Ian Smith signing the UDI.

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: The Struggle for Independence in Colonial Zimbabwe 1900-1980:  The Armed Struggle (1966-1979)

  • Nationalists saw that the use of violence and war could not be avoided
  • Many other factors also caused the outbreak of the Chimurenga ranging from reformist pressure politics to armed confrontation
  • The grievances of the locals such as land deprivation, cattle keeping restrictions, inequalities in the education and health sector and poor working conditions were not addressed
  • The government did not want to put reforms without military force
  • Also the arrest and detention of nationalist leaders had escalated as well as the ban of African political parties

The Unilateral Declaration of Independence

  • The situation in the country got heated when Ian Smith declared (Illegally) his independence from the British government with the support of settlers on 11 November 1965
  • The British government viewed this move as rebellion and did not use force on Smith and this angered Africans the more
  • Britain then imposed economic sanction on Smith’s regime in the hope to bring the country down economically as they refused to buy tobacco and sugar produced in Rhodesia
  • The United Nations also called for other countries to put trade and oil embargo on Smith’s regime
  • South Africa and Mozambique however continued to trade with Smith as they became his allies
  • Other countries privately allowed trade between them and Southern Rhodesia, for example, the USA bought chrome and even some British oil companies traded with Smith’s government
  • Majority rule therefore could not be achieved without bloodshed and loss of lives of about 30 000 people

To access more topics go to the History Notes page.

Quick NetOne, Econet, And Telecel Airtime Recharge