Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe, officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, and formerly Southern Rhodesia, the Republic of Rhodesia and Zimbabwe Rhodesia, is a landlocked country in the southern part of the continent of Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia to the northwest, and Mozambique to the east. The official language of Zimbabwe is English. However, the majority of the population, who are Shona speak Shona; the other native language of Zimbabwe being Sindebele, which is spoken by the Matabele people.

Zimbabwe has had numerous large scale problems, such as hyperinflation, collapse of agriculture, and corruption, as well as large scale White flight, after the end of White minority rule in 1980.

Contents

Early days

From circa 1250–1629, the area was renowned as a gold trade route by Arabs who built numerous stone structures which have survived to this day. Fairy stories of a great local civilisation of native Africans are inventions. In 1834, the Ndebele people arrived while fleeing from the Zulu leader Shaka, calling the area Matabeleland. In the 1880s, the British arrived in the form of Cecil Rhodes' British South Africa Company. In 1898, the name Southern Rhodesia was adopted.

Terrorist war

Under pressure from liberals and socialists in the Western World, notably the USA, UN[1] and UK[2], to wind down colonial rule, the European Rhodesia government led by Ian Smith made a Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) from the United Kingdom on 11 November 1965.[3] The United Kingdom's socialist government of Harold Wilson deemed this an act of rebellion, but did not re-establish control by force, as proposed by the UK Liberal Party's member of parliament, Jeremy Thorpe, who, at his party's conference in September 1966, urged the bombing by Britain's high-flying 'V-bombers' of the main oil supply route into Rhodesia at Malvernia.[4] Strangely, the UK Conservative Party proceeded to attack Wilson's moves on Rhodesia, notably his appeal to the United Nations Security Council. The former Conservative Cabinet Minister Duncan Sandys, at their October Party Conference, stated that "we do not want Rhodesia to go the way of Ghana, Nigeria, the Congo and Zanzibar.[5] The Rhodesian government, under sanctions and other pressures by the UK government, declared itself a "republic" in 1970, which was immediately recognised by South Africa. Throughout the later 1960s and 1970s a terrorist campaign to take over the country by Joshua Nkomo's ZAPU and Robert Mugabe's Marxist ZANU terrorist groups using assistance from the government of Zambia, and, after the Portuguese left, Mozambique, from the new Marxist regime there also. The leading British organisation to support Ian Smith's government and who monitored events in Rhodesia was the Conservative Monday Club.

Marxists take over

On 18 April 1980, the country attained internationally-recognised independence and along with it a new name, Zimbabwe, new flag, and government led by Robert Mugabe of ZANU. Canaan Banana served as the first president with Mugabe as Prime Minister. In 1987, the government amended the Constitution to provide for an Executive President and abolished the office of Prime Minister. The constitutional changes went into effect on 1 January 1988, establishing Robert Mugabe as President.

President Mugabe, decided upon settling what he saw as 'land issues', which he had promised his terrorist groups during their campaigns he would do, and this emerged as his vital issue in the 1990s, although arbitrary, unlawful and often murderous take-overs of Europeans' farms and homes, a form of ethnic cleansing as practised in Europe by the Communists at the end of World War II, had already commenced. It now gathered pace. Beginning in 2000, Mugabe started to redistribute land stolen from Europeans to his cronies, friends, and others in the standard African manner.[6] Europeans were often raped, tortured during land takeovers, such is being forced to drink diesel fuel.[7]

A 2012 article stated that "I always hear some of my fellow Shona friends saying the crisis in Zimbabwe started in the 1990s when Mr Mugabe started expropriating white farmland including denying Morgan Tsvangirai presidency. No for us in Matabeleland the crisis began right in 1980 when Mr Mugabe became Prime Minister of the newly independent Zimbabwe. Up to 20 000 people were massacred by the North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade in the early 1980s."[8]

Chaos

The result of the collapse of European government, industry, commerce, financial norms, and in particular farming, meant ridiculous hyperinflation and chronic shortages in imported fuel and consumer goods. Hard foreign currency became in short supply.[9] Yet Mugabe, however, claims none of this is his fault and instead his country's financial isolation has been caused through American, British and EU legislation such as the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery act of 2001 as a form of sanctions. Under ZDERA, the IMF and other financial institutions are prohibited from extending loans, credit or cancelling debt to the government of Zimbabwe. As Zimbabwe needs to import all its energy, and oil is paid for in US dollars, this made the country vulnerable to financial sanctions like ZDERA.

Seasoned observers and those few Europeans remaining in the country testify that Zimbabwe's current economic and food crisis, described by some as the country's worst humanitarian crisis since independence, has been attributed in varying degrees to a drought affecting the entire region, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and the government's activities, price controls and land reforms.[10]

In 2005, the government, led by central bank governor Gideon Gono, started making overtures that white farmers could come back. There were 400 to 500 still left in the country, but the land that had been robbed was no longer productive due to misuse by blacks.[11] In January 2007, the government even let some white farmers sign long term leases.[12] But, at the same time, the government continued to demand that all remaining white farmers, who were given eviction notices earlier, vacate the land or risk being arrested.[13][14] Mugabe blamed foreign governments who were giving him foreign aid and even claimed fictional "sabotage" as the cause of the fall of the Zimbabwean economy, as well as the country's 80% formal unemployment rate, instead of admitting it was the treatment of white farmers[15] that now makes Zimbabwe a net importer of food.[16] Zimbabwe was once the world's 6th largest producer of tobacco in 2001,[17] but in 2005 it produced less than 1/3 the amount produced in 2000,[18] which was the lowest amount in 50 years.[19] Zimbabwe was once so rich in agricultural produce that it was dubbed the "bread basket" of Southern Africa, while it is now struggling to feed its own population.[20] About 45 percent of the population is now considered malnourished.

The blacks who had stolen the land from whites farmers they murdered, then were subleasing the land to white farmers again because they were better farmers and this was the only way to keep the rapdily growing black Zimbabwe population fed. Mugabe said to this, "What annoys us even more is why our own indigenous farmers sub-lease to the very same white farmers who took our heritage yesterday."[21]

In 2015 fewer than 300 white farmers remained on portions of their original land holdings. Many of the seized farms lie fallow, meaning the former "Breadbasket of Africa" has to import food to feed its population.[22]

A 2017 article stated that an estimated 95 percent of the Zimbabwean workforce was unemployed, public infrastructure was crumbling, and there were widespread reports of shortages of cash and food. The Economist recently stated that almost a quarter of Zimbabweans needed food assistance and that 72 percent live in poverty. This despite large scale foreign aid, the remittances from some three million Zimbabweans working in South Africa, and South Africa’s ANC regime giving clandestine aid to Zimbabwe in the form of electricity and food on credit which has never been paid back.[23]

Mugabe's regime ended in 2017. In practice, this has been argued to mean little, as Mugabe was replaced by one his own close associates, and who also has been a strong proponent of the seizure of White assets.[23]

A popular view is to blame only Mugabe and those around him for the anti-White actions. Another view is that this ignores widespread support for these actions in Zimbabwe, by Blacks in other countries (notably Zimbabwe's important neighbor South Africa), and by the left in Western countries. Initially "Mugabe remained ambivalent, recognizing, apparently, that despite the popular appeal of land confiscation, the white commercial farmers still constituted the backbone of Zimbabwe’s economy.” [...] Restless natives would have none of it. [...] This may come as news to the doctrinaire democrats who doggedly conflate the will of the people with liberty: These weapons-wielding “mobs of so-called war veterans,” converging on Zimbabwe’s remaining productive farms, expressed the democratic aspirations of most black Zimbabweans. And of their South African neighbors, a majority of whom “want the land, cars, houses, and swimming pools of their erstwhile white rulers.” Surmised The Daily Mail’s Max Hastings: [M]ost African leaders find it expedient to hand over the white men’s toys to their own people, without all the bother of explaining that these things should be won through education, skills, enterprise and hard labor over generations."[24]

External links

Article archives

References

  1. http://www.un.org/en/decolonization/specialcommittee.shtml
  2. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/february/3/newsid_2714000/2714525.stm
  3. Young, Kenneth, Rhodesia and Independence, A Study in British Colonial Policy, London, 1967.
  4. The Guardian newspaper, September 24, 1966.
  5. Young, 1967, p.440.
  6. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/nov/30/zimbabwe-mugabe-white-farmers
  7. "In the Pit of Africa" A Review by Joshua Hammer. New York Review of Books, 7 January 2008
  8. Life in Rhodesia Was Better Than Zimbabwe http://www.amren.com/news/2012/05/life-in-rhodesia-was-better-than-zimbabwe/
  9. http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21576665-grubby-greenbacks-dear-credit-full-shops-and-empty-factories-dollars-they
  10. [http://www.alertnet.org/thefacts/reliefresources/112239842449.htm Crisis profile: Zimbabwe's humanitarian situation(26 July, 2005) Reuters Foundation AlertNet
  11. Meldrum, Andrew (21 May 2005). "As country heads for disaster, Zimbabwe calls for return of white farmers". The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/zimbabwe/article/0,2763,1489173,00.html. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  12. Timberg, Craig (6 January 2007). "White Farmers Given Leases in Zimbabwe". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/05/AR2007010501746_pf.html. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  13. "Zimbabwe threatens white farmers". Washington Post. Associated Press. 5 February 2007. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/05/AR2007020501262_pf.html. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  14. Chinaka, Cris (8 August 2007). "Zimbabwe threatens white farmers on evictions". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSL0839141020070808. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  15. "How to stay alive when it all runs out, 12 July 2007". Economist.com. 12 July 2007. http://www.economist.com/world/africa/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9475943. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  16. CIA World Factbook, Zimbabwe. Downloaded 19 February 2014.
  17. Growing Tobacco. Who.int. Retrieved on 2012-11-20.
  18. afrol News – Tiny tobacco crop spells doom in Zimbabwe. Afrol.com. Retrieved on 2012-11-20.
  19. [1][dead link]
  20. "Faced with famine, Robert Mugabe orders farmers to stop growing food."
  21. http://www.thezimmail.co.zw/2014/07/03/no-land-for-whites-mugabe/ http://www.dailystormer.com/mugabe-no-white-person-will-be-allowed-to-own-land-whites-will-never-come-back/
  22. Zimbabwe to Hand Back Land to Some White Farmers http://www.amren.com/news/2015/07/zimbabwe-to-hand-back-land-to-some-white-farmers/
  23. 23.0 23.1 Mugabe Farce Ends https://www.amren.com/commentary/2017/11/mugabe-farce-ends/
  24. Why All Three South-African Presidents Supported Robert Mugabe https://www.amren.com/commentary/2017/11/why-all-three-south-african-presidents-supported-robert-mugabe-zimbabwe/
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