Sun Dec 04 05:54:14 SAST 2016

Unfair to call Ian Smith a white supremacist

By unknown | 2007-11-26 00:00:00.0 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Many articles on the late Ian Smith contain inaccuracies that need to be corrected. It is not fair or honest to call him a white supremacist. His policy was "responsible government" with a qualified franchise. The vote was not limited to whites. Qualified franchise required either educational qualification or property ownership.

Many articles on the late Ian Smith contain inaccuracies that need to be corrected. It is not fair or honest to call him a white supremacist. His policy was "responsible government" with a qualified franchise. The vote was not limited to whites. Qualified franchise required either educational qualification or property ownership.

I knew Smith well and met him regularly over the past 20 years. I was surprised that he was described as "embittered and disillusioned". He had a very positive attitude, stayed in Zimbabwe even through the horrific farm invasions and lawless upheavals caused by Robert Mugabe's dictatorship, and continually worked for the good of the country. He regularly spoke with great hope and vision for the future.

Whether one agreed with his policies or not, one had to admire his courage, tenacity and integrity. No one starved in Rhodesia under Smith. Even in war time, life never degenerated to anything close to peace time in Zimbabwe.

The current national suicide vindicates much of what Smith stood for, and over four million Zimbabweans have voted with their feet by fleeing Mugabe's dictatorial rule.

Smith was immensely popular with many blacks. There were times when he was lifted up on the shoulders of black shoppers in downtown Harare and cheered enthusiastically.

Many black Zimbabweans went to him for advice on how to free the country from Mugabe's dictatorship.

Peter Hammond, Newlands

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