Zimbabwe: a nefarious proposal

In 1972 Julius Nyerere, one of Africa’s iconoclastic leaders, stated that the African position in relation to southern Rhodesia ‘is now, as it has always been, the attainment of independence for Zimbabwe on the basis of majority rule, and under conditions which allow the development of human dignity for all citizens.’ (http://www.juliusnyerere.org/ uploads/after_the_peace_ commission_1972.pdf). Notwithstanding the 1960 ‘wind of change’ promise of majority rule before independence, in November 1971, the British government negotiated a nefarious deal with the racist Rhodesian government that would have meant that majority rule would only come to Rhodesia after the year 2040, which in effect amounted to,  as the moderate leader and 1979-1981 Prime Minister of Rhodesia, Bishop Abel Muzorewa, stated, ‘never majority rule’ (https://johnnyryan.wordpress.com/2004/02/20/ principled-failure-british-policy-toward-rhodesia -1971-72/). Unsurprisingly then, when early in 1972, the British government established the Pearce Commission to objectively gauge the support of the Rhodesian African leadership, who had been deliberately left out of the negotiations, the answer was resoundingly negative and the war of liberation began again in full force.

With that observation, let me briefly recap this reminiscence. Lord (Baron Arnold Abraham) Goodman, whom the Independent newspaper obituary referred to ‘as the greatest negotiator of the age’, was….