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Thursday, December 17, 2009



In Co Wexford, Ireland, previously of Kiambu, Kenya--- in her 96th
Year. Beloved Mum of Belinda, Jeremy and Pippa -- Grandie Mum to
Angus, Mick, Marcus, Christie and Simon ---- Great Grandie Mum to William, Hugo, Tillie, Rosie and Jack.

Rest well, Mum ---- such a wonderful person.




I was very sad to read of the death of Bart Wilde, and would very much like to contact Sandy Wilde. Bart and Sandy lived at Frascati Farm at Enterprise when Derek and I were farming there. Many thanks. Gill Dold

Gillian Penelope []



To everyone who knew and loved BART WILDE, dearly beloved husband of Sandy and father of Ricki & Melissa. The Memorial Service will be held on Thursday 17th December 2009 at 11am Bryden School Hall Chegutu.

Ladies if possible, please bring a plate of eats.

Should anyone need accomodation, the Bryden School Hostel will be open for this purpose. Please bring your own bedding.

Sandy, Ricki & Melissa Wilde - wife & daughters of the late Bart Wilde.

Email addresses &

Cell/Mobile number +263912 235 786



We are so shocked and saddened to hear this dreadful news please forward our very deepest sympathy to Sandy & the girls! Our thoughts & prayers go out to them at this sad time. We will remember the good times at Umboe & Kariba!

Jeremy, Colleen, Stacey, Jemma & Megan Brown Qld Australia

Colleen Brown []


Rob Santowski

Our deepest sympathy to Sheelagh, Sharn, Chere and the rest of the family on the sad and sudden loss of Rob. You are all in our thoughts at this very sad time and we will always remember the happy times shared in Harare South.

All our love,
Marlene, Boet and family.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Newsletter No: 71

P O Box HG 641 Highlands Harare Zimbabwe

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

EDITOR’S NOTE - Michael and Pat GILL
We have returned from a whirlwind tour of Kenya and north Tanzania. We flew up to Mombasa, drove about 3000 kms in a lengthened Land Cruiser, which handled like an oil tanker, and drove roads that tourist do not see. We were invited to do this by Ralph and Rose Stead so that we could be the Mobile Controllers on the East African Safari Classic Rally. Many of the roads the cars raced over would have done us well as a 4x4 trail drive and we wondered how these pre-1975 cars (a Ford Mustang, Datsun 260Z’s; 240Z’s; 1200’s; Porsche 911’s; two Renault Alpine’s and others) made it to the end of each stage. Many didn’t and their mechanics were kept very busy each night. Ralph was happy that a Kenyan Mustang won but was also very sad that two Renault Alpines fell to bits on a daily basis and missed many stages. African corrugations, jumps, pot holes and speed bumps will destroy anything including well re-built 35 year old rally cars. Out in the wilds there were plenty of LR Series 2 & 3's, local gentry in older Range Rovers. The tourists, and there are plenty of them, are moved about in lengthened Land Rovers and Toyotas with pop top roofs. What an amazing time we had.

We wish all our club members a very happy and peaceful Christmas and may all your dreams and ambitions come true in 2010. Michael and Pat GILL.

Christmas, hooray, what a year it has been, with all of us facing so many different challenges, some of which we have got over but many still ongoing. We look back and are thankful to have survived another year in Africa/Zim, but it’s home.
We as a club have had a very successful year in terms of events and participation in those events. I thank my committee for all their assistance in putting together these events, most of which we had on the calendared day (it makes life easy when you can plan ahead). In the New Year, we have most of the dates sorted for the normal events, and a few dates planned for some expeditions – should be fun.
Don’t forget our annual Ngomo Kurira run in Domboshawa in January, and as soon as you get a chance, you can pay your annual subscription to our membership secretary, Pat Gill, details available in this newsletter.
We are all looking forward to the break, those of you going away, please take care on our roads.
On behalf of the 4 x 4 club of Zimbabwe, I would like to wish you all a safe, healthy and happy festive season.
Cheers for now. Tim Thorburn

We are coming to the end of the year so regret there are no new members this month.

Subs for 2010 have been set at US$25 a year. Joining fee will remain at US$10. See Renewal Notice at the end of the newsletter. I will start to hound you for your subs soon!!

THE AGM The AGM is calendared for 14th March and we desperately need at least two new members to be on the committee. Please offer you services, it is not a daunting task and we have a lot of fun together.

Michael Gill: Your editor had a nasty accident while in Kenya; he fell in the bathroom of the hotel and severed the tendon on his knee. He will be in hospital for a couple of days and will then have his leg immobilized for about two months. Mrs Ed is not looking forward to this period of his recovery.
THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN by Richard Macdonald Chitake has been referred to as ‘the Jewel in the Crown’ of all Zimbabwean wildlife destinations and I can certainly confirm the title. Five of us, being Scotty Crockart, Phil Archenoul, Jimmy Whyte, Mac Bailey and myself, spent three nights there and what a wonderful trip it was.I managed to get the camp site booking due to a cancellation whilst in the National Parks office. The guy was standing ahead of me in the queue so a quick negotiation took place and I was the proud owner of three nights. Normally you have to put your name in a hat and if extremely lucky you might win a booking.The Chitake Spring is in Mana Pools National Park. During the dry season the water seeps out from under a big rock and runs down the river bed in numerous rivulets to disappear into the sand after 300m. The banks of the river are quite steep so obviously during the rains the river must flood.Chitake has three camp sites: the first is only available to commercial operators and is on the south bank. Chitake 1 is the other side of the river and immediately opposite the commercial camp site. Chitake 2 is maybe 2 km away amongst five large baobabs but well away from the river; beautiful views but quite windy. We found a spot upstream from Chitake 1 and a little way off the river’s edge, which proved to be ideal.At any time of the day there is always some sort of wildlife activity on the go. The area is well known for its lion prides but during our brief four days we only came across one lion during the day. One night five lions came into our camp and took up temporary residence right outside Phil’s tent. That was our only encounter with them. Other animals were in abundance. We estimated one herd of buffalo at 300, saw about 50 elephant, numerous impala, kudu and the bird life is prodigious. The day after we left wild dog killed an impala in the river bed.Be prepared to walk around a bit but with eyes wide open as it is too easy to walk into a pride of lion. I think the better option is to set up your deck chair on the bank, making quite sure you are protected from the rear, a cooler box near your right hand, binos in your left hand, and be patient.If you have never ‘done’ Chitake you are the loser. So make a plan, you can’t afford to miss out on this jewel. Richard MacDonald.

Have you had a look at our website and Face Book recently? They have both been updated with all the latest photos and news items.

Those of you playing with the older Jeeps, Land Rovers and classic or vintage cars will know that there are a multitude of different bolts used on these cars.
Metric: Easy and common and apart from some being fine thread or odd 7mm size you should be able to get what you want. All Japanese and European cars use these.
UNC and UNF: These are American and British bolts. Inch sizes. There was a period when Land Rover used a mix of these and Metric. Are you surprised that you find many stripped threads because the nuts and bolts do not match?
BSF or BSW: The older the British cars get the more you will need these. Trouble is you cannot buy them from the nut and bolt shop.
A couple of tips: Look at the tops of your bolts for the makers name and thread. Not many have it but once you have one like VERBUS UNC R you have a sample. VERBUS is the manufacturer, UNC is the thread and R is the strength (high Tensile).
Avoid using bolts marked BMA M. These are metric mild steel and not suitable for use on a car, too soft.
I have a selection of BSF nuts and bolts if you need some, many are new and some are galvanized. I also have a few ½” drive Imperial sockets, surplus to my needs.

Seat belts are not as confining as wheelchairs.

Having at last overcome the rough idling and poor fuel consumption of my Peugeot 306 1.8, I thought Club members may be interested in the start and end of these problems.
Back in the days when I stored a few liters of petrol and diesel for our family vehicles, I inadvertently mixed around 30 liters of petrol and diesel. Not wanting to discard this fuel mix I began adding 5 liters of mix to the fuel tank but only when I refilled with 60 liters of petrol. The engine would run a little sluggish for the first couple of km, thereafter appearing normal, though always with a rough idle. Given a 50-50 mix of diesel and petrol, the diesel would have been around 4% of the tank contents. All in all I had probably added 10 liters of diesel over 8 or so tank fillings.
Fuel consumption was noticeable poor. Engine oil level after 2000km was found to be high, I drained off 2 ltrs. Replacing the oil and checking the level much more frequently than before, the oil level began to rise again.
Sensing a link to the diesel mix and possible injector problems I stopped adding the mix a while. After a talk with our son in the UK I disconnected the battery, allowing the electronic engine management to revert to factory settings. Immediately the engine returned to its normal idle, fuel consumption to 13 km/l, and engine oil level has since remained steady. Maybe the higher viscosity or change in fuel mass upset the fuel management; diesel was not burned and ran down the bores and into the sump. Needless to say, I won’t be adding any diesel to my petrol engines again. David Rock

We still have a number of shirts from various events that we would like to get rid of before next year begins.
We have 12 Bush Pig; 15 Jamboree and 15 Club Air Back shirts.
If you would like any, please contact me. Pat Gill: 494028; 011.440.794.

Please note: If you wish to go to Donnybrook to play and there is another event on, then the organizing club can charge what they like for you to enter as they will have hired the entire complex for that day. Please don’t try and argue with the gate attendant as they will just be doing their job. Either pay-up or go away and come back on a free day.
You will note the seesaw in the children’s playground has been refurbished. The committee has thanked Mike Gill for this refurbishment.

These dates will change as the year progresses, but flyers will be sent out before each event.
This is a very full calendar and there are still a number of events we would like to add.
January 24 Ngomo Kurira Run Day
Feb 12-14 Bulawayo Jamboree Away
Feb 28 Day Event Day
March 14 AGM Day
March 26-28 Sanyati Expedition Away
April 11 Day Event Day
May 8-9 Course Building Week-end
May 21-23 HARARE JAMBOREE Week-end
June 25-2 Eco Challenge Away
July 16-18 Crocodile Crawl Away
August 6-10 Away Weekend Away
Sept 10-12 Bush Pig Away
October TBA Three Hills Away
Nov 20-22 Mutare Dungbeetle Away
Dec 5 Christmas Run Day

School Terms
1st Term Opens 7 January - ends 31 March - half term 18 Feb
2nd Term Opens `10 May - ends 5 Aug - half term 17 Jun
3rd Term Opens 6 Sept - ends 2 Dec - half term 14 Oct

To enter Donnybrook on a non-event day it will cost you $1 per car, providing you have you membership card. Non-members will be charged $5 per car. You must sign the book at the gate and put your name, you Club and membership number. Do not pay without signing the book.
If you have paid your subs and have not received your membership card, please contact me to make arrangements to collect. Pat Gill 494028 011.440.794
Have you had a look at our Web Site. Grant Weare, Kelvin’s son has done a really good job of updating it. Go to:
We have a Face Book site and for those members, who are on Face Book, feel free to join the site: 4x4 Zimbabwe

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

Motor Sports Association Club House
MSA Membership: The Club House bar works on a Swipe Card basis and any member of an affiliated club can join. Bar prices are double for non-cardholders.
Hall for Hire - Hire our affordable Club facilities for parties, Wedding Receptions, meetings, seminars, courses and other functions. Assist us in this way to obtain funds required for the upkeep of the Clubhouse.

Do you realize that in about 40years, we'll have thousands of old men and old ladies running around with tattoos? (And rap music will be the Golden Oldies!) No! Say it isn't so!

Michael and Pat GILL


Surname ................................................. Forename: ................................................

Spouse .............................................................................................................

Address: .............................................................................................


Telephone numbers: Home:.……........................ Work:: ……………...........................

Cell:...........................………........... E-mail :……………………..........................

In order to keep our records up-to-date, please complete in full.

Signed: .............................................. Date: ...……..................................

Annual subscription for 2010 is US$25
Please advise me as soon as you have paid, or we will not be able to reconcile the account and you will not get your Membership Card.
Pat Gill: Membership SecretaryPhone: 494028 Cell: 011.440.794 Email:



STEWART Margaret Anne

Died on 7 March 2009. Beloved wife of Donald, mother of Ken, Cathy and David.

Memorial service will take place at Prince Edward School chapel on Thursday, 17th Dec 09, at 2pm.

Service to be conducted by Father Noel Alfons


Death and Funeral Notice

Dumont de Chassart, Thomas Jean

Died at his home in Scottburgh on Monday, December 14, 2009. Beloved husband of Lilian, loving father of Michelle (deceased), Phillip and Nicole, adored Bonpapa of Andrew, Stephanie, Natalie, Gabrielle, Katrina, Robyn and Jemma.

His funeral will take place at St. Clare's Catholic Church, Scottburgh at 10 a.m. on Thursday, December 17. Requiem Mass will be conducted by Bishop Graham Rose.

A memorial service will take place in Zimbabwe at date to be advised.


Tom arrived from Paris in 1948 and was dispatched to Prince Edward School to learn English. He attended Gwebi College , then farmed with his Father on the family farm in Bromley. Once married he moved to Harare and joined Rhodesian Chicken Company. He then moved into the tobacco industry as Chief Executive Officer of Tobacco Trade Association.

Tom was a devoted family man, he had a massive community spirit being involved with every good cause that came his way, he was dedicated to the good of the country with particular interest in agriculture. He was character that will remembered for many years to come.

Rest in peace

Phil de Chassart


P O BOx 269, Marondera, Zimbabwe

Tel: +263-279-24412, 22332/7, 22971, 22329

Fax: +263-279-20338

Cell: +263-11433399, +263-23416964



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How cruel can people be!

We arrived home yesterday afternoon at about 5pm. The next door dog was barking intermittently but we did not think anything of it at the time.

We did all our various chores and sat down to watch a TV program. When we finished watching at about 7:30 we turned off the TV and again heard the dog - by now it was obviously very distressed.

We waited a while and then my husband and son decided to go and see if there was anyone on the property - the neighbours concerned have not had a phone working for months!
they rang the gate bell and the husband answered - they mentioned to him that his dog sounded as if it was distressed and he replied - that, yes, he was aware of this. They then asked him if he should not take it to the vet and afford the name of a 24 hour vet that we use. he said he was going to take the dog the following morning. My husband and son offered to help him take it then and there but he declined the offer.

We were unable to get the SPCA to come and assist so were helpless and had to listen to the cries from the poor animal. We could not break and enter our neighbours property and take the dog as we would have been breaking the law and could have been charged!

The poor animal was still crying at 11 at night - when i awoke at 3:35 - there was no sound. At 6 my husband went to see if the dog was still in its enclosure (it had no kennel and it had been raining all night). it was lying in the same position as it had been the night before - it had died during the night - by 8 am the owners had not even been out to see if it was alive or not.

I will do everything in my power to ensure that these dreadful people never have another animal in their care! I hope that they are prosecuted under the cruelty to animals act!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Audrey Evelyn Edington -Dearly beloved mother of Jane and adored Gummy of Lindsay and Greg, passed away suddenly in England on Friday.She touched so many lives in her long and dedicated teaching career, and was universally loved and respected.Her enthusiasm, health and zest for life were legendary, and her memory will live on in those who loved her.Email

With a reference to my Godmother, Audrey Edington, who taught English and Drama at Girls College, Bulawayo until December 2007. She then retired back to England has been living very happily in this country since. Sadly, she died quite suddenly on Friday 11th December 2009 as the result, we believe, of a thrombosis that took her without any apparent suffering.She taught in Zimbabwe for 57 years, retiring aged 83, and has now died aged 85.The funeral will take place on 21 December 2009 in Farnham.RegardsIan SargeantThe Spinney, Farnham Road, Ewshot, Farnham GU10 5AUTel: +44 1252 851299

Audrey Edington - A gracious, vivacious, wonderful woman. Friend, mentor, amazing teacher and role model to many hundreds of girls, Audrey taught for 57 years in Zimbabwe.Audrey will be sadly missed by Rick, Maggie and Robyn.A recent photo of Audrey with Henry Olonga has been posted on the Morning Mirror website.

SWAIN, Frank 1930, (Planning Assistant NR.Z. Bulawayo) Died two years ago on 16 December 2007 in Ton Pentre, South Wales UK. Loving Father of : Fiona & Robert. Loved Grandfather of Dougal, Aimee and Nicholas. Still remembered. charl-steyn@ talktalk. net ++++++++++NANCY HOBSON, formerly of Stony Kopje, Claremont, Bulawayo, passed away on Saturday, 5th December, in Selebi-Phikwe, Botswana, at the home of her daughter and son-in-law, Mary and Laurie Blignaut. Loving and greatly loved Mom of Margaret and Mary, grandmother of Jenni, Russel, David and Antoinette, sister of Mollie and Janet, and aunt of Sally, Susan and Andrew. Dearly loved and sadly missed by all her family.Janet Downing


The first fully qualified dancing teacher in Rhodesia was probably Miss Molly Stuart, Molly held dancing displays at the Empire and Princess Theatres with music supplied by Dan Bothma and Harry Gerber of Gerber's Music Store !
In 1930 Molly married Tom Forbes who had a jewellery store in Bulawayo, Dancing was in the family because the glorious Dawn Nimr Forbes still lives in Bulawayo today ! Betty went on to teach at Mercia Hetheringtons school of ballet.

Betty Bryers school in Salisbury produced the legendary Merle Park, possibly our most famous ballerina. Merle became a Soloist with the Royal Ballet Company in England.

Other well known very early dancing names were Bubbles Howorth, Isobel Cipacci and Hazel Brown.

In the early thirties, Puck Eland, and Mr Jimmy Gilchrist, together with Margaret and Josephine Issels, opened a school in St Georges Building, Main Street, Bulawayo.
(Who could forget Jimmy Gilchrist's eyebrows ?)

Many years later names like Margie Knoeson taught at St Georges building, as did Margaret Dolphin who later married Turk Mine farmer Dave Joubert. Balletomanes will be thrilled to know that Midge Dolphin-Joubert is teaching again in Pietermaritburg !!

Elaine Archibald was another well known name, Elaine was responsible for producing incredible dancers like Gary Burne, Keith Maidwell, Olga Twell, (daughter of the amazing Vida Twell) as well as Desmond Kelly, Ken Yeatman,, Judy Hardy and Dudley Van Loggerenburg.

More recently we remember Phyllis Spira, Jean Allenby, Petrus Bosman Eduard Greyling and Nicolette Loxton who danced at Cape Town, and Graham Rees who is now himself a ballet teacher in Bulawayo. Graham was a product of the well known Macdonald Academy, where Norma Masterson was the principal.

Still living in Bulawayo of course, is the lovely Michelle Masterson (Macmillan). Michelle is now the CEO of Matabele Steam Laundry and how well I remember her brilliant choreography involving, of all things, sheets, at the centenary festival for the steam laundry.

Dorothy Ainscough was yet another famous dancing teacher in Bulawayo as were Miss Dawn Summerton and Miss Dawn Nimr.

A name few people will forget in ballet circles is Rosemary Williams who trained at the Royal ballet in London. Many dancers went from Bulawayo to train in the UK. - Linda Brittain at Royal Academy, Debbie Woods (better known as DebbieYork) also trained at Royal Academy.

Judy Hardy is a name we all remember, married to Alan Hardy who wrote that wonderful book on the History of the Theatre, Ballet and Orchestra in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe 1890 to 1980. Thank you Allan for some of these names which I had forgotten.

From yet another talented dancer Veronica Brown (Now Hopkins) came this little missal -

"Yes I did dance with the MacDonald Academy of Dancing from late l949 to the early sixties, doing ballet, Scottish and tap dancing, as did my sister Florence - our maiden name was Brown. Heather and Norma MacDonald's first studio was at the Masonic Hall - where Doves Funeral Parlor is today. Another two dancers that come to mind are Beryl and Dawn Nimr, who danced at Macdlonald's - Dawn I think married Stuart Forbes of Forbes Jewelers, a very upmarket jewelry shop in Bulawayo, situated in Jason Moyo Street(Abercorn in those days) opposite Zimbank.

Priscilla Stobbs, who I believe still lives in Bulawayo also danced and later taught at the MacDonald Academy. We participated in all the shows, combined studio shows, pantomimes and Eisteddfods.
Another dancer I remember that danced with Dorothy Ainscough was Peggy Gower, she pursued her studies outside the Country and then taught in Bulawayo for a while in the sixties.

Judy Bower: danced during the 50's at the MacDonald Academy of Dancing, founded by Norma and Heather Macdonald, , a beautiful dancer and she did go on to join the Rambert School of Ballet,in London. I recall her being engaged to NORMAN FROST who danced with Gwen Mcoll at the Bulawayo School of Dancing and who also went to London, and danced for a while with the Royal Ballet.

Jean Theobald danced with the Dorothy Ainscough School of Dancing - she was such a talented dancer not only in classical ballet but also amazing at tap and character dancing- she went on, if my memory serves me correctly to finally join the Stuttgart Ballet Company in Germany, where she danced for many years. She did marry a BSAP policeman.

Judy Fischer also danced with the Dorothy Ainscough School of Dancing - I did not know her that well, but she was a beautiful classical ballet dancer and she also danced with the Stuttgart Ballet Company and I think became one of their Principal Ballerinas.
She had a sister called Wendy Fisher who also danced and she taught ballet in Bulawayo during the 70's and early 80's.

Those years were very happy years in Bulawayo's little world of ballet and there was a lot of healthy competition always
culminating in a bi-annual Eistedford which usually lasted a week and the adjudicator normally came from CAPAB in South Africa.

We not only had famous ballerinas, Lynette Lewis went to the Bulawayo Ballet Company and later became a Lido Dancer in Las vegas. Colleen Forsyth from Bulawayo became a star of the Moulin Rouge in Paris.

Acrobatic dancers have played a large part in Bulawayo's dancing life, Desray Ludick has led her talented troup of lithe, lissom ladies for many years, entertaining enthusiastic audiences with their amazing skills. Ballet is still one of the most popular cultural activities in the city and Curtain Call is a show that the Bulawayo public never misses every year at the Bulawayo theatre.

Please forgive me if I have not mentioned everyone, if I have missed anyone out, I would be grateful if you too could supply some names and details of our famous Rhodesian / Zimbabwean dancers.
e mail

But one think we all know is that, for a tiny country, we certainly had many,
many more than our fair share of famous ballerinas and dancers !!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Death Notices


To everyone who knew and loved BART WILDE, dearly beloved husband of Sandy and father of Ricki & Melissa. The Memorial Service will be held on Thursday 17th December 2009 at 11am Bryden School Hall Chegutu.

Ladies if possible, please bring a plate of eats.

Should anyone need accomodation, the Bryden School Hostel will be open for this purpose. Please bring your own bedding.


Rob Santowski

Deepest sympathy to Sheelagh, Sharn, Warwick and the rest of the family, on the sad and sudden loss of Rob. You are all in our thoughts at this very sad time. We remember the happy times shared in Malawi.

Dave and Heather Candy,


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Waning from a Zimbabwe resident

Yesterday around 430pm I was robbed, the driver’s window of my vehicle smashed and my hand bag taken. The robbers ran away in a no number plate Uno vehicle. This was in Milton Park. I recovered my bag in Coventry this morning but my driver’s license is missing in the bag…and the money of course.
Kindly be warned
Keep your bags in the boot or well out of site!



Widow of Nout, died on 29th. November in Sussex England 2 months short of 90. Sadly missed by Wendy, Carolyn and Marion.

Farmed for many years on "Pompey " in Karoi.



Please advise all family and friends of the sudden passing of Rob Santowski,

formally of Bowden Farm, Darwendale. Died from a heart attack at 11.30pm on Monday 7th December in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Sheelagh and the girls, at this time of sudden loss of both a fine loving father and an excellent tobacco farmer.

Rob was both a good solid friend and great fishing partner of many a CADSAS fishing trip. He will be sadly missed by all of team KAMOTO and members of Ward 11, Darwendale.

60th anniversary of the opening of Gwebi

The year 2010 marks the 60th anniversary of the opening of Gwebi. I wonder if there are any late 70 and/or early 80 year olds of Courses 1
and 2 still out there? I know that so many have passed on, but I would
be delighted to hear of or from wives or any of the early students still around. I had occasional contact with Peter Pilcher and Niel Purdon before I left to come to South Africa, but those are the only two I know of. The late Peter Fletcher and I went out to the College for the 50th.
Anniversary, and we former students had a small get-together at the Ruwa Club, but that is the last I have heard of anyone. My email address

Please contact me with your news, I would love to hear from you. Thanks.

Bill Carter

The Cost of Tyranny - Eddie Cross

It is now ten years since the collapse of the Zimbabwe economy got under way in earnest in 1999. It actually started in 1997 but only really began to slide two years later when the effect of policy changes took root. It is perhaps time that we looked back on this lost decade and ask ourselves what sort of price have we paid?

The numbers are astonishing - if you assume an average potential growth of 5 per cent in GDP over this decade then the actual cost in terms of lost GDP earnings is over $76 billion. In human terms, life expectancies have halved and over 3 million people have died before they would have died in the decade before.

For South Africa, the collapse of Zimbabwe has cost over $43 billion or 350 billion Rand and that estimate is a third lower than the cost estimated by Tony Blair when he visited South Africa three years ago. The crisis has cost the region perhaps a million jobs - a total that rivals the job losses attributable to the recent global melt down in financial markets.

In human terms the collapse has been nothing short of a catastrophe
- a third of our population has left the country - nearly 4 million going to neighbouring States. About half a million people have lost their jobs and nearly two million people displaced internally.
Absolute poverty is now the norm with average Zimbabweans receiving less than a dollar a day on which to subsist - the international measure of living below the level required for essential needs. This is confirmed by the fact that over 70 per cent of the national population was being supplied with their basic food needs at the beginning of this year.

On Sunday I attended a meeting where I was told of an incident where a woman encountered a man who was clearly insane wandering about a shopping centre. She was told he was a former member of the security forces who had been involved in torture. I understand there are thousands who are haunted by the crimes they have committed under State direction.

The consequences of the genocide in 1983/87 in many areas of Matabeleland have not been addressed and remain as a shadow over many communities. The effects of Murambatsvina in 1995 when 1,2 million people were displaced by a State campaign to force people back into the rural areas. Thousands died in the aftermath and hundreds of thousands are still homeless.

All of these are the consequences of a political tyranny that has sought to defend its hold on power and privilege. While the country slid into poverty and collapse accompanied by joblessness, homelessness and despair, a small minority who came to power in 1980, have become wealthy beyond their imaginings. They shop in Dubai and Johannesburg and holiday on the ski slopes of Europe. Their children go to the finest Universities and schools in the world. Many have homes in Zimbabwe that would do the wealthy in the west proud.

They conduct a clever and professional campaign to cover up their crimes. In offices in Toronto, London, Washington and Johannesburg, highly paid experts counter the attempts by the victims in Zimbabwe to tell their stories. Dozens of websites spew out their propaganda and people with false names correspond across the globe. Inside Zimbabwe they are terrified of any independent sources of news and information. The Prime Ministers news letter, launched this year in an attempt to counter a savage media campaign run by State agencies inside Zimbabwe, is feared even though it is by no means propaganda.

Attempts to reform the media and allow new broadcasting and TV channels have been met with total resistance even though they agreed to the reforms in the GPA. Only 12 per cent of the reforms negotiated over two years under the facilitation of SADC have been implemented in 9 months of political squabbling. No progress on democratic conditions for elections, no progress on the rule of law, freedom of assembly and association, no progress on the enforcement of contract law and respect for property rights, no progress on media reform.

Instead we are faced with a flood of propaganda about "pirate" radio stations, "sanctions" (shopping
restrictions) and "regime change"; as if elections are not all about regime change by democratic means. In place of real reform we continue to see harassment of the political opposition, illegal arrests and prosecution, the use of the legal system, (not for justice) as a mean of suppression. Political violence continues across the country with thousands of militia deployed and active and communities fearful of a knock on the door at midnight.

We are waiting, like everyone, for some news of the discussions that have been taking place over the past two weeks. These talks were not about negotiations - they were about a time table for implementing what all the Parties have already agreed and signed up to in the GPA. Why they have taken so long is a mystery to me - what is there to talk about? They signed up to the deal, all that remains is to get on with the job of implementing the agreement and in full.

It is obvious that once again we in the MDC are being asked to compromise. Quite frankly it is difficult to see any reason why we should. We won the 2008 election - hands down, we clearly control two thirds of the country through local authorities. Everyone knows full well that in a genuine election with free and fair conditions that the opposition to the MDC would be miniscule. I cannot see us compromising on any of the more substantive issues but you can be sure there will be a number of peripheral ones which they will trumpet.

We have suffered under a tyranny for 30 years. Believe me we are quite prepared to suffer for a bit longer if at the end we can elect a leadership that we can trust with our future under a system that will allow us to dismiss them if they fail us or abuse our trust. After all that is what democracy is all about.

It is raining and the crop season has started well. We were able to get a small quantity of seed and fertilizer into the hands of 700 000 families in the rural areas - enough for them to feed themselves if we get a decent season. As Mr. Tsvangirai said last week, pray for a decent Christmas for all of us - we deserve and need it.

Eddie Cross

8th December 2009


The family invite all friends of Rob to join them at a memorial service to be held on Friday 18 December at 2.30 p.m. at the Flying Frog, 11 Arcturus Road.

Contact: Jack Readings (011 600 636)


Rob Santowski

Our deepest sympathy to Sheelagh, Sheri, Sharn and families. We will always have fond memories of the good times in Malawi, especially around the pizza oven at Mchinji.

Rob will be sadly missed.

Our love

Roger and Esme' Blair

25 Kent Rd




It is with great sadness that we bring the news of the death of John R.

Shaw, husband of Jeanette, father of Alison (and Gareth), Mark (and Wendy)

and Johnathan, grandfather of Timothy, Sharon, Rachel, Jason, David, Daniel

and Amy. He passed away very suddenly on Saturday the 5th of December

whilst on holiday in Nyanga with his whole family. We are grateful for the

special times shared with him and thank the Lord for his precious life which

was a gift to us all. Sadly you will be missed, dad, but fondly you will be

remembered, thanks for all the wonderful memories!

A service will be held in Memory of John Shaw at St Mary's Church,

Highlands, Harare on Tuesday the 15th of December at 10am.

contact details for the family

0912343485 / 067-23535 / 0912410859

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Missing Teenagers

This has a very Happy ending ……. “it is with great relief that Kirsty and Taylor have returned home. Thank you all for your tremendous effort in doing what you could to help bring them both home safely, the response was amazing, Coralie and I along with Layla and Duncan are very grateful. >From all of us to all of you, a very big thank you.Kind RegardsNeil, Coralie, Layla, Kirsty and Duncan “ Neil Padmore Lets hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and may we see 2010 as new beginnings for our country and a SAFE place to live Let’s fight this crime together - stay ALERT and SAFE !

Monday, December 7, 2009

Death Notices


Died suddenly in Australia on the 11th November 2009.

Dearly beloved husband of Marga, special father of Adele, Paul & David.

You will always be remembered.



Died peacefully on the 19th November 2009 in England.

He will be very lovingly remembered by Dawn, Michael & Jennifer, Pip & Frances,

William & David and the many wonderful friends that filled his life.

Contact: Frances Fussell : 0912-302292


Dawn Fussell: 00-44-1480435460



Margaret Vermeulen -

Passed away at Murambi Garden Clinic in Mutare on the 17th November 2009.

My sincere Thanks to Doctors and Staff, for all your care over the last two and half months.

Mum was in the best hands. Now Resting where no shadows fall.

Your Love will be in my heart forever. I am honoured to have had a mum like you.

Your Heartbroken Daughter





Jean Peall -

Mugabe has got his wires crossed (again) somewhere. Whilst he pleads with the free world to release buckets loads of money to enable the rebuilding of Zimbabwe, he also has stated, in words of one syllable, that the free world must leave Zimbabwe alone.

Amid claims that the West is `fomenting regime change', he randomly begs the West for money. He says that it is needed to rebuild the country and rebuild the economy.

Let's just remember that we are talking about destruction wrought by none other than Mugabe and his loyalists!

It is lunacy to think that the free world will fill up Mugabe's empty coffers and then look away whilst that same money is spirited away by ZANU PF

There can be no doubt that Zimbabwe is broke and needs all the help that it can get. And we have to realise that any funding provided by the free world would have to be administered by the free world to avoid Mugabe having any say in where the money goes, or what it is used for.

We know that Mugabe's party, ZANU PF, is stone cold broke - although he is probably amongst the richest in the world.

Mugabe blames the existence of targeted travel sanctions on the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and says that the MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, should call for the sanctions to be lifted.

The travel sanctions were put in place long before the advent of the MDC, and are not the `illegal economic' sanctions that Mugabe claims they are.

But this is how Mugabe rules. He makes a mockery of the system of democracy, just saying enough to obtain what he needs, and then he reverts to form.

Mugabe points fingers at the West and claims that they wish to re-colonise Zimbabwe. Who, in their right mind, would want to re-colonise a country which has had all the good of the earth (agricultural and
mineral) taken from it by illegal and forceful means?

But in the same breath, Mugabe would be begging for money to put Zimbabwe back on its feet. You can't have it both ways!

But if your name is Robert Gabriel Mugabe you obviously can!

Mugabe is acknowledged as the liberator of Zimbabwe - the man that saw off Ian Douglas Smith's `racist regime' - but if I was to ask the people of Zimbabwe which do they prefer, Mugabe or Smith, the answer would be unequivocal .

Yes, Rhodesia had it faults. But at least the people had food to eat, houses to live in, running water, electricity, money to spend, employment, health care and education.

What has Zimbabwe to offer its people today?

Hardly any food - 1,6 million Zimbabweans will need food aid before the end of 2009. Operation Murambatsvina destroyed the homes of some 1,7 million Zimbabweans and many, now four years-plus after the event, live in holes in the ground under plastic.

Water seldom runs through taps in Zimbabwe, and even when it does, it is not safe to drink or cook with.

Electricity supply is a joke. The power comes on for a few hours whilst the nation sleeps, and then is switched off again.

Very few people have money - and the nation has abandoned its own Zimbabwean dollar. Who has access to the American dollar, the British pound or the South African Rand?

94% of the country's workforce are out of work, health care is on life support and education is a dream only.

Of course Mugabe will take the free world's money, but doesn't want the free world to see the real state of nation, so he would prefer to claim sovereignty, in the hope that it is enough to shut the world up.

Robb WJ Ellis


The tempo of events in Zimbabwe continue to gather pace - and all of it has a more serious nature than happenings of late.

Which begs the question: What is Robert Gabriel Mugabe up to?

He continues to prosecute the MDC for all and sundry - and then he also has other possible MDC sympathisers arrested on bogus charges, and he shows no sign of relenting.

Roy Bennett's trial continues as I write, and it is apparent that the prosecutor in this case - none other than the unilaterally appointed Attorney-General, Johannes Tomana - is somewhat floored by the strength of the defence case. Tomana also slipped up by presuming a ruling by the sitting judge, and had the temerity to question it with a
comment: "We didn't expect that ruling."

Not that long ago, a State prosecutor was sentenced to five days imprisonment for making a rude noise at a ruling by the judge.

Tomana was not disciplined for that comment, but we begin to wonder if the Bennett trail is not working to a pre-written script. Justice in Zimbabwe is an elusive matter.

We also read of how seven students at the Great Zimbabwe University were arrested for `conducting an illegal meeting' and that then swiftly changed to charges concerning the presence of an illegal weapon.

A security detail within the President's unit has been sentenced to twenty months imprisonment for attempting to sell ammunition - at US$10 a round. (I wonder whether the imprisonment was gauged on the actual intent, or for the audacious price asked per round)

There has been much written about the deadline given by the SADC summit to resolve the outstanding issues - although ZANU PF have denied that a deadline was given, and we see that Mugabe is not in an rush to have the situation sorted out, primarily because that resolution would require him to concede some more power and position to the MDC.

He also attended the food summit in Rome this last week - with a entourage of some 60 people - and really needed to be in Zimbabwe to oversee the negotiations. But since there were no negotiations, his presence would have been negated.

Did he have prior knowledge that nothing would be tabled or discussed while he was away?

There has been talk that Mugabe is entirely disinterested in any negotiations or discussions between his party and the two MDC bodies, and we also are aware of the temperature within the various political circles is heating up.

More and more ZANU PF head honchos are telling the world that they are not finished and that they will `be back' with more verve and vigour. Didymus Mutasa told ABC that ZANU PF have as good as won the next election - even though we are not aware, as yet, of any date of that election.

ZANU PF have already started the operation that they call `voter education' which is a misnomer for exercising their will over the potential MDC voter base.

Even though the three political parties are obliged to live up to the two agreements signed last year, very little has been lived up to by ZANU PF.

Their hate speech has taken on a new level, voter intimidation has increased in measure, the prosecution of MDC MPs and their supporters continue unabated - whilst the MDC can do very little in their own defence.

The MDC is a party borne of the need for DEMOCRATIC change and therefore will not cross the line into crime and violence. For this reason they leave themselves vulnerable.

Is Mugabe intending to abandon any pretence of a unity government and establish a pro-Mugabe police State? Indications on the ground would suggest that this is a probability more than a possibility.

And with Mugabe upping the ante with relative ease, we await the next ZANU PF audacious action.

So let's be careful out there!

Robb WJ Ellis

A Cobbler to his last - JL Robinson

It has taken me a very long time to begin to understand why I generally have deep reservations about politicians. Stephen Covey has very clear guidelines about a business relationships (and other relationships) needing to be Win/Win - not Win/Lose. Politics is quite simply a Win/Lose game and mentality. That is what makes the stakes so high.

But Covey's words on applying silly policies in agriculture tend to sum up the situation in Zimbabwe.

"Did you ever consider how ridiculous it would be to try to cram on a farm - to forget to plant in spring, play all summer (chave
chimurenga?) and then cram in the fall to bring in the harvest?(jambanja somebody else's crop)

The farm is a natural system.

The price must be paid and the process followed.

You always reap what you sow; there is no short cut."

It could well be that the politicians need to grab the nettle that Mugabe has used to prolong his stay and deal with it - the legality surrounding security of tenure or title in Zimbabwe. The longer that the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister and their entourages dance around the real nub - legality of tenure - the worse the situation will become. There can be no meaningful progress for the country until this issue is resolved. At the end of the day we have a responsibility to hold the Prime Minister and his Deputy to account
- because, as of today - "they are the
government." If the President has indeed managed to deflect an internationally highly respected human rights lawyer to the Education Ministry - "to testing toilets at Tengwe Primary"- then we need remind these politicians that they have been hoodwinked again
- like Joshua Nkomo was. We simple, humble, peasants of the soil need to remind them of the importance of the saying "A cobbler to his last." When the legal brains available - apply themselves effectively in their field, and focus on the issue of legality with some clear visionary thinking to build on a solid legal foundation - then we will have found first gear instead of reverse. Until then, we can hardly take "this process" at all seriously apart from the mess they are all making by playing cat and mouse. We need to remember that the events of 11th November, 1965 culminated in an event now approaching its 30th anniversary - on 11th December, 1979 the BBC said "Rhodesia reverts to British rule - Lord Soames appointed Governor."

Covey might say "the legal process was followed."

To think that cobblers or lawyers could be instant farmers is as silly as thinking cobblers and farmers could be instant lawyers - but Covey has explained just how ridiculous Zanu has been with "Farm Zimbabwe" and "the process." Zanu would like Chinotimba to be Minister of Law and Order!

J.L. Robinson

Guided Suicide - Ed Cross

Guided Suicide - Ed Cross

The deadline given by the regional community in Maputo passed on Friday without a single decision regarding the issues that are still outstanding being met. The political agreements were signed by the three Parties to the Zimbabwe crisis in September 2007. The reason was quite clear - Zanu and the Mutambara group simply do not know what to do. If they agree to do what the region wants, they are dead in the water.

But they signed the deal, they have nowhere to go and there have been intense discussions behind closed doors for weeks now. What to do? When MDC resolved to suspend all contact with Zanu PF in the Cabinet and Council of Ministers, they reacted with glee and started talking about "caretaker Ministers" and going it alone. Mr. Mugabe made a speech in the Midlands where he said that the Zimbabwe dollar would be back before the end of the year. Rumours of the Reserve Bank printing new currency were rife.

But they had underestimated the sophistication of the MDC decision and the reaction of regional leaders. They also misread the full implications of the SADC decision to divert the management of the Zimbabwe crisis to the Troika. By doing so regional leaders reduced the status of Mr. Mugabe from Head of State (at the SADC summit) to President of Zanu PF on a par with Mr. Tsvangirai and Mr. Mutambara at the meetings of the Troika.

This past week an aircraft arrived at Harare airport with tons of new local currency onboard. They tried to keep it secret but without success and we were called by people to say the consignment was at the airport.
When this news found its way through the corridors in Harare speculation was widespread. The most frequently asked question was "why"?

Printing a new currency simply did not make sense, who would accept the new currency? It would mean a rapid and complete collapse of the already fragile economy - empty shops and no fuel. It would run the risk of a national revolt and it was doubted if the army and the police would accept the new currency. A violent reaction was probable; certainly the people did not want to see a new local currency so soon after the 2008 collapse.

There was only one logical explanation - Zanu was contemplating a UDI from the region rather than go along with what they regard as political suicide. This made complete sense - they could arrest the MDC leadership, appoint "caretaker Ministers" and simply go it alone. Issue the new currency and exile Mr. Tsvangirai. That is exactly what Smith had done in 1965 in reaction to what the Rhodesian leadership regarded as unreasonable political demands by the international community.

But on reflection, even the crazies in Zanu (and there are many) would soon appreciate that Smith could contemplate such a move, encouraged by regional support from neighbouring States, particularly South Africa.
Zimbabwe is a land locked State and very dependent on its neighbours. It is also a minnow - with a GDP today of less than Swaziland or Lesotho. A large army, but poorly equipped and motivated. No major sponsors after China and other international States began to distance themselves from Zanu PF and its widely perceived rogue status.

Any talk of a UDI from the regional block would soon be heard in Pretoria and I have no doubt that it would be dealt with swiftly. So I do not expect to have to spend the next few weeks in a detention centre. I think the new currency will quietly go into storage at the Reserve Bank and will not be heard of again. I would guess that after a tense two weeks, the negotiators would be in discussion this weekend to decide what to recommend on the way forward on the issues to the Party leadership early next week.

MDC is not taking any chances and Mr. Tsvangirai is visiting the leadership of the African Union (past and present) this weekend. He will be back on Monday just in time to pick up where the negotiators left off and reach a deal with his colleagues in government so that they can report positively to the President of South Africa when he makes his planned visit to the country.

El Nino is once again working its menace in the Pacific Ocean. In the past month temperatures have risen 1,5 c. and the signs are all there that this is not going to be as good a season as in 2008/9. The wet season has started and all areas have had heavy rains this weekend. Parts of South Africa have had floods, but typically for an El Nino season, parts of the Cape are bone dry and drought stricken.

We are busy distributing small allocations of fertilizer and seed to a target of one million families in the rural areas. I am sceptical that this will make much difference. What concerns me even more is that the international agencies that deal with the question of food availability to the disadvantaged simply do not have the resources to do the same job they did last year.

We have millions who do not have the money to buy what food is now available, tens of thousands of elderly and orphans by the hundreds of thousands - the remnants of the aftermath of 30 years of Zanu delinquency and failure. The Diaspora plays a key role by sending money to the affected families where the links exist, but they have problems this year finding the resources to maintain the flow of money to their relatives.

Then there is the ongoing saga of the trial of Roy Bennett in Harare.
This dragged on all week with Roy's lawyers tearing holes in the prosecution and the fabricated nature of the charges becoming apparent to all. Displays of weapons that are supposed to be evidence of the arms dealing by Roy were found to include weapons from another case altogether. No evidence linking Roy to the arms was presented and the State claimed State secrecy to withhold evidence on which they based their claims.

It's very tough on Roy and Heather and you must keep them in your prayers. Thank you also for the funds sent through to Zimfund and others to help with his defence and other needs. Just be sure to email notification of any donations so that we can personally thank you and notify the family of your support.

But in all of this, just remember what we have said many times in the past - this is not a sprint, it's a marathon and it takes not only physical stamina but also intellectual commitment. We are in this to the finish line. Perhaps for the first time we sense this is ahead and that the final leg is going to be in the form of a guided suicide for Zanu PF. They must make decisions in the next few days that will seal their fate in the next two years, perhaps even next year.

Eddie Cross

Who is behind the Chegutu controlled anarchy? - Ben Freeth

In Chegutu the dire situation continues at Sue and Thomas and Beattie's Umvovo Farm. Burning tires are constantly being lit around the house in the past few days to try to intimidate or choke the Beattie's out. The tires were being burnt again as I spoke to Sue yesterday over the phone, her house was full of smoke and she was choking on the acrid smoke as we spoke. Her daughter, Sarah-Jane Keevil, was trying to get to her mother in the house, but the thugs refused to let her through the gate. They threatened to touch her `inappropriately' if she dared come there again. Sarah-Jane was thrown out of her own house on Dodhill Farm by Lands Officer Clever Kunonga's brother-in-law in May this year. As we spoke the tires were burning so close to the Beattie's house, a thatched one, that the fear in Sues voice was palpable. I vividly relived my own situation a few short months ago as the same thing had happened to us - and eventually our house was burnt down taking everything we owned.

Last night at the Beattie's from midnight, the drums were beating constantly outside the house. The invaders lit a fire on the porch under the thatch, flames rearing dangerously close to the tinder dry grass.
Sleep was out of the question as they banged on the windows, chanted and sang. The SMS from Sue at 5.30 this morning read "drums and raucous singing outside bedroom windows from midnight. Large fires-one on porch nearly lit the thatchthis is too scary."

Just after 5.30 am this morning, Thomas tried to leave the house to attend to the work that had to be done but found he was barricaded into his own house. His eldest son Douglas contacted him on the phone and heard his father's voice - "They are breaking in.", then banging noises and his father voice asking the invaders, "what's the plan now?" The phone abruptly went dead. The invaders had broken the lock and entered the verandah area of the house. At the police station we went through the torturous process of filing an official report [Report Received Book number 0699176] but we know that there will be no arrests. There never are. This kind of harassment is allowed to continue until the owners are either burnt out or the leaders of the thugs run out of money to pay them - or of course the owners cave in and leave their home and livelihood as so many thousands have done before with no repercussions to their tormentors.

There is only so much, mentally and physically, a person can take. In the last few months Thomas and Sue and their workers have been through a seemingly endless nightmare. In amongst the political upheaval Thomas and Sue tragically lost their second son Hamish. They have never had time to mourn or grieve his loss as parents should. The day they left the farm to arrange and attend their son's cremation the mob took the opportunity to invade the yard and tried to break into the house. The police were notified but no decisive action taken and certainly no arrests made. With this personal tragedy they have had to bear being assaulted, robbed, chased with sjamboks and sticks, locked in their house, locked out of their house, threatened, stopped from farming, deprived of sleep. It is a litany of torture- nothing that most farmers and farm workers haven't been through; but that doesn't make it any easier.

One does wonder what is in it for the Chegutu police except an indictment to an International court at the end of the day. Of course, in the short term they are being paid by the invaders. When invaders are allowed to steal whole crops and other possessions at will, there is more than enough with which to pay police to turn a blind eye and allow it all to continue. It is clear however that the instructions are also coming from above. This renders the law immaterial in the face of opposing instructions. I asked one policeman recently whether he took his direction from the law or from his superiors, he immediately replied, without batting an eyelid, that his orders were from his superiors. I told him about the 1.4 million railway workers in NAZI Germany that had been involved in transporting 6 million Jews to the extermination camps because they were simply `following orders'. I asked him whether he cared about the future of his children. A country without the rule of law will self destruct leaving all its children education-less and lost.

Where are these orders coming from? The Chegutu lands officer, Clever Kunonga, is a pivotal figure in the organization of illegal invasions in Chegutu. He was prominent again this week organizing invaders when the new invasion started on the Beattie's and at Umfuli Banks farm over the last few days. He spent almost the entire day at Selous police station yesterday - one wonders why? Persuading or intimidating Selous police to make the law take a back seat there as well? He hasn't let himself go unrewarded; he has allocated himself a farm and recently, flouting a High Court order against him, has chased Kevin du Boil and his workers out of their houses to take over the home for himself. But who Clever Kunonga is acting for is not immediately apparent. The Senator for the Chegutu district, Edna Madzongwe, led the violent takeover of Stockdale farm earlier this year just before the 6000 ton orange crop was due to be reaped. It is evident from information that has been given to us that she has put an end to the prosecution of Gilbert Moyo and his gang. This gang is up for various serious charges including our own abduction and kidnapping; the violent beatings Moyo administered to other farmers leaving permanent physical and mental damage; looting of numerous homesteads; shooting at my brother-in-law and peppering his vehicle with 14 bullet holes when he was trying to follow us when we were being kidnapped - the list could go on. He obviously has some powerful political backing: his name is not even up on the wanted list in the Chegutu police station.

The Chegutu police would not be able to act with such impunity over so many months if it weren't for someone powerful like Edna Madzongwe [and her backing authority]. It is clear though that there are key people at the station. They are from the infamous PISI - the plain clothes men to which the uniformed branch are obliged to defer - Assistant Inspector Bepura being their leader. No one messes with them and they are never investigated. The rest of the police have to follow their orders. The higher ranks always have to have them in the office when it is a "political issue" - the break in to a farmer's home or the stealing of his crops. The lower ranks are even afraid to talk to us now. They know that if they are seen talking to white people they might get disciplined, or they might simply disappear like Constable Tomano did some months ago after privately collecting statements of rape and beatings and severe violence, including killings, from the rural areas that the Chegutu police had allowed to take place last year.

The day before yesterday I phoned the joint Minister of Home Affairs who is supposed to be in charge of the police, Giles Matsekwa, and informed him of the invasions in Chegutu and what was going on. He said to me "I am in a crucial meeting." I remonstrated with him calmly and tried to explain that what was happening was crucial to the lives of thousands of people not just the affected farmers. He eventually put the phone down on me. He knew he could do nothing. In the meantime thousands of people are losing their homes and livelihoods in our Chegutu district. Just like the railway workers in NAZI Germany who kept the death trains running, the lawless destruction of peoples' lives is being allowed to continue unhindered month in and month out in Zimbabwe.
Through this process, power is being consolidated and with the impotency of the democratic side of government, it unfortunately seems likely to simply continue to its logical and tragic end unless something is done very soon.

Ben Freeth. - Chegutu



12.30PM: Felix Pambukani and about 15 to 20 other men arrived at my house gate demanding to know from me why I was still on the farm and why was I planting tobacco and what was I doing? 2 Ministry of Lands men from Chegutu - one of them being a Mr. Tony Makoshoni - ID number:
70-010006 G 38 and a Mr Chikadayi was also amongst these men and Kunonga was waiting at the Selous Police station.. DESPITE being told by myself and shown a letter from the Governor and Provisional Lands office
- clearly stating that I have been given permission to carry on farming for the 2009/2010 season they still demanded that I stop all farming at once. They then left and proceeded to the house that they have already evicted my manager from.


2.15PM: I was called out by my guards to the house gate where I was met by a man stating his name as Cde Jesus and a good 20 or more men claiming to be "ex-combatants", all clearly drunk. This Cde Jesus
- claims to have been sent by the President with orders to have me evicted! He told me to get out the house and off the farm within 30 minutes and that we were to take only personal belongings, as everything else belongs to themhe stated that he and his men would forcibly remove us and would "help" us pack if we did not comply. My 10 year old daughter at this stage was getting overwrought and visibly upset at what was happening. My wife and I decided that in their best interests we would send our 10 year old and 2 year old daughters and a friend that was staying with them off the farm for their safety. My eldest daughter's last tearful words to my wife were "Will I see you again Mommy??" My driver managed to get them off the farm to friends for safety.

I decided to carry on as normal - having phoned the police for assistance and being told to wait as they had no police vehicle with which to react.the "thugs" had returned to Mr Pambukani's place of residence - my manager's house and proceeded to drink and carry on loudly. Quite a few vehicles arrived during the afternoon - adding up to about 15 vehicles in all.

In the meantime I was giving out rations to my labour as normal ..
my labour sensing that trouble was brewing, decided to stay in the workshop area and near my house.

Mr Pambukani had also chased my guards away from my gates and placed his own locks on the gates.

The "thugs" were overheard talking and saying that "someone would die if we did not vacate the farm". They were milling around the workshop and keeping a presence known.

8.00pm: - the police eventually arrived. The police talked to Mr Pambukani and the men that were there and told them not to incite violence of any nature and that they had no right in trying to evict us from our house. The police also had words with me - asking why had I "mobilized" my labour-force? After a lengthy talk - the police left at 10pm.

At midnight I was awakened by my guards as other vehicles had arrived and this time with armed men. I was informed that these new arrivals were guards and that they had been brought in to guard the workshop area as this area belongs to Mr Pambukani and that we had in fact been the ones inciting violence and that I had mobilized my labour force against them.


10am: As I write this they are still here but not doing anything. I just do not know why they are spending all their monies playing all these games instead of using it on production on the land they have being given.


I just do not know what today is going to bring.

Death Notice

Kennedy, George

Beloved husband of Myra. George died this week in the UK. In the 1970's he was badly wounded by an AP mine and suffered severe pain for the rest of his life.
All members of the Karoi community during those years will remember them both with great affection


Regret have been off line as away in South Africa.


This Friday on the 27th November, young teenagers Taylor Cameron (16 yrs old) and Kirsty Padmore (17 yrs old) have runaway from home and are missing. It is now Wednesday and they still haven't been found, nor has anyone had contact with them. The police have been involved and have been doing their best since Sunday. Still no positive news.Please. We need your help! Their parents and families are very worried, and if it were your children we would make this same effort.PLEASE BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THEM!If you know any one or both of these people personally and have seen them during the weekend or after, Please let us know!Contact and get through to AS MANY OF THESE numbers as you can:091 3 760 594091 2 240 471091 2 317 689091 2 417 065091 2 260 45501160001404 485540/1Email addresses:charlesr@frampolafrica.comneilp@frampolafrica.comWhat we know:Taylor and Kirsty were last seen in Highlands, Harare on the 27th of November. (Last friday night) We have asked Econet to help us with their round-abouts location, and they said that there had been calls and messages from their cellphones coming from the Manicaland area over the weekend. They could still be out there, but theres also a very big possibility that they are in Harare. They could be anywhere, they could be around the corner from you for all we know. Please be on a lookout for these faces. (pictures attatched) of people around the street that you see or have seen. IF YOU SEE OR HAVE SEEN THEM, Please call or email us with as much information as you can give. If you can do nothing else, we ask that you pray for them and that they are safe.Many Thanks,The Families of Taylor and Kirsty.