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Thursday, October 29, 2009


Hi All.

The deal we have been drafting up hopefully is nearly completed.

For those who did not read CFU Calling, the scheme will be between the grower and the company. The company will supply the grower with fertilizer, chemicals, seed and should you wish diesel. The grower will do the rest and when the crop is reaped the grower will sell his maize to the company. This will be one of 2 options: SAFEX plus $70 per tonne, or a price between the top 3 traders in Zim. Whichever is best.

We have had a very good response from some areas and no response from other areas. Please we need to know if you are interested.

What we will require from you prior to signing any contract, should this scheme take off, is a grower profile. Years of experience, yields achieved in the past both irrigated and dryland etc. The total hecterage you wish to plant this year (Irrigated, Dryland or supplementary irrigation) and which district. If you are not a member but are interested in this scheme we can make a plan. Easy, become a member.

There is a new company on the market whom would like to purchase your maize, should you have held any back and would now like to sell. This company is OLAM and they will pay cash for your maize. TOP DOLLAR I am assured. Price is negotiable. They can also organize to collect your maize should you wish to go this route. Contact person is John Beverly 0913 406034 or e mail

AN is a problem. Sable has had a breakdown. I have been in touch with Windmill since Monday but do not get any returned calls. Surprising!!!! They are however apparently making a plan through SA. I will let you know when AN will be available for collection or I have been able to make some other plan between Windmill and ZFC. Again this will be dependent on ZFC having AN.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Richard Taylor

Contact Details Rich 0912 311704; Pam 0912 248730; Direct Line 04 309862
E mail;


AWARE Trust is a non-profit organisation whose mission is to pro-actively further the conservation and welfare of wildlife and wildlife habitats, with particular reference to conservation veterinary medicine, and to raise AWAREness of veterinary and ecological threats to wildlife species and habitats.AWARE ran a "Spay Campaign" in May with the aim of providing veterinary assistance to those with no access to it. The campaign, conducted in the Maramani Communal Area near Beit Bridge, was a great success, helping more than two hundred animals in one of the poorest parts of the country. AWARE is about to embark on another campaign - please help us help the animals of our country! You can make a difference!For more information, please contact Christopher Scott on 0912440052 or email


HOUGAARD Piet (snr)

Piet Hougaard (snr) passed away peacefully on Saturday, 24 October 2009, at the age of 84.

A Memorial service will be held at Dandaro Hall at 10.30 am on Friday 30th October 2009.

Please contact Kim - 011-207 270 / 0912-433126


Kim Bester

Dear Chris,

Please accept our condolences and prayers for you and your family, on the loss of your beloved Kim.

May she rest in peace... The Hatty Family

A sign of the Times!

As many will already know, the British Government has initiated a programme to resettle elderly and other vulnerable British citizens living in Zimbabwe, an opportunity to be assisted back to Britain. This is administered by the British Embassy in Harare and assisted by Bulawayo Help Network, in Bulawayo. It should be noted that no further applications will be accepted AFTER 31 December 2009. The 5 criteria for eligibility are 9a) be a British citizen, (b) be aged over 69years old . If younger you must have a specific medical/social need, (c) have lived in Zimbabwe for most of the last 5 years, (d) have no independent financial support, (e) be fit to fly on a commercial airline. Successful applicants will be expected to return to the UK no later than 31 March 2009.Should you wish to find out more about the scheme or wish to apply, please contact either the British Embassy directly on +263 - 4 - 338795 or 338825 and email: or the Bulawayo Help Network on +263 - 9 - 67085 and email


Congratulations to Mrs Ibbotson on the Occasion of her 100th Birthday on 3rd November 2009
Born Margaret Edna Pattinson on 03-11-1909, in Thornly, Walsingham, County Durham, UK.
She is known to some people as Pat - a leftover from her school days, - but her favoured name is "Ibby", or Mrs Ibby. She is an only child and she was brought up on a farm, run by her Mother as her Father worked in the coal mines. After school hours she had chores to do on the farm, and on leaving school she taught needlework.She can't remember now the exact date she came out to live in Africa but it was on a boat trip back to the UK on holiday in 1939 that she met her husband -to-be, the Reverend Percy Ibbotson.After a whirlwind romance of only a couple of months, during which time she hardly saw Percy as they were both holidaying with their families in different parts of the country, Percy proposed to her by letter.....she accepted! He sailed back to Cape Town on an earlier boat as he had missionary business to attend to, but he made arrangements for their wedding to take place the day after she was due back by ship. However she had developed dreadful toothache and refused to be married until the tooth had been attended to! They were married the day after the planned date and spent a month in Cape Town with missionary friends before returning to Bulawayo.They had one son, Anthony, who was the light of Ibby's life. He grew up and went to school in Bulawayo, before moving to Paris and getting a PhD in french from the Sorbonne. He eventually moved to Canada and Ibby enjoyed traveling to spend many holidays with him and his friends before he died at a relatively young age.Percy served in the Government of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, and was the Minister of Native Affairs as it was then. He died shortly after that.Although Ibby taught needlework and handcrafts at the Percy Ibbotson Home in Luveve, opened by her husband, it was "for free and for nothing". On his death she needed to earn her living so she moved to the world of Commerce , working for many years at Iscor, then IMF Machinery Company.She supported herself for more than 50 years.Ibby is a very strong and independent lady even now, and she owes her longevity to an active mind and great fitness of body.She gets very impatient with herself when she forgets things and refuses to believe that it could be a sign of old age !! She travelled overseas every year well into her late eighties and loves to talk to people with a like interest.She can relate the most interesting stories about her travels around the world - her proudest holiday being the one she won in a radio competition here in Bulawayo! She loved walking (as she did to school and back as a child) and kept herself fit by walking from her flat in the then Borrow Street up to the Public Library in Fort Street, to Haddon and Sly to do her grocery shopping, to the hairdresser in the Monte Carlo Centre, to her doctors and dentist.When she moved into Queen Mary Home just a few years ago she would walk to Solomons Supermarket and also back from the City Hall carpark. That had to be stopped because of concern for her safety so she took to walking around the perimeter of "the firm" as she called Queen Mary, three or four circuits at a time.She still sits ramrod straight in her chair, as taught her by her mother, and is very proud of this accomplishment.A truly remarkable old lady whom it has been our privilege to know, and we congratulate her on this amazing achievement of reaching her 100th Birthday.If anyone would like to send Mrs Ibby a message of congratulations this week we would be happy to print them out and give them to her, along with her card from the Queen, on her birthday next Tuesday 3rd November.Thank you.Val email email

Kariba Ferries are back!

The Ferries are back with limited sailings in December

Confirmed sailing dates are as follows:-

Kariba Mlibizi
21st Dec 22nd Dec
28th Dec 29th Dec

Subject to demand further sailings will be added.

For bookings and enquiries contact numbers are:-
e mail

Contact person Ian or Robert Harris

Friday, October 23, 2009



Our condolences to Chris, Savannah, Blade and Brooke on the loss of their mother who passed away on 21st October at 12:15pm after her battle with Cancer.

We know that the Lord was there waiting for you Kim, no more pain only joy in being "Home". We will watch over Chris and the children for you.

God Bless

Stuart and Rose Brent

stuart []


Dorothy Bradfield

Dorothy Bradfield ex Spring Spruit Farm, Mashaba, passed away in her sleep on the night of the 21 October 2009.

She was 99 years old, and was living with my sister, Gill Sokolich in Witbank, SA.

I am sure there must be some people in Zim who knew her, and remember her. I saw her two weeks ago, and although she was very frail in body, her mind was still very much there, and we talked about various people who came out to the farm for riding lessons with her.

I can be contacted on 0912 389350 or this e-mail address.

Contact: Joan Firth :

Latest farm report

Dennis Lapham - Report 1

Dear Jag

I was called to Juru police to receive a summons on Fri 16th to appear in court Tues 20th!

Charge laid on 11/10/09 by Shumbamhini Criminal act Sect 45 INTIMIDATION

Chikunga said we did not appear in court on the 7th! I said we did. He said Prove it ? !

This was the date Mamvura (Scallen & Holderness ) & I drove to Murewa court to wait 2 hours and as they were too busy ( only one prosecutor ) He got the charges from the prosecutor and left him his phone to arrange a trial date.

We then visited Juru to see the CID const Chikunga and spoke to him about the case. He also to demand they do a RRB for the Smashing of the Locks on the Pump houses which they actioned.

Went to my lawyer Mamvura in Harare on Friday 16th, Scallen & Holderness.

He said I was to take a letter to the prosecutor on Tues. 20th to state he cannot make this Tuesday. We need more time and on Nov 3rd he will represent me.

On Monday 12th Meanie made an appointment at 10 am to see me to discuss the way forward

He failed to arrive so I went to Harare at 12. I went to the Lands Office to see Planner Mugabe (to get the boundary he drew in writing) who was out. I then saw Lester Muradzi who was off to a meeting so asked me to see him next week.

On exiting the building onto the street I met Meanie who stopped me to talk about loaning him 100 Irig pipes. The pipe to "his" side had burst and as he had no money, ...? we were to fix it

We have now repaired 5 pipes that broke!

Lovemore Kudenge phoned to see me and I directed him to come to talk to Meanie which he did

The story that he was told was so full of lies I was nearly speechless!

Like I gave him my house, and we did not own the farm.

He only has 75ha arable! I count 117ha arable He has paid for the ZESA used!

Not worth repeating any more.

I await Lovemore asking me for my side of the equation.




Dear John

Well Meanie was there today in Murewa and the prosecutor Mr T Bvuma accepted the need for more time. He proposed early January 2010

There was another case brought by Meanie! about his guard stopping the Tractor coming up to our house on 17th Aug. From what I can gather the guard is putting a case AGAINST the driver of the tractor. I really despair at the legal system

We have a Police reservist watch who refuses to vacate the house he occupied during his guarding of the Seed Maize! Long time ago the Messenger of the court gave him an Eviction Notice 3 months ago ( at a cost of $120 ) But he is still there so I visited him In Murewa today and had to pay $130 plus other sundry fees to get the case actioned for his removal.

Meanie is milling commercially for all & sundry around the area at $1 per bucket.

What is the legal position as I feel it is not correct with our ZESA.

Dennis Lapham

3. Dennis Lapham - Devonia

Have just heard that three men from Min of Lands been on the farm at Lunch time

They are reported to be dividing the farm that Meanie has into three 100 ha subdivisions

There seems to be no future at all in trying to do things legally...

Dennis Lapham

Billy Rautenbach again.

This makes interesting reading.......
Please read the letter below.

It seems that Billy Rautenbach is intending to close all the public roads that pass through the Old Nuanetsi Ranch which he has wheeled and dealed himself into controlling from the ZANU PF government.

It is known fact that he financed ZANU PF for the last violent March elections, which caused the murder of some 500 odd civilians and the opposing parties activists.

He has also taken control of a huge block of land that was run by the parastatal ARDA, where he is currently making preparations to install a Sugar Mill that he has purchased from a South American Government. All this when thousands of Zimbabwean farmers who were feeding the nation and other neighbouring countries, have been violently forced of their legally owned farms and game ranches.

One day soon Billy Rautenbach will have to answer for his greed and inhuman behaviour towards Zimbabweans.

Gerry Whitehead

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Reps news

Dear Members and Friends of Reps

We need to recruit more volunteers to become involved with two important aspects of Reps’ life – the Box Office and Front of House.

Daytime running of the box office, known during working hours as The Spotlight, is handled by Innocent Museve and by the Reps office (although very occasionally we ask for help if people can do the odd daytime service). What we need is people to handle the box office before and during performances. The box office opens an hour before curtain up and the box office runs until the end of interval. What is involved is running the PC-based ticket system and preparing reports on sales. It is not difficult but it is extremely important work. Only one person is needed at a time.

Front of House work involves management of the foyer and auditorium before and during shows, including ushering. An FoH team usually consists of a manager (who holds the fort in the foyer when the show is on) and a team of between two and six people (most of these sit in the auditorium to keep a watch and to also enjoy the show – in that order!). This work is also easy and extremely important.

With regard to FoH teams, we have some teams running short, so they need volunteers to add to their numbers. We also have one or two FoH managers with any teams as people have left the country or died. We also need whole teams of new people.

Please give this some thought and let Stan Higgins know if you are interested. If so, there will be a training session during November to get things under way for newcomers. As 2010 will be a busy year on the two Reps stages, we need to have as many Box Office managers and FoH teams as possible.

The good news is that volunteers get free tickets to see the shows on which they work – at performances other than the ones on which they are working, of course.

Stan can be contacted on 0912 515558, daytime landline 496943 or at

The Reps FoH and BO Section

Monday, October 19, 2009


STIRLING - Charles passed away peacefully on 13th October 2009 at home.Dearly beloved husband of Lorna for 62 years. Father of Elspeth and Paul, Robert and Alyson, Janet and Tim, Andrew and Susan. Grandfather of Charles, Nell, Faye, Sarah, Brian, Tiffany, Lindsay, Francois, Guy, Olivia, Victoria and Matthew. Great Granddad of Lillian, Lorna, Daniel and Joanne.The Memorial Service will be held on Friday 23rd October, 10.30am at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Stafford Avenue, Hillside, Bulawayo.++++++
Charles Stirlimg
Our thoughts are with you all, Lorna, Elspeth, Rob and Ali and all of Charles wonderful family, at this very sad time.Much love Maggie and Rick+++++Stirling CharlesA sad loss of a true friend and gentleman to many. Our thoughts and prayers are with Lorna, Elsbeth, Rob, Andrew and Family.Alan and Beryl Muir

Key Zimbabwean gay leader Keith Goddard, director of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe, died Oct. 9 from pneumonia

He was 49."Keith dedicated his life to the advancement of LGBT rights, human rights and his passion for music," the group said in a statement. "The struggle for LGBT rights is a difficult struggle and in many instances in the history of GALZ Keith stood gallantly in the frontline. He dared where most men would not go."Scott Long, director of Human Rights Watch’s LGBT Rights Division, said Goddard "oversaw (GALZ’s) transition from a group representing the urban white elite to one rooted in the majority population and its urgent needs.""He could on many occasions have left Zimbabwe and settled into the comparative comforts of armchair activism abroad," Long said. "He didn’t. He stayed -- even when he was framed on ludicrous charges of assault that hung over him for years. He faced, and overcame, oppression and opprobrium that the rest of us could not even imagine. Whenever I visited GALZ, Keith was always, amid swirling fears and social chaos, imperturbable -- a rock."Leading British gay activist Peter Tatchell said Goddard "risked his liberty and life many times, speaking out against homophobia and transphobia, even though this marked him as a potential target for state and vigilante violence. The danger of kidnapping, arrest, imprisonment, torture, and murder never deterred him. Keith will be remembered as a pioneer and hero of the LGBT liberation struggle in Africa."Leading Indian gay activist Vikram Doctor said: "It could have been so easy for him to have left, emigrating to Europe like so many white Zimbabweans did, fleeing to refugee camps in South Africa like so many black Zimbabweans were forced to. But Keith stuck it out and kept going with GALZ until his untimely death. I know Keith would probably have laughed at the idea of being considered a hero, but more than most people I know, he was."In 2001, GALZ ran out of money and its phone (and dialup Internet) was cut off for three months. When he finally got back online, Goddard encountered 1,566 e-mails."Not all of them were junk mail trying to sell us Chinese chemicals or offering us free holidays to places we have never heard of," he wrote to fellow activists. "Luckily, we have been able to sell a fridge to pay for the water and the phone bill and our new funding cycle with HIVOS (Holland’s Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation) is set to start in the first week of November. We are all very sorry indeed for the long silence."

Update on Karori farm - Charles Lock

Last Wednesday Mujaji, the commissioner General, and the Army Commander gave their undertakings to the Judge President to honour the High Court Order. The execution of the order cannot be appealed against and clearly specifies that crops and equipment belong to Charles Lock. Instead Mujaji and his soldiers have looted 15 tons of baled tobacco marked with our growers' number v114564. He has stolen 22 tons of fertiliser and 48 tons of maize and refuses to release any equipment. There is photographic evidence and taped recordings. He has broken the law in so many ways and abused the integrity of the Judge President who clearly avoided the contempt order to give him time to comply. His soldiers who have beaten, raped people and looted at will are back on the farm and Sgt Makoni, the leader of the soldiers, even has a new vehicle from our sweat.

The Police have lost all respect in the area. They were even too scared to investigate the fertiliser theft until I took the matter in my own hands and forced them to go there and see. Even they refused to go see the fertilizer room and lock it as it had clearly been broken open. They are even scared to provide report numbers even though we got assurances from Senior Ass Com Mutamba that Headlands would deal with it. WE have pictures of the maize before and after the looting and have even followed a lorry coming off the farm which went to Discovery Foods in Ruwa. The driver confirmed on tape it came from the farm and still Mujaji lies and the Police will not investigate. It is clear there is a military coup.
The messenger of the court and the police will not enforce the court order. They merely ask permission from the soldiers and comply with whatever they say. The messenger and police refused to go to the fertiliser shed or the tobacco shed. In Headlands and Rusape our fertiliser and maize is currently being sold on the open market and we have reported all of this yet it still continues.

All we can do is pray that the Judge President will deal with this issue and up hold the integrity of the legal process.


2. Further Update Karori Farm - Charles Lock

For two weeks Mujaji has ignored the High Court Order from Judge Patel and instead evicted our staff

Since then we went back to the High Court in front of the Judge President this time seeking a contempt order against Mujaji and co and the Commander of the army and the commissioner general. When it became apparent that the respondents had no case Mujaji said he had no problem with complying with the order and that it was because he had not been aware of it. A lie as his wife was in the court room when it was issued.
However, the Judge President then said that if there is no conflict then the order must be affected and within two weeks we should report back to her.

On arriving at the farm with the Police and messenger, who both seem to think the soldiers are above the law as they do not attempt to enforce the order merely asking the soldiers for permission, we were told quite clearly that we could only take the tobacco and maize and my personal things. No equipment and no fertilizer or stock. Uniformed soldiers with AK's were put at the gate. I was not allowed in my house or to walk around the yard and we were not allowed to go into any store room to check things. Only one lorry at a time was allowed to be loaded and the soldiers delayed this procedure so much that each day we have sent back empty lorries.

I managed to sneak around the yard and photographed my fertilizer room which had been broken open and about 20 tons stolen. Bags were littered outside in the bush and the tracks inside the yard had been brushed to cover wheel marks. The soldiers and the police refused to allow us to go to the shed formally and check it and close it. In the evening I walked around the perimeter and found 15 bags of fertilizer hidden. The soldiers tried to prevent me fetching these bags and the police did not want to act again, until I threatened them with exposure. They then accompanied me and we fetched the bags and took them to the police station. Mrs Mujaji arrived on the farm and told the police that our own workers were stealing the fertilizer. They had been evicted at gun point two weeks ago.

WE also discovered 800 bags of maize looted of which we know Mujaji stole
22 tons and tried to deliver it to Ruwa. The maize is still there and no police have even visited it despite my constant reports. All our equipment has been stolen and some driven off the farm and still the police and messenger will not deal with it. I saw a cell phone message from Mujaji to one of the soldiers which said Lock can take his tobacco and maize only but no equipment. The soldiers said they would use the equipment for 10 years then give it back to me. They abused us and mocked us.

I then tried to get into the tobacco store room but was refused entry, however I managed to get two senior workers in and they reported back that at first sight about 100 bales of tobacco and some slat packs had gone including our tobacco hoist.

While this was happening one of the soldiers, who I cannot name for his own safety, told me that Mujaji told all the farm workers to leave the yard and then he brought in an army lorry and they loaded the tobacco bales. He said Mujaji took two loads of maize and a load of the fertilizer. It is quite apparent that all these things are gone and we have photographic evidence of it. Mujaji is just a plain thief, made worse by the fact that he uses his rank and the state facilities to do it. This has nothing to do with land and we pray that his criminal actions will be treated accordingly otherwise we are living under a military coup. His actions smack in front of the commitment he gave together with the representatives of the Commissioner General and army Commander to abide by the Court's decision in front of the Judge President.

Roy Bennett - Ed Cross

The decision of the Magistrate in Mutare yesterday to imprison Roy Bennett is yet another example of the wilful disregard that Zanu PF has for the welfare of the country and its citizens. First the facts:

Roy has been threatened, had to flee for his life and cross the border illegally, lived as a refugee in South Africa and been imprisoned and harassed. His farm (his only asset) along with his cattle and a thriving coffee business has been confiscated and ransacked, the homestead burned and a lodge on the property destroyed. His wife was beaten and lost the baby she was carrying.

He is a born Zimbabwean and has fully integrated himself into the life and cultures of the country. His investments were all authorised by the Government after Independence in 1980 and paid for in cash.

The charges on which he has just been accused and set down for a High Court trial in 2010 are so ridiculous that they are almost laughable. The arms charges relate to the attempt, three years ago to charge and convict a local arms dealer with the same charges, even though they detained this individual for three years they could not build a case against him and in the end the charges were dropped.

Now they accuse Roy of the same false and malicious crimes. They originally accused him of a "plot" to assassinate the State President - by pouring oil on the road to Mutare. Completely without basis and absurd they seem to have dropped this charge in the latest Court hearing while retaining the lesser charge of procuring arms of war.

They have made these false accusations for the past year and remanded Roy on bail on a regular basis - then finally when they ran out of excuses for not going to trial they set the date for the start of this trial - Tuesday the 13th October and when Roy arrived with his team, he was confronted with the ploy to rearrest him, detain him and take the case to the High Court on the pretext that these are so serious as charges that the Magistrate cannot deal with the case. The fact is that they still do not have case against him even though they have been desperately searching for people who will testify against him.

While they dragged their heels in setting a date for the case, they lost no time in his arrest and detention and this morning I have heard that he is being held in Prison in leg irons.

This is a step too far for the rogue elements in the Transitional Government. This act comes after months of wrangling over unlawful appointments, the failure to appoint Governors in regions where the respective Parties won a majority, failure to consult on key appointments and a refusal to convene the National Security Council and disband the Joint Operations Command.

Violence has continued, trumped up charges against Members of Parliament and other leaders of the MDC have gone on unabated and Zanu PF is refusing to co-operate with its partners in the Government in the constitutional, electoral and media reform programme. As a consequence progress has been slow or nonexistent and the International Community reticent about re-engagement even though this is a key to recovery.

So today, the MDC National Executive meets in Harare once again to decide what to do in these circumstances. It had to come to this sooner or later, but the Bennett issue will now be the catalyst for a change in strategy for the MDC and a renewed crisis for the region.

I do not think we will pull out of the Transitional Government, but believe me, it's not business as usual for this Government.
Regional consultations are inevitable and the much delayed meeting of the SADC Troika is now probably going to take place. When it does meet it will be confronted with many crucial decisions and responsibilities.

Eddie Cross


Wildlife & Environment Zimbabwe [WEZ] formerly Wildlife Society of Zimbabwe - For Environmental Awareness - Mashonaland Branch Mashonaland Committee Members Chris Magadza [Acting Chair], Cleopas Mashiri[Treasurer], Rene Lopes, Portia Chifamba and Bill Dickinson


We have not been invited to Lanark for a game count this year, they have had both Birdlife and Treelife out earlier, so probably feel that is enough.
Hopefully we will be able to organise a count next year.

Mashonaland Shop News
The WEZ Shop at the Mukuvisi Woodland is full stocked with lots of goodies - We are open every weekday from 08:00 to 17:00, Saturday from 09:00 to 17:00 and Sunday and Public Holidays from 09:00 to 13:00.
Please phone us on 747859 if you have any queries or requests.

The Branch has been donated a lot of books from novels to classic. We are also now selling books from the History Society library.

Primary Schools Environmental Quiz
Once again a sincere thank you to the heads and staff of Arundel and Prince Edward for hosting the preliminary rounds of our annual Primary Schools Environmental quiz and to all the helpers without whom the Quiz could not be run.
This year we had eleven schools go through to the Mashonaland Finals.
Alexander Park, Belvedere, Blakiston, Dudley Hall, Gateway, Hallingbury, Hellenic, Louis Mountbatten, Ruzawi, Springvale and Twin Rivers. It is always good to see new teams go through to our Branch finals.
The Mashonaland Finals were held at Hellenic School this year - our sincere thanks to the head and staff, especially the kitchen staff and to the helpers.
Congratulations to the students and their teachers of Ruzawi and Hellenic who go through to represent Mashonaland at the National Finals in Sebakwe on the 24th October 2009.

There have been many recent reports regarding serious issues about our National Parks and other environmental concerns. The National Office is aware of these and working to correct them. They are also contributing to including Environmental Rights as a constitutional right - the only effective way of `enforcing' these issues.


In the June 29 edition of Newsweek there was an article on biodiversity under the section on Medicine. As most of us know nature is very good at devising ways of killing things - many of them through pathogens, viruses, bacteria and a wide variety of other parasites. She also has countless ways of coping and surviving with an impressive range of mechanisms to fend off pathogens or contain them in particular ecosystems that have built in defence systems. However this is under serious threat from humans destroying the balance of nature's ecosystems and the natural defences built into biodiversity. Why are we not surprised! Biodiversity is described as both the measure of disruption in an ecosystem [a symptom of illness] and the final cost as well as the diversity of defences and cures. In other words, humans cannot separate themselves from the environment as our very existence depends on it. .

In the latest edition of Tree Life there are guidelines for selecting non-invasive alien plants and a list of alien plants to avoid. If you would like further information please contact them. Treelife's email is or the Tree Society web site

In an article sent out by Birdlife a hidden forest turned up on Google Earth in Mozambique in a locally known but unmapped area of Mount Mabu. Jonathan Timberlake from Kew said that it was potentially the biggest area of medium altitude forest in southern Africa. Three new species of butterfly were found and an undiscovered species of adder as well as new species of plants and possible insects. It is regarded as an important site for endangered birds. At present the area is regarded as sub-optimal and provided refuge during the protracted war. However this situation could change rapidly as people move back into the area. RBG Kew and Birdlife are working hard to conserve the forest for its diversity and undiscovered new species.

In the September edition of Africa Geographic there was a snippet about a new law being passed in Rwanda limiting the manufacture, use, importation and sale of polythene bags. Any individual or company found in possession of prohibited bags faces a hefty fine or imprisonment. The snippet did not detail the type of bags and, obviously, enforcement will be difficult, but the idea is a move in the right direction.

There was also mention of the possibility of moving fencing - a 48 k section of the Kruger's western boundary to create a 150 square kilometre park specifically for trophy hunting!!!

Wildlife & Environment Zimbabwe [WEZ]
Mashonaland Branch P O Box GD 800 Greendale Mukuvisi Woodland Corner Glenara Avenue South & Hillside Road Extension Hillside Harare Phone 747859 Fax 747174 e-mail


All you young ladies out there, please be aware when walking around Chisi
Car Park outside Club Manoka (Excuse the spelling) On Friday night or
should I rather say Saturday morning around 1am my 19 year old daughter got
a phone call from a friend who asked her to meet her downstairs outside the
club. My daughter went downstairs and took a walk to the corner. Her
friend didn't appear so she decided to go home. She tried to phone a taxi
but her phone died. She started walking back to the club to borrow a phone
so she could phone a taxi. Then our nightmare started!!! She was grabbed
from behind by her throat and the man squeezed her wind pipe until she
passed out. She was dragged to a nearby ditch where she was raped. She
came to two or three times and each time he squeezed her throat and she
passed out again. He never said a word. All she new was that he was a
black man, quite big and he was raping her. She is a strong young lady who
can hold her own and she is extremely street wise, and SHE was helpless.
When she came to she ran back to the club in her T-Shirt as her shorts (knee
length not those skimpy short ones some of the girl wear to club) had been
torn off her and stolen. A good Samaritan gave her a pair of short he had
in his gym bag. Thank you kind sir. The police were phoned.

Highlands police station were absolutely excellent, they had sniffer dogs
out at the scene by 3am and they tracked this man all over. Hopefully they
have arrested him by now but we will find out later. We returned to the
police station at 7am were the questioning and statements started. This end
around 9.45am. Then it was time to go to the Government Hospital for tests
and examinations. This ended at 4pm !!!! My daughter has been given drugs
in case she has contracted HIV; she's been given drugs in case she is
pregnant and she has been given drugs in case she has contracted syphilis!!!
She has to take these drugs for the next year at a cost of US$ 122.00 a
month. She can't eat, she can't sleep she is terrified that she has AIDS;
we are terrified that she has AIDS. We sit anxiously waiting for the test
results to come back.

I have driven past there at all hours in the morning and seen young girls
waiting downstairs for lifts home or walking around the car park, please
girls don't do that it's not safe. Parents please can you warn your girls
not to walk around there on their own IT'S NOT SAFE THIS CAN HAPPEN TO
YOU!!!! Better still what with kids pulling guns on people and young girls
getting raped CLUB MONOKA should just close down the owners do not care
about the safety of your kids they only care about the money they are making
out of them !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Oswald Wilbert Thwaites

Ozzie passed away on Friday, 2nd October 2009, after a short and difficult illness.

He will be sadly missed by his wife Anne and two children Les and Will.
He was a humble and cheerful and uncomplaining man. He was a large vital part of so many lives.

His memorial will be held at B.S Leon on Saturday, 17 October 2009, at 10 am. Tea and Biscuits will be served afterwards.


Gary Griffiths on 0912 210703 or Clare Griffiths on 0912 610703

Friday, October 16, 2009

Roy Bennett

The decision of the Magistrate in Mutare yesterday to imprison Roy Bennett is yet another example of the wilful disregard that Zanu PF has for the welfare of the country and its citizens. First the facts:

Roy has been threatened, had to flee for his life and cross the border illegally, lived as a refugee in South Africa and been imprisoned and harassed. His farm (his only asset) along with his cattle and a thriving coffee business has been confiscated and ransacked, the homestead burned and a lodge on the property destroyed. His wife was beaten and lost the baby she was carrying.

He is a born Zimbabwean and has fully integrated himself into the life and cultures of the country. His investments were all authorised by the Government after Independence in 1980 and paid for in cash.

The charges on which he has just been accused and set down for a High Court trial in 2010 are so ridiculous that they are almost laughable. The arms charges relate to the attempt, three years ago to charge and convict a local arms dealer with the same charges, even though they detained this individual for three years they could not build a case against him and in the end the charges were dropped.

Now they accuse Roy of the same false and malicious crimes. They originally accused him of a “plot” to assassinate the State President – by pouring oil on the road to Mutare. Completely without basis and absurd they seem to have dropped this charge in the latest Court hearing while retaining the lesser charge of procuring arms of war.

They have made these false accusations for the past year and remanded Roy on bail on a regular basis – then finally when they ran out of excuses for not going to trial they set the date for the start of this trial – Tuesday the 13th October and when Roy arrived with his team, he was confronted with the ploy to rearrest him, detain him and take the case to the High Court on the pretext that these are so serious as charges that the Magistrate cannot deal with the case. The fact is that they still do not have case against him even though they have been desperately searching for people who will testify against him.

While they dragged their heels in setting a date for the case, they lost no time in his arrest and detention and this morning I have heard that he is being held in Prison in leg irons.

This is a step too far for the rogue elements in the Transitional Government. This act comes after months of wrangling over unlawful appointments, the failure to appoint Governors in regions where the respective Parties won a majority, failure to consult on key appointments and a refusal to convene the National Security Council and disband the Joint Operations Command.

Violence has continued, trumped up charges against Members of Parliament and other leaders of the MDC have gone on unabated and Zanu PF is refusing to co-operate with its partners in the Government in the constitutional, electoral and media reform programme. As a consequence progress has been slow or non existent and the International Community reticent about re-engagement even though this is a key to recovery.

So today, the MDC National Executive meets in Harare once again to decide what to do in these circumstances. It had to come to this sooner or later, but the Bennett issue will now be the catalyst for a change in strategy for the MDC and a renewed crisis for the region.

I do not think we will pull out of the Transitional Government, but believe me, it’s not business as usual for this Government. Regional consultations are inevitable and the much delayed meeting of the SADC Troika is now probably going to take place. When it does meet it will be confronted with many crucial decisions and responsibilities.

Eddie Cross
Bulawayo, 15th October 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Reps Newsletter – October 2009

Greetings to you all in this very hot month of October. It’s all go in and around Reps, as the calendar is very busy from now until the end of the year – and also right through 2010 – so there’s lots for you to look forward to on our stages in coming months. There are also socials in the members’ bar and elsewhere, so keep watching for news about these in coming weeks and months.

Awards galore for our one-act performers
Well done to the cast and crew of the two one-act plays we sent down to the 2009 National One-Act Play Festival, which this year took place in Masvingo. Sue Bolt took her team from We Need A Man and Michele Mesley took her team from Joining The Club – and the result was a triumph for Reprobates in particular and Reps generally. Here are the awards from the festival, including our own:
Best Technical – Campbell Theatre Club, Kadoma – Immobiles
Best Costumes – Pamushana Drama Club – The Capulet Feast (localised excerpt from Romeo and Juliet)
Best Newcomer Female – Michelle Mesley – Director of Joining the Club (Reps)
Best Newcomer Male – not awarded
Achievement Award – Kyle College – The Dear Departed (the cast of six had four newcomers to the stage in it)
Best Cameo – Talent Kaso, Masvingo Drama Circle – The Edge
Best Supporting Actor – Gavin Gordon, Campbell Theatre Club – The Rehearsal
Best Supporting Actress – Philippa Johnston, Reprobates – We Need a Man
Best Actor – Jessat Mlilo, Masvingo Drama Circle – The Edge
Best Actress – Sue Evans, Reprobates – We Need a Man
Best Production – Reps’ Joining the Club
We are also delighted that Sue Bolt was able to invite the organisers of the festival to stage next year’s in Harare, so that Reps can host it during the planned celebratory period for the theatre and the Repertory Players (see below). Thanks must go to all those who travelled and also to Gordon Addams and his Inns of Zimbabwe group, which gave complimentary accommodation to some of the travelling team. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves at Inn On Great Zimbabwe! These plays run in Theatre Upstairs from Thursday October 15 to Saturday October 17 (7pm each evening) so try and see them – they are splendid.

Thanks again to Old Mutual
Once again we thank Old Mutual in general and Luke Ngwerume, its CEO, in particular, for providing much-needed assistance to Reps. This time it is for our upgrade to security, with their financial support allowing us to purchase various items of equipment and instal new systems to protect the whole property. Old Mutual has always been a great friend of ours and their generosity has over the years helped us achieve a great many improvements to the property. The security upgrade is now taking place and we send a great big THANK YOU to Luke and his team at Old Mutual for making this possible.

Funny Money a critical hit
Feedback on this excellent farce has been very positive and it was a technical and performance success, so well done to all involved. It was a disappointment in only one respect – that of numbers coming to see it. It appears the public at large is not coming to dramas and comedies in the same numbers that they are for musicals and concerts. While this may accurately reflect trends, please could all members do their best to persuade friends and colleagues to come to these productions – they will enjoy themselves when they do! All Reps members should play a part in promoting and publicising shows at our theatres and other activities with which we become involved, so please spread the word about everything! If you can help distribute fliers, posters and advertising boards, please contact Stan Higgins at to let him know.

Cabaret fills the seats
Zane E Lucas staged the musical Cabaret and filled many of our seats as people came to see and enjoy this wonderful show – for which, many congratulations to him and his excellent cast. We at Reps were delighted that he chose to present this production on our stage. We look forward to working even more closely with Zane in coming months and years. Of note was the support given this production by Nestle Zimbabwe – we hope this will be the start of a great relationship between the theatre and this important commercial organisation. One of the Nestle activities was to run a Ricoffy bar serving coffee and biscuits, something we plan to do again, perhaps during the cold evenings of next winter.

Broadway Hits and Musical Bits 2
Debbie Fleming’s shows are always delightful and always popular so we look forward to a successful run for this musical that features songs from stage and screen told in song and dance by a cast of over 30. It runs for only a week – from Friday October 16 to Saturday October 24 – so please get your bookings in soon and tell all your colleagues, friends and family to book early and ensure themselves seats during the short run. This is a successor to BH and MB, which ran in 2005 and earned Debbie a Best Director Reps Afdis Award. Booking is now open at The Spotlight, of course.

Farewell to another old friend
Stan Stuttard, well-known in Reps circles and in the financial sector in Zimbabwe for a great many years, passed away recently in South Africa. His daughter, Tracy, wrote to tell us the sad news and to say how much he had enjoyed talking about his Reps days and his group of friends who formed the ‘culture corner’ in the members’ bar. Condolences to his family and farewell to Stan himself. Also to note: Ken Buchanan, a long-time member of the Campbell Theatre Club and stalwart of theatre and many other things in Kadoma, also passed away recently.

Simply The Best will be a great show
Our friends at the National Ballet of Zimbabwe/Dance Trust of Zimbabwe have decided to stage a fundraiser for Reps during the run of Stars of Tomorrow. So on the Sunday in the middle of this run – November 15 – there will be an early evening show (starts 6pm) at which dancers will dance, singers will sing and other performers will contribute in other ways to a variety show that promises to be fun – and valuable. National Ballet dancers are lining up to be part of it and boy band 5Star have agreed to sing. Booking will open soon at The Spotlight. Bring the whole family.

Launching 50/80
And now the big news! As many of you know, January 13 2010 will be the 50th anniversary of the opening of Reps Theatre and February 17 2011, just 13 months later, will be the 80th anniversary of The Repertory Players. We have decided to combine these two noteworthy dates into one celebratory period, which we are calling the 50/80 Celebration. Events will start on January 13 2010 with the gala night of 50 Golden Years, a revue directed by Sue Bolt, and will end on February 18 2011 with a gala dinner to celebrate eight decades of ‘the reps’ in our community. Sue Bolt, as chairman of the Production Committee, has master-minded a full year or so of productions, including dramas, comedies, musicals and other entertainments – and it all promises to be enjoyable and entertaining. We would like all members to be part of the celebrations and we shall be producing memorabilia, publishing the second volume of our history and doing all manner of things to mark the two anniversary occasions in style. We now have an official logo for this, thanks to a competition run, which was won by the very talented Sue McLaren, with a snatch of an idea also coming from Shaun Leaman. Thanks to all those people who entered with their range of great ideas. Here’s to a remarkable celebration and to all kinds of things that strengthen and enhance Reps and its family of people and its wealth of activities. We can be very proud of ourselves and this celebration will remind us – and the community at large – of the role played by this society and this theatre in the world of arts, culture and entertainment in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa since 1931.

Did you know …
… that we have the very kind support of Ralph and Rose Stead with a generator for Reps productions, so that when ZESA power goes we have a back-up. They do not charge us a hire fee for the generator (which is placed on a truck at theatre rear) and only charge for actual running costs should we use it. Thanks you them for this generous support and for the help they give in ensuring that the show goes on! We would also like to thank ZESA for their very kind co-operation and helping to ensure that only when really necessary – or when there is a fault – do we get ‘cut off’ at all.

Until next time, stay cool and connected

Yours dramatically
Teri Grimmel

Farm Siyuation Update

Stockdale citrus estate - Peter Etheredge

It has been brought to our attention that senator Edna Madzongwe has moved 28 cattle onto the farm, it would be interesting to know where they came from! She is building 2 guard houses near the entrance and the bricks cement and sand were all stolen on Stockdale .

Madzongwe's son Valentine seems to be resident on the farm and according to information there is a lot of equipment missing. Small expense stuff that can be put into a pickup and sold in Chegutu and the surrounding area, it appears that his friends are also involved. Very little attention has been given to the management of citrus, no fertilizer or chemicals have been applied.

The other day I was in Chegutu giving evidence in last year's case of robbery (ZANU PF driver) and I was approached by the Chegutu police (ass inspec Bepura) who asked me when we were going to move our furniture from the houses. He seemed very keen to help us with assistance from the police to move so Madzongwe can move into the houses (that is all she wants). I told him that we are going through the courts to move all our Equipment as well which he replied that that would be a problem. I told him that we have a record of every single thing on the farm including serial no's etc and that there will be another civil case against the Senator Madzongwe in the future if anything is missing.

There appears to be a lack of enthusiasm on the part of the authorities, in progressing criminal cases against Gilbert Moyo and his mob. One wonders if there is not any interference with these cases going forward.

Peter Etheredge - Chegutu



My name is Charles Ingram Lock, I.D No 63-884252 Q, and I was residing at Karori Farm until I was illegally evicted by brigadier Mujaji and soldiers of the Zimbabwe National Army two weeks ago.

My workers and I, were all illegally evicted from the farm at gun point when we tried to remove our crops and possessions in accordance with our High Court Order Case No 3244/09. The statements by our workers who were beaten by the soldiers and dumped off the farm have been recorded at Headlands Police Station. We managed to centralise our workers and organise food for them. One woman had been raped by the soldiers.

After the removal of our workers no one was allowed back to the farm and the police in Headlands are too scared to go there. I received reports of lorries leaving the farm at night time from people based off the farm.
I requested the Police to visit the farm and check on our goods if they could or would not help enforce the Order. Nothing happened. I was told by the Officer in Charge and DISPOL that they were awaiting instruction from their superiors.

When we were evicted from the farm we left approx 300 tons of maize, we have the exact amount in our store book, and 150 tons of tobacco, fertiliser and equipment of considerable value. On Wednesday 7th October, we discovered a broken down thirty ton lorry at 2km from Halfway House at Headlands. The lorry was full of our maize. My Manager and workers arrived at the scene and confirmed it as our maize, same bags, same stitching pattern and twine, and the lorry was on the road directly from Karori Farm about 4km away.

We managed to get 6 police officers from Headlands to attend the scene and they said they would impound the lorry. I had about 15 of my own workers there. The driver was accompanied by a soldier from the farm. A few hours later Mujaji arrived and threatened all the police and workers. They left in a hurry and demanded we take them back to the station. They allowed Mujaji to take the lorry. I discovered the lorry had been hired out by a Company based in Ruwa . We contacted the owner who confirmed the lorry had gone to Karori Farm, but explained he had no idea that the maize was stolen. He had not paid for it at that stage and confirmed Mujaji had ordered the lorry. I went to visit the maize on Friday 9th October and photographed it and confirmed it as mine.

I reported all of this to the Officer in Charge at Headlands and Dispol Rusape. They told me Inspector Musariri was handling the case and when I contacted him I found out he was on leave. On Monday we sent a lorry to Headlands Police to ask for Officers to accompany us to Ruwa. Again they refused. The owner who has the maize is anxious to have it removed, but the Police will not investigate it there. I phoned the DISPOL who said deal with Headlands

We have explained the situation and written to the senior officers for Crime at PGHQ. We have also appealed to the three principals of the GPA to resolve this absolute lawlessness.

I have summarised the crimes committed by the soldiers under Brigadier Mujaji and what action has been taken.

Sgt Makoni charged with attempted murder, by firing shots at Takesure Mashikado in CRF NO 54/8/2009. Remanded out of custody and told not to go back to the farm but ignored this and goes to the farm regularly and was responsible for the eviction himself.

8th September 2009, Pvt George Murambiwa fired shots at the workers and a ricochet hit Edina Wilson in the hand in CRF 23/9/2009. Accused has not been arrested yet, believed to have escaped.

10th September 2009, Mujaji and Mukoni broke into the farm office and stole two shotguns that we use to protect our crops, CRF NO 10/9/09. I discovered the shotguns under the bed of one of the soldiers and told Sgt Bunda who told me not to take them or I would be arrested. The shotguns have not been retrieved yet.

20th September 2009, Pvt Gilbert Chibvunje raped Wongai Harrison in CRF 37/9/09. The accussed was remanded in custody for two weeks and is now back on the farm.

26th September 2009, the following soldiers under the command of Brig Mujaji evicted our entire work force and beat up eight staff. Sgt Mukoni, Sgt Mutami, Corp Kuuya,Tevera, Choukani,Mushonga, Murambiwa, Chibvunje, Tatenda, Mutamba, Sithole. Cr No 8/10/09 and CRNo 7/10/09.

7th October discovery of maize lorry taking 30 maize from Karori Farm in an armed robbery by Mujaji and his soldiers. Lorry impounded by Police then released out of fear after Mujaji arrived and threatened everyone.
RRB NO 0578070

10th and 11th October reported theft of maize by locals and selling it in Headlands RRB No 0578070. Police visited the farm I am told but chased away by the soldiers.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Condolences, death notices from Bulawayo

Wynne Brodie, ex Bulawayo, passed away peacefully after a short illness in Perth, Australia on 28th September 2009. She will be so sadly missed by Peter, Cate, Anne and Colin, and grandchildren Sarah, Sebastian, Jordan, Michael and David.+++++++
SWALSH ISOLDE - Beloved wife of the late Frank Walsh and precious mother of Susan, Michele, Mark, Cathy and the late Bernard died peacefully in Cape Town on Sunday 11th October 2009. She will be greatly missed. Rest in Peace. (Email Michele at or Cathy at
Goddard - David AndrewDave - Passed away so suddenly on 4th October 2009. No time to say goodbye. Our thoughts and prayers are with Debbie, Pauline, Michelle and George. We will miss you Dave. Forever in our hearts and minds.Gail, Brian and all the family in SA
.Goddard - Dave
So suddenly, so young and such a shock. Deepest sympathy to Debs, Pauline, Michelle on the loss of a husband and Dad. George who lost a brother.From Aj, Debbie, Sarah and Guy+++++
MCEWAN - Kathleen May 1928 - 2009
Passed away peacefully in the early hours of Wednesday 7th October. Gone to be with her Lord and Saviour. She was a wonderful Wife, Mom, Gran and Great Gran and will be sorely missed.James, Ron, Jan, Doug, Anne, Laura, Richard, Jessica, Jarod, Catherine, Nigel, Anthony, Sharon, Channah, Natalie, Jean, Emma and CherylA Memorial Service will be held at the Bulawayo Baptist Church on Monday 12/10/2009 at 2:30pm++++++++
Wynne Brodie, ex Bulawayo, passed away peacefully after a short illness in Perth, Australia on 28th September 2009. She will be so sadly missed by Peter, Cate, Anne and Colin, and grandchildren Sarah, Sebastian, Jordan, Michael and David.++++++
PERRY Michael Lawrey, passed away peacefully on September 25th 2009, in Warwickshire, England. He will be greatly missed by his beloved wife Jean, and loving children Richard and Caroline, Michael and Michelle, Susan and Mano, and by his 6 grandchildren.


Congratulations to David Townshend and Tessa Stoeckigt who were married on 10 October 2009 in Cape Town at Christchurch, Kenilworth.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


A memorial service for the late Phil Benson will be held at 3.00 pm on Wednesday 14 October at the Highlands Presbyterian Church. Please accept this invitation to attend

This is Interesting Reading...

One CFU President's legacy from 2002 is "we are working with the government on the land reform programme." By then there were about 1200 evicted farmers who were not quite sure about that very policy.

Seven years later, we now have a CFU President who has explained fully what "the land reform programme" has done to the holistic governance of the country over the last seven years.

De Bono would call this "white hat thinking" - dealing only with the facts.

In 2002 CFU policy exposed itself and agriculture to working with ("dialogue with') drugged up, intoxicated Zanu Youth Brigade who wanted to lay their hands or destroy anything they could.

"Jambunja" - along with other unique Zanu social behaviour such as defecating on the floors, attacking civilians and burning homesteads - aside from rape, torture and murder that is - became the work experience or practical bit for farmers carrying out the "dialogue" policy.

It would appear that CFU, Jag and SACFA might now rather say that they are "working with SADC Judiciary" based in Windhoek. With a bench of respected impartial international Supreme Court Judges they would be focused on the application of the rule of law - rather than inciting people to defecate on the verandah.

The process of rehabilitation for persons who have an innate desire to defecate on the floor of a house, rape and murder civilians, burn or break everything that they cannot take away and then expect the western world to embrace them as heroes - may well be a long and complicated process.

The process of rehabilitating politicians who have incited these persons to carry out these barbaric acts - can only be more complicated, in my opinion. We need to remember that the inciters or planners of this behaviour will probably be in pin stripe suits at UN or EU conferences, or CNN interviews - eloquently, and ever so softly expounding the virtues of their political party and its manifesto about human rights!
Ask a "verandah defecator inciter" (VDI) about Bishop Tutu or the SADC Tribunal - and out comes the aggression and the denial.

When optimists say - it is all good because they have all changed
- I think of the saying "the best prediction for future behaviour is past behaviour."

J.L. Robinson.


It has become public knowledge yesterday that Nestlé Zimbabwe is buying a MILLION litres of milk a year from Grace Mugabe's farms in Zimbabwe, which were confiscated, ostensibly, to resettle the POOR !!!

Nestlé SA has issued a stupid statement that they are independent of their company in Zim and Nestlé has issued a statement that they are not subject to EU sanctions against the Mugabe elite as the headquarters of Nestlé are in Switzerland and therefore not subject to EU rules.


I have contacted the international network AVAAZ to help distribute this message.

Please email it ONTO EVERY person AROUND THE WORLD in your email address book and to every politician around the world that you have email contact with

Ed West

Monday, October 12, 2009


If anyone here is interested in joining the wildlife association of Zim (WEZ)please contact John Brebner on this email address - John and Jenny Brebner often send out emails like this about what they see travelling around our country - this was sent out today about the recent game count
Mike G

Having unpacked and settled into our lodge at Main Camp by 4:30pm on Wednesday 30th September, we went off for a short drive to Nyamandhlovu Platform and there, along with several other visitors, saw a mating pair of lion – a beautiful female and her handsome courtier both of whom were collared. What a way to start our trip! During our foray into the Park in August when we seemed to just miss seeing lion/leopard/cheetah, this certainly turned into the trip of the cat sightings.

In the evening back in camp, we had a lengthy chat to Pat Cox, who had, once again, very generously given of his time and expertise to fly the park along with members of the WEZ committee to check out the water situation the week before the count. He told us that there was a staggering amount of water still lying about the park and gave us a run down some of the areas and the pans. This year, Owen M…… who is in charge of the Main Camp water, had the opportunity of flying with the team which gave him a totally different perspective of the lie of the land and he was also amazed at how much water was still available in parts of the park.
Early next morning, we were again treated to seeing the same mating pair of felines, this time on the edge of Dom pan with the early morning light giving us a good photo opportunity. We travelled down to Jambile before backtracking to Dopi and at Caterpillar we came across a herd of thirty-four buffalo. In amongst them was a collared cow, which is probably part of CIRAD’s ongoing satellite research.

During our drive, it was lovely to see the eriolobas out in their full new green canopies and the veld being brightened up with patches of delicate purple Lonchocarpus nelsii. Checking water along the way, we were a bit disappointed to see that Sinanga was holding so little water but the other pans along the way looked fine. At Kennedy One picnic site we were told that Mpofu, a favoured male lion, had been seen lying close to the pan. We had been told previously that he was in a very poor state and not expected to last much longer.

Having broken away from his three sons, he’d been set upon by a pride of eight lion, and had sustained a broken leg amongst other injuries. He had, however, killed a lioness and a male in the ensuing fight. Despite his injuries, the once magnificent creature had dragged himself from Ngweshla, all the way back to Kennedy One. Although we were hoping to see him to bid farewell, we weren’t quite prepared to feel so emotional about it when we did.

There he was, lying dejected in the shade, close to the road for all to see, a shadow of his former self, desperately thin and emaciated, now and again lifting a tired paw to swipe at the multitude of flies, buzzing about his still handsome although scarred face. We left him there with heavy hearts, hoping that he would succumb quickly and peacefully, all the while wishing that a lethal dose of tranquilliser or a bullet could just be administered to the poor old chap.

Our second sighting of lion then was not so lekker. Back at Main Camp in the evening, we were going to go through to Safari Lodge to call on the lion researchers, first taking a short drive along the airstrip road, past Sedina. We came across at least twenty giraffe and about the same number of impala with some of the females already looking in an interesting condition. We spotted a wild dog on the road just before Livingi wearing a red collar and on getting to the water point, we discovered the pride of four lion which had been seen there earlier in the day – three females and a young male. The male and the largest lioness were both collared. Needless to say, we never got to Safari Lodge but stayed to watch the pride stake out the waterpoint until it was too dark to see anything more.

The following morning, leaving Main Camp for the Sinamatella area, we saw the mating pair of lion strutting their stuff once again at the Dom waterpoint. We took a look at all the other pans along the way – Guvalala, White Hills, Shapi, Danga, Roan, Dwarf Goose and Shumba. On Pat’s advice, we drove on past Danga pan to take a look at Nehimba, a pan which we have not previously visited. There are a series of pans along the way, all holding good natural water and we saw a few elephant bulls at two of them.

What a surprise coming out of the mopane into this large clear, grassy vlei area, in the middle of which is Nehimba pan, teeming with waterfowl – red billed and Hottentot teal, a spurwing goose, spoonbills, a pair of Southern Pochard, numerous dab chicks, a couple of common sandpipers and the ever present noisy pair of Egyptian geese. A truly amazing sight.

Driving back through the vlei, we suddenly spotted two young lion, a male with his mane just starting to show and the other appeared to be a small female although she was skittish and moved off quickly as we approached. They wandered off into the scrub and we caught glimpses of them mock wrestling each other now and again. We are pretty certain that there must have been others in the immediate vicinity.
We stopped off at Masuma to speak to the South African visitors camped there to make sure that they were happy with our team of counters muscling in on their space before heading off to Mandavu, where we were to meet the rest of our team. As we approached the dam, it now being very hot at midday, we spotted a cat drinking down by the water and on closer inspection, followed a stunning female leopard for some time as she made her way back to cover.

She obligingly flopped down in the shade cast by a huge tree trunk, very close to the road, presenting a good photo opportunity before moving across the road and we finally lost sight of her amongst a pile of rocks. What a sighting to cap our previous lion sightings.
Having gathered the rest of our team, we headed back to Masuma, where we set up camp for the following three nights. Late on Friday afternoon, the guineafowl came trilling down in their hundreds to drink in great clumps before finding a roost for the night. Just as the last of the light faded, first one, then in twos and threes and then in clouds, double banded sandgrouse descended for an evening drink, some of them - the males, we assumed - dunking their chests in the clean water running out of the trough and down to the dam before they headed off again.

Later in the evening, several elephant moved in to drink and we saw spotted hyena, several impala, a lone buffalo bull and waterbuck along with the resident two crocodile and five hippo, two of whom were observed mating on several occasions so there was often a noisy ruckus amongst them. Before the count started on the Saturday morning, some of our party went for a short drive towards Shumba and encountered another pride of lion. This time four stunning animals, two males and two females, lying close to an almost dried out pan, very close to the road and some lovely photos were taken. None of the animals were collared. Some of the counters moving down into that area also managed to see them which was a treat.

We’d had rain overnight and unfortunately the weather closed in for the rest of the counting period, with heavier rain overnight on Saturday. This put paid to any animals coming down to drink and we experienced a very quiet twenty four hours of game counting as did most of the teams in the Sinamatella and Robins area, with some teams seeing nothing or perhaps one or two animals. The mating hippos kept us occupied as well as the crocs feeding on something below the water which turned out to be a waterbuck as the unfortunate bloated creature floated to the surface the following day.

We were also kept amused by the antics of one particular Blacksmith’s Plover who was intent on continuously chasing three threebanded plovers. We weren’t sure what his gripe was and when the threebanded plovers got the better of him, he’d irritably pick on a bit of twig, tuft of grass, mound of elephant dung or whatever he could find to vent his fury on.

This behaviour continued on to the next day and we are sure it was the same Blacksmith’s plover and the same three threebanded plovers! Our thanks go to George and Jill, Malcolm and Sue for so warmly allowing us to camp along with them at Masuma and sharing some of their travelling and wildlife experiences with us while showing an interest in some of ours. We motored back through the park and yet again, came across the mating pair of lion near Dom. By now the male was looking decidedly haggard and had several bite marks on his lower left jaw and his front left leg.
Our dismay and disappointment at having such a “bad” count, was nothing compared to the utter disgust and the appalling news when we heard what some of the Robins counters had to say about their count. Not only had they had to contend with bad weather conditions disrupting their count, but Parks, in their wisdom, had allowed proficiency testing for groups of hunters to be carried out in the Robins camp area over the same period. Counters recounted stories of vehicles travelling backwards and forwards the entire twenty four hour period, sometimes with carcasses of animals being ferried to the skinning sheds while groups of ‘hunters’ with rifles shouldered could be seen moving through the bush.

Although we have this on hearsay from several different sources, we hope that ALL counters who observed any of this will put in very strongly worded statements which can be followed up on. It makes one wonder what all the fuss is to preserve and protect our animals in a “game sanctuary” and shouldn’t the Parks officials who gave this the green light be reading their very fancy mission statement that is so prominently and beautifully displayed at the Main Camp office and elsewhere? This certainly put a huge dampener on our entire trip and bodes ill for the future of our parks.John & Jenny Brebner.

Sunday, October 11, 2009



Hamish Vaughn Beattie passed away on Monday, 5th October 2009, after a long and difficult illness.

He will be sadly missed by his wife Tracey and three beautiful daughters, Amy-Jean, Isla-Sue and Robyn. He was a father, a son, a husband and a brother. He was a large vital part of so many lives.

His memorial will be held in Chegutu on Monday, 12 October 2009, at the Dutch Reformed Church at 11 am.

Friends and guests are cordially invited to join the family for tea and eats at the Chegutu Bowls Club.

Charmaine: 0912-908461

Doug: 0913-061502




Ant Saint ex Karoi Butcheries who was living in Marondera since leaving Karoi, passed away yesterday after a long battle with cancer. (His wife is Cheryl (a teacher) and their children Jeremy, Ginny, Russel and
Stewart, spouses and families.) I am sure you can get the info from
Ginny's husband Cael Collocott at Ant and his late dad Ron used to run the butchery for many many years. So a lot of people knew them, and especially for their biltong that people on their
ways north and south of Karoi always stopped for!!! Antoinette Dick,
Ky., USA (family friend).

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dogs poisoned

Sadly, last night our dogs were poisoned by people trying to get into the property. I just want to alert people living in Northwood; as I just heard a similar sad story of someone just living up the road from us; whose dogs were poisoned last week. So if you live near Twickenham or the northern part of Pendenis Road and you want to keep your animals safe; consider taking them in the house. Unfortunately it is too late for our pets.


There will be a Memorial Service for the late Denise Osborne (music teacher of Springvale House and formerly of Ruzawi)

on Wednesday 14 th October at 11 30am in the Peterhouse Chapel.

KARORI Farm update - Charles Lock

KARORI Farm update - Charles Lock

It has been over a week since the soldiers of the ZNA evicted the farm workers, beating many in the process and raping two women. No one has been allowed on to the farm , however we have been getting reports from people who we cannot disclose to protect their identities, that

the army have broken into Mr Lock's house and looted his provisions.

They have also taken maize and fertiliser and still commandeer all the equipment using it at their will, even to visit beer halls with the tractors as transport. The police still refuse to assist or abide by the court orders. We have requested countless times for them to assist with getting our cattle, and things but we are told the normal excuses of no transport or must have a direct order from their superiors. We have offered transport but it is refused. The names of the soldiers on the farm who have committed the atrocities under Brid Mujaji are

Sgt Mukoni, Sgt Mutami, Corp Kuuya, Tevera, Choukani, Mushonga,

Murambiwa, Chubvunje, Tatenda, Mutamba, and Sithole



The General Agriculture and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe is investigating serious cases of sexual harassment of women - among other human rights abuses- at the recently occupied Karori Farm where 95 farm worker families have been evicted.

Three women at the farm spoke to GAPWUZ officials last Friday and accused members of the army manning the farm of sexually harassing them and looting their belongings.

Last week Brigadier Justin Mujaji reportedly sent soldiers to seize the farm in defiance of a High Court order barring Mujaji from holding on to the crop harvested by the previous owner, Charles Lock.

The soldiers are reported to have chased the farm workers out of the farm before going on a rampage, looting the stored tobacco and wheat crops.

But GAPWUZ today reports that the soldiers are not only looting the farmer's crop, but are also sexually harassing the women.

"When the women reported to the police, not action was taken against the soldiers and this has since raised questions as to the extent of the harassment and as union we are going to make sure we follow up on this case using the relevant offices and we have since sought legal assistance from our human rights partners," said Gertrude Hambira, General Secretary of the union.

GAPWUZ has reported that there are over 66 000 farm workers who have been displaced since February this year.

The union, which has been at loggerheads with government over the alleged human rights abuses during the controversial land reform, has also written a letter to the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's office demanding that action be taken to stop the harassment of farm workers


Not that long ago I was maintaining a list of the court orders that ZANU PF and its various wings had defied with absolute impunity - and sadly I lost that list when my computer was hacked. (The security on this machine has been beefed up something serious now, so I don't envisage a repeat anytime soon.)

It beggared belief that ZANU PF could just brazenly ignore any order issued by one of the highest courts in the land - but then again, if you are batting for Robert Gabriel Mugabe, you become one of the 'untouchables'.

This week, Charles Lock, the soon-to-be ex-owner of Karori Farm in Headlands was granted a court order which was to allow him, "full and unfettered right to remove all and any of the goods, as well as any other move able assets, including his equipment and fittings in the tobacco barns, cattle handling facilities, household and personal effects, from the land" - but, as I prophesised on my main page yesterday, he was not even given access onto the land, let alone to his crops and equipment.

Court Order Defiance Unpunished In Zimbabwe

"Armed soldiers barred me from entering the farm when I went there on Friday after the High Court ruling."

On my main page this morning, I questioned why a senior army officer - a Brigadier no less - should have his own band of armed soldiers at the farm?

They can't be there on official duty, unless, of course, they have been ordered to the farm by the Brigadier himself.

A question which is often discussed is if an officer issues an illegal order to a subordinate and that subordinate carries out that order, who is to culpable? The answer is, of course, the officer - so, even if the soldiers were acting on direct orders from the Brigadier, it is the Brigadier that should face the wrath of the law.

The problem that faces Lock is that his actions will be deemed unpatriotic and the full weight of various wings of ZANU PF will fall very heavily on Lock.

He will not be able to reap his crops. Neither will he be allowed to recover his agricultural equipment, nor his personal property. As a direct result of his going to the law courts to get a court order, the Brigadier will baton down the hatches and prevent any incursion upon 'his' land.

Dare I say it - Lock may find himself under lock and key.

As I wrote yesterday, I understand the land appropriation, but disagree entirely with blatant theft and the threat of violence.

If Lock has spent his money on the crops in the ground, it is his right to reap that crop - and any attempt by the Brigadier to reap what he has not sown should be constituted as theft.

But, in Zimbabwe, possession is nine tenths of the law - and so the Brigadier will be deemed the new 'owner' of the crop, which he will reap and sell, converting the proceeds thereof to his own pocket.

And the land will not be worked for the next season, and within a few months I see the farm being derelict, unused - a skeleton picked dry by the marauding masses, masquerading as 'new' landowners.

And this is not a clever deduction - all I have to do is look at the vast majority of farms that have suffered the same fate.

Courts orders in Zimbabwe mean nothing to Mugabe and ZANU PF.

And defiance of these orders by ZANU PF renegades remains unpunished.

Robb WJ Ellis

The Bearded Man

Land Reform Disaster - P. Mangwende

It is time to admit the Fast Track Land Reform Programme has been a total disaster.

In the recent CNN interview with President Mugabe, he was recorded as saying two things about the land reform process in Zimbabwe: first he claimed that Zimbabwe had grown enough food to feed itself in the 2008/9 season; secondly, he stated that the reform programme was something Africa could be proud of and that what he had achieved was to "reclaim"
the land from the whites.

We need to unpack these two claims and when we do so, we will in fact discern that instead of being something to be proud of, the whole exercise has been a sham, an attempt to hold onto power and privilege after he and his Party, Zanu PF, had lost all credibility and majority support.

The original estimates by the FAO put maize production in the past season at 1,2 million tonnes. This was after what has been described as a near perfect season. The Ministry of Agriculture followed up with even higher estimates and stated that "we have grown enough food to feed the country". No one believed them and other commercial sources said production had been only marginally higher than the 400 000 tonnes grown in 2007/8. The reality is that maize has already started to disappear from local markets just three months after the reaping season started and this suggests that the pessimists (realists) were about right.

This means that for the third year in a row, Zimbabwe has grown less than a quarter of its needs as far as maize is concerned. The outlook for wheat and barley is even worse - Zimbabwe will produce only 5 per cent of its estimated needs this winter even though there is ample water.

In almost every other sector - beef, pig production, poultry, fruit and tea and coffee, output is down to less than 20 per cent of previous production levels while sugar output is down by 50 per cent even though a large multinational company dominates this industry. Cotton output is also down and overall, the production of small scale farmers has declined by 73 per cent over the levels achieved in the decade up to the year 2000.

This is surprising because there has been no physical dislocation of smallholder production. However what the symbiotic reductions tell us is that there was a very strong synergy between small and large-scale farmers.

The key test for this is the very large programme being carried out this winter to give smallholders their input requirements in the hope that they will grow enough maize to feed the country next year.

Then there is the issue of just what happened in the Fast Track programme.

It is not generally appreciated that over 80 per cent of all the affected farms had been purchased after 1980 and with the buyer holding a certificate of no interest from the Ministry of Agriculture, saying that it was not required for resettlement. At the time, the Constitution of Zimbabwe guaranteed property rights and security of tenure over freehold land.

This meant that those farmers were in fact investing in Zimbabwe and exhibiting considerable faith in the country and its government.

Agriculture, was in fact one of the fastest growing sectors of the Zimbabwean economy from 1980 to 1997, slowing only when there were severe droughts and even then, able to feed the country.

So the first aspect to this shameful exercise is that the farmers must be seen as investors, not settlers. These were not 1896 settlers taking land from the indigenous population. They came from every corner of the world and a recent list of affected foreigner's shows more than 26 nationalities.

Furthermore, they were investing very large sums of capital - an estimated US$2,5 billion in the land they purchased and even more in the productive assets and equipment they were required to have in order to produce. They bought 30 000 tractors, built or paid for 10 000 farm dams and held 2,5 million head of cattle worth US$750 million.

They employed 350 000 workers and generated nearly US$2 billion a year in exports while at the same time supplying local industry with 60 per cent of its raw materials and being a major client for commercial and banking institutions and companies. 20 per cent were owned and operated by a rapidly growing black farmer elite that had bought into the industry without any special support measures and were achieving growing respect.

But aside all that, the great majority of these investors were not settlers or Europeans or Americans, or Chinese, or Indian; they were Africans. Men and women, who had adopted Africa as their home, spoke local languages, sent their children to local schools and held no other citizenship than their local Zimbabwean citizenship.

These were the people who were threatened, beaten, even killed when Zanu PF decided in March 2000 that they had been responsible for their crushing and shock defeat in the referendum. Any African leader who claims that these were not and are not Africans, is simply saying to the millions of people of African descent who now live in other countries that they can never be comfortable or safe in their new identities. What utter rubbish. If any African leader attempted to say to the tens of millions of people of colour in Europe or America that they are not British, or Canadian, they would be lynched. But that is what Mugabe is saying to those people who are white (or brown) who chose to make Zimbabwe their home and to invest in the agricultural sector rather than mining or industry or commerce.

Aside from this - the whole exercise was unlawful, violated the Constitution of the country and every tenet of contract law. It violated basic human rights and it undermined the reputation of Africa as a safe and productive destination for foreign investment. In doing so Mugabe has done inestimable damage to the welfare of the whole continent and any African leader who cannot see that is blind to the realities of a globalised world.

P. Mangwende


Hamish Vaughn Beattie passed away on Monday, 5th October 2009, after a long and difficult illness.

He will be sadly missed by his wife Tracey and three beautiful daughters, Amy-Jean, Isla-Sue and Robyn. He was a father, a son, a husband and a brother. He was a large vital part of so many lives.

His memorial will be held in Chegutu on Monday, 12 October 2009, at the Dutch Reformed Church at 11 am.

Friends and guests are cordially invited to join the family for tea and eats at the Chegutu Bowls Club.

Charmaine: 0912-908461

Doug: 0913-061502



Wednesday, October 7, 2009


How short lived the low crime rate report has been …. It’s now on the increase again. The Trust has received reports of both house robberies and attempted hijacking. It seems that new gangs have emerged in areas, and have not always been successful but attempted to gain entry into premises. In most cases the borehole pumps and gate motors with the intercom have been taken or tampered with. We have experienced a lot of powercuts and load shedding again and this always makes it difficult to keep alarms and sensors activated. Be aware of your dogs bark … the tone and urgency will always be a good indicator and raise the alarm, be sensitive to this, but do not open the door or go out to check. You will be a target for the intruders to gain entry and remember all these gangs are armed. If you are away it is wise to make arrangements for your security to be increased or checked at regular intervals in your absence. It is a big responsibility to be left entirely to the staff, make it possible for them to also have a backup plan to fall on.
Attempted hijacking seem to be in progress by stopping or jamming the electric gate from opening fully, be alerted and do not get out to check what is stopping the gate. Call for assistance, or hoot continually, raising the alarm for help. These arbitrators will have a getaway car in the vicinity waiting to give them assistance and therefore just watching for a wrong move. These gangs are also fully armed. We suggest that you do not always take the same route home at the same hour every day as you may be under surveillance and your pattern watched and noted. Keep vigilant whilst travelling and do not drive into your entrance if you see any strange activity or too many people loitering around the area. It is known fact that we have a large percentage of unemployed desperate people in Zimbabwe just looking out for a gap in security. Vehicles theft of Lancruisers is ongoing and the areas affected Borrowdale and Mount Pleasant, robberies and other incidents in Emerald Hill, Greystone Park, Bluff Hill and Westgate.
Summer is upon us so be sure to use your security gates when opening doors for the cool air and alarm activated in places that are not being used. Please remember to close windows when leaving an area, this is often the entry post.
Let’s ALL fight this crime together - stay ALERT and SAFE !

TEL/FAX: HARARE 04-309870/309800 /091 2 221 921


CHARSLEY - DOROTHY "DOTTIE"Wife, Mother and Granny. In remembrance of.One year ago on 13th October. So sorely missed. Words cannot express how much we miss you and still remember your "happy go lucky" attitude.All our Love.Curly, Leanne, Lynn & Murray+++++++++
Edith Doreen Smith
Our deepest sympathy to Russell, Marcelle, Kylie and Neil on the loss of their grandmother and great-grandmother.From Directors, Management and Staff at Archer Clothing Manufacturers.++++++Please pass my sincere condolences on to the family of Alf Gallagher.I knew the family from Gwanda in the mid 1960's, but have lost touch over the years.Graham Cell (00)27 83 417 5407++++++++++
A Memorial Service is to be held for the late Colin Mason, who sadly passed away in Afghanistan on the 16/09/09.Bulawayo service to be held at 15:00 on Thursday 01/10/09:Presbyterian Church,Cnr Jason Moyo/5th Ave.A wake will be held at the Tin Cup after the service.Victoria Falls service to be held at 16:00 on Saturday 03/10/09:Vic Falls Boat Club.For any further information please phone Shaun on 011 211117+++
Irene Gratwicke, passed away peacefully on Sunday in a nursing home in Bracknell, UK. She was in her 100th year (aged 99). She was pretty well known in Zim as a travel agent and golfer (former ladies captain of Chapman).Sadly missed by Mike and Queenie Gratwicke - Chimanimani

From Bulawayo

I wrote this article for Morning Mirror about four years ago and I see it is doing the "circuit" so I claim authorship except for a couple of sentences that have been added along the way.


Reminiscing last week about the good old days, we brought to mind a plethora of exciting memories of Bulawayo . For instance, do you remember the Palm Grove which then became the Mayfair opposite the City Hall in Fife Street ? And of course those Grey Street Cowboys will recall with fond memories the Trocadero which is where Hopleys is now, those irrepressible Harley freaks used to race from the Bon Journee to the Trocadero via the High Court I believe.

Bulawayo produced a variety of rather famous personages out of the Grey Street Cowboys - remember Gary Hocking, John Love, John Muldoon and Graham Bishop, some still alive and kicking ( with quite as much gusto I believe) still right here in dear old Bullies. One of the most endearing landmarks of Bulawayo used to be the wretched humps over the storm water drains in the roads. They were wonderful ramps for those same Grey Street cowboys.

Now the name The Casbah will conjure up all sorts of memories I am sure and do you remember the original Granada with old Senor Louis Corbi in constant attendance, which was next to Bakers Inn on Grey and 8th Avenue . And of course do you remember the Calabash Steak House opposite the Bulawayo Centre run by the Dawson family and the Hub which was the first self service restaurant in the basement below the Carlton Hotel in Abercorn Street where Edgars is now.

Of course there was the favourite coffee shop The Coffee Pot in Kirrie Building which is now known as Bambanani Centre I believe! And there was another tea shop - The Kingfisher which was where Textbook Sales is now in 8th Avenue between Abercorn and Main Streets.

In those days the trains used to chug virtually right though the city streets with the old railway line still visible. It went through the town, down behind Coghlan School , past Wrights Nurseries and BAC, along Park Road and then out on the Salisbury Road . Of course The Grand Hotel was the centre of nocturnal activities with that magnificent sprung dance floor in the MacMurray Hall, but there was another sprung dance floor in the Empire Theatre which is where Bulawayo Health Centre is now in Fort Street and Ninth Avenue and of course there is still a fabulous sprung dance floor at the Rio Hotel which used to, if my memory serves me correctly, be called the Round House!!

The Glass Castle was on the Falls road and that was a favourite venue for dancing and dining. Still in that area, (and here I am relying on the memory of a well known Bulawayo stalwart Clive the mayor of Matsheumhlope) was Lakeside , a favourite Sunday haunt of us all. One could hire rowing boats, or even a power boat from the Kabot family, row to the little island and have a picnic or enjoy the little tea room which served tea and cream scones.

The Hillside Dams also boasted rowing boats and in the olden days the tea room was at the upper dam near the pier. Of course a favourite Sunday recreation spot was Windermere out on the Falls road where one could picnic on the banks of the Umgusa River . One's mind also goes back to landmarks of the "good old days", landmarks like Rhodes Statue which frowned down at one from the centre of the junction at 8th Avenue and Main Street , I believe poor old Cecil is presently lying face down rusting at the back of the museum. Charles Coghlan also graced one of the intersections but none of us (shame on us) could remember which one! Whilst we could all remember where the Gatling Gun stood, proud and fierce outside Asbestos House (now the Art Gallery ) in Main Street , aiming straight down Selborne Avenue from which direction the marauding hordes were expected to attack!

Now I am sure anyone who is old and wrinkly will remember the world famous Matopos Hotel. Legendary because during the Second World War (so my mother told me I hasten to add) the RAF and all service men and women used to congregate here in their droves. One can still see their names written on one of the old crumbling walls. The course of the road was changed to eliminate the famously dangerous hill which overlooked the Matopos Dam, where you used to "lose your tummy " as you went over the brow of the hill!

Most of our cinemas and theatres sadly or happily, depending upon one's bent, are now churches, but we had a wonderful evening, Marie, Clive and I, suitably doused with fine wines, remembering our magnificent past. The Princess Theatre used to be a Roller Skating Rink, The Palace Theatre in Abercorn and Tenth avenue was where Cliff Richard and the Shadows appeared live in Bulawayo and where Elvis Presley's first film was shown - Love Me Tender.

Where the Pizzaghetti is now in Eleventh Avenue and Wilson Street was a boarding house called City Chambers and right opposite that was Gifford Technical School , and do you remember Dorothy and Leo Silver who used to do wonderful photographic portraits. I mean we used to pay a tickey to go to the Bioscope as it was called. My best was on Saturday morning at the Palace Cinema in Abercorn Street where we used to slide up and down the carpeted aisles and swop comics - Beano, dandy, Ritchie Rich and Little Dot!

The girls would also swop "scraps " or what modern children call "swops" which were delightful tiny colourful pictures, some with glitter, I liked those little angels who used to sit on clouds with their chins in their hands !!

Of course I write this epistle with my heart in my mouth that someone might take me to task for errata, but I am safe in the sad certainty that my dearest teacher from Form One at Eveline High School - Paddy Vickery - has now sadly left custodianship of our history and gone to stay with her son somewhere far away.

Remember the Snake Park ? Well you might, Marie did and she is a spring chicken compared with the rest of us, that was where the Academy of Music stands today! And do you remember that we used to have two Dairy Dens with that magnificent soft serve ice cream. One is now called the Eskimo Hut but it is in the same location near the Trade Fair, the other used to be down near Verity Amm, Coronation Cottages, in that general area.

The names of Chemists came to mind - Penhales, Smart and Copley, Stobart and Wixley and Bowden's Pharmacy and on another tack completely (no pun intended), there were the famous bars, the Exchange Bar, The Skittle Inn, the Warnborough Night Club, the Carlton Hotel where Truworths is today, the dreaded Stork Club in tenth Avenue Fort Street, the BESL Club in Sixth Avenue and Main Street and the Steering Wheel in the Grand Hotel. Do you remember the famous Bernstein brothers who had a band there and even that stripper with the red hair Rusty someone? And do you remember the Zambesi Cocktail bar?

The Coca Cola Factory was at one time believe it or not, right in the centre of town on Grey Street and 8th Avenue and the Arenel Sweet factory was also right in the centre of town where you could walk past and smell the toffee and the liquorice balls (?) cooking.

Other famous landmarks were the City Hall toilets which are underground on the corner of Fife Street and 8th Avenue , these were spotlessly clean and one was allowed in to spend a whole "Penny". Queens Court was a well known Boarding House for genteel folk and it was on the wall of the Queens Court that the first limpet mine heralding dissent and unrest, was attached and exploded in the seventies.

But we are really going back now when we remember the Pie Carts - Fritz Pickard was the owner of one, they used to be like little caravans with sides that flapped down and one would sit on high stools and eat a delicious variety of goodies like steak rolls and egg and bacon sandwiches. They would be parked right where Jairos Jiri is now in Grey Street and Selborne Avenue . The Sky View Drive In Cinema was of course very dear to us oldies.

All of our babies were born in the Lady Rodwell Maternity home or if you lived in Gwelo, as Heather The Mayoress of Ilanda did, there was the Birchenough Nursing Home. Remember Sister Cuthbertson, Sister Walker and Sister Hickey from the Rodwell? And once those babies were born we would congregate at the Princess Margaret Rose Clinic in Borrow Street where the babes were inoculated and weighed weekly.

Boarders at Townsend and Eveline High schools will remember on Fridays there were weekly deliveries of the much longed for Tuck Boxes from the Railway Coop or Meikles or Haddons filled with items that were tasty delicious and good to eat! And once the boarders left school they went to Fenella Redrup Hostel in Rhodes Street and Sixth Avenue where they were supposed to be back in hostel at the disgustingly late hour of 10 pm!

Sanders was one of the leading department stores with formidable shops assistants who would make sure that they measured every inch of you before allowing you to purchase one of their Maidenform Bras (I dreamed I sailed down the Nile in My Maidenform) and Sanders had the very first Elevator in Bulawayo with the liveried BellHop who would announce in his dismal voice - First Floor Ladies lingerie, schoolwear, undergarments, sportswear!!

And then of course there were those fascinating tubes in Sanders where the shop assistant would put your money and your invoice in and they would shoot up to the accounts department and the change would shoot down the chute and be back in a flash with a receipt! Remember McCullogh and Bothwell, Zippers, Penny's Market where you could actually purchase goods for a penny (and there was a penny embedded in the doorway) and Morrisons exclusive dresses imported from Britain . My Mum bought me the most exquisite dress from Morrisons for our school leavers' dance and it cost a whole ten pounds.

Another of my favourite shops was novelties where you could buy stink bombs and those delightful comics "School Friend" and Girls Own" as well as tiny little real porcelain Walt Disney characters.. I had a whole collection of little china dogs from The Lady and The Tramp series which I collected carefully and slowly with my two and six pence weekly pocket money.

All the kids loved Sweetland in Abercorn Street where you could buy fine slices of real coconut dipped in caramel! Still with the shops there was The Economy Bazaar in Camperdown House next to Bancroft Neil which is still there today. Bancrofts kept all Economy Bazaars fireworks in their basement and that same shop burnt down in a glorious blaze in 1961 thanks to those very fireworks.

Still with the old shops there was Alick Stuart on Abercorn and Tenth which was everybody's favourite sports store, Terblanche with that enormous painting on the wall done by Mr May. Goldwasser sold TVs opposite Woolworths. Meikles used to be where their car park is now until some wag burnt it down in 1961. Old man Nimr from Nimr and Chapman dug the first well in Bulawayo where the worm sellers sit outside the City Hall and there were shops like E.W. Tarry, Hollanders, Knight Brothers, the Pioneer Bottle Store and Bowden and Strever.

Bulawayo 's best dressed men went to Stanley 's opposite Haddons where they bought Van Heusen Shirts. They had the word " Stanley 's" etched in brass in the pavement and there were Eric Davis and Jimmy White to make sure one was always fashionably attired. There was a caravan park where Ilanda Gardens are now and Marie tells me in confidence that the Townsend girls would bunk out and hide in the bush there !!

We had lots to do in those days, Speedway was held on Friday nights (or was it Stock Car racing) at the Trade Fair Arena.. The Trade Fair itself was a not to be missed occasion where one bought a hat especially for Trade Fair week to be worn at the Official Opening where Tony Ellman Brown, Clifford Dupont, Senator 'Sam Whaley , Zoe Shearer and Ian Smith were to be hob nobbed with and the event of the year was the Trade Fair Ball !! And for those less inclined to hob nob, there was the battle of The Bands held at the Trade Fair Amphitheatre.

Ah Yes......... ...those were the Good Old Days !!!