Bitter Harvest: Zimbabwe and the Aftermath of its Independence
For more than a decade, Ian Smith served as Rhodesia's Prime Minister during the era of white minority rule. Following his death in 2007, he is still a man with the ability to excite powerful emotions. To some he is a leader whose formidable integrity led him into head-to-head confrontation with the Labor government of Britain in the 1960s. To others he is a demon best known for stating "I don't believe in black majority rule ever, not in a thousand years," for staunchly opposing Britain's insistence that majority rule be implemented before the nation’s independence, and for imprisoning the leadership of the newly emerged black nationalist movement. In this revealing autobiography, Smith tells his own side of the story and reveals how he sought to keep Rhodesia on a path to full democracy during the West's decolonization of Africa. He tells the remarkable story behind the signing of the country’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence and addresses the excesses of power that the current president, Robert Mugabe, has used to create the virtual dictatorship which exists in Zimbabwe today. This is a revealing and prescient historical document from a controversial figure charting the rise and fall of a once-great nation.
the end-of-year awards, I was presented with an honours award, the highest in the university. It was in fact a tribute to the crew and the club; I was merely its recipient. There was another minor incursion into sport during this final year at Rhodes. We created a ‘Gentlemen’s Cricket XI’ to play occasional games against teams from selected farming communities — always ‘away’ games, on a Saturday.These were happy occasions, played with one objective only: the love of the game. Discussion on
Parliament had not crossed my mind. The Liberal Party, however, were not to be put off: I was a local boy with a respectable record at school, university, and in the war. Moreover, my family’s record of dedicated service to the community and beyond was really outstanding.They spoke to my father, who simply advised them against trying any circuitous routes, as I was one of those people who made up my own mind, and they obtained an undertaking from him that he would not attempt to discourage me.
incongruous situation, where the majority of their members are among the strongest supporters of the United Nations, yet their discussions and resolutions are tantamount to a vote of no confidence in the UN, taking it upon themselves to perform, presumably more efficaciously, the functions of the UN. I have never been one of those who considered the UN to be one of the success stories of our generation, but if there was to be an assessment of the most useless organisations of our time, pride of
it was in Rhodesia’s best interests to avoid provocation of the Conservatives. Accordingly the communiqué was designed to satisfy both parties. It declared that Southern Rhodesia claimed independence on the basis of the current constitution. The British stated that they would have to be satisfied that this was acceptable to the people of the country as a whole. I, the Southern Rhodesian Prime Minister, replied that I would be prepared to introduce legislation to bring about independence only if I
gallons per day to perform the task. Into the bargain the runways were not constructed to cater for these heavy aircraft and so they started breaking up, and the roads out of Lusaka, taking a pounding from heavy transport, went the same way. Many Zambians started complaining: was it all necessary, and where were they being led? We passed into 1966 with things going reasonably well. We had introduced fuel rationing, in keeping with plans which had been prepared, and there were few problems. People