THIS week we once again continue with our build up to our independence celebrations that are coming up on April 18 2014, and we are looking right into the devilish eyes of an evil colonial player – a sickening racist –‘Dhiabhorosi weRhodesia’ (the former racist ruler of Rhodesia) Ian Douglas Smith.
This racist ruler of Rhodesia had the second longest tenure of office as Prime Minister of Rhodesia (15 years) after one Godfrey Huggins who served Rhodesia for 24 years as Prime Minister.
But this racist Ian Smith holds the worst record as having the bloodiest hands of all Prime Ministers that ever ruled Rhodesia.
As a matter of fact, the bloodiest hands of any ruler that has ever run a government on this beautiful continent of ours Africa.
Ian Douglas Smith was born on April 8 1919 in rural Shurugwi in the Zimbabwe Midlands.
He was educated all the way to university where he graduated with a degree in commerce.
After school he married one Janet Watt who already had two children.
Janet bore him a son one Alec who later had problems with drugs.
At this point I can announce that the above very short account of a portion of Ian Smith’s biography is the only innocent bit we can talk about that former racist ruler of Rhodesia.
One of the first things Ian Smith did after university was to acquire a huge farm outside the town of Shurugwi which was later named ‘Gwenero’ farm.
It was a wonderful piece of land, “with a perennial stream running through it with clear pools of water and a rich population of fish”, as he himself tells us.
This land once belonged to Africans who were removed by colonial governments who declared the area ‘European’ land.
In 1948 as a 29-year-old, Ian Smith joined politics and immediately began to cause trouble because of his racist outlook.
He first joined a political party that was called the Liberal Party and then later the United Federal Party.
With the passage of time, he got fed up with the above mentioned parties because as far as he and his friends were concerned they were not racist enough!
The above parties had a sprinkling of British liberals who wanted to give a few concessions to the blacks, and Ian Smith who was a racist to the core found that totally unacceptable.
And so Ian Smith embarked on what his many critics say was his very first palace coup.
He and his friend one Winston Field and others decided to grab power from British leaders in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) who they felt did not desire to create a pure racist state in Zimbabwe.
Thus a palace coup was staged and an outright racist party, one called the Rhodesia Front was formed and took power in 1962.
The above palace coup was funded by a tycoon called DC ‘Boss’ Lilford.
Ian Smith himself tells us about the funding of the coup.
“The next morning I motored out to see DC ‘Boss’ Lilford who lived about 20 miles out from the city (Harare).
“Boss Lilford not only had considerable farming interests, but was a miner and an industrialist.
“He was a well known, highly respected national, and into the bargain one could say a financial tycoon.
“If I could win him across this would be a great coup.”
Ian Smith won him over and the coup succeeded.
With the Rhodesian Front then in power, the Ian Smith racism agenda was put squarely at centre stage.
However, with the passage of time Ian Smith and people like him felt that the pace at which Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) was being turned into a pure racist state was moving too slowly if at all.
Therefore Ian Smith once again decided to stage a palace coup this time against his former friend Winston Field.
Winston Field was accused of being indecisive and was also accused of now and again pandering to British Liberal interests and so in the end Ian Smith with the help of one Clifford Dupont who later became his ceremonial president succeeded in overthrowing Winston Field from power from both the Rhodesian Front party and government.
This meant that Smith became Prime Minister as well.
This was in April 1964.
Now that Ian Smith was at the helm of government and his ruling racist party the Rhodesian Front , he embarked on the road to turn Rhodesia into a racist state where no blackman would ever rule in Zimbabwe “not in a thousand years,” he boasted.
However, ties with the British government were maintained, since Rhodesia was still considered a colony remained.
These ties were a big hindrance as far as Ian Smith’s desire to create a racist state in Zimbabwe were concerned.
He wanted a big blank cheque to create a pure racist state, but the British who appeared to enjoy playing the game of hide and seek did not give him the kind of cheque he wanted.
And so he decided to go for his third coup.
The Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI).
It is important at this juncture to point out straight away that Ian Smith did not stage this UDI coup because he had a quarrel with the British or that in fact he wanted to cut ties with the British and their monarchy.
Far from it.
Ian Smith wanted to create a white dominated state called Rhodesia where no African would ever come to power.
Not in a thousand years!
Ordinary Rhodesian racists such as one Selous Scout, Peter Baxter confirmed this when talking about UDI.
One of the last British colonial wars to be fought in Africa was the Rhodesian civil war (Liberation War) of 1965 – 1980.
This was fought by a local expatriate community of British decent that had declared itself unilaterally independent from the crown.
“The decision to take this unprecedented step was informed by the very real fear that Britain was preparing to arbitrarily hand the country over to majority rule (African rule).”
And our look at what Ian Smith did after getting his blank cheque of UDI confirms our assertion that he staged the UDI coup to prevent Africans from ever coming into power in Zimbabwe.
Ian Smith staged the UDI coup on November 11 1965 and soon after began to create a fully fledged white dominated racist state.
And to achieve his evil racist dream he consulted extensively past and present hard core racist rulers across the Limpopo in South Africa, who had themselves built a white dominated state called ‘Apartheid South Africa’.
First Ian Smith studied the teachings of one of his great racist heroes one Jan Smuts, former Prime Minister of South Africa who was behind the formation of Apartheid.
This is what Jan Smuts had taught if one wanted to ensure that Africans would never come into power.
“Instead of mixing up white and black in the old haphazard way, we are now trying to lay down a policy of keeping them apart as much as possible in our institutions. In land ownership settlement and farms of government we are trying to keep them apart.
“In the long run you will have areas governed by blacks where they will look after themselves in all their forms of living and development while in the rest of the country (the rich country proper) you will have your white communities which will govern themselves separately according to the accepted European principles.”
Later South African racist rulers refined the above teachings to create what were called ‘Bantustans’ and the highest office that an African in South Africa would ever achieve was that of Bantustan leader.
Ian Smith taking the above racist ideas from South Africa created a law called the Land Tenure Act which was meant to keep Africans in their place in the reserves under chiefs or in towns in ‘Locations’ under what were called Vanakatsekera.”
In reality, what this law meant was that the highest leadership position an African would ever achieve in Zimbabwe was that of traditional chief and not president of the country.
No wonder African chiefs were put at the centre stage in Rhodesia after UDI. As a matter of fact, Ian Smith created a political party for chiefs called ‘ZUPO’ led by one Chirau, which was meant to say Africans could only rise up via chieftainship and nothing else.
It is therefore mind boggling to hear political parties such as the MDC formations in existence today, thanks to the liberation struggle, saying with straight faces,
“Aah tell you what things were better under Ian Smith.
“We wish we could go back to that era.”
Come on MDC formations.
Stop kidding and being dishonest to Zimbabweans.
Surely you are not telling Madzimbabwe that the bloody vicious fight currently underway among Morgan Tsvangirai, Tendai Biti, one Mangoma, Magaranyanga, Madzore etc is a fight for the office of traditional chief, headman, sabhuku and chief’s messenger that Ian Smith’s 1 000 year white rule in Zimbabwe offered Africans.
Come on gentleman stop spreading nonsense.
Next week we look at Ian Smith and the liberation war.