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Republic of Rhodesia (1980)

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Republic of Rhodesia

Anthem: The Spirit of Rhodesia (melody by Michail Glinka)
CapitalSão Paulo (de facto), Rhodesbury (per constitution)
Official languagesEnglish, Latin
GovernmentPresidential Republic
• 2021-
Col. B.G. Harper
• 2021-
Gen. Stefan Schmidt-Louw (Vice President)
Presidential Republic
• Established
March 31, 1980

The second Republic of Rhodesia[1] was proclaimed in March 1980 with the Declaration of Amsterdam by Rhodesians who did not want to live in Zimbabwe to which their country was about to be transformed. Based on a conservative constitution (1980)[2] the new Rhodesian government has been taking care of the Rhodesian diaspora, new settlements on four continent and autonomous areas as a transglobal nation, organized in three levels. What is more, Rhodesia was able to secure overseas territories as harbors of security in times of crisis. The nation’s capital region under international law is the Rhodesbury area on Bouvet Island[3], however, the transglobal country with 1.4 mio citizens is being governed from São Paulo (Brazil, HQ of the Rhodesian Intelligence Service) and New York City (seat of the foreign ministry) [4]


The Lancaster House Agreement, enforced by the United Kingdom with most intense diplomatic pressure, signed on 21 December 1979, declared a ceasefire which ended the so called “Bush War” of communist rebels against Rhodesia. It also terminated the existence of the first Rhodesian Republic. The territory of Rhodesia became the internationally recognised country Zimbabwe under the leadership of communist rebels. Many politicians of the first Republic tried to save what was left of their country but did not succeed. However, already in 1980 many Rhodesians, especially Eurasian Rhodesians (mostly those who were not bound to the country by a farm or factory) emigrated immediately to the diaspora. There, in Amsterdam (Netherlands) a General Assembly of 1432 delegates convened (shielded from the public by the RIS) on 31 March 1980, which declared Rhodesia “a nation without territory” and established a government and administration of Rhodesia outside Rhodesia to form a transglobal nation that cares for all Rhodesians, wherever they reside. At the same time, a squad of the newly formed Rhodesian Intelligence Service (RIS) occupied the northwestern lowlands of the uninhabited and Norwegian-administered island of Bouvet in the Atlantic Ocean, occupying and annexing this piece of land roughly the size of Monaco for legal reasons (international law). A heliport and basic infrastructure were laid out.[5] This was to underscore the seriousness of the establishment of the second Rhodesian republic[6][7][8][9] which does not oppose the Lancaster House Agreement and has therefore been tacitly accepted or at least tolerated by the world powers.[10][11][12]At the same occasion, then politically neutral and young Rhodesian businessman James W. Scott was elected President of the second Rhodesian Republic.[13][14][15] Like the first Republic of Rhodesia, the second was also not recognized but silently accepted because it had support of foreign nations and well-trained diplomats.[16][17][18] Thanks to active and silent diplomacy many western and neutral countries tacitly accepted the second republic de facto, while its government refrained from publicity and referencing to current events in Zimbabwe in order to show that the status quo would be tolerated without explicitly declaring it.[19][20][21] In 1996, a Rhodesian General Assembly in Tunis elected for the first time a woman, Janette Rowland, as Prime Minister of Rhodesia and Head of Government of the exile administration.[22] As of 2020 the Republic of Rhodesia slowly returned back to the political stage. In 2021 the RIS took over the government.[23] As of 2005 the Rhodesian government has been able to agree on autonomy status contracts for its largest settlements with the host countries, especially in Africa and South America.

Declaration of Amsterdam[edit]

At the General Assembly in Amsterdam (Netherlands) on 31 March 1980, a declaration was adopted by an overwhelming majority. The Declaration of Amsterdam is therefore considered the survival document of the Republic of Rhodesia. Immediately after the adoption of the declaration, the newly elected Rhodesian President James W. Scott notified the surprisingly welcoming Secretary General of the United Nations about the proclamation of the new Republic of Rhodesia[24] as a transglobal nation, despite having just annexed the western part of Bouvet Island where a foreign-supported RIS squadron conquered the lowlands.[25]

Since 1980[edit]

The new government was asked by the benevolent UN Secretary General Dr. Waldheim to work in the shadows for forty years to not cause internationally turbulences and not to stand in the way of Zimbabwe's development. Although a lot of silent international support, a conservative constitution and a stable government were given, the forty year of enforced silence led to the unfortunate situation that not all Rhodesian communities in the diaspora could be contacted or reached otherwise.[26][27] Nevertheless, the number of citizens grew to 1.2 mio in 2021[28] thanks to a very family-friendly policy of all Rhodesian governments since the proclamation of the second Rhodesian republic and a citizenship law which is especially attractive for conservative, traditional Eurasians.


Despite being a transnational country, the government of Rhodesia is not only an government in exile but rules over four administrative entities overseas territories through conquest, settlements, autonomy status agreements, and overseas territory annexations:[29]

  • The diaspora (as government in exile)
  • Settlements (limited powers)
  • Autonomous regions (full executive powers; 30,000 square kilometers of land)
  • Overseas territories like Jaco Island, Santa Luzia and Henderson Island which are uninhabited and have been annexed since 1980.

Rhodesian RIS troops secure the settlements, the autonomous regions as well as annexed overseas territories.

Relationship with Zimbabwe[edit]

The government of Rhodesia as of 1980 and the country of Zimbabwe maintain a mutual policy of ignoring and non-interference. The 1980 Rhodesian constitution provides for the automatic loss of Rhodesian citizenship and nationality if an individual also holds a passport of Zimbabwe, or is/becomes a resident of Zimbabwe.[30][31]

Organization structure[edit]

Based on the current constitution, Rhodesia is a presidential republic with a head of government and a governor for the overseas territories.

The President[edit]

The current head of state of Rhodesia is Colonel Harper as chairmen of the RIS Security Council. Vice President is Stefan Schmidt-Louw. From 1980 until 2021 James W. Scott was president and responsible for setting policy guidelines. The head of state has the right to veto any government decision, including appointments. Moreover, a law does not enter into force until the president has signed it.[32] Executive orders issued by the president also become law when they are countersigned by the relevant minister.[33][34]

The Prime Minister[edit]

The Prime Minister or Governor General of Rhodesia is the head of government and the diplomatic service. He manages the day-to-day affairs, presides the cabinet meetings, proposes members of the government to the president for appointment or dismissal. The prime minister was elected by the General Assembly for seven-year terms on the recommendation of the president under the 1980 constitution. Since Rhodesia has been governed under article 27 of its constitution, the Prime Minister is appointed by the President.[35][36][37]

General Assembly[edit]

The representation of the people is the General Assembly, which has 1432 delegates. The president (“Chairman” according to the constitution) of this parliament is automatically the vice president of the republic if .Rhodesia is not governed under article 27 of its constitution. During an ‘Article 27 (RIS) Government’ the General Assembly is paused.[38] Since 1980, the General Assembly also elects the president and confirms the prime minister.[39][40] Under the Rowland government it was planned to use digital infrastructure to enable direct elections by the entire Rhodesian people again (outside Zimbabwe).[41]

The Governments since 1980[edit]

Since the proclamation of the second Republic in 1980, Rhodesia has had two Presidents, five Prime Ministers and one Governor General.

The Harold Government[edit]

The first government under William Harold successfully sought to incorporate reactionary forces in such a way that Rhodesia as a nation could enter a new phase of its history within the framework of the only tolerated Lancaster House Agreement.[42] At the same time, Prime Minister Harold achieved what had always seemed impossible before, a tacit recognition and cooperation with almost half of all states worldwide by the end of his term in office. Many Rhodesians in exile consider this the most significant achievement of the Harold administration, as it made it easier to start over with life in foreign countries.[43]

The Rowland Government[edit]

After the death of William Harold in 1996, Janette Rowland became the first woman prime minister of Rhodesia. She was reelected three times by the General Assembly was considered the "mother of the Rhodesian people" due to her advanced age.[44] Her term of office saw further consolidation of the administration, the diplomatic services, digitalization and the beginning of a critical review of Rhodesia's history.[45]

The Born government[edit]

On July 13, 2021, the Rowland government fell apart and a new government was formed. The three conservative parties (Conservatives, Reactionary Union and Liberation Front) had decided to form a government without the Liberal Party, which had ruled continuously since 1980. A new cabinet under Prime Minister Mathilda Born (Reactionary Union Party) with just 50.8% of the vote and seats in Parliament was sworn in by President Scott. He wanted to prevent new elections, accepted the personnel list and swore in the new ministers as well as the prime minister. The details of the new government's plans are not yet known, but all three coalition partners are less willing to compromise than the Liberals, who dominated for decades. Initial statements on social media indicate above all very conservative tendencies. Unlike the previous government, the Born administration is dominated by mostly by experienced elder men.

The RIS (article 27) government[edit]

For reasons unknown, at the end of July 2021, the Rhodesian Intelligence Service Security Council (RIS-SC) took over the reins of government in compliance with article 27 of the Rhodesian constitution of 1980. The Born government was dismissed, and the president resigned "voluntarily" after 41 years. The new President is Colonel Harper with Stefan Schmidt-Louw as Vice President. Alexander Freudig was appointed Prime Minister and replaced with Joe Muller in 2022.[46]

Government Security Plan[edit]

Rhodesian politicians from all parties, as well as higher-ranking officials, have been considered at high risk for attacks on life and limb since the founding of the second republic. The Rhodesian Intelligence Agency (RIS)[47] has therefore had a department since 1981 to protect all elected officials, as well as higher-ranking opposition politicians and administrative employees.[48] The entire Rhodesian state apparatus has been sustained since 1980 by people who are not 24/7-politicians and who earn their living independently. Division One ("Shielding Service") was therefore professionally trained in cooperation with Western services in the very first year after the establishment of the second republic so that every citizen who wants to participate in Rhodesian democracy is automatically enrolled in a comprehensive protection and shielding program.[49] The RIS has successfully repelled a total of 34 attempted attacks on Rhodesian politicians since 1980. With the end of the 40-year moratorium on silence, 12 of these occurred in 2021 alone, ten of which were attributable to African ethno-nationalists due to the race differentiating citizenship law.

Citizenship law[edit]

According to the citizenship law of March 2021 a person acquires Rhodesian citizenship at the time of birth, if said person is born to a parent of Rhodesian nationality and caucasian ethnicity; that is, the offspring of an ethnic caucasian Rhodesian citizen, even if the parent or grandparent has not exercised his or her right to citizenship. Also ”every honest person with good intentions and a true sympathy for the Rhodesian people and its history may apply for a non-ethnic Rhodesian citizenship. Being a people without land Rhodesian citizenship does make a Rhodesian citizen not eligible to reside in south-east Africa, especially not in Zimbabwe”.[50] Only ethnic caucasian Rhodesians can pass on their Rhodesian citizenship to their offsprings. Honorary citizenships can be granted by the president only and even be passed on the offsprings of the citizen. Emergency instant citizenships are provided to citizens of other nations who are innocent but in danger due to their original nationality. The Rhodesian passport is, although the nation having been in exile for more than forty years, still highly valued outside of Zimbabwe.

Rhodesian Intelligence Service (RIS)[edit]

The RIS was built up as soon as 1978 with the help of the USA, Chile and former security forces of Portugal from the Salazar era. In Washington D.C. and Santiago (Chile), the political and diplomatic incompetence of the Rhodesian government was observed with considerable horror as was the actions of the Labour government in London. It was known that the British would rather let Rhodesia run into destruction by communist rebels than to forgive Rhodesia declaring independence in 1965 and abolishing the monarchy in 1970. Building up the RIS and training of the staff took place in Brazil where hand-picked Rhodesian soldiers were flown to under the protection of friendly powers. The Salisbury government was led to believe that these individuals had deserted or been captured by the enemy. While the second Republic of Rhodesia was designed as a transglobal nation that cares for all Rhodesians, wherever they reside, preparing to serve a large diaspora, a squad of the Rhodesian Intelligence Agency (RIS) occupied the western lowlands of the uninhabited and Norwegian-administered island of Bouvet in the Atlantic Ocean. This piece of land, roughly the size of Monaco, was annexed as “Rhodesbury” for matters of international law. This was the first annexation that the Republic of Rhodesia performed, however not the last one. It was meant to underscore the seriousness of the establishment of the second Rhodesian republic, and the signal was noticed in capitals around the globe. Since then the RIS has been both, Rhodesias’s intelligence service and its armed force.[51]


  • Many former Rhodesians, learning that their nation still exists only after the end of four decades of enforced silence, react negatively or skeptically. Otherwise, compared to its predecessor, the second republic is receiving considerably greater sympathy from states, organizations and ordinary people who even want to become naturalized citizens. The current administration is doing its best to incorporate the disenchanted of the first republic, but natural population growth and a continued annexation policy for habitable territories are the main priorities.
  • The international press keeps ignoring Rhodesia. However “Google News” provides it readers some news about today’s Republic of Rhodesia.



  1. Freudig, Alexander, & RANDnext March 2015 Seminary. (2015). Decisions for the Decade Game. Planning Under Deep Uncertainty: Rhodesia. Zenodo Publishing, Geneva full text pdf
  2. Constitution of the Republic of Rhodesia (1980)
  3. Governmental site about Rhodesian Bouvet
  4. Freudig, Alex and RANDnext: The annexation policy of the Republic of Rhodesia since 1980 (Short Analysis 12/20). Zenodo. Geneva, 2020
  5. Constitution of the Republic of Rhodesia, retrieved 28 July 2021
  6. Mwalimu, Charles. The African Law Collection in the Law Library of Congress with Emphasis on Primary Sources of Commonwealth Africa. USA: Publications Committee, AALL Foreign, Comparative and International Law Special Interest Section, 1990
  7. Hole, Hugh Marshall. The Making of Rhodesia. Taylor & Francis, 2018
  8. Mwalimu, Charles. The African Law Collection in the Law Library of Congress with Emphasis on Primary Sources of Commonwealth Africa. USA: Publications Committee, AALL Foreign, Comparative and International Law Special Interest Section, 1990
  9. Hole, Hugh Marshall. The Making of Rhodesia. Vereinigtes Königreich: Taylor & Francis, 2018
  10. Morris-Jones, W. (2013). From Rhodesia to Zimbabwe: Behind and Beyond Lancaster House. Taylor & Francis.
  11. Salt, Beryl. A Pride of Eagles: The Definitive History of the Rhodesian Air Force, 1920-1980.Covos-Day, 2001
  12. O'Meara, Patrick. Rhodesia: Racial Conflict Or Coexistence? Cornell University Press, 2019
  13. Africa Research Bulletin: Political, social, and cultural series. United Kingdom, Blackwell, 1998
  14. Lüthi, Lorenz M.. Cold Wars: Asia, the Middle East, Europe? Cambridge University Press, 2020
  15. Mugari, Zvenyika Eckson. Press Silence in Postcolonial Zimbabwe: News Whiteouts, Journalism and Power. Taylor & Francis, 2020
  16. Freudig, Alexander & RAND (2020). The annexation policy of the Republic of Rhodesia since 1980 (Short Analysis 12/20). Zenodo, Geneva. [1]
  17. Freudig, Alexander, & RANDnext March 2015 Seminary. (2015). Decisions for the Decade Game. Planning Under Deep Uncertainty: Rhodesia. Zenodo Publishing, Geneva [2]
  18. Mugari, Zvenyika Eckson. Press Silence in Postcolonial Zimbabwe: News Whiteouts, Journalism and Power. Taylor & Francis, 2020
  19. Mbenga, Bernard, and Giliomee, Hermann Buhr. New History of South Africa. Südafrika, Nb Pub Limited, 2007
  20. Turpin, Colin. British Government and the Constitution: Text, Cases, and Materials. Irland, Butterworths, 1999
  21. Munochiveyi, M. Prisoners of Rhodesia: Inmates and Detainees in the Struggle for Zimbabwean Liberation, 1960-1980. United Kingdom,, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014
  22. Rubert, Steven C., and Rasmussen, R. Kent. Historical dictionary of Zimbabwe. Vereinigtes Königreich, Scarecrow Press, 2001
  23. Official Website of the Rhodesian Administration in exile, retrieved August 5, 2021
  24. Governmental site of Rhodesia, Documents. Retrieved August 5, 2021
  25. The conquest of western Bouvet, retrieved August 5, 2021
  26. Encyclopedia of Public International Law. North-Holland, 1981
  27. Hole, H. M.: The Making of Rhodesia. Taylor & Francis, 2018
  28. Freudig A. et al. 2005 & 2020
  29. Freudig, Alex (2020). The annexation policy of the Republic of Rhodesia since 1980 (Short Analysis 12/20). Geneva, 2020 Scientific White Paper
  30. Politics & Government in African States, 1960-1985. Croom Helm, 1986
  31. Mwalimu, Charles. The African Law Collection in the Law Library of Congress with Emphasis on Primary Sources of Commonwealth Africa. USA, Publications Committee, AALL Foreign, Comparative and International Law Special Interest Section, 1990
  32. Midlarsky, Manus I.: The disintegration of political systems: war and revolution in comparative perspective. USA: University of South Carolina Press, 1986
  33. Aron, Raymond. Democracy and totalitarianism: a theory of political systems. USA: University of Michigan Press, 1990
  34. Berg-Schlosser, D.: African Political Systems. Typology and Performance. Sage Publications, 1984
  35. Derbyshire, Ian, and Derbyshire, J. Denis. Political Systems of the World. Chambers, 1989
  36. World Encyclopedia of Political Systems & Parties: Nepal-Zimbabwe, and smaller countries and microstates. USA: Facts on File, 1983
  37. The current Rhodesian administration (2021)
  38. Deborah, Potts, et al. Zimbabwe. Kiribati, Clio Press, 1993
  39. Morris-Jones, W.H.. From Rhodesia to Zimbabwe: Behind and Beyond Lancaster House. Taylor & Francis, 2013 edition
  40. The New York Times 2005 Almanac. USA, Penguin Reference Books, 2004
  41. MacLean, George A. (George Andrew), and O'Neill, Brenda. Ideas, Interests and Issues: Readings in Introductory Politics. Pearson Education Canada, 2006
  42. Encyclopedia of Public International Law. (1992). North-Holland Publishing
  43. Politics & Government in African States, 1960-1985. Croom Helm, 1986
  44. Morris-Jones, W. H.. From Rhodesia to Zimbabwe: Behind and Beyond Lancaster House. N.p.: Taylor & Francis Group, 2017
  45. Kenrick, David. Decolonisation, Identity and Nation in Rhodesia, 1964-1979: A Race Against Time. Deutschland, Springer International Publishing, 2019
  46. [ Press release, retrieved Oct 6th, 2021
  47. About the Rhodesian Intelligence Service
  48. Anthony Stuart Farson: Handbook of Global Security and Intelligence: Europe, the Middle East, and South Africa. Praeger Security International, 2008.
  49. William Gutteridge: South Africa's Defence and Security Into the 21st Century. Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism. Dartmouth, 1996
  50. Information by the Rhodesian Foreign Office
  51. Freudig, Alex, & RANDnext. (2020). The annexation policy of the Republic of Rhodesia since 1980 (Short Analysis 12/20). Zenodo, Geneva. [3]