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Posted by on Nov 21, 2007

Ian Smith passes away; Rhodesia vs. Zimbabwe

Ian Smith, the leader of the former Rhodesia, has died at age 88.

Click here for the full story from the BBC.

Despite the economic problems of the current Zimbabwe, it is ridiculous to believe that Zimbabweans would be better off under the colonially brutal government of Smith. However, some people are making this claim. Historically speaking, the world is full of amnesiacs.

This is the same Rhodesia where 1% of the whites ruled the other 99% of the population. The Smith government was brutal and unforgiving, illustrated by their release of anthrax on their own people.

So, you be the judge. History will judge Ian Smith. I prefer the indictment of Richard Munsaka, as quoted in the BBC article, who says:
“Ian Smith was a sick old man.”

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  1. History has judged: Smith was right. Mugabe has driven the former Rhodesia into the ground through ineptitude and coruption. Zimbabwe can not even support their own currency as inflation has run amok. Freedom has not arrived in Zimbabwe; election fraud, suppression of rival political parties…
    I think that the abject failure of Mugabe in Zimbabwe speaks for itself.

    • I am writing a paper on this… need other people’s views/opinions. help?

  2. Hello there, Lindsey and Carpentaro,

    Lindsey, you can find some interesting primary source stuff here. First hand accounts, articles, etc. However you will need to find a university with access to the collections. Also some accounts here supporting liberation ( and some supporting the previous colonial administration.

    Carpentaro, agree that Mugabe has been a failure; indeed many of the revolutionaries were when given power. However, I am leery of equating that failure with supporting the previous colonial administration. To say it was better economically means it was better for the 90%, I doubt it was.

  3. “it is ridiculous to believe that Zimbabweans would be better off under the colonially brutal government of Smith.”

    Debatable? Yes. Ridiculous? No. (unless you refuse to acknowledge the obvious)

    “The Smith government was brutal and unforgiving”

    As opposed to . . . Mugabe?

    Let me see: Live under oppressive rule with a prosperous stable economy versus living under an oppressive rule with no money but lots of danger. Hmmm . . .

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