World Stamps

Why was this 1970 cover from Rhodesia rejected?

May 2, 2021, 2 PM
The 2½¢ stamp on this 1970 cover mailed from Rhodesia to Zambia was rejected by the Zambian post office, because Rhodesia’s stamps had been deemed invalid on international mail. The recipient paid postage due to collect the letter.

By Ken Lawrence

After the white minority government of Rhodesia (formerly Southern Rhodesia) issued its unilateral declaration of independence from Great Britain in 1965 to forestall the transfer of power to the African majority, its stamps became invalid on international mail to countries other than apartheid South Africa. 

Although this June 4, 1970, cover from Essexvale, Rhodesia, to Luanshya, Zambia (formerly Northern Rhodesia), is franked with a 2½¢ Ruins of Zimbabwe stamp (Rhodesia Scott 277), the Zambian post office rejected it.

The recipient paid postage due, reflected by the canceled 5-ngwee International Year of African Tourism stamp (Zambia Scott 55). 

In 1980, Rhodesia became Zimbabwe under black majority rule. 

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