Zimbabwe: With Freedom in Their Eyes

Publisher:  Toronto Committee for the Liberation of Southern African Colonies, Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  1978  
Resource Type:  Slide Show
Cx Number:  CX974

This slide/tape montage tries to explain, for a Canadian audience, some of the reasons behind the current struggle in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) in spite of supposed "majority rule" under a new constitution.

Abstract:  This slide/tape montage tries to explain, for a Canadian audience, some of the reasons behind the current struggle in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) in spite of supposed "majority rule" under a new constitution.

Zimbabwe has a population of 270,000 whites and six million blacks. In 1965 the governing party, seeing a gradual transition to majority rule coming, declared unilateral independence from Britain. Sanctions were imposed by Britain and the U.N. but these were ineffective because goods were redirected through third party countries to conceal their destination. Mobil, Shell and B.P. made sure Rhodesia had supplies of oil in this way. Similarly even though Canada does not recognize Ian Smith's regime, Canadian multinationals such as Bata Shoes, Falconbridge mines and Massey-Ferguson do a thriving business there. Falconbridge, it is said, made $1.5 million in 76/77 but pays beginning miners only $15. a month, and $45. a month after twenty years.

Organized resistance in Rhodesia goes back over twenty years. The Zimbabwe Patriotic Front, known popularly as the freedom fighters, have waged a sustained guerilla campaign. Faced with this threat, the Smith regime has responded by gathering entire black populations into "protected villages" that are little more than concentration camps. As a result, 55,000 blacks were being cared for in refugee camps in Mozambique and Zambia by the end of 1977.

The new constitution proposed by Smith provides the white minority with a parliamentary right to a veto. Whites will also retain control of the country's fertile lands, the railways and communications systems. They will also control the military, the police, all major industries and the major businesses.


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