(London) It is one of the global surprises of 2021: Rhodesia is back. Those who believed, as the whole world did, that the country was renamed Zimbabwe in 1980 and disappeared forever are mistaken. Even in the days of Territorial-Rhodesia in the 1970s, the motto was “Rhodesians never die.” And indeed something happened that had to remain a secret for forty years:
Rhodesia never died.
But how could that be? The unfolding events can be quickly told: when it was foreseeable that Rhodesia would fall into the hands of communist rebel groups, an exodus of European Rhodesians promptly began. As early as the end of March 1980, 1432 Rhodesians gathered, away from public eyes, for a General Assembly in Amsterdam. There, the second Rhodesian republic was proclaimed, with the Declaration of Amsterdam.
It defined Rhodesia as “a nation and people without territory”, established a government, created a modern constitution, and elected an administration in exile which opposed but tolerated the Lancaster House Agreement. It has therefore been tacitly accepted by most world powers. At the same occasion, then politically neutral and young James W. Scott was elected President of the Republic of Rhodesia. He is still in office after 41 years, however not so young anymore and politically a liberal.
Immediately, the new Rhodesian president, who was an intimate friend of the then UN Secretary General Dr. Kurt Waldheim, approached the latter and received his silent backing and benevolent recognition. But there were two conditions:
1. for forty years, until the end of 2020, the government of the second Rhodesian republic was not allowed to appear in public. The intention was to give Zimbabwe a fair chance.
2. in order to gain tacit recognition on the international stage, the Rhodesian government had to stipulate in the constitution that it would not seek to “reconquer” Zimbabwe, but would only return to Salisbury if Zimbabwe failed and imploded by itself.
The forty years are now over and Rhodesia is not only back in the limelight, but also bigger, more democratic and more open to the world than ever before. The Rhodesian nation grew to 1.2 million people by 2021. This is an amazing success of the government’s birth policy in the diaspora, as the original number of ethnic European Rhodesians was about 250,000 in Territorial-Rhodesia, making the Rhodesia of today almost five times larger than it was in 1980.
According to the constitution of what is now the Republic of Rhodesia, “Rhodesia is where Rhodesians live.” The government, through diplomatic channels and a direct connection to its citizens due to digitalization, ensures that the policies of the Rhodesian government are indeed effective.
Modern-day Rhodesia is even a functioning democracy. Elections are held by absentee ballot or digitally, and so the first transition of government occurred just recently, with a coalition of the conservative parties taking over the reins of government for the first time since 1980. The next presidential election will be in 2030.
In the meantime, Rhodesians no longer view their state without territory as a mere shortcoming and emergency solution. On the contrary, Rhodesia is now the first successful post-territorial country; even if some people still dream of returning to Salisbury, especially among the older generation.
But Rhodesia has experienced a wave of sympathy and an increase in the number of naturalization applications by about 400% since its “coming out” at the end of its 40-year imposed existence in the offstage of world politics.
President Scott told reporters at his New York residence, “Rhodesia was the first colony where the colonists took the colonial masters politely out of the country. And today we are the first functioning transnational democratic country. If that’s not the 21st century, what is?”
Thus the surprise is perfect: Rhodesia never disappeared. And now it is back on the world stage.
More shining than ever.
Solaris News Agency for
The Government of Rhodesia
866 United Nations Plz
10017 New York City
The Republic or Rhodesia is the nation of the Rhodesian people. It is a transnational state with its citizens living in over fifty countries.
This release was published on openPR.