After a brutal armed struggle waged by the Patriotic Front – a coalition of the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (ZAPU) and the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) – the British settler colony of Rhodesia gained independence becoming Zimbabwe. Dr Cannan Sodindo Banana was inaugurated as President, and Robert Gabriel Mugabe as Prime Minister.

Zimbabwean independence was preceded by the Lancaster House Agreement, signed on 21st December 1979 after three months of negotiations.

The Lancaster House Agreement forced two concessions on the Patriotic Front – 20 Parliamentary seats reserved for whites and a ten year moratorium on land reforms. These concessions would have a significant impact causing political tensions post independence.

Independence celebrations were attended by many heads of state including President Shehu Shagari of Nigeria, President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia and President Seretse Khama of Botswana. The legendary Bob Marley sang “Zimbabwe” a song he composed specially to mark the historical occasion.

On the same day two years later in 1982 the capital, Salisbury, was renamed Harare.

The video clip is Bob Marley’s performance interspersed by jubilant Zimbabweans during independence celebrations:

Amma Fosuah
“Always bear in mind that people are not fighting for ideas, for the things in anyone’s head. They are fighting to win material benefits to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of their children.” Amilcar Cabral

By: Amma Fosuah.

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