- The death of Ian Smith, the man who had unilaterally declared the Rhodesia [now Zimbabwe] independent from the British rule on 11 November 1965, has generated uproar, with most blacks describing him as "a symbol of the worst racial oppression."
Aged 88, the former Rhodesian Prime Minister died at a clinic in Cape Town, South Africa on Tuesday. He had ruled the country until 1979 when his government was overthrown by a black liberation movement led by President Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo. This followed the change of Rhodesia to Zimbabwe by the liberation leaders.
Smith, whose tenure of office was characterised by international condemnations and sanctions, had been active in Zimbabwean politics until the abolition of the white reserved parliamentary seats several years after he was dethroned.
President Mugabe is yet to react to Ian's death, but the pro-government media and some government officials have already given a true reflection of the government's side of the story.
The Deputy Zimbabwean Information Minister, Bright Matonga, said Smith could not be forgiven for bringing untold suffering to millions of Zimbabweans during his white undemocratic minority rule. Matonga described Ian's death as a "good riddance" after all he had rejected the Zanu-PF government's hand of reconciliation.
“Smith will not be mourned or missed here by any decent person because he was an unrepentant racist whose racist stance and opposition to our independence caused a war, and he was responsible for a lot of deaths and suffering,” Matonga said.
The state-owned Herald Newspaper did not recognise Smith as a "man of significance." The paper recounted how Smith was sidelined at Lancaster House meetings where discussions to establish the real national independence of Zimbabwe were held. Smith was tackled on his speech [I don't believe in black majority over Rhodesia ... not in a thousand years].
Zimbabwean state media could not understand why the British punish their "kith and kin" for rebelling against the Queen, but would not forgive the current government for seizing the white farms.
But with increasing high rate of inflation [currently at over 8,000%] worsened by the economic and political crisis, Mugabe’s critics see little difference between the Smith and Mugabe governments.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.