The Ian Smith Wikileaks cables


Ian Smith was probably the toughest colonial leader Zimbabwe ever had. Though he claimed that he was not a racist, first he kicked out his party leader Winston Field when he showed signs of trying to accommodate black nationalists. Then he declared independence from Britain in 1965, kicked out all blacks from white commercial farms and then declared Rhodesia a republic. He vowed that there would be no black rule in a thousand years. He later reduced this to “in his lifetime” when the guerrilla war intensified and South Africa put pressure on him. Smith never relented but died in 2007, some 27 years after Zimbabwe’s independence and black rule. He was a legislator for nearly 40 years. There are 32 cables that mention his name. Here they are:

32-You can be prosecuted for anything in Zimbabwe

31-Mugabe adopted culture of privileged few from Smith -Bennett

30-Only 6 to 12 ZANU-PF officials are looters

29-Security sector reform a prerequisite for democracy

28-Tsvangirai said Mugabe needs me more than I need him

27-Biti said GPA was doomed to fail

26-How to make money in an economic crisis

25-Poultry producer used political patronage to survive

24-Chissano said Mugabe was ready to step down but…..

23-Smith critic thrown out of Botswana

22-Mbeki urged to put pressure on Mugabe like Vorster did to Smith

21-Priest said Mugabe needed to be treated with dignity just like Ian Smith

20-Tsvangirai said Mugabe was behaving like Ian Smith

19-Operation Gauntlet

18-Mugabe will have same ignominious exit as Smith

17-The highest office in the land is a straightjacket

16-US ambassador said ZIDERA offered more incentives than sanctions

15-Smith was not as vindictive as ZANU-PF

14-Mugabe said he respected human rights better than Smith

13-Commercial farmers thought SADC could change Mugabe’s path

12-Mugabe used Smith law to intimidate journalists

11-How dare a black government challenge the kin of the God-chosen?

10-ZIDERA not as harsh as sanctions on Smith!

9-Judge put Smith’s law on test

8-Mugabe used Smith’s law against MDC

7-War veterans attacked former general’s son

6-Judge opposed Ian Smith regime

5-Chinamasa said judges should go because they were holdovers from Ian Smith

4-Mugabe was annoyed at the way the British received Ian Smith

3-Mugabe threatened to put Ian Smith on trial for war crimes

2-John Nkomo said Ian Smith called him every day

1-Mugabe asked why the West called him, but never Ian Smith, Hitler


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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