In the late 1970s, thanks to the pressures of the United Kingdom and the International community, Ian Smith was forced into a negotiation and in March 1978 he signed an agreement with the moderate leaders Ndabaningi Sithole and Abel Muzorewa for the transfer of powers to the black majority; the former colony was called Zimbabwe Rhodesia.
The president of this temporary political reality, who would have led the country to a definitive independence, was the Anglican Bishop, and moderate exponent of the rebels, Abel Muzorewa.
In 1980, Zimbabwe assumed its present name and its independence was recognized by the International community; in the same year, the country's first universal suffrage elections saw the victory of Robert Mugabe, leader of the ZANU, head of government, while Canaan Banana was elected president.
Initially, the whites managed to keep some MPs in the parliament but they were gradually deprived of their political power; Mugabe, with a strong International consensus, limited the possibility of action and Ian Smith retired first to private life and then took refuge in South Africa.
The Mugabe government was clearly of Marxist-Leninist inspiration without, however, giving up some liberal concession.
All the 1980s were characterized by a violent racial conflict between the Shona at the government and the Ndebele, accused by Mugabe of having supported, or at least tolerated, the white government of Ian Smith; only in 1988 the two factions found an agreement and the two rival parties, the ZANU and the ZAPU, united in one party, the ZANU-PF.
But in reality this was a Mugabe’s escamotage to get Joshua Nkomo's retirement and to extricate the Ndebele from the political scene; this caused the ethnic group of Mugabe, and in particular its clan, to consolidate their dominion and spread among the whites the following motto: "Mugabe the liberator? Ask the Ndebele. "
When, in 1987, the Canaan Banana mandate expired, Robert Mugabe self-proclaimed himself president with full executive powers, effectively eliminating the prime minister's office.
In the subsequent election rounds, Mugabe was always re-affirmed, increasing his power and demagogic and repressive attitudes towards opponents more and more.
From the second half of the 90’s to today, Robert Mugabe spun in particular against the whites and his opponents gathered in the MDC, Movement for the Democratic Change, led by Morgan Tsvangirai.
The whites have been hit mainly from an economic point of view; in fact, many of them have been expropriated of their property, particularly land; forcing them to emigrate.
In this way, however, the country has been deprived of economic infrastructure and this has plunged it into a deep crisis with frightening inflation and shortages of food
The Mugabe government has also been accused of human rights violations on several occasions, especially at the expense of rival ethnic groups.
In 2008, the country hit the bottom, inflation recorded a growth rate of 7,000%, production was cut off, and the hungry population was now shrinking; despite this, Robert Mugabe was re-elected at the head of the country with countless episodes of violence and suspicions of frauds.
The intervention of International forces blocked the first revolutionary attempts of the population, the currency and the bank of Zimbabwe were suspended, the US dollar was introduced.
Mugabe remained in power as president but the leader of MDC Morgan Tsvangirai was appointed Prime Minister.
The country over the following years, thanks in particular to the International humanitarian aid, has resumed, starting a slow recovery; in 2013, Mugabe was reconfirmed in power, still raising serious accusations by the opposition on frauds and irregularities.
The country's future is uncertain and many wonder what the post-Mugabe scenario may be.