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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ronald Chancellor Carruthers 1924-2009

Ronald Chancellor Carruthers 1924-2009

Ex Farmer, born and bred in Masvingo

Our Dad and Grandpa passed away suddenly late Wednesday afternoon, 24th June, in Harare.

The family would like to cordially invite you all to join us for the service in memory of him, on Tuesday morning, 30th June, at 10am, at Baptist Bible Church, Midvale Road, off Enterprise Road, Chispite.

Kindly join us for tea, to be served in the Church garden thereafter - a plate of eats would be appreciated.

The family will be going to No 1 Yarmouth Ave, off Enterprise Road (about
3 kms from the church) thereafter, for a light "bring and share" finger lunch and refreshments - friends who wish to join us are most welcome.

Condolences can be passed on to

For those who are interested!


Feredays was established in 1910

We are pleased to introduce our newsletter which will be produced periodically to keep you up to date on what is happening in our shop. Our newsletter will serve as an introduction to those who are not familiar with Feredays and also to inform our regular customers of new products and interesting events.

Feredays prides itself on being a ‘one stop’ outdoor shop as we keep a wide range of kit and equipment for safari companies, campers, hikers, fishermen, divers, spear-fishers, hunters, climbers, walkers and people who just enjoy a braai at home.

We are not experts in every field, but do supply a large range of reasonably priced products. These include:-

We offer a range of handhelds, fishfinders, Nuvi auto guidance and fitness GPS’s at prices the same as or below South Africa and Europe. We can order any model you wish including aviation models by courier from Europe.

We have a good selection of rifles, shotguns, pistols and revolvers and ammunition to fit most calibres. We service and repair all weapons and offer advice on licensing. We buy second hand weapons.

We keep a wide range of equipment including rods and reels, lures, spinners, rubber worms, line, weights, hooks and a range of accessories to cover most types of fishing.

We make a wide range of products including backpacks, travel bags, sleeping bags, gunbags, gaiters, tents and toilet bags. We also do repairs and make products to your design.

Masks, snorkels, fins, spearguns weight belts and accessories. We also repair spear guns and supply rubber.

We promote books by Zimbabwean authors mainly about our national parks, big game and our wonderful outdoor attractions. We stock magazines

We carry COURTENEY, arguably the best hand made boots in Southern Africa in a wide range of styles and sizes. We order any specials direct from the factory and stock their special polish and laces.

Two sets of diving tanks with B C’s regulators etc. second hand but in good condition.
Cast iron gas plates strong, very efficient and low priced
Winter jackets, safari waist coats, shirts, shorts, hats and caps
Gamo pellet guns, pistols and pellets, CO2 cartridges
Cadac gas cylinders, 2 burner stoves, cooker tops, lights, skottel braais, mantles and spares.
Selection of pistols, and 12 bore and .22 Hornet ammunition.
Maglites, Swiss army knives, and pepper sprays.

Come and see our collections of antique bayonets, knives, shell cases and lots of other memorabilia in the Borrowdale Village
or call us on 882156 or 870555

Friday, June 26, 2009

Stella Danckwerts

Died peacefully at home on Saturday 20th June 2009.

A memorial service will be held at Highlands Presbyterian Church, Enterprise Road, on Thursday 25th June, 2009, at 11:00am.

The Danckwerts family would like to thank the Management and Staff of Nuffield Funeral Parlour for their traditionally professional and caring service.

John Danckwerts 04 - 733434

04 - 798380

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Death Notices

Patsy Short:

It was with great sadness and shock that we learnt of the sudden death of Patsy, administrator at A.R.T., while on leave in the UK recently. Her smiling face and the efficient manner in which she carried out her duties, will be greatly missed by the Trustees, Board of Management and Staff and colleagues of the Agricultural Research Trust.

Deepest sympathy to Nigel, Sara and Jemma.

Agricultural Research Trust

COWPER - Richard

A Memorial Service for the late Richard Cowper will be held at St Mary Magdelene (Avondale Anglican Church), opposite the Police Station, at 2.30 pm Tuesday 30th June 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

Zimbabwe: Harare Battles to Regain Sunshine Status

18 June 2009
Harare — HARARE residents have been at loggerheads with the city fathers over poor service delivery in the capital. Issues raised include poor responses to burst sewer and water pipes, potholes, garbage collection, health service and dysfunctional traffic lights. The Financial Gazette's News Editor Brian Mangwende (BM) sought explanations from the council's public relations manager, Leslie Gwindi (LG) on these contentious issues.

BM: Why these issues? How did we get to where we are today? Where did the wheels come off?
LG: It is important to underpin our responses to the historical background and it is also essential to note that the City of Harare is not an isolated entity and that it operates in the global Zimbabwe economic environment.
Over the years, the city has not been able to re-invest in plant and equipment to enable it to execute its mandate and that is because of the erosion, at an increasing rate, of the Zimbabwe dollar. And because of that we found it literally impossible to source foreign currency, which is critical for the purchase of all our inputs. The city was also unable to access loans and grants as given by institutions such as the World Bank and related institutions.
BM: What about such areas as waste management and water?
LG: The city's last investment in refuse collection vehicles was nine years ago and it is a general rule that these vehicles be replaced after a maximum of three years of service.
Therefore of the nine trucks that were bought last, we have been operating with less than that number in the last five years due to breakdowns and during that period there has been an accumulation of refuse thus we are faced with illegal dumps.
Our (refuse) collection in the suburbs over the years has dropped as a result of lack of commercial vehicles. The city needs not less than 60 collection vehicles. With respect to water, there is a very serious gap between supply and demand. Demand has totally outstripped supply because the city has not developed alternative water sources whereas the population for the City of Harare has continued to grow. Our dependence on this singular water source (Lake Chivero) has led to the deterioration in water quality which has meant that the city needs a sizeable chemical regime to be able to treat water coming from Lake Chivero. The other important fact is that our water purification plant -- Morton Jaffray -- requires revamping and modernisation, maybe moving from that water purification system entirely. Finally, the water piping underground is so old that we lose not less than 40 percent of the purified water underground during delivery. We are also faced with major difficulties in delivering to some high ground suburbs to the extent that some go for long periods without water. It must be noted that currently we will always have a deficit in water supply due to the above reasons and also the fact that we deliver water to Chitungwiza, Ruwa and Norton.
BM: What is the impact on the non-availability of treated water and doesn't this pose a real danger to a new cholera outbreak?
LG: It is obvious that lack of clean, disease-free water causes very serious public health challenges. We have, as a city, emerged from one such challenge lately, but we need to keep the current pressure on managing it, thanks to a very large extent to donors and the government. The onset of the rains presents another new challenge to this epidemic.
BM: What strategies do you have in place to prevent a similar outbreak?
LG: We need to improve clean water supply and I am glad the city has embarked on a major refurbishment of aquifers and filters at Morton Jaffray. We also have education campaigns about the management and avoidance of this water-borne disease and making sure that we always provide clean water.
BM: How long is this going to take to complete this exercise?
LG: It's an ongoing process.
BM: Drivers are having a torrid time negotiating potholes on the city's roads and the results at times bear tragic consequences. What is council doing to address this and other problems such as malfunctioning traffic lights?

LG: There has been concerted effort to engage partners in the area of pothole filling, road reconstruction and traffic lights signal provision and I am glad to say this has realised fruitful results. We will be gladly providing street lights shortly and pothole filling is on going.
BM: And the health delivery system in council facilities?
LG: The area of health service has been a beneficiary of donor funding and while our structures have been stretched to the limit, they have matched some of the challenges that we face. The city has had successful programmes in the areas of TB treatment, HIV and Aids counseling and management, antenatal, dental as well as general health awareness among other programmes. A lot more can be done in this area and we will continue to share a very healthy relationship with our benefactors.
BM: How do you see service delivery in general in Harare?
LG: The outlook is bright, but is dependent on quite a number of issues; adherence to modern day urban planning procedures and enforcement of the statutory requirements that make such activities as vending, unsanctioned structures, operating without licenses as well as non payment of tariffs illegal. The city will exercise its fiduciary responsibility of enforcement and should be left to do so without interference.
BM: Council was actively involved in the clean-up exercise dubbed Operation Murambatsvi-na in 2005. What was your role and what was the real reason behind the clean-up exercise?

LG: It is the local authority's mandate to enforce and ensure that by-laws are adhered to and it was against that background that the clean-up exercise was carried out and I am glad to say that the exercise led to improved hygienic living standards in Harare and its suburbs and a better delivery then of such things as water and public health conditions and we are all agreed that there was a general improvement soon after the campaign.
BM: A lot of structures destroyed during the clean-up exercise are sprouting back and council seems indifferent to the latest development. What do you have up your sleeve?
LG: The city is soon going to embark on another clean-up exercise. We will issue warnings prior to requesting the illegal occupiers or businesses to desist from those illegal activities

Thursday, June 18, 2009


To all Murelle's friends, we in Zimbabwe are very sad at the sudden
passing of Murelle, she was a wonderful special friend, an inspiration
and a twinkle in our lives every day. You will all have a lot of
questions about her sudden death on Sunday, 14 June at 5.45pm, I have
received many emails and texts asking what happened.
Murelle was admitted to hospital on Saturday due to severe anemia, she
started a blood transfusion on Saturday night and unfortunately had a
reaction causing her to go into shock. The doctors believe she had
internal bleeding caused from ulcers. Sharon, her sister, was with her
at the hospital together, with myself and Stewie. Scooby my dear
friend, we have lost a great friend, words cannot describe the sadness
we feel. We must all remember that vibrant, colorful, humorous, firm
friend that we have all known for many years.
Murelle's memorial service is going to be at Wild Geese Lodge in Harare
on Tuesday, 23 June at 11.30am.

Reps Subscriptions

This is a reminder to all members who paid subscriptions for half the year that the remainder is due by 30 June 2009 as follows –

Ordinary $30
Spouse $15
Senior one $12
Senior two $12
Country $15
Correspondent $15

For same day renewal, please pay your subs to the office. If you give your subs to the bar, it will only be processed the next working day.

If you have any queries, please contact Erin in the office.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Amber Lights

There is a new operation within Traffic Section. Harare Central Police station is over-crowded today with "supposedly traffic offenders" .
One Francis Chiwandire was arrested this morning, on making enquiries the Police advised that there is a new operation under the traffic act.
No code name was given but the police officer spoken to advised that drivers should not go through the amber robot because if it changes to red whilst giving way to on-coming traffic one would have committed a crime.
The said driver was intending to turn right and the lights turned amber whilst he was still in the intersection, by the time he turned right the robots were red on his side. Please be advised that there are no spot fines, one is to book at the Central Police and attend a court hearing whilst in custody. Safe Driving tonight and forever.


Newsletter No: 67
JUNE 2009

P O Box HG 641 Highlands Harare Zimbabwe

The Chairman and Editorial Team:
CHAIRMAN: Tim Thorburn 498723 / 0912.645.518
EDITORS Mike & Pat GILL 494028 / 011.400.243 / 011.440.794
4x4 Club Website:
Face Book Site: 4x4 Zimbabwe
The 4x4 Club is affiliated to the Zimbabwe Motor Sports Federation - ZMSF
Our Club is a member of the Mashonaland Motor Sport Association Club House, situated at: 2 Annan Rd. Eastlea. Support your Club House. It is available for hire for weddings, conferences, kids parties, 21st birthdays, etc. Lunches and dinners at reasonable prices.
News, comments and opinions expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of the Club or the Committee

EDITOR’S NOTE - Michael and Pat GILL
I think most of you have been to Ballyvaughan Game Park at some time and you will have seen their appeals for support. Well your Editorial team has just returned from spending Saturday afternoon and night, camping out and we left before midday on Sunday. We were invited by ex-chairman Sean Quinlan to support him with ten 12 year olds for a sleep over birthday party. It was a great success and there was never a dull moment. We would be very happy to hear that some of you with kids could have your parties out there, maybe a sleep over as we did, and support them in these difficult times. You can camp on the green lawn and do your own catering to keep down costs. Hearing the lions roar after dark adds a special feeling to the evening. Please support them, they need all the help they can get.

How often does it happen that after fixing your car, you still have bits leftover but the car still runs fine. Well it happened to me after installing new spider gears in my Jeep (Barbie). When I reversed out of the garage there was a shim on the floor. I knew exactly where it fitted but it must have slipped out.
Our Jamboree was a resounding success from all aspects. The competitors found it challenging and safe, spectators were well entertained, and exhibitions and facilities were excellent except the (not) hot water. My thanks to Mark Benzon and the Jamboree committee who gave of their time to make this monumentus event happen. We had many new and old members joining or re-joining and those of you who would like to join our active club, hurry, you don’t know what you’re missing. I would like to thank our sponsors who helped make this event such a showcase for the club.
Coming events include our annual Eco-challenge, a Christmas-in-July Dinner and a Jamboree re-visited and Marshals day (you can do that course again and take a marshal with you.).
Here’s a thought for the drivers, “Allow time and moderate delay, haste manages all things badly.”
Cheers for now Tim Thorburn

Patrick Mallon: I quote and I gloat…. Ed: “What a fantastic news letter, I had better join, who do I pay?” Thank you for those kind words Patrick.
Liam Philp – was a member in the distant past.
Jamboree brought us three new members and renewed long lost membership for a further four.
Downey, Barry and Kerry-Jane: Barry entered in the ex Benzon Landrover “Snowball” but regret was not able to pass scrutineering.
Conlon, Ross and Cherylyn: Ross entered as driver in the Bill Slack Blue Land Rover
Bruford, Andrew and Debra: Andrew entered as co-driver to Tim Thorburn’s “Barbie” Jeep Wrangler.
We welcome you all to the 4x4 family and look forward to seeing you out on events.

I am very happy to advise that our membership numbers are almost up to “the good old days”
As at the time of the Jamboree we had 81 paid up members for 2009.

It seems a number of club members have been in Mozambique during April.
Tim Thorburn and family with Carol Weare and family and Mark and Hilary Benzon were in Rio Savanne.
Michael and Pat Gill together with Sean and Jacquie Quinlan and family were in Pomene Ridge The Ridge is a lovely place to go to for a holiday it is isolated, out of the way with a lovely lagoon for swimming, fishing, kayaking and general fun. Visit their website:
Rod Chambers: We have said a very sad farewell to Rod, who with his children Leigh and Megan have decided to see what it is like to live in Wales.
Ian Carruthers: Ian was taking his son Stuart to school and was hit by a 30-ton truck at the traffic lights. Fortunately they are OK but their car is a write off.
Mark Benzon: Our condolences go to Mark and his family on the death of his mother, Joan.

Some time ago the VCCZ Newsletter told of a rust penatrant that was very much more effective than the ones we tend to use. You know the WD40 or Q20 type.
The penatrant was a 50/50 mix of Acetone and ATF and someone commented on how good it was. He sighted removing a rusted brake drum and the rusted bleed nipple, on which he played a gas flame to heat it, but the mixture did not burn, as the usual oils tend to do.Maybe the acetone spreads quickly to evaporate and it draws the ATF with it, which provides some lubrication or at least breaks the bond that is holding the parts together.
Well there you are old Land Rover restorers, now you can get those bits apart more easily.

2009 CASTROL 4x4 Jamboree May 22 – 24th
Doom and gloom failed. Our hardworking committee under the chairmanship of Mark Benzon put on an event that was as good as ever and we had 31 entries. This is almost a perfect number as it keeps the event rolling along smoothly. The standard modified cars made up most of the entries. We were very pleased to have six entries from Mutare. Bulawayo are not as active anymore but we hope they will still able to put on their own Jamboree in October.
Crowd attendance was as good as expected and the weather was beautiful, we even had a heavy early morning mist on Saturday, which kept some of the campers in bed a bit longer.
The courses were tough and we had two rollovers, Rodney Beckley in his well rounded Suzuki that has been over several times before and Peter Dobropoulos from Mutare, in his Series 1 Landie, who did a monumental nose over in the Barzem Xtreme.
We will have to get an earthmover in soon to dig up the very well worked courses. Anyone with contacts for the right equipment please speak up, the club will be glad to supply the Diesel. I seem to think the last time the Plant owner dug the courses as a driver training exercise and a road test after a major equipment overhaul.
Our Jamboree helps to keep the Club going financially for most of the year. The rental of our area at Donnybrook and our keeper takes a lot of money so we have a lot to thank our sponsors for, Castrol (now HP Lubes) our major sponsor (what would we do without you); Securitas provided all the security guards for the week-end; Barzem for the Xtreme; Sawpower for the Seesaw; Big Sky for the Mud Run.
Standard. SWB. Tim Thorburn & Andrew Bruford: Jeep Wrangler
Standard Modified. Michael Maas & Chris Maas: Jeep CJ 2
Special. Adrian Watt & Jason Creigh Smith: Cournil.
Barzem Xtreme. Adrian Watt & Jason Creigh Smith: Cournil
Big Sky Mud Run. Murray Upton & Mike Gill: Jeep Wrangler
Sawpower Seesaw Lionel and Sonny Rousseau Series 1 Land Rover

A couple from Czechoslovakia on their way down through Africa in an old Nissan Patrol SWB joined us at the Jamboree. It was good to have them along.

To enter Donnybrook on a non-event day it will cost you $1 per car, providing you have you membership card. Non-members will be charged $5 per car. You must sign the book at the gate and put your name, you Club and membership number. Do not pay without signing the book.

Every time we travel there seems to be a length of rope or wire or a pipe that needs to be taken along but it unwinds and gets in the way. Try rolling it up and make it secure with masking tape. The advantage of this tape is you can break it easily and do not have to keep the bits. A roll of masking tape is often useful on a trip, we have even used it to support and hold plastic over a broken side window. A roll of Duct Tape should always be with you as well.

Women Arrest Law 6pm - 6am
Ladies be aware of your rights. This has come to light following an incident in which a young lady was assaulted by a man posing as a plain clothes Police Officer. He asked her to come to the police station when she didn't have a driver's license to show. He took her instead to an isolated area where a horrendous crime was committed.
”The law [which most of us are not aware of] clearly states that between 6 pm and 6 am, a woman has the right to REFUSE to go to a Police Station, even if an arrest warrant has been issued against her.It is a procedural issue that a woman can be arrested between 6pm and 6am, ONLY if she is arrested by a WOMAN officer and taken to an ALL WOMEN police station. And if she is arrested by a male officer, it has to be proven that a woman officer was on duty at the time of arrest.” It is good for us to know our rights.

For those who gave some thought to the hot starting trouble with “Alley Cat”, our V8 Land Rover Lightweight, there is good news. It now starts when hot – hooray!
The cause was the Starter Motor. We had tried several different starters, they always spun the engine when it was cold but there was a drop in ignition voltage when the starter was hot. With the use of parts from several motors, donated by Pete Jenkin, we had a good motor rebuilt and all is now well. Of course Alley had to bite back, the rear prop shaft fell to bits, which took the rear brake pipe with it, but that is now all fixed as well.

10% of road accidents are due to drunken driving.Which makes a logical statement that 90% of accidents are due to driving without drinking!

The Eco Challenge July 10th:
Please note the date change. The Eco Week-end will be on at Carolina Wilderness and our thanks to the Kirks who will organise it again after their award-winning event last year. You do not need a special 4x4. Most people will be camping on the green lawns and we will have access to the chalets for ablutes, etc. We understand that some food will be provided. More news to follow in a flyer.

Christmas in July - 25th July
Venue: Highlands Sports Club. The Venue is booked. The Chef is booked.
This will be a sit down Christmas dinner, with all the trimmings. Turkey and ham, Christmas pud, etc. We are not asking you to don black ties but suits and ties and evening dress (if you still have one) will be very acceptable. Please no shorts and takkies!!
Space is limited so it will be on a first come first served basis.
Flyers will go out soon giving costs but we will need to know about 7 to 10 days before in order to arrange food and seating plans, etc.
It is going to be a good evening it is our major social non-driving event of the year.
Highlands Sports Club run a very good and reasonable bar, you are not allowed to take your own. However you can bring your own wine but they will charge corkage.
Roger Ellis has put a lot of work into this event and his son Shane, the chef at Millers, will do the food. Contact Roger 498373 0912.219.154 for more information

Calendar for 2009
These dates may change as the year progresses, however as usual, we will send out flyers before every event.
June 28 Marshals Thank You Day.
July 10 ECO Weekend
July 19 SUV Trail Drive
July 25 Christmas in July - Dinner
Aug 7-11 Away Week-end Aberfoyle Club
Sept 25 - 27 Bushpig Beatrice
Oct 16-18 Bulawayo Jamboree
Oct 30-31 Three Hills
Nov 20-22 Mutare Dungbeetle
Dec 13 Christmas Run

My wife was looking forward to our next wedding anniversary and suggested that she would like a present. “How about something new and shiny that goes from 0 to 200 in 3 seconds”
So I bought her a bathroom scale.
And that is when the fight started.

If any members run a business and would like to contribute to this facility, we would be most grateful. Just think, it could improve your business as well as being an advantage to club members.
The coordinator is: Tim Thorburn: 498723 / 0912.645.518
To take advantage of these discounts you MUST produce your 2009 Membership Card and ask for your discount. If you don’t ask you don’t get!!
If you have not got your 2009 Card please phone Pat Gill, 494028 to arrange collection/delivery.
Discounts on offer so far:
Maguires in Willowvale for Filters etc.
Silverstone Tyres. for tyres;
Telford Mica for Tools.
Big Sky, Pomona. for Selected items.

We have a Face Book site and for those members, who are on Face Book, feel free to join the site:
4x4 Zimbabwe

Motor Sports Association Club House
MSA Membership: The Club House bar works on a Swipe Card basis and any member of an affiliated club can join. Bar prices are double for non-cardholders.
Hall for Hire - Hire our affordable Club facilities for parties, Wedding Receptions, meetings, seminars, courses and other functions. Assist us in this way to obtain funds required for the upkeep of the Clubhouse.
Drinks – The bar is fully stocked again. No "own drinks" will be permitted at functions.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

COWPER - Richard

COWPER - Richard

It is with deep sadness and regret that the announcement of the death from an aneurysm of Richard Cowper is made.

Details of the Memorial Service will be given later.


COWPER - Richard

Friend of Maria and Ash - a gentleman always- so sad for this.
Deepest sympathy to the family.

Pauline Louise Walcott,

Pauline Louise Walcott,

late of Fifth Chapter Farm, Centenary, passed away peacefully in her 82nd year on Sunday 14 June in Harare.

Will be sadly missed by Jacqui and Norman, Athena and Graham and Carol and Ralph and her grandchildren Morag, Rory, Megan and Sian; Louise and Jemma; and Dominic, Olivia, Sebastian and Nicholas and great-grandchildren Craig and Ryan.

The MEMORIAL SERVICE will be held at the KINGSMEAD CHAPEL, Kingsmead Road. Borrowdale at 2.30pm on FRIDAY 12 JUNE 2009. Friends and guests are cordially invited to join the family for tea and eats at 6 ADDINGTON LANE, BALLANTYNE PARK afterwards.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Zimbabwe stores full again, with food for the rich

By Fanuel Jongwe
HARARE (AFP) — Zimbabwe's once-deserted supermarkets are full again, after the country reined in its world-record hyperinflation. But there's no wait at the tills -- most people simply can't afford to buy anything.
"It a luxury for those who have money to buy," said Marian Chituku, a 36-year-old mother of three, holding a loaf of bread as she walked out of a supermarket in the working-class suburb of Chitungwiza, outside the capital.
"The shops are full, but to us there is no difference because we cannot afford the goods. They are as good as non-existent. We only see them on the shelves."
Chituku said her family has tea -- without milk -- in the late morning, skips lunch and then eat dinner as their only meal in order to stretch her income from a vegetable stall in the township.
But in Harare's leafy suburbs, supermarkets are a shopper's paradise for the select few deciding between imported haddock fillets or full-shell mussels.
"You can get everything you want here," Josephine Marucchi, a housewife from the posh suburb of Mount Pleasant, said pausing to choose from the various brands of cheese before completing the sentence: "as long as you have money.
"It's completely different from last year when people had money and the shops were empty," she added.
The centre of the shop looked like a gym, stocked with modern exercise gadgets, where an assistant explained to a customer how to operate a treadmill.
Last year supermarkets across Zimbabwe resembled empty sheds as local manufacturers either pulled down the shutters or operated at less than half their capacity because of hyperinflation, which rendered the local currency unusable.
The shortages were exacerbated after the government launched a blitz ordering businesses to slash prices, with long-ruling President Robert Mugabe accusing some businesses of colluding with his western foes to try to topple him.
Things improved after Mugabe and his one-time rival Morgan Tsvangirai formed a unity government in February. The local currency has been abandoned and import restrictions lifted, which has erased the hyperinflation estimated in multiples of billions last year.
Now prices, all in US dollars or South African rands, are actually declining, but more than half the population still depends on international food aid.
"The major challenge is affordability," Harare-based economist Prosper Chatambara told AFP.
"The majority of workers are earning 100 US dollars a month, and yet the poverty datum line is put conservatively at 437 dollars, so there is a deficit of nearly 350 dollars.
"Most families have to reprioritise their needs. In most cases basic have become luxuries."
Zimbabwe's biggest employer is the government, which is paying workers only 100 dollars a month while it tries to win international support for its plan to revive the economy and the civil service, including schools and hospitals.
Until the government finds a way of increasing wages, the gap between rich and poor is unlikely to change. The painfully obvious disparities have become a fact of life, seeping even into local music.
"Some die from over-eating," goes a hit song by Chiwoniso Mararire. "Others die of hunger."
Copyright © 2009 AFP. All rights reserved. More »

Sunday, June 14, 2009



Passed away 27 May 2009

Formerly of Sherwood Farm, Nyazura

Loving husband to Pam; fantastic father to Karen and Robert and father-in-law to Caroline and grandad to Sarah, Daniel and Chelsea.

We all miss you so much and you will leave such a big gap in our lives.

A Thanksgiving Service will be held on Friday 19 June 2009 at 10am at Lighthouse Christian Church, 6 Jubilee St, Mutare.

We would be most grateful if you could please bring a plate of eats for after the service.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Security Advice on increase in crime - very sound advice

Security Advice on increase in crime
Street crime
Look out for groups of young men apparently doing nothing, not carrying anything, watching everyone around them. If they suddenly split up and move in your direction, you have just been targeted!
Walk away from the area
If not possible to walk away; go into the nearest shop – stay there and call for help
If possible, avoid carrying a bag during night hours.
Keep valuables out of sight.
Carry only what is necessary.
Smash & grab
Most smash and grab incidents have been reported at dark hours. Exercise caution when driving along the following areas during night hours in Harare: (1) All routes leading to the Airport, (2) Corner Cork rd / 2nd Street (near the South African Embassy), (3) Corner 6th Street / Samora Machel Avenue, (4) Corner Herbert Chitepo / Leopold Takawira, (4) Corner Herbert Chitepo / Mazoe Road, (5) Corner Tongogara Avenue / Sam Nujoma, (6) Corner 4th Street/Herbert Chitepo, (7) Corner 1st Street / Samora Machel Road, (8) Corner Cameroon Street/Robert Mugabe Road and (9) Corner 4th Street /Nelson Mandela and intersections along Borrowdale rd.

You should mitigate the risks of smash and grab by:
Keeping doors locked at all times, open windows to a minimum 2-4 cm.
If you can afford it, laminate your car (personal cars only).
Avoid having valuables visible, lock them in the boot or keep under seats
During dark hours, try to adjust the speed to be able to cross at green light and avoid stopping at red lights.

Residential safety
Please note that criminals (especially armed robbers) are now entering people’s houses during the early part of the night (between 6.30 PM and 9PM) when your alarm system is yet to be activated.
If possible, keep the alarm activated whenever you have retired into the house (even if you are not yet sleeping).
Have proper outdoor lights, to avoid any shade areas, where intruders can hide.
If door hinges are at the outside, thieves simply pull the pin(s) out from the lower part of the door. Wed / tag such doors to fortify them.
If you have subscribed to a rapid-response unit, have the remote button with you. It is recommended to issue a remote control to guards as well.
If employing domestic staff, at least have a copy of the national ID and other personal details
Inform all family members, guards and domestic staff NOT to let anyone inside the compound/premises, unless known to your family or approved by you.
If you have a VHF Radio, teach members of your family how to use it and ensure it is charged at all time.
Please make sure you obtain phone numbers of your nearest police station.
If robbers point a gun or weapon at you or a member of your family, give away your money or valuables. Do not try to fight back; a swift tactic learnt from a James Bond film does not usually work in real life situation.
If you have a safe Haven, ensure you move into it with your family during robberies and call for assistance.

There is an increase in the reported cases of car-jacking:
There are reported cases of robbers following their victims into their residential houses. If you discover a vehicle is following you, do not drive into your compound/premises. Drive to a Police station, hotel, shopping center etc (to a place where there will be many others around you. Use the horn and the head lights to attract attention).
Do not stop if an unknown person asks for a ride. Do not stop if ordered to do so by suspicious persons.
At parking areas you might find an advert placed at your rear window. The trick is, when you get out removing the paper the person drives off your vehicle.
If you have been parking on public parking areas for a longer period, observe the area around your vehicle, check the windows and wheels
During dark hours, ask a guard or colleague from the premises/restaurant/ hotel etc. to escort you to the vehicle

Do not walk alone on secluded spots or foot paths and be careful on who you befriend.
Avoid travelling during the night when your home is far from the bus stop
Beware of fellow passengers who may disembark with you from a bus/kombi, some may have sinister motives.
Avoid leaving your valuables in the care of a stranger when you dash out of a building or bus for a recess.

Office Safety
Please note that your office is not necessarily a theft-proof location.
Do not leave any attractive items in unlocked offices/areas with multiple accesses. If sharing offices, keep valuables with you or in a lockable draw or safe.
Do not keep doors with access pad system open and unattended. Keep office doors closed and/or locked, when the office is unattended. Close and lock after working hours.
Report to the security guards, if non-staff are sighted roaming around the office premises.
If leaving the office with valuables like laptops, PCs etc please make sure you lock them in the boot of your car.

(Some of the information above was obtained from UN DSS circular)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Woman Arrest - the Law in Zimbabwe

Woman Arrest Law:An incident took place - a young girl was attacked by a man posing as a plain clothes officer; he asked her 2 come 2 the police station when she & her male friend didn't have a driver's license 2 show. He sent the boy off 2 get his license and asked the girl to accompany him to the police station. Took her instead to an isolated area where the horrendous crime was committed.The law [which most of us are not aware of] clearly states that between 6 pm and 6 am, a woman has the right to REFUSE to go to the PoliceStation, even if an arrest warrant has been issued against her.It is a procedural issue that a woman can be arrested between 6pm and 6am, ONLY if she is arrested by a woman officer & taken to an ALL WOMEN police station. And if she is arrested by a male officer, it has to be proven that a woman officer was on duty at the time of arrest.

Views on Zimbabwe

There is not a single person black or white, who has ever had anything to do with Zimbabwe who does not have an extraordinary love for the place.
The country itself is truly God's own country. So are most of
our people. We have been tested more than many in this world and it has
produced in us a self reliance, a `get up an go' attitude, tremendous tolerance and the ability to see the funny side in the most absurd situations.

For every person who has left, there has been a definitive moment which has caused them to take the heartbreaking decision to leave the country they love and have built up in the most trying of circumstances - the
country more often than not, where they were born. For every person who
has left, the agonies of moving are real and we find ourselves having to pit our abilities against a very much greater and more sophisticated
marketplace - with no networks in place. Some have succeeded and
succeeded spectacularly in their migration - others are still
battling. We have had to grow enormously in the process - and
this causes change - and that causes us to start seeing things from different perspectives.

For every person who has not had a definitive `we must leave'
- the decision has been equally heartbreaking as the country has broken down more every day, as health and education has been compromised and as
security becomes an ongoing nightmare. But they have battled on, losing
farms, losing businesses, losing jobs, and we are amazed at their gritty
determination and courage to see this dreadful time through. For
everyone still in Zimbabwe the one thing that keeps them going is hoping against hope that every `green shoot' might indicate progress and that things will come right.

We have an extraordinary man at the helm trying desperately to make a difference. Every one of us admires his courage and tenacity and prays he will have success in uncertain and dangerous times.

For everyone who has left, there is a need to justify why they have done
it. For everyone who has not, there is just as great a need to justify
why they have not.

We are all the same people - let us understand and remember this and not resort to the sad and unthinking letters which have flowed just recently.
We must support each other, whatever decisions are made and despite the
heartbreak and emotionalism of families and friends split apart. UDI,
sanctions, and a war did not destroy our unity - don't let it happen now.

I was one of about 60 people who walked to raise funds for Zimbabwe in Adelaide a couple of weeks ago. It was about 50/50 black and white
walking. The camaraderie and fun we had was heart warming. At the end
of a wet and chilly walk we all went in for a hot cup of coffee. A
delightful black Zimbabwean came up to me at the end and said `let's do this again - we have so much more in common with you than we have with Australians.'

Of course we do - and let's not forget it.
Jill Baker

Author: Jill Baker


Beloved wife of Peter and mother to John and Fiona, and Mark and Hilary, grandmother to Peter, Ian, AJ and Tristan passed away peacefully on Saturday 6th June 2009. She will be sadly missed by all her loving family. Praise God, her faith is now perfected. 2 Corinthians ch 1 vs 3-7.

For information please contact John on or Mark on

Friday, June 5, 2009

TelOne Bills

*Information, Communication and Technology Minister Nelson Chamisa has ordered Tel*One not to disconnect consumers for non-payment of bills while the government is working on an affordable tariff regime.
Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, Minister Chamisa said his ministry had received several complaints from customers across the country who had been disconnected by Tel*One owing to high bills which they could not afford. He said his ministry, together with the Posts and Telecommunication Regulating Authority was working on a proper billing system, competitive and affordable tariff regime that took cognisant of the challenges people have been going through over the years and company viability – Herald, Friday June 5, Pg B1

Zimbabwe Wildlife

After the severe drought in 2005 when many animals needlessly died of thirst and hunger it became obvious that wildlife in Zimbabwe needed the support….
Various concerned organizations were formed, including “Friends of Hwange” (FOH) of which I am a Trustee. FOH embarked on a campaign to ensure the future of Hwange National Park and to raise the funding required; we were reasonably successful thanks to a few kind people and organizations. We adopted various pans throughout the Park and until now have managed to keep them going. But now the “global credit crunch” has hit and our major donors are unable to afford us the support they used to.
It is imperative that FOH gets funding soon so rather than ask people for a “donation” I have put together a collection of over 700 wildlife photos on a CD and I’m selling it for USD 20. The funds received will go a long way to helping supply water to the thirsty animals……
You can order a CD from me directly: Any further donations are most welcome.
Thanks for your support.
Dave Dell
Trustee Friends of Hwange Trust

Thursday, June 4, 2009


In early March a newly formed and locally based conservation organisation, the AWARE trust performed one of Zimbabwe’s first community dog vaccination and sterilisation campaigns in the Maramani Communal Area which lies 110km west of Beit Bridge.
This groundbreaking pilot campaign saw AWARE veterinarians Keith Dutlow, Lisa Marabini and volunteer vets Dr Vinay Ramlaul, Elliot Katanda and Ashleigh Erlank working in conjunction with the Beitbridge Department of Veterinary Services’ personnel to successfully spay 44 bitches and castrate 46 dogs in a little over a week. The team also successfully vaccinated, frontlined (dipped for ticks and fleas) and de-wormed an additional 165 dogs in the same period.

The Maramani Communal Area was chosen because of its location within the Limpopo-Shashe Trans-Frontier Conservation Area (LSTFCA). The Trust aims, through its objectives, to carry out these prophylactic veterinary campaigns (vaccinations, sterilisation, and basic health care) for domestic animals living in marginal areas at interfaces with wildlife conservation areas throughout Zimbabwe, as these animals often provide a direct disease transmission risk to wild animals. The trust also believes in providing key veterinary assistance in marginal areas for the benfit of both the domestic animals’ livelihoods as well as their owners’.

The AWARE Trust, which is a non-profit conservation Trust, relied on the kindness and generosity of a variety of people and organisations for the necessary drugs and materials to conduct the spay campaign. Still in its infancy the trust requires a substantial amount of portable veterinary equipment and drugs to facilitate the expansion of its campaigns in the future.
If you would like more information on the AWARE trust and would like to know how you can help please email Chris on
Christopher Scott

Aware Trust
Communications Director
Zimbabwe Cell +263 (0) 912 44 00 52
skype: awaretrust_christopher

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How we are being ripped off!

Lines from Econet were going for USD25 [$5 for the Sim and connection and usd20] Airtime

Now, the same line that was going for usd5, a week or two ago is now going for usd60-usd 20, that is usd40. You do the Maths on the margin there.

This e mail wins the Rip off of the year contest, in fact, it has no competitor. I am sure this is where Zesa/Firstel/Telone learn their tricks from, or is it the vice versa.



Passed away 31 May 2009

Formerly of Condwelani Farm, Bindura

Loving husband to Sue; fantastic father and father-in-law to Sarah and Don, Christopher and Carol, Louise, Nicholas and Nikki; and doting grandad to Chloe, Emma and Daniel, Megan, Kyle and Tarryn, Michael, Jonathan and Ryan, and Amy and Rachel.

We will miss you so much and you will leave such a big gap in our lives.

A memorial service will be held on Friday 5 June 2009 at 2:30pm at Highlands Presbyterian Church, Enterprise Road.

Eddie Cross writes on the return home, and the MDC's uphill battle in the unity govt

Eddie Cross

30 May 2009

We are all aware of time. The older you get, the less time there is for anything and it seems to accelerate each year. Only when we are children does time seem interminable. Can any of us believe it is June already?
The changes in the veld tell us it is winter although the clear blue skies and warm days belie that fact. So far no frost although I heard that there was light snow in Francistown the other day!!

Two years are left before we can really expect another election. That seems a long time but it will be gone in the blink of an eye and we must make sure that we are able to accomplish all we have to do by then. The list of our priorities is intimidating.

We must try to manage the affairs of State and put the country back on the path to recovery and growth. We must get all 85 local authorities back on their feet and restore basic services to ordinary households. We must get new legislation passed by the House to correct the legal environment and make conditions amenable for the restoration of our basic freedoms and rights.

If that is not enough, we must draft a new Constitution and get it passed by a referendum. We must reform the basis upon which the next elections are held so that they can be regarded as being 'free and fair'. We must rebuild the Party so that we can compete for power in the new elections and persuade the electorate that we are the people to back when it comes to creating the conditions under which Zimbabwe can be restored to its rightful place in the world.

This daunting task is made all the more difficult because we are in a transitional arrangement that requires us to work consensually on everything despite the fact that we hold diametrically different views on everything.

This is compounded when you understand that within this transitional government there is a secret cabal that seeks to undermine the new government at every opportunity.

It has taken us 4 months to secure agreement on the appointment of Governors, Permanent Secretaries, Diplomats and Roy Bennett as deputy Minister of Agriculture. Such issues should have been routine matters for the new authority but became a battle ground for power and influence and even control on the ground.

Still no progress on Gono, Tomana and the rule of law. Still no progress on agriculture - in fact in this area we are still rolling backwards, down hill. No progress on reform of security services, hundreds of prisoners are still dying each month in the Prisons and the political control of the Police Service remains a problem.

I think Zanu PF understands a few new truths about the situation now and it will be interesting to see how they handle this in the weeks and months ahead. They now know we are in this deal until it runs its course and results in the adoption of a new Constitution and are able to hold an election on a free and fair basis. They also understand that if this programme of reform does take place they are basically finished.

So we can expect them to try and arrange for elections before the reform process has a chance of getting underway and taking root, we can expect them to fight the reforms that we need to create democratic space. I think they understand also that this will not be easy or without cost to themselves.

They are on the wrong side of history and they simply do not know how to stop or slow down the passage of time.

We of course also suffer from the passage of time. We want to see economic recovery get underway and living standards restored, we want to see our economic institutions recovering and delivering the services we require for everyday life. We want to see our schools and hospitals operating again and the level of skills and performance being restored.
None of this is going to happen anytime soon. We have to adjust to the harsh reality of life in a shattered economy and broken infrastructure.

All of this we can take if we are satisfied that at the end of it all we can expect life to become more liveable. The proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.

I have never had any doubts about the final outcome of this struggle, just had no idea of just how long it would take to get there. It has already been ten years and there have been thousands of casualties. MDC has always said this was not a sprint, it is a marathon and we must be ready for the long haul.

Telling people that we must accept another two years of hardships and struggle before real change comes is tough. Many are tired of facing the daily grind; business does not seem to get any easier. It's that time in the race when your legs are giving way and cramp threatens, you have a stitch in your side and wonder just how you are going to tackle that long slope that you know is just around the corner.

It is at this moment that the mind must take over and your courage and determination much kick in. I spent last week in South Africa having a health check up and doing some business and MDC 'stuff'. A week of full supermarkets and street lights and no potholes. A week of heavy traffic and congestion and great meals in many different places. A week of a free press and free debate and no watching what is behind you or waiting for you when you get home.

Yet when we crossed the Limpopo there was no doubt we were home. Driving along a terrible bit of road, potholes and worse, a small car passed us and then turned and chased us waving us down. It was four leaders from the local MDC leadership - we stopped and had a great discussion on the side of the road. That would not happen in South Africa. We held a meeting in my constituency attended by at least 2000 people - poor as mice but universally cheerful, warm and welcoming. They are willing to go on for as long as it takes to finish this job, trusting us to stay the course with them and help where we can.

Back in the saddle, I discover that we have made some progress but much remains to be done. No one is going to sort out this country for us - they will and are helping but in the end it is down to us - the people who live here and who love the country and its warm hearted, courageous people. We are going to win; it's just a matter of time.

Eddie Cross is MP for Bulawayo South and the MDC's Policy Coordinator.
This article first appeared on this website

Money, money and Gono

The unity government is being torn apart over the retention of the Reserve Bank Governor, Gideon Gono. While they argue, threaten and grandstand, we look at our tattered lives.

In a box, abandoned and covered in dust and fluff, lies the evidence of my lost life savings, seizure of my home and property and destruction of my pension. I am not alone but am one of ten million Zimbabweans who find themselves in the same position, one that has unfolded in just 9 ugly years.

At the bottom of the box are the last accounts from our farm that was seized by the Zimbabwe government in 2000. The accounts show no income and there is a note attached with a rusting paper clip which says: "No compensation paid for house, fixtures, fittings, infrastructure, fencing etc." That statement remains true 9 years later.

Next in the box is a tattered orange cardboard file. Most of it's contents are still too painful to revisit. One section deals with lost life savings which had been invested in a bank that was closed down by Zimbabwe's banking authorities.

In dog eared, dirty bundles held together with melting, perishing elastic bands there are piles and piles of money. Purple 500 hundred dollar notes, olive 1,000 dollar notes and then strange things called 'bearers cheques. They are blue, red, brown, purple and green bits of paper with expiry dates and values ranging from 5 to 100 thousand dollars. They bear the signature of Reserve Bank Governor, Gideon Gono.

Then other bundles with even higher denomination 'bearer cheques' ranging in value from 1 to 500 million dollars. These too have expiry dates and are signed by Gideon Gono.

There in the box are the records of new attempts to save money - futile efforts because Mr Gono slashed three zeroes from the currency and thousands became single dollars overnight.

More bundles of money, this time they are in billion dollar denominations and are called Special Agro Cheques. They too have expiry dates and are signed by Mr Gono: purple, green, brown, and blue, valued from 5 to 100 billion dollars.

Then more records of how everything was lost again when Mr Gono imposed daily withdrawal limits from the banks. We could only draw out enough of our own money to buy half a loaf of bread a day; the queues were in the thousands and our money lost all its value before we could get it out of the banks.

Again Mr Gono removed zeroes from the currency; in a single swipe billionaires became paupers. New bank notes which started at one dollar soon got bigger as mismanagement continued and again we had bank notes for 500 thousand, 1 million, 1 billion. We went dizzy as notes were issued by Mr Gono for 1 trillion, 10 trillion. When Mr Gono's presses physically couldn't print the money fast enough, all out trillions, quadrillions and septillions were lost when trading in Zim dollars was suspended and we moved into US dollars.

At the top of the box is a small newspaper cutting. It quotes Mr Gono admitting that he removed money from private bank accounts to fund government expenses.

And after all this there is cause for argument? Until next week with a view of scarlet poinsettias, love Cathy Copyright cathy buckle 30th May 2009.


Please please please..
I appeal to all readers and more specifically to subscribers of Ecoweb to urgently take action against Ecoweb for charging horrendous rates for internet access.
Upto last month I have been paying a fee of $ 345.00 per month and this month, guess what, the fee has gone up to a crazy $ 445.00 per month – that is a 29 % increase in real money. Whats worse is that the bandwidth that I have subscribe for is 256 KB, but the maximum speeds I have managed with various speed tests is 100 KB. On some days it is slower than dial up.
In the UK, one would pay a monthly fee of 20.00 (twenty) pounds for line rental, free telephone plus a 2 MB broadband ( 4 times the speed of what I am subscribed to for 7 % of the fee that I am asked to pay)
Where is Potraz in all this and why aren’t they playing their pivotal role in controlling this exploitation, or are they part of the “bandwagon” ?
I would sincerely appreciate feedback from other subscribers as well advising on other alternatives for reliable and economical broadband options.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Latest Death notices in Zimbabwe


Passed away 28th May, in Somerset UK.

Farmed Matila Farm, Mkushi Farm Block in Zambia 1961 - 2009

A Wonderful friend who went out of his way to help Zimbabwean farmers.

A Man of Substance, sadly missed - Cherith, Amanda, Forbes, Hazel, Bradley and Nigel.

Deepest sympathies to Di, Dave, Guy & Rhett Parker-Dennison, Somerset UK.



Passed away 29th May, on her farm in Mkushi Zambia.

Farmed with her husband Miles 1960 - 2009, the last ten years alone.

A truly wonderful lady of noble birth, trained at Barts Hospital came to Rhodesia to nurse and devoted her life to her family and friends.

A wonderful friend who will be sadly missed by Cherith, Amanda, Forbes, Hazel, Bradley and Nigel.

Deepest sympathies to Clare and family in UK, Susan and Family in USA, and the late Sandra's family in Australia.