The newly-elected Rhodesian government has ordered the lifting of restrictions on Rhodesia's protected villages which the centre of controversy during the guerrilla war.
GV Village in Madziwa Tribal Trust land PAN to collapsed fence
SV Collapsed gate and fence (2 shots)
SV & GV "Look-out" posts at gate of protected village (3 shots)
SV People leaving and entering protected village (3 shots)
SV Local woman walking into village
SV & CU Africans working on traditional rural implements (4 shots)
SV Women collecting water at tap (2 shots)
SV Two women arriving at the taps to collect water
GV women carrying buckets on their heads
GV PAN Nearby fields
SV Africans checking crops in nearby fields (2 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The newly-elected Rhodesian government has ordered the lifting of restrictions on Rhodesia's protected villages which the centre of controversy during the guerrilla war. The protected villages, surrounded by barbed wire fence and policed by armed guards, were originally designed to bring together large sections of the rural population and isolate them from the Patriotic Front guerrillas.
SYNOPSIS: Protected village number five is described as typical of most of Rhodesia's protected communities. Although the new government ordered the gate opened more than two weeks ago, this village like most others is still populated. The difference now is that the inhabitants are free to come and go as they please.
Many Rhodesians say they are waiting for the dry season before they leave the village. Then the grass will be dry and can be used for thatching the roofs of new huts. Some say they are settled in their protected villages and will remain, now that the fighting has ended. This village, about 140 kilometres (86 miles) north-east of Rhodesia's capital, Salisbury, lies between two areas which saw heavy fighting during the bush war.
The protected villages policy began in the mid seventies and by 1978 there were about three quarters of a million people living in 250 compounds in the north and east of the country. It's estimated that at least half a million people are still living in protected villages, but the incoming government has committed itself to ending the system.
Although the villages provided some protection during the war, they seriously disrupted daily life. Food production dropped drastically because farmers had to walk miles to tend fields or livestock. The recent lifting or restrictions includes easing of the curfew which compelled people to stay in the villages between dusk and dawn. However, because of the continued presence of armed dissidents some security forces will remain in position for the time being.