Friday, October 5, 2007

This article is part of the series: Politics and government of Rhodesia
Flags of Rhodesia 1896-1979 Elections in Southern Rhodesia Governor of Southern Rhodesia Prime Minister of Rhodesia Rhodesian Front UDI (11/11/1965) President of Rhodesia Foreign relations of Rhodesia National Anthem of Rhodesia Military of Rhodesia The Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) of Rhodesia from the United Kingdom was signed on November 11, 1965 by the Smith administration, whose Rhodesian Front party opposed black majority rule in the then British colony. Although it declared independence from the United Kingdom it maintained allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II. The British government, the Commonwealth, and the United Nations condemned the move as illegal. Rhodesia reverted to de facto and de jure British control as "the British Dependency of Southern Rhodesia" for a brief period in 1979 to 1980, before regaining its independence as Zimbabwe in 1980.

Twelve members of the Cabinet signed the Proclamation:
The following members of the Cabinet were present, but did not sign:
It is not known why they did not sign, but since they were clearly present at the signing ceremony, and that the cabinet had unanimously voted to declare UDI earlier that morning, it is surmised that the restricted amount of available space on the document for the ministers' signatures was the only reason that Dillon, Lance Smith, Dunlop and Rudland did not add theirs. All the Cabinet members present at the signing of the Declaration were awarded the Independence Decoration in 1970 in honour of the event.

Ian Smith (Prime Minister)
Clifford Dupont (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of External Affairs)
John Wrathall (Minister of Finance and Posts)
Des Lardner-Burke (Minister of Justice and Law and Order)
Jack Howman (Minister of Tourism and Information)
P. K. van der Byl (Deputy Minister of Information)
James Graham, 7th Duke of Montrose (Minister of Agriculture)
William Harper (Minister of Internal Affairs and Public Service)
A. P. Smith (Minister of Education)
Ian McLean (Minister of Health, Labour, and Social Welfare)
Jack Mussett (Minister of Housing and Local Government)
Phillip van Heerden (Minister of Mines, Lands, and Water Development).
Ian Dillon (Chief Government Whip)
Lance Smith (Minister without portfolio)
Andrew Dunlop (Minister without portfolio)
George Rudland (Minister of Trade, Industry and Development). Reaction
Smith had sought to make Rhodesia a Commonwealth Realm, with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, but she refused to accept the title of Queen of Rhodesia, and Sir Humphrey Gibbs, still internationally recognised as the only legal authority in Rhodesia, refused to recognise Smith's authority. Smith responded by ignoring Sir Humphrey and appointing the Deputy Prime Minister Dupont, as the Officer Administrating the Government (best described as an interim Governor).
Eventually, the Smith government abandoned attempts to remain loyal to the Crown, and in 1969, a majority of whites voted in referendum to declare Rhodesia a republic, which was declared in 1970, with Dupont as President. Sir Humphrey resigned at that point and left Government House.
As a result of the change, the 'Royal' prefix was dropped from the title of the Rhodesian Air Force and the Crown was removed from the badges of army regiments and the British South Africa Police.
The government hoped that severing constitutional links with the United Kingdom would end any ambiguity about Rhodesia's status, gain diplomatic recognition, and bring an end to economic sanctions. However, the issues of white minority control remained and hindered this effort, and like UDI before it, the republic was unrecognised internationally.

Declaration of a Republic
Under the first post-UDI constitution, political power remained with the Legislative Assembly, of which the majority of members were white. Unlike South Africa, Rhodesia's black African majority had representation in the Assembly, but the separate franchise (the 'B' roll) was restricted to those who owned property, and also tribal chiefs, many of whom were derided as puppets of the white regime. The Governor was effectively replaced by the Officer Administering the Government.
The 1969 republican constitution created a bicameral parliament, with a Senate and a House of Assembly, both of which had white majorities. The President was a ceremonial head of state, with executive power remaining with the Prime Minister as head of government.

Government of Rhodesia

Unilateral Declaration of Independence (Rhodesia) Trappings of sovereignty

Main articles: Rhodesian pound and Coins of the Rhodesian pound Foreign relations
In 1978 an Internal Settlement was signed between Smith's government, and two more moderate African nationalist parties, the United African National Council (UANC), led by Bishop Abel Muzorewa, and ZANU (Ndonga), led by Ndabaningi Sithole. However, this did not involve the two main communist parties in exile — the remainder of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) led by Robert Mugabe and the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU), led by Joshua Nkomo — which respectively fielded both major armies in the Rhodesian Bush War. Consequently, it was rejected by the international community.
In April 1979 the first multiracial elections were held in Rhodesia, which saw Abel Muzorewa become the first black Prime Minister of what was now called Zimbabwe Rhodesia. However, under the Internal Settlement, whites retained control of the country's judiciary, civil service, police and armed forces, as well as having a quarter of the seats in parliament reserved for them. While this was welcomed by the British government of Margaret Thatcher, opposition from the rest of the Commonwealth meant that Britain did not recognise the new state.
In December 1979 following multi-party talks at Lancaster House in London, Britain resumed control of Rhodesia, and with the help of observers from other Commonwealth countries, saw the first full participatory elections. During the four month period that the country was restored to the status of a British colony it was known officially as "the British Dependency of Southern Rhodesia". The Republic of Zimbabwe came into being on April 18, 1980.

No comments: