Mnangagwa’s Done Far Better Than Ian Smith: Mavaza
10 January 2023
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By Dr Masimba Mavaza | Each time we get closer to elections we have members of the opposition comparing ZANU PF to the Ian Smith rule. I always struggle with anger each time I hear some Zimbabweans wishing to go back to smith. So many times I have heard many misguided comments glorifying Ian Smith.

I have heard a number of CCC supporters asking” that person who was accused of selling Zimbabwe has he got a buyer yet?” Some will be saying war vets must go and bind Zimbabwe where it was bound before freedom. Today I will not concentrate on the evils of colonialism. I will dwell on that later.

We have heard people saying Smith was a genius and that he managed to run Rhodesia successfully despite being under sanctions. They try to make smith look like a sort of a hero and praise his manoeuvres.

The United Nations Security Council in 1966 took a historic step, of sorts. For the first time in its 21 years of existence, it resorted to mandatory economic sanctions to try to bring down a government of Rhodesia. Object of the sanctions was Ian Smith’s white-supremacist regime in Rhodesia, which has been deplored as an international renegade ever since it broke away from British rule in 1965. By a vote of 11 to 0—with four abstentions—the council declared an international embargo on 90% of Rhodesia’s exports, forbade the U.N.’s 122-member nations to sell oil, arms, motor vehicles or airplanes to the rebel territory or to provide it with any form of “financial or other economic aid.”
For all its apparent toughness, the resolution calling for sanctions seemed to lack the teeth necessary to enforce them. Voted down was an amendment to penalize nations that ignore the boycott. The Security Council, in fact, left it up to each member nation to police its own trade with Rhodesia.
What we must remember is that a week after the sanctions South Africa, which supplied most of Rhodesia’s oil and was its principal trading partner, announced that it had no intention of obeying the resolution. Without South African cooperation, the sanctions were doomed to fail. Simply the sanctions became cosmetic.
The resolution was defective. It was a sanction without a sanction a law without a penalty.
Genuine people who wanted to see Rhodesia punished like Russia’s Nikolai Fedorenko. who picked up some political change in Africa by abstaining—along with Bulgaria and Mali—on the ground that the sanctions did not go far enough and Nigeria all protested about the lack
Of teeth.
To render the sanctions useless France abstained from voting, but for a different reason: in the opinion of General de Gaulle, Rhodesia is strictly a British problem and outside U.N. jurisdiction despite his thinking he continued trading with Rhodesia despite the sanctions.

The British, who sponsored the resolution in the first place, had no such qualms. Having displayed their outraged morality by calling for sanctions, their main concern was to steer the Security Council away from any action that would lead to an economic confrontation with South Africa, Britain’s fourth largest customer and main supplier of gold. The U.S. went along with Britain. Hoping that even a leaky embargo might somehow bring Rhodesia to its senses, it voted with the majority to approve the resolution.
So Rhodesia was on sanctions only on paper and not in reality.
This can not be compared to Zimbabwe. Sanctions against Zimbabwe were accompanied with penalties. Zimbabwe got its sanctions when America was more powerful and controlling the world arena.
Rhodesia managed to escape the biting of sanctions mostly because it was supported by South Africa which was its major trade partner and partner in crime. They were both racist who believed in white supremacy. It had unwavering support of Israel, Chile, France, Japan, Taiwan, Belgium, Switzerland. In actual fact there was a host of countries that pretended to be ‘neutral.’ In real life they supported the racist regime because they were racist themselves. No white nation wanted to see Rhodesia drifting back to its black owners. Many whites in France and England had made Zimbabwe their second home and saw it as an escape route to run away from a new wave of equality.
In unity with world racists it became easier to bust sanctions. Sanctions busting was done via South Africa,Switzerland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Taipei, Tel a Viv and a host of other like minded countries. South Africa literally took over industries and would sell Rhodesian products as their own products.
Through Rhodesia South Africa was producing radios, TV sets under WRS IP in Bulawayo. Guy Georgias was producing truck trailers called Italian Coach builders but this was done in Masasa Salisbury. The trailers passed as Italian products so they never stood the test of time. David Whitehead was producing material, clothes and blankets. National Blankets was producing blankets and jerseys inBulawayo which in turn were sold as products from South Africa. . Rhodesia had heavy industries based mainly on Bulawayo, Gwelo and the Great Dyke towns of Kwekwe, Gatooma, Sinoia as they were called then which were passing their products as South African Products thereby busting the sanctions.

Rhodesia Light Infantry which controlled Rhodesia Defence Industires produced grenades, mortars, bullets and scatter bombs. Armoured vehicles were manufactured in Rhodesia, under Paramount licence. All these passed as products of France and Italy thereby beating the sanctions.

Peugeot, Citroen, Mazda, Nissan assembled cars in Mutare and Harare. African CoachBuilders built bus frames and assembled buses in the country. DAF assembled buses in the country in Masasa where all these were sold as French products.
Rhodesia Railways had the biggest machining and repair facility in the country. Rhodesia had the most sophisticated railway network outside South Africa and the world was benefitting from this so no country was willing to apply sanctions against Rhodesia.
What was the centre of all this were the capital markets that were the most advanced outside South Africa.
Contrary to the declaration in 1966 by the British Prime Minister Harold Wilson promising the African states at the Commonwealth Summit in Lagos that recently imposed sanctions would bring down the minority Rhodesian regime in ‘weeks, not months the Rhodesian government was technically not on sanctions. Rhodesia’s survival, years later,
was ipso facto proof, for popular opinion as well as for many scholars, that
‘sanctions don’t work if the other countries are not supporting them. Zimbabwe is independent now, but Rhodesian sanctions have not been a major subject of inquiry for some years until the puppets in the CCC and MDC and it’s sections started comparing Rhodesia to Zimbabwe.
Writing in 1978, Strack claimed that not only were Rhodesian sanctions
‘ineffective’ in terms of securing policy objectives, they were possibly “counter-productive’, causing ‘the deterioration of a situation they were designed to alleviate’ Political
success has not been forthcoming’ as a result of the Rhodesian embargo, ‘despite sanctions having some very damaging economic results’ Rhodesia was technically under threat of sanctions but not under sanctions.

IMPOSITION of sanctions has been regarded as a measure to punish or cripple a government or country that has ‘defied’ the norms of relations among countries. The Rhodesian government was subjected to economic sanctions which included an oil embargo.As a form of coercion, sanctions on Rhodesia proved they (sanctions) could not be imposed collectively.
The sanctions were futile as Rhodesia continued to enjoy the position it always had.
Rhodesia became an example of the ineffectiveness of sanctions as long as there were countries willing to work with the sanctioned. This did not make Ian Smith a genius it is only in the mind of the slow thinkers that Rhodesia survived.

Both Mozambique, which was under Portuguese rule, and apartheid South Africa played a role in ensuring that Rhodesia did not suffer. This extra help is lacking in Zimbabwe’s situation today. 
Instead of crippling the ‘errant’ Rhodesia, the white minority rule continued thriving while the black majority suffered.

This is what those in the opposition embrace and always want you to go back to that situation. 
The ineffective sanctions can be blamed for the bloody liberation struggle that claimed thousands of blacks who died in Rhodesian genocidal attacks such as the Chimoio and Nyadonia massacres.
Had the sanctions been effective, Africans would not have taken up arms to free themselves.
Sanctions imposed on Rhodesia did nothing to change the mindset of the Ian Smith regime, instead it gave it the false belief that minority rule would go on for a thousand years as announced by smith in 1977. 
It is common knowledge that the effectiveness of sanctions is dependent upon relations of nations and sincerity in their imposition of the same.

Many companies like Dairiboard, Lylons Maid made ice cream, UHT milk, cheese and other dairy products which had a very large market. At that time Rhodesia was the biggest producer of tobacco in the world. RSR made all the sugar required in the country and exported to the rest of Central Africa.

National Foods made flour, mealie meal and a host of grains from local markets.
There is simply no comparison between the qualities and successes of Rhodesia and its political successor, Zimbabwe. From 1949 there was successively success in the Nyasaland Protectorate, the Federation of Rhodesia & Nyasaland, the Republic of Malawi, and the Republic of Rhodesia. What has Zimbabwe achieved? Mugabe inherited nothing that is there today. Even though Zimbabwe is The Jewel of Africa.’

And so it is still. Rhodesia was the breadbasket of sub Saharan Africa until Sanctions made it, the basket case of Africa! As a result of world sanctions being imposed by all but adhered to by now including South Africa and Portugal, Rhodesia greatly increase her industrial and economic output, and in this she was made to be successful, even to manufacturing her own vehicles, locomotives, weapons, and the countless other essential products and items of a modern, first world state. All these were sold abroad despite the sanctions.
However, Sanctions Double-Cross Oil to Rhodesia shows that the sanctions were not wholeheartedly enforced and did not cripple Rhodesia.
Britain, America and French companies, as non-state actors, played a role in keeping Rhodesia afloat.
Through British and American companies such as Total, Mobil, Shell and BP, Rhodesia obtained fuel supplies that kept the brutal regime going.
The companies flouted international law with the connivance of their governments which knew and let it be as they benefitted from the money made by these entities.
to show their hypocrisy the international oil companies, British, American or French, would do nothing against the guidance from their respective governments, but that in defence of their own interests they would welcome an excuse to plead the inefficiency of sanctions. 
Rhodesia was helped to keep on oppressing and exploiting blacks by companies from nations that purported to be reviled by the actions of Ian Smith.
“What can be proved through concrete data … is that some months later the British companies were leading in the supplies to Rhodesia. 
Clearly the sanctions were a sham and the Rhodesians cannot boast they survived sanctions because in reality, the embargo did not exist.
They were merely sanctions on paper.
Sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU) and the US under ZDERA are a typical example of real sanctions meant to suffocate and totally destroy a nation, unjustified as they are.
The sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe cannot be compared to those on Rhodesia because the Rhodies were kith and kin to the British and the British directly benefitted from Rhodesian operations.
However, in Zimbabwe, the Land Reform Programme for example meant that the British could not continue exploiting the country.
“It was no longer a case of flouting sanctions. Everybody wanted to keep their place in the market.
Lest we forget that Anglo American Corporation ran huge enterprises from smelters to mines. Risco Steel produced all the mild steel and specialised steel sections for the mining, construction and manufacturing industry, the rest came from Iscor. Rhodesia produced ethanol before any other country on the continent. Small volumes but enough to project into a big industry post independence.
And we exported maize to the world. Arenel, Lobels, Charhons, Schweppes, were huge factories exporting to Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania yet these companies were British owned.
It should be further noted that
Delta Corporation was the largest listed enterprise on the RSE. Anglo American was not listed to avoid conflict.
Bata Shoe Company exported shoes back to parent company in Canada. CSC exported beef to the European countries. ESC manufactured transformers, sun stations and base equipment. The mining industry bought equipment made during sanctions in Rhodesia.

Hendricks Chibuku Breweries was a grand enterprise spanning entire country, sponsoring soccer and athletics. Employing thousands of people nation wide.

Rhodesia Broadcasting Corporation employed over 5 000 people in studios at Pockets Hill, Montrose studios. The Reserve Bank was a huge employer, minting coins and printing notes that actually bought something.
In all this the wealth was measured against the mouths it fed. That’s were most of our people get lost.
Rhodesia during all this time was keeping the interest of the minority. All they got they only shared with the minority. This was only 4000 people sharing the country’s wealth.
Zimbabwe now has a mandate to look after I lover fifteen million people.
The sanctions in Zimbabwe are real and comparing it to Rhodesia is diabolic and idiotic.
The Rhodesian period resulted in the creation of the best educated white people on the continent. But Mugabe and ZANU PF Should take the credit for this.
Those ignorant of the facts would say : “What did we fight for? It was better under Smith!”
This is nonsense. Nothing could be further from the truth. People must not confuse Rhodesia with Zimbabwe! The Smith government was NEVER better than ZANU PF government. It is certainly true that Rhodesia could not survive indefinitely in the face of pressure from ZANU and the people of Zimbabwe.Those that criticise Zimbabwe government have missed the whole point of this very deliberate choice, just as they missed the significance of the choice of April 18th 1980 date for the Declaration of Independence.

Zimbabwe is the only country we can call ours. Let us vote ZANU PF for peace and tranquility.
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