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Without Honour - A Story from Rhodesia and Zimbabwe

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“F**k off! You f**king racist! Get yourself out of my country!” To Robb WJ Ellis, a young white recently appointed policeman in Zimbabwe just after Robert Mugabe’s accession to power, it was soon made clear what the new potentates thought of him. At the same time that Mugabe was being lauded by much of the rest of the world, his secret armies were murdering thousands of his political opponents and the ethnic cleansing of the country’s white inhabitants continued. Kenneth Wallgren reviews Robb WJ Ellis’ e-book Without Honour, a unique documentation from within African politics in practice, published earlier this year in Swedish newspaper Folkets Nyheter.

“The war was over and Robert Mugabe was the new leader of the country as its Prime Minister.

Independence came and went. The family stayed. I breathed a sigh of relief.

Mugabe had addressed the nation and had offered a “hand of reconciliation”. He wasn’t interested in what colour you were. He wasn’t interested in who you fought for pre-1980… He didn’t even care who you voted for in the election — he had secured 63% of the voters in the election that brought him and his party to power.

The president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe.

If you wanted to stay, you could stay. He just wanted people who would help build Zimbabwe into the pride of Africa.

And do you know the strange thing about his speech? We all believed it. We all swallowed it — hook, line and sinker.”

The excerpt above is taken from Without Honour, an e-book about Rhodesia, a grand white civilization that in 1980 was renamed Zimbabwe and subsequently turned into a black banana republic. The author, Rhodesian Robb WJ Ellis was working as a young policeman after the country’s transition to Zimbabwe. The title of the book alludes to how Robert Mugabe is serving his country without honour.

Ellis chronologically depicts the development of Rhodesia up until the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) in 1965, which shocked the British and the rest of the world since no British colony had declared itself independent since the 4th of July 1776 when the United States of America was founded.

Next, Ellis tells about the Bush War in Rhodesia during the 1970′s when several military elite forces were created, proving the Rhodesians to be the best soldiers in the world. He also describes the black terrorist groups and mentions how they were backed by the Soviet Union, China and North Korea. In his book he reminds us of the elements that took over after the White rule, elements who devoted themselves to robbery, murder and inconceivable violence against their fellow citizens, their political opponents in particualar.

The Prime Minister of Rhodesia, Ian Smith, signing the UDI in 1965.

For at the same time as the leaders, media and leftwing intellectuals of the Western world unreservedly were lauding Robert Mugabe, the new black leader of Zimbabwe, Robb Ellis was forced to collect the body parts of people who were murdered by Robert Mugabe’s North Korea trained 5th brigade and intelligence service (CIO). In the 1980′s between 20,000 and 30,000 Zimbabweans of the Matabele tribe became the victims of genocide perpetrated by Mugabe and his supporters who were Shona, the largest tribe in Zimbabwe.

Criminal and “radical” elements took care of politics and the world at large had no objections. On the contrary! From then on, matters could only deteriorate.

Following an explanation of the country’s historical background, Ellis gives his personal reflections. He begins by explaining how it was emotionally very painful for him to write down his story. His dream had been to become — and remain — just an ordinary policeman. He wanted to solve crimes and make law-abiding citizens out of criminals. But it was not going to be as simple as that. Just like every good policeman he did his job and left his political opinions at home. He was young, had a sense of duty and did his job until his black superiors called him a racist, considered him to be a security risk and forced him into house-arrest.

The elite antiterrorist unit, the Selous Scouts. Famous for their incomparable tracking and survival skills.

In his book Robb Ellis describes a meeting with a representative of Zimbabwe’s secret intelligence service, CIO. It took place in the beginning of the 1980′s on the scene of a crime when Ellis was investigating a case in which a teacher had been murdered in cold blood by soldiers from Mugabe’s secret army in front of his young pupils. Before the shooting of their teacher the children had been abused, threatened to death and forced to sing songs extolling the virtues of Robert Mugabe and his party, ZANU PF.

“Without greeting or introduction, this man set about giving me a public, very rude, dressing down from hell. I was ‘a racist’ and was investigating something that ‘didn’t need investigating’. I was ‘spending government money prying into government work’ and I must pack up my things and ‘bugger off’ — not to Plumtree — to England. […]

He didn’t just hate me… he hated my skin, my family, my race, my culture — everything. I can honestly say that for the first time in my life I felt fear for my own life. I felt unwanted, used and abused and, quite frankly, wanted as far away from this ranting individual as I could get.

Without any regard for the ‘scene’ or the dead man’s dignity, the fat CIO man marched over and kicked the headmaster’s body — square in the face! Astonished I must have said something to him, or under my breath.

Pioneers in Southern Rhodesia, 1890.

The fat CIO man menacingly drew his service pistol from the holster on his right waistband. Without pointing it directly at me, he waved it about, making it plainly apparent that if I didn’t want to join the headmaster in the hereafter, I should desist from any expression of doubt or objection. […]

Finally the fat CIO operative re-holstered his weapon and shouted at me to leave.

‘F**k off! You f**king racist! Get yourself out of my country!’

Where was all this coming from? I was flabbergasted. And I was becoming angry, but I knew enough not to show any reaction to this fat bastard. He and his like had shouted and screamed, saying that the whites were racists, and here he was shouting and screaming at me — for being white — for doing my job…”

This was just the beginning of the witch hunt of whites in Zimbabwe perpetrated by the government, a witch hunt which later on was to claim many victims. The white farmers were threatened, deprived of all of their rights and were murdered. As the number of whites fleeing the country increased further, Zimbabwe became more and more traditionally African.

So far Robb Ellis, who summarizes his story hoping that one day it will be possible for him to re-establish himself in his old home country. This is a hope he shares with many Rhodesians.

Salisbury, the capital of Rhodesia, in the 1960′s. Today Salisbury is called Harare.

Rhodesia was created by white Europeans. They created an unparalleled civilization, but were fought and opposed by the world powers and were finally forced to hand over power to black Africans.

The first Rhodesians were a few hundred pioneers. They had been selected because of their excellent qualities that were necessary in the creation of a new civilization. When the number of Rhodesians increased they had the best qualities imaginable on their side, which highly benefited the creation of their future.

In the 1960′s, when Rhodesia was at the height of its success, not only had a country been created with the highest standard of living in the whole white world, the lowest crime rates and a most sympathetic population. In reality, it had been proven what creators of civilization of superior quality were capable of accomplishing.

The small country of Rhodesia was so efficient that it could supply large areas of black Africa with provisions and other goods that the Rhodesians were able to produce in large quantities. After the country became Zimbabwe the black population has not been able to support itself despite massive disbursements from the outside world.

Salisbury around 1960.

When the Communist as well as the Western world got the notion of transforming this civilization into a Communist state, the pressure became immense, but the Rhodesians fought bravely and for a long time to be able to retain the country that they had created from scratch. With the forces of the superpowers of the world against them victory was not possible.
The Rhodesians gave up and most whites moved from — or rather fled — the country. They were often not able to take anything of value with them but were forced to leave everything behind.

Simultaneously as whites were moving out and blacks were taking over, the country fell apart and black leaders were kept afloat by gigantic disbursements from almost the whole world, like Sweden for example. The rest of the world had its way but nothing, absolutely nothing became better, on the contrary everything, absolutely everything became worse. This proved that the world leaders were fatuous, but that even so they were given the mandate by their voters to make fatuous decisions, having been elected to office in proper democratic order. This is an example that clearly proves there is something wrong with the democratic system since it can prevent the development of something that is beneficial and good, all the while encouraging the development of misery and terror.

A little girl watches the devastation left by “Operation Murambatsvina” in 2005 when Mugabe ordered all shantytowns in the country to be demolished. Millions of people were affected.

Once white Rhodesians started establishing themselves anew in other countries, many of them wrote accounts and stories about their experiences and the decline which now characterizes Zimbabwe. The stories are many and filled with emotion. Almost everybody knows someone who died in battle, who was wounded or afflicted with serious difficulties. A frequent problem was the fact that so many had been forced to leave all their possessions behind and start all over in a new country, without either funds or the possibility to get a job. Many were suffering from war traumas, many had physical injuries and many were elderly people who had retired from work and whose existences were shattered by being uprooted from Rhodesia.

Robb Ellis is one of all of those Rhodesians who have written down their stories. Like other Rhodesians he truly loves his country. When speaking to expatriates of Rhodesia we find that their relationship to their country is passionate. Losing their country was just the same as losing a great love. That is why there are so many, many stories of every detail of the country’s history and they are almost always filled with a deep longing and the dream of being able to recreate what once was. But unfortunately that dream most probably will remain just a dream.

However, there is tremendously much to learn from what befell Rhodesia. The world powers have far from ceased putting pressure on white civilizations. They would rather have them all perish before the slanderers of people of European origin are satisfied. This is why it is important also for Swedes to learn from the fact that civilizations actually can perish and that this could well happen to Sweden soon.

I urge you to read Robb Ellis’ book. Even though it is apolitical, it is enormously instructive and interesting.


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