Rhodesia

Rhodesia

Overview
Rhodesia officially the Republic of Rhodesia from 1970, was an unrecognised state located in southern Africa
Southern Africa
Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. Within the region are numerous territories, including the Republic of South Africa ; nowadays, the simpler term South Africa is generally reserved for the country in English.-UN...

 that existed between 1965 and 1979 following its Unilateral Declaration of Independence
Unilateral Declaration of Independence (Rhodesia)
The Unilateral Declaration of Independence of Rhodesia from the United Kingdom was signed on November 11, 1965, by the administration of Ian Smith, whose Rhodesian Front party opposed black majority rule in the then British colony. Although it declared independence from the United Kingdom it...

 from the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 on 11 November 1965. With its government based at the former colonial capital of Salisbury
Harare
Harare before 1982 known as Salisbury) is the largest city and capital of Zimbabwe. It has an estimated population of 1,600,000, with 2,800,000 in its metropolitan area . Administratively, Harare is an independent city equivalent to a province. It is Zimbabwe's largest city and its...

, its territory consisted of the former British colony of Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia was the name of the British colony situated north of the Limpopo River and the Union of South Africa. From its independence in 1965 until its extinction in 1980, it was known as Rhodesia...

. The state was named after Cecil John Rhodes
Cecil John Rhodes
Cecil John Rhodes PC, DCL was an English-born South African businessman, mining magnate, and politician. He was the founder of the diamond company De Beers, which today markets 40% of the world's rough diamonds and at one time marketed 90%...

, whose British South Africa Company
British South Africa Company
The British South Africa Company was established by Cecil Rhodes through the amalgamation of the Central Search Association and the Exploring Company Ltd., receiving a royal charter in 1889...

 acquired the land in the 19th century.

The landlocked
Landlocked
A landlocked country is a country entirely enclosed by land, or whose only coastlines lie on closed seas. There are 48 landlocked countries in the world, including partially recognized states...

 country bordered South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 to the south, Botswana
Botswana
Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana , is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. The citizens are referred to as "Batswana" . Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966...

 (post-1966) to the southwest, Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

 to the northwest and Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

 (a Portuguese territory until 1975) to the east.
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Timeline

1922   A referendum in Rhodesia rejects the country's annexation to the South African Union.

1963   The Central African Federation officially collapses and splits into Zambia, Malawi and Rhodesia.

1964   The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland is divided into the independent republics of Zambia and Malawi, and the British-controlled Rhodesia.

1964   Northern Rhodesia gains independence from the United Kingdom and becomes the Republic of Zambia (Southern Rhodesia remained a colony)

1965   In Rhodesia (modern-day Zimbabwe), the white-minority government of Ian Smith unilaterally declares independence.

1970   Rhodesia declares itself a republic, breaking its last links with the British crown.

1972   Rhodesia is expelled by the IOC for its racist policies.

1979   The first black-led government of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 90 years takes power.

1979   Rhodesia changes its name to Zimbabwe-Rhodesia.

1979   Lancaster House Agreement: An independence agreement for Rhodesia is signed in London by Lord Carrington, Sir Ian Gilmour, Robert Mugabe, Joshua Nkomo, Bishop Abel Muzorewa and S.C. Mundawarara.

 
Encyclopedia
Rhodesia officially the Republic of Rhodesia from 1970, was an unrecognised state located in southern Africa
Southern Africa
Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. Within the region are numerous territories, including the Republic of South Africa ; nowadays, the simpler term South Africa is generally reserved for the country in English.-UN...

 that existed between 1965 and 1979 following its Unilateral Declaration of Independence
Unilateral Declaration of Independence (Rhodesia)
The Unilateral Declaration of Independence of Rhodesia from the United Kingdom was signed on November 11, 1965, by the administration of Ian Smith, whose Rhodesian Front party opposed black majority rule in the then British colony. Although it declared independence from the United Kingdom it...

 from the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 on 11 November 1965. With its government based at the former colonial capital of Salisbury
Harare
Harare before 1982 known as Salisbury) is the largest city and capital of Zimbabwe. It has an estimated population of 1,600,000, with 2,800,000 in its metropolitan area . Administratively, Harare is an independent city equivalent to a province. It is Zimbabwe's largest city and its...

, its territory consisted of the former British colony of Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia was the name of the British colony situated north of the Limpopo River and the Union of South Africa. From its independence in 1965 until its extinction in 1980, it was known as Rhodesia...

. The state was named after Cecil John Rhodes
Cecil John Rhodes
Cecil John Rhodes PC, DCL was an English-born South African businessman, mining magnate, and politician. He was the founder of the diamond company De Beers, which today markets 40% of the world's rough diamonds and at one time marketed 90%...

, whose British South Africa Company
British South Africa Company
The British South Africa Company was established by Cecil Rhodes through the amalgamation of the Central Search Association and the Exploring Company Ltd., receiving a royal charter in 1889...

 acquired the land in the 19th century.

The landlocked
Landlocked
A landlocked country is a country entirely enclosed by land, or whose only coastlines lie on closed seas. There are 48 landlocked countries in the world, including partially recognized states...

 country bordered South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 to the south, Botswana
Botswana
Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana , is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. The citizens are referred to as "Batswana" . Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966...

 (post-1966) to the southwest, Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

 to the northwest and Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

 (a Portuguese territory until 1975) to the east. The state was governed by a predominantly white minority government until 1979, initially as a self-governing colony then, after the Unilateral Declaration of Independence, as a self-proclaimed sovereign Dominion
Dominion
A dominion, often Dominion, refers to one of a group of autonomous polities that were nominally under British sovereignty, constituting the British Empire and British Commonwealth, beginning in the latter part of the 19th century. They have included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland,...

, and latterly a Republic.

Throughout its history, Rhodesia continued to be referred to by the British, who did not recognize the state, as "Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia was the name of the British colony situated north of the Limpopo River and the Union of South Africa. From its independence in 1965 until its extinction in 1980, it was known as Rhodesia...

". Before 1964, the name "Rhodesia" had referred to the territory consisting of Southern Rhodesia and Northern Rhodesia which formed the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, also known as the Central African Federation , was a semi-independent state in southern Africa that existed from 1953 to the end of 1963, comprising the former self-governing colony of Southern Rhodesia and the British protectorates of Northern Rhodesia,...

. It consisted of modern Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

, and Malawi
Malawi
The Republic of Malawi is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. The country is separated from Tanzania and Mozambique by Lake Malawi. Its size...

; however, when the former colony of Northern Rhodesia
Northern Rhodesia
Northern Rhodesia was a territory in south central Africa, formed in 1911. It became independent in 1964 as Zambia.It was initially administered under charter by the British South Africa Company and formed by it in 1911 by amalgamating North-Western Rhodesia and North-Eastern Rhodesia...

 renamed itself Zambia on independence in 1964, Nyasaland
Nyasaland
Nyasaland or the Nyasaland Protectorate, was a British protectorate located in Africa, which was established in 1907 when the former British Central Africa Protectorate changed its name. Since 1964, it has been known as Malawi....

 renamed itself Malawi
Malawi
The Republic of Malawi is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. The country is separated from Tanzania and Mozambique by Lake Malawi. Its size...

 in 1964, and the colony of Southern Rhodesia changed its name to simply "Rhodesia". However, the change had not yet been officially ratified when Rhodesia declared itself independent, and as a result, the British Government continued to refer to the breakaway colony as "Southern Rhodesia" throughout its existence, a stance it maintained regarding the June–December 1979 successor state of Zimbabwe Rhodesia
Zimbabwe Rhodesia
Zimbabwe Rhodesia , officially the Republic of Zimbabwe Rhodesia, was an unrecognized state that existed from 1 June 1979 to 12 December 1979...

. Therefore, when Zimbabwe Rhodesia returned to colonial status from December 1979 to April 1980, it was as "Southern Rhodesia", which, according to Her Majesty's Government, it had never legally ceased to be called. Southern Rhodesia subsequently gained international recognition of its independence in April 1980, when it became the independent Republic of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

.

Unilateral Declaration of Independence - UDI


The British government adopted a policy of no independence before majority rule, dictating that colonies with a substantial population of white settlers would not receive independence except under conditions of majority rule
Majority rule
Majority rule is a decision rule that selects alternatives which have a majority, that is, more than half the votes. It is the binary decision rule used most often in influential decision-making bodies, including the legislatures of democratic nations...

. The Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an minority Rhodesian Front (RF)
Rhodesian Front
The Rhodesian Front was a political party in Southern Rhodesia when the country was under white minority rule. Led first by Winston Field, and, from 1964, by Ian Smith, the Rhodesian Front was the successor to the Dominion Party, which was the main opposition party in Southern Rhodesia during the...

 government, led by Ian Smith
Ian Smith
Ian Douglas Smith GCLM ID was a politician active in the government of Southern Rhodesia, the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Rhodesia, Zimbabwe Rhodesia and Zimbabwe from 1948 to 1987, most notably serving as Prime Minister of Rhodesia from 13 April 1964 to 1 June 1979...

, opposed the policy. Britain ruled over the self-governing colony of Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia was the name of the British colony situated north of the Limpopo River and the Union of South Africa. From its independence in 1965 until its extinction in 1980, it was known as Rhodesia...

 until negotiations between colonial government and the British government broke down in 1965.

Smith's government declared the country independent from British rule on November 11, 1965 in what became known as UDI (Unilateral Declaration of Independence
Unilateral Declaration of Independence (Rhodesia)
The Unilateral Declaration of Independence of Rhodesia from the United Kingdom was signed on November 11, 1965, by the administration of Ian Smith, whose Rhodesian Front party opposed black majority rule in the then British colony. Although it declared independence from the United Kingdom it...

). Smith sent a telegram notifying British Prime Minister Harold Wilson
Harold Wilson
James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, KG, OBE, FRS, FSS, PC was a British Labour Member of Parliament, Leader of the Labour Party. He was twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the 1960s and 1970s, winning four general elections, including a minority government after the...

 at precisely 1 p.m. local time (11 a.m. in London) on 11 November, at the precise moment that the UK started its traditional two minutes of silence to mark the end of World War I and honour its war dead. The not-so-hidden message to "kith and kin", as Smith put it, recalled Southern Rhodesia's assistance and allegiance to the UK in its time of need in World Wars I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. British High Commissioner
High Commissioner
High Commissioner is the title of various high-ranking, special executive positions held by a commission of appointment.The English term is also used to render various equivalent titles in other languages.-Bilateral diplomacy:...

 John Baines Johnston, who disliked Smith, cleaned out the High Commission building of all official documents and left Rhodesia. Smith gave strict instructions to his government not to harm the High Commission building in any way, much to Johnston's surprise.

The international community condemned the UDI. The United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 authorised the use of sanctions
International sanctions
International sanctions are actions taken by countries against others for political reasons, either unilaterally or multilaterally.There are several types of sanctions....

, targeting Rhodesia at the behest of Britain, beginning in 1965 and lasting until the restoration of British rule in December 1979. The terms of these sanctions forbade most forms of trade or financial exchange with Rhodesia. However, not all members of the international community adhered to the sanctions. South Africa, Portugal, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and some Arab nations helped Rhodesia in various ways. In the case of the U.S., the 1971 Byrd Amendment
Byrd Amendment (1971)
The Byrd Amendment is an amendment to the US Federal "Strategic and Critical Materials Stock Piling Act" authored by Senator Harry F. Byrd in 1971....

 allowed the importation of chrome
Chromium
Chromium is a chemical element which has the symbol Cr and atomic number 24. It is the first element in Group 6. It is a steely-gray, lustrous, hard metal that takes a high polish and has a high melting point. It is also odorless, tasteless, and malleable...

, ferrochrome
Ferrochrome
Ferrochrome is an alloy of chromium and iron containing between 50% and 70% chromium.The ferrochrome is produced by electric arc melting of chromite, an iron magnesium chromium oxide and the most important chromium ore. Most of the world's ferrochrome is produced in South Africa, Kazakhstan and...

 and nickel
Nickel
Nickel is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the transition metals and is hard and ductile...

 from Rhodesia. Rhodesia evaded sanctions in the short term but few outsiders invested in Rhodesia after the sanctions.


The Rhodesian government struggled to obtain international recognition and the lifting of sanctions. In 1970 the U.S. government categorically stated that "under no circumstances" would it recognize Rhodesian independence.

Initially, the state maintained its loyalty to Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

 as "Queen of Rhodesia" (a title to which she never consented) but not to her representative, the Governor Sir Humphrey Gibbs
Humphrey Gibbs
Sir Humphrey Vicary Gibbs, GCVO, KCMG, OBE was the penultimate Governor of the colony of Southern Rhodesia who served through, and opposed, the Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965....

, whose constitutional duties were exercised by an "Officer Administering the Government", Clifford Dupont
Clifford Dupont
Clifford Walter Dupont, GCLM ID was a British-born Rhodesian politician who served in the internationally unrecognised positions of Officer Administrating the Government and President...

. On 2 March 1970, Rhodesia's government formally severed links with the British Crown, declaring Rhodesia a republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

 with Dupont as President. Dupont, a London solicitor, had immigrated to Rhodesia in 1953. The Rhodesians hoped that the declaration of a Republic would finally prompt sympathetic states to grant recognition. The UK government pressured United States Secretary of State William P. Rogers into closing the U.S. consulate in Salisbury
Harare
Harare before 1982 known as Salisbury) is the largest city and capital of Zimbabwe. It has an estimated population of 1,600,000, with 2,800,000 in its metropolitan area . Administratively, Harare is an independent city equivalent to a province. It is Zimbabwe's largest city and its...

.

Impact of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence


In 2005 the 40th anniversary of UDI prompted memorial events of various kinds. Many individuals directly affected by, or who participated in, UDI still lived. The British Academy funded a two day conference on UDI ('UDI: 40 Years On') at the London School of Economics in January 2006. The conference portrayed UDI as a joint product of racial conflict and the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

. UDI had an international dimension. Domestic events in Rhodesia alone did not produce Smith's declaration.

Critics of UDI sought to maintain that Smith intended only to defend the privileges of a small white elite at the expense of the black majority. In this view UDI created a vacuum which the Mugabe
Mugabe
Mugabe can refer to:*Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe.*Sally Mugabe, first wife of Robert Mugabe.*Grace Mugabe, second wife of Robert Mugabe.*Omugabe , a title given to kings of Ankole of Uganda.*Mugabe Were, a Kenyan politician....

 regime eventually filled. Alternatively, many supporters of UDI said the majority was not yet in the modern world, and unfit to rule a modern state. Maintenance of civilized standards, in this view enabled Rhodesia to avoid some of the economic and political problems suffered by many other newly independent African nations.

Tobacco generated more than half of Rhodesia's foreign currency throughout the UDI era and a highly-organised cartel smuggled it out to world markets disguised as South African or Portuguese product. However, sanctions that followed UDI affected tobacco production badly. The volume sold quickly declined from 150m kg (US$75m) in 1964 to around 60m kg (US$30m) per year.
Ted Jeffreys, President of the Rhodesia Tobacco Association from 1962 to 1965, in 1991


During UDI, white tobacco farmers switched to the production of maize and beef for sale on the domestic market. This provided severe competition to black farmers, whose share of marketed home food production declined from 65% to 30% during the UDI period. The black peasant farming sector never recovered. At the same time, sanctions provided an artificial protection for domestic manufacturing, which allowed the development of industries. These businesses later faltered when exposed to international competition in 1980.

Nevertheless, up until the early to mid-1970s, Rhodesia remained relatively prosperous. The white population was slowly increasing due to modest immigration and British economic sanctions and the blockade did not force concessions from the Smith regime. Indeed, in 1971 a deal was reached between the British and Rhodesian Governments to recognize Rhodesia's independence and postpone majority rule into the distant future. However, when this arrangement proved to be completely unacceptable to Rhodesia's African population, the deal fell apart.

Start of the Bush War



A lengthy armed campaign by ZANLA, the military wing of the Zimbabwe African National Union
Zimbabwe African National Union
The Zimbabwe African National Union was a militant organization that fought against the standing government in Rhodesia, formed as a split from the Zimbabwe African People's Union...

 (ZANU), and ZIPRA
ZIPRA
Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army was the armed wing of the Zimbabwe African People's Union, a political party in Rhodesia. It participated in the Second Chimurenga against white minority rule in the former Rhodesia....

, the military wing of the Zimbabwe African People's Union
Zimbabwe African People's Union
The Zimbabwe African People's Union was a militant organization and political party that fought for the national liberation of Zimbabwe from its founding in 1961 until it merged with the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front in December 1987....

 (ZAPU), against the Rhodesian government followed UDI. This became known as the "Bush War" by White Rhodesians and as the "Second " (or rebellion in Shona
Shona language
Shona is a Bantu language, native to the Shona people of Zimbabwe and southern Zambia; the term is also used to identify peoples who speak one of the Shona language dialects: Zezuru, Karanga, Manyika, Ndau and Korekore...

) by supporters of the guerillas. The war is generally considered to have started in 1972 with scattered attacks on isolated white-owned farms, though the guerillas already represented a minor threat to Rhodesia in the 1960s.

After unsuccessful appeals to Britain and the United States for military assistance to liberate Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe
Robert Gabriel Mugabe is the President of Zimbabwe. As one of the leaders of the liberation movement against white-minority rule, he was elected into power in 1980...

, who was based in Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

 after that country's independence from Portugal in 1975, led ZANU to seek support from the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 and countries of the Soviet Bloc. Joshua Nkomo
Joshua Nkomo
Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo was the leader and founder of the Zimbabwe African People's Union and a member of the Kalanga tribe...

, based in Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

 and also supported by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, led ZAPU. ZANU and ZAPU together formed 'the Patriotic Front'. Broadly, ZANLA recruited mainly from Mashonaland and Manicaland provinces, whilst the ZIPRA recruited from Mashonaland West, Midlands and Matabeleland provinces of Zimbabwe.

After the collapse of Portuguese rule in Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

 in 1974-75, it was no longer viable for the Smith regime to sustain white minority rule indefintely. Even the South African Apartheid regime considered sustaining white minority rule in a nation in which blacks outnumbered whites by 22:1 as untenable. In 1978 there were 270,000 Rhodesians of European descent and more than six million Africans. International business groups involved in the country (e.g. Lonrho) transferred their support from the Rhodesian government to black nationalist parties. Business leaders and politicians feted Nkomo on his visits to Europe. ZANU also attracted business supporters who saw the course that future events were likely to take. Funding and arms support provided by supporters, particularly from the Soviet Union and its allies in the latter 1970s, allowed both ZIPRA and the ZANLA to acquire more sophisticated weaponry thereby increasing the military pressure that the guerillas were able to place on Rhodesia.

Until 1972, containing the guerrillas was little more than a police action. Even as late as August 1975 when Rhodesian government and black nationalist leaders met at Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls Conference (1975)
The Victoria Falls Conference took place on 26 August 1975 aboard a South African Railways train halfway across the Victoria Falls Bridge on the border between the unrecognised state of Rhodesia and Zambia. It was the culmination of the "détente" policy introduced and championed by B. J...

 for negotiations brokered by South Africa and Zambia, the talks never got beyond the procedural phase. Rhodesian representatives made it clear they were prepared to fight an all out war to prevent majority rule. However, the situation changed dramatically after the end of Portuguese colonial rule in Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

 in 1975. Rhodesia now found itself almost entirely surrounded by hostile states and even South Africa, its only real ally, pressed for a settlement.
Rand Daily Mail editorial, May 1976


At this point, ZANU's alliance with FRELIMO (the Liberation Front of Mozambique) and the porous border between Mozambique and eastern Rhodesia enabled large-scale training and infiltration of ZANU/ZANLA fighters. The governments of Zambia and Botswana were also emboldened sufficiently to allow resistance movement bases to be set up in their territories. Guerillas began to launch operations deep inside Rhodesia, attacking roads, railways, economic targets and isolated security force positions, in 1976.
The government adopted a 'strategic hamlets' policy of the kind used in Malaya and Vietnam
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 to restrict the influence of insurgents over the population of rural areas. Local people were forced to relocate to protected villages (PVs) which were strictly controlled and guarded by the government against rebel atrocities. The protected villages were compared by the guerillas to concentration camps. Some contemporary accounts claim that this interference in the lives of local residents induced many of them who had previously been neutral to support the guerillas. Other accounts say that the guerillas lacked real support in the country and had to resort to terrorizing the population to force their support (the reason for the 'protected village' program). The war degenerated into rounds of increasing brutality from all three parties involved (ZANU and ZAPU, and the Rhodesian Army fighting off their attacks). Mike Subritzky, a former NZ Army ceasefire monitor in Rhodesia, in 1980 described the war as "both bloody and brutal and brought out the very worst in the opposing combatants on all three sides."

The Rhodesian government faced a serious economic struggle during the 1970s as a result of increased military spending, sanctions, emigration, and the strain imposed on the economic system by conscription
Conscription
Conscription is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of national service, most often military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names...

 of all white males, from the age of sixteen upwards. At this time volunteers were recruited from overseas to help in the fight. One particular source of volunteers was Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 veterans, mostly from the USA and Australia. Rhodesians began to take more serious casualties from 1977, leaving few white families untouched.

End of the Bush War


Rhodesia began to lose vital economic and military support from South Africa, which, while sympathetic to the white minority government, never accorded it diplomatic recognition. The South African Apartheid regime placed limits on the fuel and munitions they supplied to the Rhodesian military. They also withdrew the personnel and equipment that they had previously provided to aid the war effort, though covert military support continued. In 1976 the South African Apartheid regime and United States governments worked together to place pressure on Smith to agree to a form of majority rule. In response to the initiative of US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
Heinz Alfred "Henry" Kissinger is a German-born American academic, political scientist, diplomat, and businessman. He is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and...

, in September 1976 Ian Smith accepted the principle of black majority rule within two years. The Rhodesians now offered more concessions, but those concessions, focused on reaching an "internal settlement" with moderate black leaders, were insufficient to end the war.

At the time, some Rhodesians said the still embittered history between the British-dominated Rhodesia and the Afrikaner
Afrikaner
Afrikaners are an ethnic group in Southern Africa descended from almost equal numbers of Dutch, French and German settlers whose native tongue is Afrikaans: a Germanic language which derives primarily from 17th century Dutch, and a variety of other languages.-Related ethno-linguistic groups:The...

-dominated South Africa partly led South African Apartheid regime to withdraw its aid to Rhodesia. Ian Smith said in his memoirs that even though many white South Africans supported Rhodesia, South African Prime Minister John Vorster's policy of détente
Détente
Détente is the easing of strained relations, especially in a political situation. The term is often used in reference to the general easing of relations between the Soviet Union and the United States in the 1970s, a thawing at a period roughly in the middle of the Cold War...

 with the Black African states ended up with Rhodesia being offered as the "sacrificial lamb" in order to buy more time for South Africa. Other observers perceive South Africa's distancing itself from Rhodesia as being an early move in the process that led to majority rule in South Africa itself.

Dr Sue Onslow, 'South Africa and UDI'


In the latter 1970s, the militants had successfully put the economy of Rhodesia under significant pressure while the numbers of guerillas in the country were steadily increasing. The government abandoned its early strategy of trying to defend the borders in favour of trying to defend key economic areas and lines of communication with South Africa, while the rest of the countryside became a patchwork of "no-go area
No-go area
A no-go area or no-go zone is a region where the ruling authorities have lost control and are unable to enforce the rule of law.-Rhodesia:The term 'no-go area' has a military origin and was first used in the context of the Bush War in Rhodesia...

s".

By the late 1970s, Rhodesia's front-line forces contained about 25,000 regular troops and police - backed up by relatively strong army and police reserves. Its armoured vehicles largely consisted of light armoured cars, complemented by just eight tanks (Polish built T-55LD tanks), delivered in the last year of the war. The Rhodesian air force, in turn, operated an assortment of both Canberra
English Electric Canberra
The English Electric Canberra is a first-generation jet-powered light bomber manufactured in large numbers through the 1950s. The Canberra could fly at a higher altitude than any other bomber through the 1950s and set a world altitude record of 70,310 ft in 1957...

 light bombers, Hawker Hunter
Hawker Hunter
The Hawker Hunter is a subsonic British jet aircraft developed in the 1950s. The single-seat Hunter entered service as a manoeuvrable fighter aircraft, and later operated in fighter-bomber and reconnaissance roles in numerous conflicts. Two-seat variants remained in use for training and secondary...

 fighter bombers, older de Havilland Vampire
De Havilland Vampire
The de Havilland DH.100 Vampire was a British jet-engine fighter commissioned by the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. Following the Gloster Meteor, it was the second jet fighter to enter service with the RAF. Although it arrived too late to see combat during the war, the Vampire served...

 jets as well as a somewhat antiquated, but still potent, helicopter arm. These forces, including highly trained special operations units, were capable of launching devastating raids on resistance movement camps outside the country, as in Operation Dingo
Operation Dingo
Operation Dingo, also known as the Chimoio massacre was a major raid conducted by the Rhodesian Security Forces against the ZANLA headquarters of Robert Mugabe at Chimoio and a smaller camp at Tembue in Mozambique from November 23–25, 1977...

 in 1977 and other similar operations.

Nevertheless, guerillas pressure inside the country itself was steadily increasing in the latter 1970s. By 1978-79, the war had become a contest between the guerrilla warfare placing ever increasing pressure on the Rhodesian regime and civil population and the Rhodesian Government's strategy of trying to hold off the militants until external recognition for a compromise political settlement with moderate black leaders could be secured.

By this time the need to cut a deal was apparent to most Rhodesians, but not to all. Ian Smith had dismissed his intransigent Defence Minister, P. K. van der Byl as early as 1976. "PK" had been a hard-line opponent of any form of compromise with domestic opposition or the international community since before UDI.

P. K. van der Byl in 1977, commenting on a British peace plan.


Van der Byl eventually retired to his country estate outside Cape Town
Cape Town
Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...

, but there were elements in Rhodesia, mainly embittered former security force personnel, who forcibly opposed majority rule up to and well beyond independence. New white immigrants continued to arrive in Rhodesia right up to the eve of independence.

During the closing stages of the war, the Rhodesian government resorted to biological warfare. Watercourses at several sites close to the Mozambique border were deliberately contaminated with cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

 and warfarin
Warfarin
Warfarin is an anticoagulant. It is most likely to be the drug popularly referred to as a "blood thinner," yet this is a misnomer, since it does not affect the thickness or viscosity of blood...

, an anti-coagulant commonly used as the active ingredient in rat poison. Food stocks in areas of insurgent activity were contaminated with anthrax
Anthrax
Anthrax is an acute disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Most forms of the disease are lethal, and it affects both humans and other animals...

 spores. These biological attacks had little impact on the fighting capability of ZANLA, but caused considerable distress to the local population. Over 10,000 people contracted anthrax in the period 1978 to 1980 of whom 200 died. The facts about this episode became known during the hearings of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission during the late 1990s. Former senior members of the Rhodesian security forces have stated that the actions described were undertaken by Rhodesian psy-ops units using material supplied through the Operation Coast programme of the SADF
South African Defence Force
The South African Defence Force was the South African armed forces from 1957 until 1994. The former Union Defence Force was renamed to the South African Defence Force in the Defence Act of 1957...

.

The work of journalists such as Lord Richard Cecil, son of the Marquess of Salisbury
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 6th Marquess of Salisbury
Robert Edward Peter Gascoyne-Cecil, 6th Marquess of Salisbury , styled Viscount Cranborne from 1947 to 1972, was a British landowner and Conservative politician....

, stiffened the morale of Rhodesians and their overseas supporters. Lord Richard produced regular news reports such as the Thames TV 'Frontline Rhodesia' features. These reports typically contrasted the incompetent insurgents with the "superbly professional" government troops. A group of ZANLA fighters killed Lord Richard on 20 April 1978 when he parachuted into enemy territory with a Rhodesian airborne unit and landed in the middle of a group of ZANLA fighters.

The shooting down on 3 September 1978 of the civilian Vickers Viscount
Vickers Viscount
The Vickers Viscount was a British medium-range turboprop airliner first flown in 1948 by Vickers-Armstrongs, making it the first such aircraft to enter service in the world...

 airliner Hunyani, Air Rhodesia Flight RH825
Air Rhodesia Flight RH825
Air Rhodesia Flight 825 was a scheduled flight from Kariba, Rhodesia to Salisbury, Rhodesia that was shot down on September 3, 1978 by ZIPRA guerrillas using a Strela 2 missile -Incident:...

, in the Kariba
Kariba
Kariba is a town in Mashonaland West province, Zimbabwe, located close to the Kariba Dam at the northwestern end of Lake Kariba, near the Zambian border. According to the 1992 Population Census, the town had a population of 20,736....

 area by ZIPRA fighters using a surface-to-air missile
Surface-to-air missile
A surface-to-air missile or ground-to-air missile is a missile designed to be launched from the ground to destroy aircraft or other missiles...

, with the subsequent massacre of its survivors, is widely considered to be the event that finally destroyed the Rhodesians' will to continue the war. Although militarily insignificant, the loss of this aircraft (and a second Viscount, the Umniati, in 1979) demonstrated the reach of resistance movements extended to Rhodesian civil society.

The Rhodesians' means to continue the war were also eroding fast. In December 1978 a ZANLA unit penetrated the outskirts of Salisbury and fired a volley of rockets and incendiary device
Incendiary device
Incendiary weapons, incendiary devices or incendiary bombs are bombs designed to start fires or destroy sensitive equipment using materials such as napalm, thermite, chlorine trifluoride, or white phosphorus....

 rounds into the main oil storage depot – the most heavily defended economic asset in the country. The storage tanks burned for five days giving off a column of smoke that could be seen 80 miles (128.7 km) away. Half a million barrels of petroleum product (comprising Rhodesia’s strategic oil reserve) were lost.

The government's defence spending increased from R$30m, 8.5% of the national budget in 1971 to 1972, to R$400m in 1978 to 1979, 47% of the national budget. In 1980 the post-independence government of Zimbabwe inherited a US$500m national debt.

The end of UDI


The Rhodesian army continued its "mobile counter-offensive" strategy of holding key positions ("vital asset ground") while carrying out raids into the no-go areas and into neighbouring countries. While often extraordinarily successful in inflicting heavy guerrilla casualties, such raids also on occasion failed to achieve their objectives. In April 1979 special forces carried out a raid on Joshua Nkomo
Joshua Nkomo
Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo was the leader and founder of the Zimbabwe African People's Union and a member of the Kalanga tribe...

's residence in Lusaka
Lusaka
Lusaka is the capital and largest city of Zambia. It is located in the southern part of the central plateau, at an elevation of about 1,300 metres . It has a population of about 1.7 million . It is a commercial centre as well as the centre of government, and the four main highways of Zambia head...

 (Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

) with the stated intention of assassinating him. Nkomo and his family left hastily a few hours before the raid – having clearly been warned that the raid was coming. Rumours of treachery circulated within Rhodesia. It was variously suggested that the army command had been penetrated by British MI6
Secret Intelligence Service
The Secret Intelligence Service is responsible for supplying the British Government with foreign intelligence. Alongside the internal Security Service , the Government Communications Headquarters and the Defence Intelligence , it operates under the formal direction of the Joint Intelligence...

 or that people in the Rhodesian establishment were positioning themselves for life after independence. The loyalty of the country's Central Intelligence Organization
Central Intelligence Organization
The Central Intelligence Organisation is the national intelligence agency or "secret police" of Zimbabwe.-History:The CIO was formed in Rhodesia on the instructions of Prime Minister Winston Field in 1963 at the dissolution of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, and took over from the...

 became suspect.

In 1979, some special forces units were accused of using counterinsurgent operations as cover for ivory poaching and smuggling. Colonel Reid-Daly (commander of the Selous Scouts
Selous Scouts
The Selous Scouts was a special forces regiment of the Rhodesian Army, which operated from 1973 until the introduction of majority rule in 1980. It was named after British explorer Frederick Courteney Selous , and their motto was pamwe chete, which, in the Shona language, roughly means "all...

) discovered that his phone was bugged and after challenging a superior officer on this issue was court martialled for insubordination. He received the lightest sentence possible, a caution, but he continued to fight his conviction and eventually resigned his commission and left the Army.

By 1978-79, up to 70% of the regular army was composed of black soldiers (though both the army and police reserves remained overwhelmingly white). By 1979 there were also 30 black commissioned officers in the regular army. While there was never any suggestion of disloyalty among the soldiers from predominantly black units (in particular within the Selous Scouts or the Rhodesian African Rifles
Rhodesian African Rifles
The Rhodesian African Rifles, or RAR, was the oldest regiment in the Rhodesian Army, dating from the formation of the 1st Rhodesian Native Regiment in 1916 during the First World War. This was followed by the creation of the Matabeleland Native Regiment, and the 2nd Rhodesian Native Regiment,...

 - RAR), some argue that, by the time of the 1980 election, many of the RAR soldiers voted for Robert Mugabe.
As the result of an internal settlement between the Rhodesian government and some urban-based African nationalist parties, which were not in exile and not involved in the war, elections were held in April 1979. The UANC
United African National Council
The United African National Council is a political party in Zimbabwe.In 1979, led by Bishop Abel Muzorewa, the UANC Party held formal power in Zimbabwe during the short-lived period of the Internal Settlement...

 (United African National Council) party won a majority in this election, and its leader, Abel Muzorewa
Abel Muzorewa
Bishop Abel Tendekayi Muzorewa served as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia from the Internal Settlement to the Lancaster House Agreement in 1979...

 (a United Methodist Church
United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline Protestant and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley...

 bishop), became the country's prime minister on 1 June 1979. The country's name was changed to Zimbabwe Rhodesia
Zimbabwe Rhodesia
Zimbabwe Rhodesia , officially the Republic of Zimbabwe Rhodesia, was an unrecognized state that existed from 1 June 1979 to 12 December 1979...

. The internal settlement left control of the country's police, security forces, civil service and judiciary in white hands, for the moment. It assured whites of about one third of the seats in parliament. It was essentially a power-sharing arrangement between whites and blacks which, in the eyes of many, particularly the insurgents, did not amount to majority rule. However, the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 voted to end economic sanctions against Zimbabwe Rhodesia on 12 June.

While the 1979 election was described by the Rhodesian government as non-racial and democratic, it did not include the main nationalist parties ZANU and ZAPU. In spite of offers from Ian Smith
Ian Smith
Ian Douglas Smith GCLM ID was a politician active in the government of Southern Rhodesia, the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Rhodesia, Zimbabwe Rhodesia and Zimbabwe from 1948 to 1987, most notably serving as Prime Minister of Rhodesia from 13 April 1964 to 1 June 1979...

, the latter parties declined to participate in an election in which their political position would be insecure and under a proposed constitution which they had played no part in drafting and which was perceived as retaining strong white minority privilege.

Bishop Muzorewa's government did not receive international recognition. The Bush War continued unabated and sanctions were not lifted. The international community refused to accept the validity of any agreement which did not incorporate the main nationalist parties. The British Government (then led by the recently elected Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

) issued invitations to all parties to attend a peace conference at Lancaster House
Lancaster House
Lancaster House is a mansion in the St. James's district in the West End of London. It is close to St. James's Palace and much of the site was once part of the palace complex...

. These negotiations took place in London in late 1979. The three-month-long conference almost failed to reach conclusion, due to disagreements on land reform
Land reform in Zimbabwe
Land reform in Zimbabwe officially began in 1979 with the signing of the Lancaster House Agreement, an effort to more equitably distribute land between the historically disenfranchised blacks and the minority-whites who ruled Zimbabwe from 1890 to 1979...

, but resulted in the Lancaster House Agreement
Lancaster House Agreement
The negotiations which led to the Lancaster House Agreement brought independence to Rhodesia following Ian Smith’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965. The Agreement covered the Independence Constitution, pre-independence arrangements, and a ceasefire...

. UDI ended, and Rhodesia reverted to the status of a British colony ('The British Dependency of Southern Rhodesia').

The outcome was an internationally supervised general election in early 1980. ZANU (PF) led by Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe
Robert Gabriel Mugabe is the President of Zimbabwe. As one of the leaders of the liberation movement against white-minority rule, he was elected into power in 1980...

 won this election, some alleged, by terrorizing opposition to ZANU, including supporters of ZAPU. The observers and the newly-installed governor Lord Soames were accused of looking the other way, and Mugabe's victory was certified. Nevertheless, few could doubt that Mugabe's support within his majority Shona tribal group was extremely strong. Be that as it may, elements in the Rhodesian armed forces toyed with the idea of mounting a coup against a perceived stolen election ("Operation Quartz") to prevent ZANU taking over government of the country, but the coup was never realised.

Independence


Mugabe and the victorious black nationalists were rather less concerned by Operation Quartz than by the possibility that there might be a mass exodus of the white community of the kind that had caused chaos in Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

 five years earlier. Such an exodus had been prepared for by the South African government. With the agreement of the British Governor of Rhodesia, South African troops had entered the country to secure the road approaches to the Beit Bridge border crossing point. Refugee camps had been prepared in the Transvaal
Transvaal Province
Transvaal Province was a province of the Union of South Africa from 1910 to 1961, and of its successor, the Republic of South Africa, from 1961 until the end of apartheid in 1994 when a new constitution subdivided it.-History:...

. On the day the election results became known, most white families had prepared contingency plans for flight, including the packing of cars and suitcases.

However, after a meeting with Robert Mugabe and the central committee of ZANU (PF), Ian Smith was reassured that whites could, and should stay in the new Zimbabwe. Mugabe promised that he would abide strictly by the terms of the Lancaster House Agreement
Lancaster House Agreement
The negotiations which led to the Lancaster House Agreement brought independence to Rhodesia following Ian Smith’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965. The Agreement covered the Independence Constitution, pre-independence arrangements, and a ceasefire...

 and that changes in Zimbabwe would be made gradually and by proper legal process.

On 18 April 1980 the country became independent as the Republic of Zimbabwe, and its capital, Salisbury, was renamed Harare
Harare
Harare before 1982 known as Salisbury) is the largest city and capital of Zimbabwe. It has an estimated population of 1,600,000, with 2,800,000 in its metropolitan area . Administratively, Harare is an independent city equivalent to a province. It is Zimbabwe's largest city and its...

 two years later.

Politics




Although Southern Rhodesia never gained full Dominion status within the old Commonwealth, Southern Rhodesians ruled themselves from the attainment of 'Responsible Government' in 1923. Its electoral register had property and education qualifications. Over the years various electoral arrangements made at a national and municipal level upheld these standards. For example, the franchise for the first Legislative Council election in 1899 contained the following requirement:
voters to be British subjects, male, 21 years of age and older, able to write their address and occupation, and then to fulfil the following financial requirements: (a) ownership of a registered mining claim in Southern Rhodesia, or (b) occupying immovable property worth £75, or (c) receiving wages or salary of £50 per annum in Southern Rhodesia. Six months' continuous residence was also required for qualifications (b) and (c).


Following Cecil Rhodes' dictum of "equal rights for all civilized men", there was no overt racial component to the franchise. However, the requirement excluded a majority of native blacks from the electorate. Whites never comprised more than 5% of the country's total population, but up to 1979 they never had less than 95% of the total vote in national elections. Up until the 1950s, Southern Rhodesia had a vibrant political life with right and left wing parties competing for power. The Rhodesia Labour Party held seats in the Assembly and in municipal councils throughout the 1920s and 30s. From 1953 to 1958 the prime minister was Garfield Todd
Garfield Todd
Sir Reginald Stephen Garfield Todd was a reformist Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia from 1953 to 1958 and later became an opponent of white minority rule in Rhodesia. He was born in Invercargill, New Zealand.-Background:...

, a liberal who did much to promote the development of the Black community through investment in education, housing and healthcare. However, the government forced Todd from office due to his inability to come to agreement with Britain over the terms of Rhodesia's independence.

From 1958 onwards, white settler politics consolidated and ossified around resistance to majority rule, setting the stage for UDI. The 1961 Constitution governed Southern Rhodesia and independent Rhodesia up until 1969, using the Westminster Parliamentary System modified by a system of separate voter rolls with differing property and education qualifications, without regard to race. Whites ended up with the majority of Assembly seats.

The 1969 republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

an constitution established a bicameral Parliament consisting of an indirectly-elected Senate
Senate
A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or chamber of a legislature or parliament. There have been many such bodies in history, since senate means the assembly of the eldest and wiser members of the society and ruling class...

 and a directly-elected House of Assembly
House of Assembly
House of Assembly is a name given to the legislature or lower house of a bicameral parliament. In some countries this may be at a subnational level....

, effectively reserving the majority of seats for whites. The office of President
President of Rhodesia
The position of President of Rhodesia was the nominal head of state of Rhodesia from 1970 to 1979. As with Rhodesia itself, the position lacked international recognition for the entire period. The position of president, however, was mostly symbolic, and Rhodesia never had a presidential system of...

 had only ceremonial significance with the Prime Minister holding executive power.

The Constitution of the short-lived Zimbabwe Rhodesia
Zimbabwe Rhodesia
Zimbabwe Rhodesia , officially the Republic of Zimbabwe Rhodesia, was an unrecognized state that existed from 1 June 1979 to 12 December 1979...

, which saw a black-led government elected for the first time, reserved 28 of the 100 parliamentary seats for whites. The independence constitution agreed at Lancaster House
Lancaster House Agreement
The negotiations which led to the Lancaster House Agreement brought independence to Rhodesia following Ian Smith’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965. The Agreement covered the Independence Constitution, pre-independence arrangements, and a ceasefire...

 watered those provisions down and reserved 20 out of 100 seats for whites in the House of Assembly and 8 out of 40 seats in the Senate. The constitution prohibited Zimbabwe authorities from altering the Constitution for seven years without unanimous consent and required a three quarters vote in Parliament for a further three years. The government amended the Constitution in 1987 to abolish the seats reserved for whites, and replace the office of Prime Minister with an executive President. In 1990 the government abolished the Senate.

Foreign relations



Throughout the period of its Unilateral Declaration of Independence
Unilateral Declaration of Independence (Rhodesia)
The Unilateral Declaration of Independence of Rhodesia from the United Kingdom was signed on November 11, 1965, by the administration of Ian Smith, whose Rhodesian Front party opposed black majority rule in the then British colony. Although it declared independence from the United Kingdom it...

 (1965 to 1979), Rhodesia pursued a foreign policy of attempting to secure recognition as an independent country, and insisting that its political system would include 'gradual steps to majority rule.' Ardently anti-communist, Rhodesia tried to present itself to the West as a front-line state against communist expansion in Africa, to little avail. Rhodesia received little international recognition during its existence; recognition only occurred after elections in 1980 and a transition to black African rule.

Rhodesia wished to retain its economic prosperity and also feared communist elements in the rebel forces, and thus felt their policy of a gradual progression to black majority rule was justified. However, the international community refused to accept this rationale, believing that their policies were perpetuating racism. This attitude was part of the larger decolonisation context, during which Western powers such as the United Kingdom, France, and Belgium hastened to grant independence to their colonies in Africa.

Britain and the UDI


Rhodesia was originally a British colony. Although decolonisation in Africa had commenced after World War II, it began accelerating in the early 1960s, causing Britain to negotiate independence rapidly with several of its colonies. During this period, it adopted a foreign policy called NIBMAR, or No Independence Before Majority African Rule, mandating democratic reforms that placed governance in the hands of the majority black Africans. The governing white minority of Rhodesia, led by Ian Smith
Ian Smith
Ian Douglas Smith GCLM ID was a politician active in the government of Southern Rhodesia, the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Rhodesia, Zimbabwe Rhodesia and Zimbabwe from 1948 to 1987, most notably serving as Prime Minister of Rhodesia from 13 April 1964 to 1 June 1979...

, opposed the policy and its implications. On 11 November 1965, Rhodesia's minority white government made a unilateral declaration of independence (commonly referred to as "UDI") from the United Kingdom, as it became apparent that negotiations would not lead to independence under the white regime.

The United Kingdom government immediately brought in legislation (Southern Rhodesia Act 1965) which formally abolished all Rhodesian government institutions. This move made life difficult for Rhodesian citizens who wished to travel internationally as passports issued by Rhodesia's UDI administration were not recognised as valid; in January 1966, the British issued a statement accepting as valid any passport issued before the declaration of independence and allowing six month United Kingdom passports to be granted when they expired - provided that the bearer declared they did not intend to aid the UDI Rhodesian government.

Until late 1969, Rhodesia still recognised Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

 as head of state, even though it opposed the British government itself for hindering its goals of independence. The Queen, however, refused to accept the title Queen of Rhodesia. Eventually, the Smith government abandoned attempts to remain loyal to the Crown, and in 1969, a majority of the electorate voted in referendum to declare Rhodesia a republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

. They hoped that this move would facilitate recognition as an independent state by the international community, but the issues of white minority control remained and hindered this effort, and like the UDI before it, the proclamation of a republic lacked international recognition.

Sanctions


After the declaration of independence, and indeed for the entire duration of its existence, Rhodesia did not receive official recognition from any state, although it did maintain diplomatic relations with South Africa, another white minority regime (but did not recognize Rhodesia due to its wish to preserve its fragile positions with other nations but frequently assisted the republic), and Portugal, which ceased relations with Rhodesia after its Carnation Revolution
Carnation Revolution
The Carnation Revolution , also referred to as the 25 de Abril , was a military coup started on 25 April 1974, in Lisbon, Portugal, coupled with an unanticipated and extensive campaign of civil resistance...

 in 1974. The day following the declaration of independence, the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 passed a resolution (S/RES/216
United Nations Security Council Resolution 216
United Nations Security Council Resolution 216 was adopted by the United Nations Security Council on 12 November 1965, the day after the British Dependency of Southern Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence from the British Empire as the state of Rhodesia...

) calling upon all states to not accord Rhodesia recognition, and to refrain from any assistance. The Security Council also imposed selective mandatory economic sanctions, which were later made comprehensive.

International perspective


Rhodesia Unilateral Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom on 11 November 1965 was promptly condemned by the international community. The United Nations Security Council Resolution 216 of the 12 November 1965 called "upon all States not to recognize this illegal racist minority regime in Southern Rhodesia."

Rhodesia campaigned for international acceptance and invoked the doctrine of non-intervention in internal affairs as justification for rebuking external criticism of its internal policies. However, the emerging doctrine of self-determination
Self-determination
Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

 in colonial situations meant that most nations regarded Rhodesia as illegitimate.

Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

, formerly Northern Rhodesia
Northern Rhodesia
Northern Rhodesia was a territory in south central Africa, formed in 1911. It became independent in 1964 as Zambia.It was initially administered under charter by the British South Africa Company and formed by it in 1911 by amalgamating North-Western Rhodesia and North-Eastern Rhodesia...

, took a pragmatic approach towards Rhodesia. Kenneth Kaunda
Kenneth Kaunda
Kenneth David Kaunda, known as KK, served as the first President of Zambia, from 1964 to 1991.-Early life:Kaunda was the youngest of eight children. He was born at Lubwa Mission in Chinsali, Northern Province of Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia...

, heavily dependent on access through Rhodesia for his nation's copper ore exports, fuel, and power imports unofficially worked with the Rhodesian government. Rhodesia still allowed Zambia to export and import its goods through its territory to Mozambique ports, despite the Zambian government's official policy of hostility and non-recognition of the post-UDI Smith Administration.

The United States, like all other Western nations, refused to recognize Rhodesia, but unlike others allowed its Consulate-General to function as a communications conduit between the American government in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, and the Rhodesian government in Salisbury. When Rhodesia set up an information office in Washington, D.C., OAS
Organization of American States
The Organization of American States is a regional international organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States...

 nations loudly protested. The U.S. government responded by saying the Rhodesian mission and its staff had no official diplomatic status and violated no U.S. laws.

Portugal pursued a middle path with Rhodesia. While not officially recognizing Rhodesia under Ian Smith, the government of Antonio Salazar did permit Rhodesia to establish a diplomatic mission in Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

, and permitted Rhodesian exports and imports through their colony of Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

. The Portuguese government in power at that time, authoritarian and ardently anti-communist, gave active behind-the-scenes support in Rhodesia's fight against the guerrilla groups.

South Africa, itself under international pressure as a white minority government, pursued a policy of détente
Détente
Détente is the easing of strained relations, especially in a political situation. The term is often used in reference to the general easing of relations between the Soviet Union and the United States in the 1970s, a thawing at a period roughly in the middle of the Cold War...

 with the black African states at the time. These states wanted South Africa to pressure Ian Smith to accept a faster transition to majority rule in Rhodesia, in return for pledges of non-interference in South Africa's internal affairs. Prime Minister John Vorster, believing majority rule in Rhodesia would lead to international acceptance for South Africa, used a number of tactics to pressure Smith. The South African government held up shipments of fuel and ammunition and pulled out friendly South African forces from Rhodesia. The combined loss of Mozambique and the loss of support from South Africa dealt critical blows to the Rhodesian government.

Legations


After the UDI, Rhodesia House in London, (the Rhodesian High Commission
High Commissioner
High Commissioner is the title of various high-ranking, special executive positions held by a commission of appointment.The English term is also used to render various equivalent titles in other languages.-Bilateral diplomacy:...

), now the Embassy of Zimbabwe in London, simply became a representative office with no official diplomatic status. Other locations which had Rhodesian representative offices were:
  • Until 1975
    • Lourenço Marques
      Maputo
      Maputo, also known as Lourenço Marques, is the capital and largest city of Mozambique. It is known as the City of Acacias in reference to acacia trees commonly found along its avenues and the Pearl of the Indian Ocean. It was famous for the inscription "This is Portugal" on the walkway of its...

      , Mozambique
    • Lisbon
      Lisbon
      Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

      , Portugal

  • Until 1979
    • Pretoria
      Pretoria
      Pretoria is a city located in the northern part of Gauteng Province, South Africa. It is one of the country's three capital cities, serving as the executive and de facto national capital; the others are Cape Town, the legislative capital, and Bloemfontein, the judicial capital.Pretoria is...

      , South Africa
    • Washington, D.C.
      Washington, D.C.
      Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

      , United States
    • Bonn
      Bonn
      Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located in the Cologne/Bonn Region, about 25 kilometres south of Cologne on the river Rhine in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999....

      , West Germany
      West Germany
      West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

    • Tokyo
      Tokyo
      , ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

      , Japan
      Japan
      Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...



The most important representative offices for Rhodesia were Lisbon and Pretoria.

Results


Continuing civil war and a lack of international support eventually led the Rhodesian government to submit to an agreement with the UK in 1979. This led to internationally supervised elections, won by ZANU-PF
Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front
The Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front has been the ruling party in Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, led by Robert Mugabe, first as Prime Minister with the party simply known as ZANU, and then as President from 1988 after taking over ZAPU and retaining the name ZANU-PF...

 and Robert Mugabe, establishing the internationally-recognised Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

.

Legacy


After independence in April 1980, the history of Rhodesians became that of the whites in Zimbabwe
Whites in Zimbabwe
White Zimbabweans are people from the southern African country Zimbabwe who identify themselves as white...

. However, many of the issues associated with UDI and the Bush War were not resolved immediately. In the early 1980s, South Africa sought to secure its position in the region by various means including the destabilisation of neighbouring states through support for dissident groups such as UNITA
UNITA
The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola is the second-largest political party in Angola. Founded in 1966, UNITA fought with the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola in the Angolan War for Independence and then against the MPLA in the ensuing civil war .The war was one...

 (in Angola) and Renamo (in Mozambique). In Zimbabwe, the South African intelligence service promoted ZIPRA dissidents in what became known as the super-ZAPU insurgency in Matabeleland.

During the Bush War of the 1970s some white farmers were able to carry on operations by paying protection money to commanders. The super-ZAPU insurgency of the early 1980s was much less manageable. Super-ZAPU targeted white farmers, missionaries and tourists on the grounds that their murders would make "international headlines."

Ed Cumming, Matabeleland white farmer


The insurgency was equipped and coordinated by South African intelligence, working through white former members of the Rhodesian security services. The super-ZAPU insurgency was eventually resolved at a military level by the Zimbabwe army Fifth Brigade's sweep through Matabeleland in 1983 (operation "Gukurahundi
Gukurahundi
The Gukurahundi refers to the suppression by Zimbabwe's 5th Brigade in the predominantly Ndebele regions of Zimbabwe most of whom were supporters of Joshua Nkomo. A few hundred disgruntled former ZIPRA combatants waged armed banditry against the civilians in Matabeleland, and destroyed government...

") and at a political level by the Unity Accord of 1987. Operation Gukurahundi
Gukurahundi
The Gukurahundi refers to the suppression by Zimbabwe's 5th Brigade in the predominantly Ndebele regions of Zimbabwe most of whom were supporters of Joshua Nkomo. A few hundred disgruntled former ZIPRA combatants waged armed banditry against the civilians in Matabeleland, and destroyed government...

 was associated with the massacre of between four and ten thousand civilians. Those last figures are estimated by sources ranging from the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace to Parade magazine.

The Matabeleland police reserve, still a largely white force in 1983, provided a degree of support to operation Gukurahundi. White police officers manning roadblocks and checkpoints were a commonly observed feature in Matabeleland at the time of the operation.

In the ten years after independence, around 60% of the white population of Zimbabwe emigrated, most to South Africa and to other mainly white, English speaking countries where they formed expatriate communities. Politically within Zimbabwe, the consolidation of power by Robert Mugabe continued through the 1980s. Parliamentary seats reserved for the white population were abolished in 1987 and a new constitution promulgated with Mugabe in the position of state president. Many expatriates and some of the whites who stayed in Zimbabwe became deeply nostalgic for Rhodesia. These individuals are known as "Rhodie
Rhodie
Rhodie is a colloquial term. It is typically applied to a white Zimbabwean or expatriate Rhodesian.-Origins of the term:The term was first used by British army and civil service personnel in Rhodesia during the period immediately before the country's independence :".....

s." Native whites who are more accepting of the new order are known as "Zimbos."

Today, Zimbabwe, once considered the breadbasket
Breadbasket
The breadbasket or the granary of a country is a region which, because of richness of soil and/or advantageous climate, produces an agricultural surplus which is often considered vital for the country as a whole. Rice bowl is a similar term used in Southeast Asia...

 of Africa, is a net importer of foodstuffs, with the European Union and United States providing emergency food relief as humanitarian aid on a regular basis. Part of the issue is due to a marked decrease in agricultural production as fertile farmland once cultivated by trained white farmers has been forcibly relocated to black former combatants, who are untrained in agricultural land management, as compensation for military service. In such cases, production usually falls to less than half of its estimated capacity and fertile land lies fallow due to neglect. Not only is production reduced, but the jobs associated with operating a viable enterprise are lost. The Zimbabwe government blame the crippling sanctions imposed by the Western governments to force a regime change, for the failures in the economy. Recently the agriculture sector has started to do well since the availability of expertise and machines has improved supported mainly by China.

Zimbabwe also suffered from a crippling inflation rate, as the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe had a policy of printing money to satisfy government debts, which introduces excessive currency into the economic system. This policy caused the inflation rate to soar from 32% in 1998 (considered extremely high by most economic standards) to an astonishing 11,200,000% by 2007. Monetary aid by the International Monetary Fund has been suspended due to the Zimbabwe government's defaulting on past loans, inability to stabilize its own economy, and her inability to stem corruption and advance human rights.
In 2009, Zimbabwe abandoned its currency, relying instead on foreign currencies such as the South African rand, the US dollar, the Botswanan pula, the euro and the British pound, among others.

In 2008 elections, Mugabe garnered 41%, Simba Makoni 10% and Morgan Tsvangirai 48% of the votes cast for president forcing a runoff election called by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). In the months leading to the run-off, instances of extreme violence between the two major parties (ZANU PF and MDC) led Tsvangirai to withdraw from the election. In February, 2009, a power-sharing accord was reached with Mugabe retaining the title of President and Tsvangirai being named Prime Minister. The accord was, essentially, to create the position of "Prime Minister" for Tsvangirai, but the powers of the office remain unclear.

Rhodesian Media


Among the news magazines published in Rhodesia under UDI was the Rhodesia Herald and Illustrated Life Rhodesia
Illustrated Rhodesia Life
Illustrated Life Rhodesia was a fortnightly picture magazine published in Salisbury, Rhodesia, by the Graham Publishing Co., from at least 1968 to at least 1978. Aimed at the white settler market, it carried illustrated articles on Rhodesian history as well as on current affairs and prominent local...

. The Valiant Years by Beryl Salt, published in 1978, told the history of Rhodesia from 1890 to 1978 entirely through the medium of facsimile reproduction of articles and headlines from Rhodesian newspapers.

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