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Enact sanction-busting measures

14 Mar 2019 at 14:28hrs | Views

Following the Unilateral Declaration of Independence by Ian Smith on November 11, 1965, the international community imposed economic sanctions on Rhodesia. The Rhodesian said, "if we have to eat sadza, then we will, to hell with the Scottish shortbread."

The British, encouraged by the Commonwealth and the nationalists led the way by using a frigate Joanna 5 to patrol the Indian Ocean to ensure that no oil reached Rhodesia. This was noble.

The Rhodesians responded by diversifying the economy. The government rationed the fuel and there was no preferential treatment. There were no chefs. Distribution was equitable. Mitchell's Bakery produced the shortbread and other firms grew. The farmers, while eating isitshwala enlarged the wheat fields. They were soon back to eating bread. Cold Storage Commission opened the export market establishing an abattoir in Marandellas.

Ian Smith fought a war at one million dollars a day. Scotch whiskey continued to flow in at $12 per bottle. Rhodesia had befriended Portugal and South Africa. She did not mourn about the even wider range of sanctions imposed, she got on with the job.

Then came independence, the general manager of the CSC became the highest paid person in the land but the company soon died.  The death of the parastatals like ARDA, CSC and NRZ was accompanied by unprecedented greed and avarice as seen at Willowgate, unbridled farm invasions, mine closures, Chiadzwa, the list is endless.

The Smith regime was no angel but it did not kill the golden goose. In times of trials and tribulations it thrived. The cities and towns were not turned into ghost towns or slums. The words "street kids" were unknown. Smith's parting shot to the British, "Give them this land and soon they will be running all over the world with a begging bowl." How prophetic!

Nyonyana Gwabeni.

Source - dailynews
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