and Mozambique (a Portuguese province until 1975) to the east. From 1965 to 1978, Rhodesia was one of two independent states on the African continent governed by a white minority of European descent and culture, the other being South Africa.

  1. ^ The government recognised Queen Elizabeth II as the official Head of State from 1965 to 1970. The highest official of Rhodesia held the title "Officer Administering the Government" (OAtG) as he acted in lieu of the official Governor, who remained at his post but was ignored. After Rhodesia became a republic in March 1970, the President replaced the OAtG as the highest official and the Governor returned to London.

In the late 19th century, the territory north of the Transvaal was chartered to the British South Africa Company, led by Cecil Rhodes. Rhodes and his Pioneer Column marched north in 1890, acquiring a huge block of territory that the company would rule until the early 1920s. In 1923, the company's charter was revoked, and Southern Rhodesia attained self-government and established a legislature. Between 1953 and 1963, Southern Rhodesia was joined with Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland in the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

The rapid decolonisation of Africa in the late 1950s and early 1960s alarmed a significant proportion of Southern Rhodesia's white population. In an effort to delay the transition to black majority rule, the predominantly white Southern Rhodesian government issued its own Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) from the United Kingdom on 11 November 1965. The new nation, identified simply as Rhodesia, initially sought recognition as an autonomous realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, but reconstituted itself as a republic in 1970. Two African nationalist parties, the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) and Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), launched an armed insurgency against the government upon UDI, sparking the Rhodesian Bush War. Growing war weariness, diplomatic pressure, and an extensive trade embargo imposed by the United Nations prompted Rhodesian prime minister Ian Smith to concede to majority rule in 1978. However, elections and a multiracial provisional government, with Smith succeeded by moderate Abel Muzorewa, failed to appease international critics or halt the war. By December 1979 Muzorewa had had secured an agreement with ZAPU and ZANU, allowing Rhodesia to briefly revert to colonial status pending new elections under British supervision. ZANU secured an electoral victory in 1980, and the country achieved internationally recognised independence in April 1980 as Zimbabwe.

Rhodesia's largest cities were Salisbury (its capital city, now known as Harare) and Bulawayo. Prior to 1970, the unicameral Rhodesian Legislative Assembly was predominantly white, with a small number of seats reserved for black representatives. Following the declaration of a republic in 1970, this was replaced by a bicameral Rhodesian Parliament, with a House of Assembly and a Senate. The bicameral system was retained in Zimbabwe after 1980. Aside from its racial franchise, Rhodesia observed a fairly conventional Westminster system inherited from the United Kingdom, with a President acting as ceremonial head of state, while a Prime Minister headed the Cabinet of Rhodesia as head of government.


From white to black Rhodesia: A case of inherited oppression

The legacy of colonialism in Africa has largely affected the idea and nature of the post-colonial State. It is in the wake of decolonisation (with all its attendant meanings) that discourses of Negritude, Pan-Africanism, Afropolitanism, Marxist Socialism, Neo-colonialism, among others, took root. In the efforts to re-imagine and reinvent an Africa which did not privilege European ideals at its centre, new ideologies and policies were crafted and promulgated.

Guest Column: PATSON DZAMARA

Colonialism in all its forms and with all its multi-dimensional ills was to be done away with and replaced with Afrocentricism. However, the experience soon turned sour military coups, failed economies and failed social experiments like Ujamaa led to criticisms of the failed States.

Chief among the explanations of failed States was the legacy of colonialism. It was argued that developing countries were in a perpetual neocolonial exploitative core-periphery relationship with the metropoles of the “developed” world, hence their underdevelopment.

Notwithstanding the exploitative and extractive relations, African political philosophers began to engage with a different legacy of colonialism. Scholars like Mbembe in his seminal work, “On the Postcolony” argues that post-colonial state heavily borrowed from the colonial state especially in the way that violence has come to undergird rule.

What is statehood?

A State has eight attributes: territory, population, sovereignty (indivisible and autonomous), power (and accumulation of power through legitimacy, custom and/or fear), law, nation/nationalism (image of civil society as natural), State as international actor, and State as an idea (can be hero or villain).

However, the colonial State lacked the attributes of sovereignty, sense of nation and was not an actor on the international scene, but was rather an appendage of the metropolis. Some African countries although considered States, have to some extent failed to make a nation out of the different ethnic groups within their borders. Many have also existed as client States to outside interests this pseudo-sovereignty also hampering their development into true nationhood and bringing a host of issues with it.

Onto the stage of this historical debate, enter Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe, like other former settler colonies, occupies a unique position in that the country was administered by both direct and indirect rule. The sheer power of the relatively small number of settlers and their economic interests made for exploitation and control which was in general a notch above peasant or labour exporting economies, and it can be argued, something close to an economy based on slave labour.

That coupled with the cold war context of the liberation struggle meant that on the eve of independence, the Rhodesian government, like South Africa was heavily-armed and merciless towards its enemies.

The present history of Zimbabwe is best situated in the nature of the colonial State, the transition from the colonial to the post colonial State and how the post-colonial State chose to continue the institutions and practices which buttressed the colonial State. It is safe to conclude that what transpired on April 18, 1980 was merely a transition in terms of colour rather than systems or modus operandi.

Oppressive similarities between the two dispensations

The colonial State did not permit the politico-economic space or social foundation for civil society politics this derives from a colonial regime’s exclusive ideologies and practices they employed to secure and maintain control. The cutthroat nature of administration employed by and during the colonial State ensured that anything deemed a threat to their oppressive agenda was ruthlessly annihilated.

Accountability was not a part of the colonial State’s modus operandi. They superimposed their whims and fancies on everything and everyone. Borrowing from the colonial state, the President Robert Mugabe government has stifled free speech and dissenting voices at every turn.

Under the Zanu PF government, a weak civil society is generally preferred and once civil society seeks to make the government accountable, it is labelled an enemy of the State.
It is only those organisations whose mandate is apolitical or those who sing praises to the ruling party that are welcome.

The clamping down on civil society was not so apparent when the economy was on firm ground, not many people worried about political liberties. Marx’s analysis turned out to be true (not Lenin’s), the economy is the superstructure — once livelihoods were disrupted, it became difficult to hide an oppressive political agenda. The existence of a strong civil society is anathema to the ideals of Zanu PF.

This explains why some organisations under the civic society banner have been infiltrated by Zanu PF elements.

White rule in Southern Rhodesia was characterised by violence. Charles Van Onselen succinctly captures the violent nature of white rule in Chibaro. The colony was founded on violence. Africans were beaten up in their places of work, small tort infractions were often punished with the sjambok and claims like breaches of contract were made criminal.

Violence and the threat thereof was the life blood of the colonial state — it was the only way in which a small minority could control the majority.

Though ubiquitous, the State needed to maintain a façade of legitimacy, therefore, violent acts were often softened by the threat of force rather than use of it, something which became increasingly useful as the possible repercussions for violence escalated with the rise of black nationalism.

Fast forward to the post-colony: the Zanu PF government has a monopoly on violence. Election violence, human rights violations and everyday abuses in everyday situations characterise the lives of many ordinary Zimbabweans.

Morbid and atrocious acts such as Gukurandi and Murambatsvina are an apt accentuation of the Zanu PF government’s violent nature.

Those who never tasted violence, live in fear of it. The present leaders who lived through colonialism understand the potency of violence and the threats thereof as a means of rule and control. They have borrowed the same colonial tactics of intimidation to rule.

Oppressive institutions were not disbanded after independence — in some ways, they were actually buttressed. At the end of the Federation in 1963, Rhodesia inherited its heavy artillery, state-of-the-art aircrafts and military airbases. These were used to perpetrate mass terror.

It was not only the military that could mete out violence the police were equally empowered to deal ruthlessly with African subjects. The anti-riot squadron were actually created for that specific purpose.

After independence, freedom fighters (mainly the Shona ones) were absorbed into the national army and like the Rhodesians before them who answered to Smith, they too answered only to Mugabe. The army which is meant to protect citizens is usually let loose to punish dissenters which in the past have included opposition party supporters and even college students.

The budget for defence is the least affected by economic austerity even though Zimbabwe faces no outside threats. It is not a coincidence. The huge army exists largely for the suppression of any internal dissent and thus to keep the Mugabe regime in power.

Not only does the Zanu PF government rely on the uniformed forces to silence the masses and to mete out violence, it also relies on a well regimented and basterdised social system. Almost all the chiefs and village heads are an appandage of Zanu PF. They campaign and work for Zanu PF. If any of their subjects choose not to conform, they find themselves on the receiving end of violence and alienation.

In order for any form of oppression to thrive, it must be institutionalised. The people were oppressed under colonialism through the use of uniformed forces and pseudo social systems the people are still oppressed in the post colony by means of the uniformed forces and pseudo social systems.

The law is yet another instrument that was used for political and economic control by the colonial State. The post-colonial state also similarly relies on the law for political and economic control. Acts like the Land Apportionment Act, Masters and Servants Act, Pass Laws etc were used to disenfranchise and control Africans.

The colonial State crafted draconian laws earmarked at furthering their oppressive agenda. The law was meant to bring about the idea of statehood semblance and yet it was merely a medium of oppression.

In the same despicable manner, the law has been used as an instrument of furthering Zanu PF’s agenda. From lobbying for a One Party State in the 1980’s to Land Reform and the various Acts that proscribe freedom of speech and movement, such as Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and Public Order and Security Act (Posa). In fact, many of these acts are recycled versions of earlier Rhodesian laws earmarked at oppressing the masses.

Despite socialist leanings inherited from the liberation struggle, the Zimbabwean government did not challenge the ownership of critical and strategic resources by foreigners and whites at and after Independence until their own power was threatened. Until 2000, Zanu PF sought an accommodation with white capital and in the process, became a rentier state of sorts — thus continuing the legacy of white ownership of resources despite empty political promises of nationalisation.

While the government pursuing a hard-line anti-Western and populist rhetoric in public they remained beholden to, and profited from foreign industrial interests.

After 2000, white capital was replaced by a coterie of nouveaux-riches connected to or actually in Zanu PF, who then took up land and equipment which they never intended to farm, but pillage. For the ordinary Zimbabweans, the benefits of independence in terms of ownership of resources is yet to be realised as Zanu PF bigwigs continue to plunder the country.

White capitalism was by nature extractive and most of the proceeds were repatriated to foreign countries. In spite of that, at the very minimum, jobs, however, menial were created and infrastructures set up to support that extraction. In the era of Zanu PF landlords, those slim benefits have collapsed, formal jobs belong to a bygone era and despite the immature and bogus celebrations of indigenisation, the country is more than ever dependent on foreigners to the point of many reduced to surviving on handouts from aid organisations.

The gross domestic product continues to shrink and corruption is ubiquitous. The post-colonial State has by far outdone the colonial State in terms oppression, maladministration, malevolence, and pretty much every vice they share.

While ethnicity was not created by white rule like in other places, it was further entrenched by white practice and colonial conceptualisations. The Ndebele were identified as war-like, while the Shona were said to be docile. Even the delimitation of provinces was along tribal lines: Manicaland, Mashonaland, Matabeleland.

National identity cards cemented and classified one’s ethnicity which in some places had been fluid. The division of peoples into different tribes was instrumental to divide and rule. The Mugabe government made no efforts to foster nation building in terms of identity, an otherwise doable process. Rather, they rode on the foundations of white tribal misclassifications and radically divided the country by slaughtering Ndebele-speakers, largely ordinary citizens, under the pretext of combating “dissidents” in the early 80s.

A Zimbabwe unified along national lines rather than divided by tribe was a threat to Zanu PF hegemony: the person of the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo being the centre of such a threat. Nkomo was a better man than Mugabe, had been a freedom fighter longer than Mugabe and commanded the respect of more people within and out of the Zimbabwean borders. Ethnicity became the trump card by which the younger, lesser known teacher could elbow out the veteran “Father Zimbabwe”.

The Mugabe government has deliberately done little presently to channel development funds and projects to Matabeleland, further disenfranchising citizens economically along ethnic lines. All that is deliberate and meant to protect their control of power.

The colonial State created distinct classes out of whites and blacks. One of the aspirations of the Africans pre-independence was to become part of the citizenry and cast off the yoke of subjecthood. This was done in name only. We have become citizens with no attendant rights, just like we were in the colonial era.

In fact, classism has replaced racism and Zanu PF elites are the only real citizens like white Rhodesians were. As such, subjecthood in the post-colonial State still exists, although it wears a different face.

Under the Zanu PF-led government, anyone who is not connected to the oligarch is treated as a second class citizen. The privileges and rights of those who are connected to the oligarch and those who are not are not on the par.

We still live in a country which prioritises propaganda above truth. Propaganda was a weapon of choice of the Smith regime during the liberation struggle and of other white governments before Smith. Freedom fighters were turned into communist terrorists and claims of independence were rubbished. Mugabe has used similar tactics.

Threats, opponents and nonconformists, like Nkomo, became the subject of propaganda which was disseminated by institutions like ZBC, just as Mugabe’s predecessors had targeted enemies using national institutions. In the 2000s a Ministry of Information, that is, a propaganda ministry was created for the very purpose of dispensing lies, like the colonial state before it.

Anyone who dares to take a stand against the failure of the government to administer its duties automatically becomes a target for character assassination and propaganda. They are portrayed as cousins of the devil and traitors of the diluted nationalist project.

Mugabe — the black Smith

I, therefore, argue that the Mugabe regime did not seek to disband the instruments of oppression when it came into power. It fully understood the risk of losing power in a truly democratic setting and so avoided truly democratic institutions and systems.

Joshua Nkomo, a nationalist par excellence was considered a threat at independence. With time, other opposing voices joined the choir of the disgruntled, Tekere with ZUM and later Morgan Tsvangirai at the helm of the MDC.

As such, the institutions and systems of oppression were needed in order to deal with any threat to Zanu PF hegemony. It may seem at first glance that it was unintended that colonial institutions and systems were left intact, for simple convenience, but, in fact, it was calculated machination and scheming that led to the retaining of the practices and institutions of oppression.

Ours is a case of inherited oppression under an indigenised façade. And just as Zimbabweans had to liberate themselves from the colonial regime, today we must liberate ourselves from its successor, the black Smith, Robert Mugabe.

The black Smith, Robert Mugabe and his minions, must fall.

Patson Dzamara is a leadership coach, author, human rights activist and political analyst based in Zimbabwe.


Modern-Day Pioneers in Zimbabwe

Hubert Henry Hodgkiss

Missionaries were sent to Southern Rhodesia for a limited time in the early 1930s. Yet by 1935 all missionaries were pulled from Southern Rhodesia (then part of the South African Mission) and the area was closed because of the shortage of missionaries and the distance from the mission home in Cape Town, South Africa.

In September of 1950, eight missionaries were sent to reopen Southern Rhodesia. Five months later, the first convert baptism in the area took place.

Born in England in 1926, Hubert Henry Hodgkiss moved to Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia, in 1949. He initially learned about the Church from a friend who was investigating the gospel. Hugh had doubts about the restored gospel and set out to prove to his friend that the Church was not true. Instead, after searching the gospel closely, Hugh developed a testimony of its truthfulness and decided to be baptized. “I was wrong,” he told his friend. “I am joining the Church.” 1

Hugh was baptized February 1, 1951, marking the first convert baptism in Southern Rhodesia. He enjoyed being around people and made friends everywhere he went. His friendly nature allowed him to make great contributions to the growth of the Church in the area.

In 1959 Hugh became president of the Salisbury Branch. His counselors were also local members. This was the first time this branch presidency consisted of local members. Before this, full-time missionaries had always filled the responsibilities of the branch presidency.

Ernest Sibanda

Ernest Sibanda met two Mormon missionaries on bicycles—Elder Black and Elder Kaelin—in December 1978. They left a Book of Mormon with him. Before their visit, Ernest had already spent many years studying religion. In fact, he had been a teacher for his church for nine years and a pastor for three years.

The night Ernest received his copy of the Book of Mormon he stayed up until 2:00 in the morning reading enthusiastically. He couldn’t wait to meet the missionaries the following day. Ernest told them that he had learned more from Joseph Smith about Jesus Christ than all the ministers he had ever met. Ernest was baptized shortly thereafter, followed by his wife and children a few weeks later.

Of his baptism day, he wrote, “I felt very free. I felt released from every evil. I found there was love in me for my family. I found there was love within me for the Church.” 2

Ernest Sibanda proved to be a great strength to the Church. He served as Sunday School president, branch clerk, and second counselor in a branch presidency. He also fulfilled an assignment from the South Africa mission president to translate hymns from English to Shona.

Edward Dube

In the April 2013 general conference, Edward Dube was called to be a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, making him the first General Authority of the Church from Zimbabwe. This was only the most recent of many firsts for Elder Dube. He was also the first native stake president, first native mission president, and first native Area Seventy from Zimbabwe. Elder Dube has been a true pioneer of righteous leadership.

Before all that, however, there was another first for Elder Dube: his first day attending church. Two years before he went to church for the first time, he was given a Book of Mormon by a Latter-day Saint man for whom he was working. Elder Dube read the Book of Mormon and felt its influence and power.

In February 1984 Elder Dube accepted an invitation to attend a fast and testimony meeting at a local branch. He felt so nervous when he entered the chapel that he almost immediately turned around and walked back out.

Soon, however, Elder Dube’s feelings began to change once the branch president stood and bore testimony of the Book of Mormon. A testimony of the Book of Mormon was one area Elder Dube felt was common ground. He stood and shared his own thoughts and feelings of the Book of Mormon after several other members bore testimony.

Soon after that first sacrament meeting, Elder Dube began to investigate the Church in earnest. He was baptized several months later. He then served a full-time mission in the Zimbabwe Harare Mission. Elder Dube married Naume Keresia Salizani on December 9, 1989. They have four children.

Elder Dube has seen many ups and downs for the Saints in Zimbabwe as a result of political turmoil. Through it all, he has relied on the Lord for strength and guidance. “I look back on my life and I truly feel grateful,” he said. “The gospel has been everything in my life.” 3

“To me, Elder Dube is a Brigham Young or Wilford Woodruff of Zimbabwe,” says President Keith R. Edwards, a former member of the Seventy who currently serves as president of the England Missionary Training Center. President Edwards was mission president of the Zimbabwe Harare Mission from 2000 to 2003 and worked extensively with Elder Dube, who was serving as stake president at the time. “Elder Dube just has a vision of what the gospel is supposed to do and how it is supposed to work.” 4


WI: Rhodesia never became Zimbabwe?

The Rhodesian economy was not dong great in the 1970's. First of all, SA support was going away, international markets being shut (or impacted by the oil crisis in the 70's), too many whites were called up and therefore not productive, etc.

The big diamong fields coming online now (and being mis-used by Mugabe anyway) would/could have made a tremendous impact in the 1970's. Same with the Platinum deposits. Even something as non-sexy as coal for that matter.

So, for Rhodesia to last longer, it is not just politics, it has to be combined with a real growth in living standards for all.

Dan1988

Armored Diplomacy

Same, it's been on my mind for a while now, ever since I delved into the history.

I've read through forums of ex-Rhodesians from all over the world, and I've even found a cool documentary about the Rhodesian Air Force on YouTube.

Bureaucromancer

With apologies (you'll see why) to those with connection to Rhodesia, I've been kicking around something a bit different about it lately. The general premise (and yes, there are big problems with it, but A) its a very rough idea I wouldn't be writing up yet but for this thread and B, I'll just say that the whole timeline is considerably more imperialistic on all sides post war) it's really a smallish part of a much bigger timeline) is that Pinochet is not deposed and Chile is rather successful as a socialist state, which leads to Argentina getting significant military support from the US as a regional counterbalance.

By the late 70s a US backed South Atlantic Treaty Organization dominated by South Africa and Argentina has been created, and while no in is entirely comfortable with it, especially as the truth about South African nuclear weapons emerges the project is still seen as militarily useful and a fait acompli in any case. South Africa, militarily stronger than OTL, and feeling it has outside support ends up backing Rhodesia after Mozambican independence, effectively creating a single Bush War encompassing most of southern Africa. The same pressures that created OTL's Falkland's war end in an early 80s Argentine invasion of Chile that becomes a long term conflict (have to play around with the details, thinking war of attrition, but don't have a decent handle on the details).

The end result (at least as it interests this thread) is a Rhodesia that is more or less incorporated into a strange Draka Lite entity (more a joke, and something that emphasizes the emphasis on all the worst bits of South Africa in the era than a serious recreation of Stirling's Draka) that is a nuclear armed alliance structure fighting various wars of aggression through most of the far southern hemisphere (excluding Australia obviously). I'm also not entirely sure where this goes, I see a prospect of international intervention, but also a lot of fear of going into a deeply unstable region that has a decent number of nukes floating around again a lot depends on what happening in the rest of the world, a lot of which I have only vague ideas about as of yet.

TheMann

SunilTanna

I have a hard time buying that. because of things like this:

Jonathan Edelstein

A while ago, Doug Muir and I kicked around a scenario in which a Rhodesian Front loss in the 1962 election resulted in a gradual transition to majority rule during the 1960s and 1970s. The thread's here, and with your indulgence, I'll repost some of my thoughts:

Consider three scenarios relating to the 1962 general election, which was the first to be held under the 1961 constitution. First, there's the one that the United Federal Party expected to happen: that they would sweep the 15 districts (which were dominated by B-roll electors) and, as the establishment party, also win a majority of the 50 constituency seats. This would enable them to outvote the Rhodesian Front regardless of what the black MPs did, and would allow them to look all liberal and multiculti while actually treating the black members much like Mapai treated its Arab affiliates during the 1950s and 1960s - an occasional bone, but no more.

The second scenario is what actually did happen. The UFP did nearly sweep the B-roll seats, but won only 15 of the constituencies dominated by A-roll electors, and as a result, the RF won an absolute majority of the parliament. Nearly half the UFP caucus was black, but because they were in opposition, the RF could safely ignore them.

But consider a third scenario. Let's say the UFP had won four more seats, for a total of 33. It would have a bare majority in parliament - or maybe a bit more than that, since Ahrn Palley (a liberal independent who took the fifteenth B-roll seat) would probably support the government - but it would need the black MPs to stay in power. Whitehead wouldn't be able to get by with throwing them a bone - he'd have to appoint a couple of black ministers, and give the black members a real say in government.

The big sin of Whitehead and the UDF in 1962 was complacency: they were the establishment party, and except in 1946, establishment parties always won big in Rhodesia. Although the black electoral roll had been expanded considerably, they didn't do anything to get out the black vote or combat the boycott that was urged by African nationalist groups. They also didn't try to co-opt Garfield Todd's biracial Central African Party, which was contesting a few of the constituencies.

Looking at the seat-by-seat results, though, there are a few seats that could easily have flipped if the UFP had tried harder. In Matobo, the RF won by only 670-636, which could have been reversed if the B-roll turnout had been even 20 rather than 10 percent. In Eastern, the vote was 786 to 661, with 20.3 percent of the 508 B-roll voters showing up again, the UFP could have won if the B-roll turnout were slightly more than doubled. In Bulawayo District, the RF got 702 to 575 for the UFP and 104 for Benjamin Baron of the CAP we can assume most of Baron's votes would have gone to the UFP if he'd stood down, and there were also many B-list voters unaccounted-for.

Those three seats would be enough (the UFP would have 32 of 65, but Ahrn Palley would support them), but a vigorous campaign might also flip Bulawayo North and Salisbury Central, where there weren't many B-roll voters but where the RF's majority was 67 and 49 votes respectively.

So let's say they do it. Whitehead gets a panic attack and decides to go all-in. He wages a concerted (albeit under-the-table) campaign to get out the black vote, telling them that they may not like him much, but if they boycott, they'll get Winston Field. He offers Garfield Todd some post-election policy concessions if Baron stands down, and barnstorms the hell out of the marginal seats. It works, and the election result is a mirror image of OTL: 35 for the UFP plus Palley, and 30 for the RF.

Now the UFP is still in power and has a big IOU to pay to the black voters. But this is where the wheels come off, because Whitehead's much more timorous than Todd, and if he does too much, he'll lose the white MPs in his own party. He does push through some incremental reforms, decreasing the qualifications for both the A and B rolls to the point where

15 percent of the A roll is black. Maybe he also appoints a black MP to a cosmetic government position and increases the profile of Africans in the civil service. But nobody's satisfied - the reforms are too much for most whites and not nearly enough for the blacks.

Come 1966, the white opposition is energized and the blacks are disillusioned. This time the black voters don't listen when Whitehead urges them not to boycott. The 15 B-roll seats go to the Central African Party or to independent nationalist candidates rather than the UFP, and the establishment party suffers a wipeout in the A-roll seats: the increased black presence on the A-roll pushes a few marginal seats Whitehead's way, but not enough to keep the RF from winning 40 seats and taking a firm majority.

The RF then tries to negotiate with Britain and, after the talks break down, goes UDI. As in OTL, the UDI government retains the existing electoral rules, which in TTL include Whitehead's amendments. This doesn't stop the RF from continuing as the ruling party, but it has to fight for more seats rather than being overwhelmingly dominant as in OTL, and, due to the black voters, the republic referendum is narrowly defeated. This means that the 1961 constitution, as amended, remains the default rather than switching to de jure racial segregation under the OTL 1969 charter.

Now it's the 1970s, with the bush war in progress, the republic at a dead end, Rhodesia isolated, and the RF increasingly facing right-wing opposition (Lardner-Burke?) due to its failure to go hard apartheid. Ian Smith was a lot of things, but he wasn't a total fool, so I'm guessing he'd respond to the right-wing opposition by tacking to the center, which would provide a window to bring in Nkomo. Talks begin in 1973 or so, and in 1975, Smith cuts a deal with Nkomo for a 50-50 parliament and a unity cabinet, with a graduated transition to majority rule over the next decade.


Modern Day Pioneers in Zimbabwe

Hubert Henry Hodgkiss

Missionaries were sent to Southern Rhodesia for a limited time in the early 1930s. Yet by 1935 all missionaries were pulled from Southern Rhodesia (then part of the South African Mission) and the area was closed because of the shortage of missionaries and the distance from the mission home in Cape Town, South Africa.

In September of 1950, eight missionaries were sent to reopen Southern Rhodesia. Five months later, the first convert baptism in the area took place.

Born in England in 1926, Hubert Henry Hodgkiss moved to Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia, in 1949. He initially learned about the Church from a friend who was investigating the gospel. Hugh had doubts about the restored gospel and set out to prove to his friend that the Church was not true. Instead, after searching the gospel closely, Hugh developed a testimony of its truthfulness and decided to be baptized. “I was wrong,” he told his friend. “I am joining the Church.” 1

Hugh was baptized February 1, 1951, marking the first convert baptism in Southern Rhodesia. He enjoyed being around people and made friends everywhere he went. His friendly nature allowed him to make great contributions to the growth of the Church in the area.

In 1959 Hugh became president of the Salisbury Branch. His counselors were also local members. This was the first time this branch presidency consisted of local members. Before this, full-time missionaries had always filled the responsibilities of the branch presidency.

Ernest Sibanda

Ernest Sibanda met two Mormon missionaries on bicycles—Elder Black and Elder Kaelin—in December 1978. They left a Book of Mormon with him. Before their visit, Ernest had already spent many years studying religion. In fact, he had been a teacher for his church for nine years and a pastor for three years.

The night Ernest received his copy of the Book of Mormon he stayed up until 2:00 in the morning reading enthusiastically. He couldn’t wait to meet the missionaries the following day. Ernest told them that he had learned more from Joseph Smith about Jesus Christ than all the ministers he had ever met. Ernest was baptized shortly thereafter, followed by his wife and children a few weeks later.

Of his baptism day, he wrote, “I felt very free. I felt released from every evil. I found there was love in me for my family. I found there was love within me for the Church.” 2

Ernest Sibanda proved to be a great strength to the Church. He served as Sunday School president, branch clerk, and second counselor in a branch presidency. He also fulfilled an assignment from the South Africa mission president to translate hymns from English to Shona.

Edward Dube

In the April 2013 general conference, Edward Dube was called to be a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, making him the first General Authority of the Church from Zimbabwe. This was only the most recent of many firsts for Elder Dube. He was also the first native stake president, first native mission president, and first native Area Seventy from Zimbabwe. Elder Dube has been a true pioneer of righteous leadership.

Before all that, however, there was another first for Elder Dube: his first day attending church. Two years before he went to church for the first time, he was given a Book of Mormon by a Latter-day Saint man for whom he was working. Elder Dube read the Book of Mormon and felt its influence and power.

In February 1984 Elder Dube accepted an invitation to attend a fast and testimony meeting at a local branch. He felt so nervous when he entered the chapel that he almost immediately turned around and walked back out.

Soon, however, Elder Dube’s feelings began to change once the branch president stood and bore testimony of the Book of Mormon. A testimony of the Book of Mormon was one area Elder Dube felt was common ground. He stood and shared his own thoughts and feelings of the Book of Mormon after several other members bore testimony.

Soon after that first sacrament meeting, Elder Dube began to investigate the Church in earnest. He was baptized several months later. He then served a full-time mission in the Zimbabwe Harare Mission. Elder Dube married Naume Keresia Salizani on December 9, 1989. They have four children.

Elder Dube has seen many ups and downs for the Saints in Zimbabwe as a result of political turmoil. Through it all, he has relied on the Lord for strength and guidance. “I look back on my life and I truly feel grateful,” he said. “The gospel has been everything in my life.” 3

“To me, Elder Dube is a Brigham Young or Wilford Woodruff of Zimbabwe,” says President Keith R. Edwards, a former member of the Seventy who currently serves as president of the England Missionary Training Center. President Edwards was mission president of the Zimbabwe Harare Mission from 2000 to 2003 and worked extensively with Elder Dube, who was serving as stake president at the time. “Elder Dube just has a vision of what the gospel is supposed to do and how it is supposed to work.” 4


Contents

"Golden Age" (1968-1986)

In early 1968,  the leader of the Zapu armed wing, Joshua Nkomo had come to an agreement with Rhodesian prime minister Ian Smith to cease hostilities in favor of more African representation in the government, however limited. Zanu guerillas had continued to resist the Rhodesian army in isolated pockets until 1970, with its leader Robert Mugabe effectively in exile in Mozambique. Southern Rhodesia had often been characterized as the "breadbasket of Africa" and thus has much room to grow economically. The period from 1968 to 1986 was coined as the "Golden Age" of Southern Rhodesia. The standard of living was believed to be one of the highest in Africa. Despite this, the poor rural communities of remote Rhodesia continued to live in poverty and still due to the present day, causing much animosity between rural Africans and urban whites. The "Golden Age" had not been as perfect as it had been on the surface, and such tensions came to head during the global recession in 1986. 

Transition to Reform (1986-2000)

Racial and socio-economic tensions had finally came to head and the African majority had begun to call for greater representation of government and a reformation of the government. Such reforms were strongly rejected by Rhodesian leaders, and this did not change any time soon. South Africa had split into a civil war between white and African factions. Now politically isolated, Rhodesia began to institute further reforms to promote equality near the end of the 1990s.

Modern Day (2000-Present)

Since the 1990s, Southern Rhodesia has attempted to bring the African majority into the farming workforce and skilled jobs sector. This has been seen by many as the attempts by the white minority to peacefully transfer government power in the near future. Although ethnic tensions have de-escalated, it is still very present to many Rhodesians. With the election of more left-leaning leaders in recent years, the country has begun isolating itself from the past and hopes to strive for a better more united Rhodesia.


What prevented Southern Rhodesia from acquiring Dominion status?

Southern Rhodesia established responsible government in 1923. The next step, in general, was for a colony to be granted Dominion status (e.g., Newfoundland). What prevented Southern Rhodesia from acquiring Dominion status? The corollary to that question is 'how close was Southern Rhodesia to gaining Dominion status?' though I appreciate that is more opinionated (and hence not the primary wording).

It seems that by the late 1950's and early 1960's, differences in Southern Rhodesian and British governmental attitudes were sufficient to block its ascent to a Dominion, but it is not clear why this status wasn't granted beforehand. Wikipedia notes:

Southern Rhodesia (renamed Zimbabwe in 1980) was a special case in the British Empire. Although it was never a Dominion, it was treated as a Dominion in many respects. . Southern Rhodesia was not one of the territories that were mentioned in the 1931 Statute of Westminster although relations with Southern Rhodesia were administered in London through the Dominion Office, not the Colonial Office. When the Dominions were first treated as foreign countries by London for the purposes of diplomatic immunity in 1952, Southern Rhodesia was included in the list of territories concerned.

The articles on the Balfour Declaration and the Statute of Westminster do not mention Southern Rhodesia at all. However, it is my understanding only Dominion representatives were invited to London for the 1931 talks. Nevertheless, Southern Rhodesia had had responsible government for nine years by this time, so it would have seemed reasonable to consider it as a potential invitee.

The articles on the British heads of government through the 1920's and early 1930's don't offer much, as neither Lloyd George's, Bonar Law's, Baldwin's, or MacDonald's mentions Rhodesia at all. This is perhaps not surprising as the elevation of Newfoundland to Dominion is not mentioned in Campbell-Bannerman's article (as a straightforward comparison).


Rhodesia

Rhodesia was the name given to an irregularly shaped region of southern Africa, bounded by Bechuanaland, the Congo, German east Africa (Tanganyika), and Mozambique, first exploited by Rhodes's British South Africa Company in the 1890s. In 1964 the northern part became the independent nation of Zambia, leaving the white minority in Southern Rhodesia (now just plain ‘Rhodesia’) to mount a rearguard action against black rule, through a ‘Unilateral Declaration of Independence’—independence, that is, from British suzerainty—issued in 1965. That caused constant trouble for successive British governments, especially from other Commonwealth countries, who expected them to put the rebellion down by force. Eventually the native peoples won their own battle, helped by international sanctions and Rhodesia achieved legal independence as the majority-ruled state of Zimbabwe in 1980.

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Rhodesia ‘The Country That Was’ : Zimbabwe ‘The Failed State That Is’

Many years ago a country existed on a continent that for the most part had never known stability or progress. A continent locked in perpetual tribal warfare. A country that was Christian in character, striving for democracy and one of the most advanced, modern nations on the continent.

Labeled as the breadbasket of the continent, rich in natural resources, striking in beauty, with an educated population, a strong economy, and a currency closely on par with the American dollar. A nation with a sunshine bright future.

That nation was Rhodesia! On the African continent.

The country had its beginnings as chartered to the British South Africa Company in 1890 and was ruled that way until 1923. Southern Rhodesia as it was called then was formed and attained self-government except in measures affecting natives and foreign policy. For the next 30 years’ industrialization and development of agriculture took place at a rate unseen on the African continent.

During World War II the nation sent more troops (per captia) to aid the British effort than any other territory under the British Crown. And had also aided the British Crown in many other conflicts. In 1953 until 1963 the country joined a loose federation of Northern Rhodesia, Nyasaland.

After the Federation broke up in 1963 and during decolonization of Africa, Britain insisted that Rhodesia would not receive full independence until a majority rule plan was in place. The problem was Rhodesians looked north and saw for themselves the horrible chaos plaguing the recently independent majority ruled nations and were terrified.

After two years of fruitless negotiations, changed British administrations and demands, on November 11 th 1965 Rhodesia declared a Unilateral Declaration of Independence. To understand the magnitude of this action, until this time only one nation had ever broken away from the British Crown unilaterally The United States.

Britain and the U.N. imposed sanctions which were somewhat obeyed, and somewhat not obeyed, by the world community. However, another effect was that Rhodesia developed an even stronger domestic manufacturing economic sector. In fact, the Rhodesian economy was booming.

March 2 nd 1970 Rhodesia severed all ties to the British Crown, voting to declare itself a Republic. This declaration was especially difficult, due to the closeness of the Rhodesians to the British Crown. It has been said the Rhodesians were more British than the British themselves.

As the sixties came to a close and the cold war at a fever pitch, a heavily supplied Soviet/Chinese backed Marxist insurrection began to pick up in the nation around 1972, by 1976 this was a full blown insurrection. With the Marxist groups ZAPU led by Joshua Nkomo supported by the Soviet bloc and ZANU led by Robert Mugabe supported by the Chinese.

At first the highly trained Rhodesian military easily dealt with the problems, mainly on the Zambian border areas.

As time passed the dynamics began to change in the bush war. Portugal gave up the colonies of Angola and Mozambique, both nations would become Marxist revoluntary governments. Overnight Rhodesia was faced with an 800-mile hostile border with Mozambique. These new alignments allowed Zambia, along with Botswana to become even more emboldened to assist the Marxist insurrection.

The Marxist insurgents mainly focused on hit and run attacks on isolated locations, as the bush war progressed, and with communist bloc and even some western nations support. The Marxist increased the intensity of their attacks, which included bombing the nations fuel reserve depot, and the downing of two civilian commercial aircraft.

Despite being constantly hampered by a shortage of manpower and equipment, the Rhodesian military scored many major hits. In August of 1976 in Operation Eland, the Rhodesians went into Mozambique with 84 special forces soldiers and inflicted thousands of casualties while wiping out a major insurgent base at Nyadzonya, Mozambique. Rhodesia suffered four wounded.

In November of 1977 during Operation Dingo, 200 Rhodesian troops stormed another major base used by the insurgents at Chimolo New Farm, Mozambique. The Rhodesian military suffered 2 killed, 10 wounded. The insurgents suffered 3,000+ killed and 5,000+ wounded. The base was completely destroyed, severely affecting insurgent morale and operations.

As the bush war continued to drag on, and with no end in sight, the nation’s population tired of war, supported Prime Minister Ian Smith’s Internal Settlement with moderate Anglican Bishop Abel Muzorewa, this action effectively ended minority rule and brought universal suffrage to the population.

Despite these concessions and democracy self-evident for the nation then and for the future, the Marxist insurgents and world community, refused to recognize the new government of Zimbabwe – Rhodesia and the war continued, as did negotiations.

Finally, an agreement was reached at Lancaster House in London, England. between the Zimbabwe – Rhodesian government and the insurgent factions. The country temporarily reverted to British control and elections were held. With the British and Commonwealth election officials turning a blind eye to wide scale voter intimidation by ZANU, Mugabe won the election and became Prime Minister of Zimbabwe in March of 1980.

At first the government of Mugabe abided by the terms of the Lancaster House agreements, however slowly, then more rapidly it became apparent to the entire Zimbabwean population that Mugabe was nothing more than a tyrant enriching himself and his cronies at the expense of his countrymen.

Under Mugabe’s Marxist rule, Zimbabwe had gone from a food exporter to food importer with much of the population starving. In the 1980’s the AIDS epidemic hit and the incompetent government was unfit to deal with the crisis. The white population was harassed, then terrorized into fleeing the country, and the Ndebele tribe suffered genocidal ethnic cleansing. As the years of corruption turned into decades, the Zimbabwean currency collapsed, and the currency was suspended. In 2015 a 100 trillion dollar Zimbabwean note was worth 40 U.S. cents.

Finally, Prime Minister Mugabe’s own henchmen had had enough of him, and he was forced out. Mugabe fled the country to Singapore where he died in 2017.

For a brief second after Mugabe was deposed it looked as if democracy might have a chance to take hold in Zimbabwe, thus beginning the long process of recovery. However, those hopes have been dashed by tyrants now governing Zimbabwe who are the same as Mugabe, only the names have changed.

Today Zimbabwe is a basket case, with a non-existent currency, hopelessly corrupt, the rule of law is absent. Zimbabwe survives only by receiving foreign aid. Agriculture, manufacturing, mining and tourism are now only a shell of what they used to be. And there is very little employment for the population. The coronavirus has now struck the beleaguered nation, and the country’s youth see their situation as hopeless and without a future, over half the youth are now abusing opiate laced cough syrup to escape their reality.

The psychotic despot Mugabe and the Marxist, promised the Zimbabwean people freedom, peace, prosperity instead Zimbabwean’s received brutal oppression, constant turmoil and crushing poverty. Hopefully Zimbabwe can serve as a point of reference to other nations or individuals that entertain thoughts of a Socialist or Marxist utopia.


Watch the video: History of Zimbabwe From Rhodesia to Mugabe coup (August 2022).