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Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Wonderful husband of Susan and beloved father of Hendrik, Trudy, Jan, Dolf, Carina, Kobus and Sarah and much loved oupa of Andre, Michelle and Christiaan.

Passed away on Wednesday 23rd June at Borradaile Trust Marondera after a long illness bravely born.

Funeral will be at 11 o'clock on Thursday 1st July at The Dutch Reformed Church, Marondera.

Contact Susan: 0279 20108 email. or Trudy at


ALAN STOCK - Wonderful husband of Colleen and Beloved Dad of Michael & Stephanie, Brother of (the late ) Brian and Terry Brother in law to Eve Beloved Uncle of Jenny, Peter, Felicity and Sharon and Great Uncle of Katie, Chris, Shauna,(the late) Mark and Alex . You will be missed so much we loved you so much. At peace now no more pain. Your big brother will be there to look after you. Email:

Reps Reporter June 2010

Greetings in chilly June, and here’s hoping you are keeping warm. The 2010 FIFA World Cup is attracting the attention of many of us at the moment, so it’s worth reminding you that you can watch all of the matches in our own Members’ Bar. Peter and Betty Hobbs have done a grand job in running a pre-tournament tote and now they are encouraging people to come along to watch … with food served on some nights (check with the office as to when this is being done). Mike Blackburn and Rhett Abrams have arranged a large screen and Linda Hyde has loaned her projector, so it can be seen on this larger screen (on quieter nights it’s only the small screen, though). It may be cold outside but inside the bar it’s very warm and very welcoming! Come along for a great social evening or two … or more!

Recent activities

May leading into June has been a busy time for the theatre, starting with HIFA 2010, then moving into Let’s Face The Music and Dance from the Dance Trust of Zimbabwe/National Ballet and onto Zambezi Express – both sold-out shows from HIFA. Also from HIFA was Yours Abundantly From Zimbabwe in Theatre Upstairs. Then came Teri Grimmel’s Ol’ Blue Eyes and The Phoenix and Harare Male Voice Choirs’ Showbiz, as well as Are There Tigers In The Congo? This latter drama was directed by Per Fosser and starred George and Shamiso Gukuta. Most recent was Harare’s Got Talent, a unique offering from Reps that showcased loads of new and known talent and gave us an almost full house! If you missed out on these then you missed out on some wonderful performances and productions. This kind of activity is just what we need on our stages to keep Harare entertained and to ensure a much-need steady cash flow for Reps.

Zane’s treatment of Oscar will be a surefire success

On Main Stage we next host Zane E Lucas’ The Importance Of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde’s classic comedy of manners that is bound to be superbly done. It stars Kevin Hanssen, Jason Linforth (who goes off to university in the USA in a couple of months), Anne Fischer, Jamie McLaren, Richard Sticklen, Erin Cooper, Leila Billing and Rudi Basson. If you have never seen this wonderful play, then do yourself a favour and if you have seen it before come back to enjoy a delightful story with an excellent cast, helmed in the usual Lucas style. Booking is already open at The Spotlight and performances run from preview on Wednesday June 23 to the final showing, which is the matinee show on Saturday July 3. A special offer is ‘buy one full price ticket and get one for half price – available only for this Thursday, Friday and Saturday’s performances.

Mitzi and Mel’s magic music and dance

After that, it will be time for Mitzi Carruthers’ annual dance spectacular, this time directed by Mitzi and her daughter, Mel. The show runs from July 15 to 25 and it’s called M&M’s Gotta Shop Mall. As always there’ll be colour, costumes, wonderful music, excellent dancing and a fun time for all, not just people related to the many dancers from the Gotta Dance Studio on stage. This is also now being booked through The Spotlight.

More talent to be showcased at Reps

Because of the success of Harare’s Got Talent, we are doing a second showing of this talent showcase, featuring a line-up of different performers. Auditions for this are being held at 11am on Sunday July 4 in the Adrian Stanley Room, so come along or encourage others to come along. We are looking for performers of every kind – not just singers, but dancers, comedians, acrobats, jugglers, magicians, mime artists …. you name it and we want it. We already have quite a few people who have put their names forward for consideration. The show itself will be a one-off on Saturday July 31, starting at 7pm. The first show was very long and there were over 40 acts, but the second one will be brought down to 20 acts or so and a much shorter running time. Congratulations to Ketan Nagar, Taz and Zainee on winning the first show, with more congrats to runner-up Christessa Duff-Smith and third place ties Nyasha Chakanetsa and Phillip Lee. Kevin Hanssen received a special award for his huge variety and style.

Singers and dancers wanted for the biggest musical show of the Reps 50/80 celebration

If you are 15 and older, come on down to Reps Theatre on Sunday June 27 between 10am and 1pm to audition to be a part of Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, directed by Teri Grimmel (three-time Afdis Award winner for Best Director). There are many parts up for grabs including Joseph, Pharaoh, The Brothers, Potiphar and The Narrator as well as places in the very large chorus. Everyone and anyone over the age of 15 is most welcome. The show will be on stage from September 16 to 25 and rehearsals will start in mid July and will run four times a week in July and August. If you would like more information or if you would like to get involved in another way (on the technical side perhaps) then get in touch with Erin in the Reps Office either by email on or on 336706 or 335626. If you would like to purchase a gala performance of this show to raise funds for your school or organisation, please get in touch with Erin to discuss prices – two performances are already sold.

Bar news

We have spent a great deal of time and energy, not to mention money, in making the bar(s) more appealing and, we hope, more successful for Reps and its members. We have enjoyed an anonymous financial input that has enabled us to stock the cellar and the bars – thank you to the person concerned for that assistance. The range of drinks and snacks in the Members’ Bar is greater than for a long time and we are doing our best to make the Members’ Bar a really enjoyable venue for socialising and relaxing. Social events will be starting again soon, so watch out for news of what will be coming up in this regard. Also, don’t forget the draw on a Friday night, when you could win money for simply being on the premises! Fridays can be extremely social so come along and have some fun. We are making plans for other attractions, such as food, so get the most out of your membership by making full use of the bar.

Quiz time again

The next fun pub quiz will be run in the Members’ Bar on Sunday June 27 at 11am. Come along with a team (or if you don’ have a team come along and join up with one). It’s all fun, pub quiz style, and afterwards there will be food and a chance to watch the grand prix or soccer if you feel like it. If you are visiting the Borrowdale Craft Fair that day, you can always go there either before or after the quiz.

Did you know …
… that the History Society of Zimbabwe came along for a session about Reps and its history? More than 150 people arrived to hear about Reps, past, present and future, and the group not only heard talks but also toured the premises and then ended up in the bar for a social. Some of our members also joined in this worthwhile exercise, the latest event in our 50/80- celebratory year.
Until next time … stay well and warm.
Yours dramatically
Teri Grimmel, Chairman


Bill Earl, born 18th June, 1922 - passed on 22nd June, 2010. Celebration Service at Highlands Presbyterian Church on Wednesday 30th June, 2010 at 10am. Husband to Margaret (Peter) Joan Earl and Father to PJ (John) and Jeremy. This is just let everyone know who knew this unique character.

I thought you would like to know that Mum (Alison Rudd) died very peacefully on 25 June 2010, with her younger sister Tooney at her side.

She turned 80 on 24th January and had a wonderful party in Joburg with all her sons and many friends from her Joburg days (1955-1962). She returned to England in February to her charming little house in Midhurst where she had been living since 2007.

She has asked to be cremated and to have her ashes placed next to Dad's at the Bulawayo cathedral. This we will do in due course.

At this stage we anticipate that a private cremation service will be followed by a memorial service at her local church in Midhurst (Woolbeding) on about Monday 5th July.

Mum's postal address is 23 Cowdray Court, Midhurst, GU29 9UA.

Henry, on behalf of Philip, Henry, Matthew and Thomas.

Henry Rudd

ALISON RUDD - one of life's most beautiful and gracious ladies.
With deepest sympathy to her family from Rick and Margaret


SMITH - Margaret. Much loved friend, slipped away after a brave fight with cancer. Sincere and deepest sympathy to Colin, Alison, Gavin, Betty and their families. A woman in a million, and the life and soul of every party. We shall miss you. R.I.P. Love, Dave and Marina

SMITH - Marg. My dearest friend - we never said goodbye. So many laughs and great times, and such wonderful memories. Thank you for being such a special friend - I'm sure gonna miss you and our marathon telephone chats! Sleep peacefully now with no more pain. All my love, Marina


SMITH - MARGARET Passed away peacefully in London on the 25th of June 2010
from a long illness. Finally at peace, no more pain, sadly missed by her
children Gavin, Alison & Colin, son-in law Michael and grandchildren Kylee,

Courtney and Shannon.


CONWAY - Jack. Died quietly at home on 19th June 2010. I will miss you Dad. See you in Heaven. Your loving daughter Maureen.
FUNERAL: at Christ the King, Hillside
Time: 11:15 am
Date: 24th June 2010


CONWAY - Jack. Uncle of Norman and Bev. Great Uncle of Tracey and Great-Great Uncle of Casmea and Tamryn. Peacefully found asleep at home. Gone to rest until the great Resurrection Day. Will be sadly missed by us all. May God's arms encircle you Maureen at this time. Conway and Burns Families


CONWAY - Jack. Uncle of our late brother Joe. Charles, Pam and Julia in South Africa, Linda in USA and Yvonne in Australia. Our deepest sympathies to Maureen. May his soul rest in peace.

Mukuvisi Woodland

The Mukuvisi Woodland has compiled a History from 1910 - 2010. We are now looking for any additional photographs that were taken in the very early days, at the Coro Racetrack, or picnicing along the Makabusi before 1950, etc etc If you have any we may borrow for scanning, please contact Simon Pitt on 0712 416 574 or


Newsletter No: 75
JUNE 2010
P O Box HG 594 Highlands Harare Zimbabwe

The Chairman and Editorial Team:
CHAIRMAN: Tim Thorburn 498723 / 0912.645.518
EDITORS Mike & Pat GILL 494028 / 0712.400.243 / 0712.440.794
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. It is available for hire for weddings, conferences, kids parties, 21st birthdays, etc.
News, comments and opinions expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of the Club or the Committee

THE EDITOR’S DESK - Michael and Pat GILL

What happened five years ago this winter? We had the Bush Pig at Beatrice and it was freezing cold, good reason to hold it in September. Much work went into the Jamboree in July which was also rather cool for the campers. Then in August a group went camping at Tashinga on the South shore of Kariba. The Zambezi Valley seldom gets cool. A great time was had but the road was bad enough to destroy one trailer. So? We are camping, in the cold again, at the Eco Challenge, we are camping, after a long bush drive, on the South shore of Kariba, a small group will be going to the Eastern Highlands to beautiful Aberfoyle and not camping. But the Bush Pig will be much warmer at Beatrice in September.


This year's Castrol Jamboree was a very successful event with 31 entries and good crowd attendance, leaving the club in a good financial position for the year. I would like to thank all those involved in the organization of this event, and especially Mark Benzon and his committee for the effort they put in.

Coming up in July is an expedition to Sanyati lead by Kelvin Weare. If you are looking to explore, here is your chance. It is a wonderful opportunity to see a part of Zim that you are unlikely to go to any other time. Flyers will be sent out with details later. Don’t miss it.

Also coming up in August is a trip to Aberfoyle Tea Estates over Heroes weekend. Places are going fast, so book early to avoid disappointment.

On a lighter note, have any of your teams made it through to the last 16 of the world cup. I don’t see any flags flying on your cars, or wing mirror covers. All of my family’s team flags, bar SA, are still flying. With relatives in USA, UK and Germany, our loyalties are divided. Someone is going to lose out when UK & Germany clash.

Drive safe and I will see some of you at the Eco-weekend this weekend.

Cheers for now. Tim Thorburn


This month we welcome Stuart and Bernadine GEACH. Son of our new committee member Gareth. Stuart and Bernadine have been out with Gareth and Ashleigh on a number of outings and finally decided to join the family.

Maurice Ades, joined in 1992 but let his membership slip. Maurice has been the commentator at the Jamboree for the last couple of years and so decided to re-join the club.

We take this opportunity to wish you a long and happy association with our club.


OBITUARY: Some of you may remember Lance Abel. They were Marondera farmers and emigrated to New Zealand a few years ago. Sadly Lance lost his battle with Alzheimer's Dementia earlier this month. Lance was a keen Off-Road motorcyclist and then bought a Cournil and joined the Club. His car was bought by Mass Kirk when they left for quieter pastures.


Please note we have closed our post box and are using the Box for the Motor Sports Club House. In future all correspondence should be sent to The 4x4 Club, P O Box HG 594, Highlands, Harare. The Street Address is: 2 Annan Road, Eastlea. Harare.

More on Lead-free Fuel:

This is for those running "Old" petrol engines. Diesel owners can skip this.

The original seals and 'O' rings are not compatible with unleaded fuels and will harden. As a result any sealing rings disturbed during a service are unlikely to seal and should be replaced with new ones. Fuel injection delivery valves in the metering unit, the vacuum diaphragm and injector seals should be replaced with seals made from unleaded fuel compatible materials. Unleaded fuel additives or LRP will not make any difference to the need to replace pump seals. Your car may be running well but you should also change all injectors for unleaded compatible sealed ones on a service exchange basis when using lead free fuel.

Owners will have found it necessary to retard the timing by a couple of degrees. It is unlikely that engines will run indefinitely on unleaded fuels without hardened inserts fitted into the cylinder head exhaust valve seats. This may well be necessary later and yet a few may never require new valve seats at all. The exhaust valve seats longevity will depend on a number of factors, but largely the way you drive the car. Many were originally machined straight into the cast iron head (classic cars) and will not withstand continuous vigorous driving using unleaded fuel. But don't panic. You have been using leaded fuel in your engine for a number of years so a thin but very worthwhile protective lead deposit will have built up on the working surfaces and could last for thousands of miles. Obviously if you do a de-coke, drive flat out for hours, or tow a caravan, the "lead effect" is dramatically shortened but with light driving it could last for several years.

In due course you will have to adjust the tappets with increasing frequency, signaling the start of valve seat recession. So what; tappet adjustment takes but an hour. If you are covering under 10 000 kms. per year you could go many years with just an annual tappet adjustment. Do not worry that you are doing your engine irreparable damage and running the risk of needing a new expensive cylinder head. Eventually, when the time comes to have the head modified, the valve seats will be machined out and replaced with a hardened insert. By adopting a "wait and see" policy you are doing your engine no damage whatsoever.

Thanks to VCCZ Newsletter. (Condensed - Ed)


You start off arguing that you do not need a winch, and then you convince yourself that you NEED a winch. Once you have the winch you have to mount it on your car. Whatever you mount it on has to be strong and it must be mounted correctly. Any twisting when bolting down or due to load can stop it working. A 9000 lb winch can exert 9000 lbs pull that is 4.5 tons. Any welding must be very good and all bolts HT. If in doubt get it done professionally. Pulling the front off your car, and it has happened, will spoil your day and make you look awful silly.

Winch makers say you must be able to pull at least 1.5 times the weight of you truck, that is the bare minimum. Do not overlook the fact that the maximum pull is only on the first wind of the wire on the drum; each extra layer looses 10% of the pull. A snatch block will make you unwind more cable and will double the pull strength. In fact your truck can take even 20 000 lbs pull to drag it, with all the extra mud out of the gloop. Parts breaking or coming off at this load will injure, destroy or kill. Be careful.


What will do 180 kph down the Donnybrook main circuit straight, +/- 145 kph through the sweep and proceed to do a competitive lap time then drive directly to the 4x4 site and proceed to traverse various site obstacles, including part of the X-treme area without a glitch? It is the new Range Rover Sport – V8 Supercharged engine, +/- 500bhp, 620 NM Torque and every off-road gismo you can think of.

Range Rover (Land Rover) has been pioneers of luxury off road vehicles from the introduction of the Range Rover in 1969. Jeep had their Wagoneer prior to this, but Range Rover really established the bench mark for luxury off roaders and have been leading ever since.

I, and some others, were fortunate enough to attend the demonstration day held by Premier Auto Services (the new Land Rover and Jaguar distributors in Zimbabwe), in conjunction with Land Rover S.A. where the new Range Rover Sport and Discovery 4s were being demonstrated. The Range Rover Sport is simply an astoundingly magnificent vehicle with, I believe, no equal!

The Disco 4s were equally impressive off road with all their electronic traction, drive and stability programs with cameras and V6 diesel engines. We saw the amazing new Toyota Prado at the Jamboree and it would be a great experience to have both these vehicles do a head to head comparison at our site.

Land Rover and Toyota – are you willing and able?!
Cheers, Ralph

(Ed. I too had the chance to test the Disco – it makes a mockery of slippery steep slopes. The Defender was a base model pick-up but with the new Puma 2.4 ltr motor. It idles at 800 rpm and climbing the steep concrete slope at 1000 rpm without driver input, even if the brake is put on a bit to make it harder. It will not stall. The new 6 speed box with a very low 1st gear is impressive. We are told that all Defenders are now imported from Britain complete, not assembled locally.)

The trouble with bucket seats is that not everybody has the same size bucket


SANYATI EXPEDITION Date: 16 - 17 - 18th JULY 2010

Kelvin Weare has organised a fabulous off road adventure for the club.

Here is a chance to go somewhere different, into the wilder parts of the Kariba South shore.

The plan is to spend Friday night on a farm near Vuti (after Karoi). Saturday will be a long and hard drive so the plan is to leave before sparrow and have breakfast and lunch on the road.

We will drive through the hunting area towards Kariba and camp the night overlooking the Sanyati Gorge at Second Cross Roads.

The drive back will be via the fly gate and Magungi. If you have trailered your car then we will split up here and you will return to the farm and the others will continue back to town.

Please note this is not suitable for SUV's.



How do they do it? Another action pact week-end with a bumper crop of competitors and commercial stands all adding up to a good event enjoyed by the Public and Members alike. Well done Mark and all the team of officials that you had, not forgetting the many Marshals without whom we would not have an event. Some of the side shows did not go off without a bit of drama. One skydiver had a narrow escape when his shute became tangled and his emergency shute filled in the nick of time. The model electric plane demonstration came to a spectacular end with a power dive into the ground, splat!

With just over 30 entries and several for the first time, either driver or car, there was keep competition in all classes, with exception of the Long Wheel Base that had 2 cars and Murray, in his Patrol, was a lone finisher when Dale's Disco munched its diff. Due to engine trouble Adrian had to borrow a Cournil from Maas and then demonstrated the "Drive it like you stole it" technique and rolled twice. Our Treasurer Kelvin also added to the fun by rolling his Series 1, which I am informed, does take some doing. Then there was an unconfirmed report that Bright Bvukumbwe finally managed to park his Series 3 on its side. Your Editor managed to destroy his front prop shaft, at high speed, in the Mud Run. Too much wellie at the start. But how do you find a meter long prop shaft in a 100 m long muddy trench? A $20 reward failed but the $30 had many children and helpers splashing about for quite a while till it was found.

There are many stories to tell and our congratulations to those who finally triumphed.

The Barzem Extreme. 1st Sonnie Rousseau (Range Rover special)

2nd Shane Ellis (Range Rover special)

SWB Modified. 1st Michael Maas (Jeep)

2nd Alex Hawkins (Jeep)

3rd Rodney Beckley (Suzuki)

SWB Standard. 1st Tim Thorburn (Jeep)

2nd Ian Robertson (Jeep)

3rd Kelvin Weare (L/R S1)

Specials 1st Mass Kirk (Cournil)

2nd Trevor Butler (Jeep)

3rd Peter Dobropoulos (L/R S1)

Long WB 1st Murray Upton (Patrol)

2nd Dale Kiggen (Disco)


Just a simple social trail drive turned into quite a big event. We had 17 cars and 35 people so you can imagine how long the convoy was. We made good use of the new Club radios and with various stops: 1. Pete Benzon found a sharp spike in his tyre; 2. The younger ones got lost after lunch; 3. Tony Jordan's Merc had a fuel blockage and had to be towed home; 4. Kelvin nose-dived into an unseen ditch and had to be pulled out.

The "3-Rivers" crossing was hard work with much sawing of overhead branches to make a route and unlike past visits the open sand banks had gone and a deep grass carpet covered the unseen pitfalls. The exit water was bonnet deep for a meter or two which was not so much fun for Ian Robertson in his open Jeep.

The drive took us through every terrain with stream crossings, large smooth rock climbs to wonderful views, narrow trail tracks, mud marsh crossings to a peaceful shady lunch stop. And deep water etc.

Just as we were finishing lunch we were very surprised to be joined by the Pemba family in two Toyotas, they had followed our tracks, remember there were 15 cars to follow, and had done some very good tracking. They said they had to ask a few times but a convoy of 15 cars does not go unnoticed so they get the Club Star for tracking this month. Will members please note that this is not an invitation to following along late!

Firstly we wish to thank Pete Jenkin and Gareth Geach for towing Tony home and secondly remind drivers that you must make sure the car following you is in sight all the time. We call it the "Buddie-Buddie" system.

If driving too far is not your ‘thing’… and you just want to mellow for a few days… why not stop at Camp Africa. Camp Africa is situated on the fringes of indigenous forest and has a beautiful view over Louis Trichardt. You turn off right at the first cross roads as you approach Louis Trichardt.

They have five huts and many camping spots. Each hut is a ‘family-unit’ with two single beds and a double bunk, i.e. four beds.

For the birders, a Crowned Eagle ‘couple’ have nested here for the last few years. Camp Africa is on the Soutpansberg-Limpopo Birding Route. Long Crested Eagle has also joined us at Camp Africa... There is much else to see and hear… so bring the family anytime for a short break from the mayhem of city life…

Activities include the vehicle trail, birding, tree-spotting, hiking, cultural tours, historical tours, mountain biking, butterflies, moths… to name but a few…

The Soutpansberg Forest Trail goes through Plantations with various indigenous sections in between. Highlights are some of the tallest trees (Redwoods) in RSA; the Fruit Salad Picnic Spot; the Angel Steps to Wim's View; a tea plantation; Botha's Pass; and so much more.


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.

July 16-18 Sanyati Expedition Away – Kariba South

August 7-10 Aberfoyle has been booked Away – Honde Valley

Sept 10-12 Bush Pig Away

October TBA Three Hills Harare local

Nov 20-22 Mutare Dungbeetle Mutare

Dec 5 Christmas Run Day


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.

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.

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

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.

Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comfortable to cry in a Porsche than in a Golf .

Michael and Pat GILL

Sunday, June 27, 2010


The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) wishes to advise the public that all mobile service
providers have been directed to ensure that all postpaid and prepaid
mobile phone users should be registered with their mobile operators
by the 31st of August 2010.

This will help to:
Increase security for the users.
Combat criminal activity and abuse of mobile phones be
certain individuals.
Combat transmission of messages or making of telephone calls
that are or do the following:

1. Grossly offensive, obscene or threatening in nature.
2. Spread falsehood for the purposes of causing annoyance,
inconvenience or needless anxiety to the other person.
3. Making a series of telephone calls without reasonable cause
for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety.
For more information on registration, please contact the customer
service department of your mobile operators; Econet 111; Net.One 123
and Telecel 150/153.
Good afternoon

Reply to enquiry:
We acknowledge receipt of your enquiry and thank you for writing to us.
To register your line you are required to visit your nearest Econet centre with the below. We encourage you to register as per regulatory authority requirement. Please note our Econet center's will ensure registration customers are assisted within the shortest possible time hassle free.

Sim certificate ( if line is Buddie ) or Pin and Puk letter ( if line is libertie/Businesspartna )
Photocopy of your national I.d or drivers licence or passport
Proof of residential address
Kind regards

Customer services
Cell:+263912 222 527/8

National Parks

National Parks phoned Richard Maasdorp last night rather distressed about the buffalo that are stranded on two different islands near Mana.

The one island opposite Chikwenya has 80 Buffalo on , the other is called something like Nyakasula – it is opposite Ncupi Camp at Mana, that has approx 200 buffalo on it.

The animals have young and could not swim back to mainland initially because of the young, but now they are too weak as well.

Parks have seen that some animals are dying now.

They are desperate to save the animals.

It will be a temporary mission.

The gates at Kariba are going to close mid next week we are told.

The situation has only just come to Richard’s attention and he would be very happy with anyone prepared to help?

Students on Varsity vac?

The idea is to get hay delivered to either Karoi, Mana turn off, Mana itself or Chikwenya itself.

Parks I am sure have boats that will take the hay across to the islands.

How can you help?

1.If you know where to get hay from write to

2. If you have a truck and can help transport hay - write to the same email address.

3. If you can help with money and can’t help with trucks and hay or time – round up the dollars amongst your mates and contact Richard on the above email address.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Harare’s flamboyant tree culture

lifestyle Reporter - the Herald

Until the 1960s Harare was known as the "City of Flowering Trees", the people and their council being very proud of the "jungle" of jacarandas, flamboyants and many others that lined the city streets.

The seedlings had been planted mostly in the early 1900s in an inspired public works programme when unemployed men were hired for a shilling a day.

The British South Africa Company provided the shillings, as it wanted to keep the men in the country until the depression caused after the end of the Boer War ended, and the municipal council provided the shovels and the vast number of seedlings grown by its Parks Superintendent, Joshua Billings.

By the 1920s the seedlings were looking good and with another decade the first branches started meeting across the streets, creating those green tunnels that still entrance some Avenues children.

Billings had seen trees as cure-all for a lot of ills.

In the later 1890s he had started vast nurseries in the Harare Gardens, allowing the Government to close its nursery in what is now Highlands.

Palms were a popular early choice, as can still be seen from some mature Avenues gardens, but the jacaranda was rapidly becoming desired.

Harare owes its swathes of October colour to Mr A. T. Holland.

As his grandson, Mr Andre Holland, used to explain, Holland, a civil servant, had married the daughter of the Surveyor-General, Mr J. Orpen.

The two were honeymooning in Durban and unfortunately missed the train. So they were stuck on the coast an extra week. During this week they wandered around the local botanical gardens to see if they could buy seedlings and were told that "these six plants are some sort of South American species with purple flowers" although neither the sellers nor the buyers had ever seen a jacaranda in bloom.

Harare’s jacarandas descended from those six seedlings, Holland planting his first in the western part of Josiah Chinamano Avenue, then called Cape Avenue.

At the same time the almost as common flamboyants arrived, via South Africa from Madagascar, and the bauhinias, an Indian tree.

Billings had started his beauty plantings in the gardens and Africa Unity Square, having made the BSA Company buy fences so the donkeys would not eat the seedlings, and was putting in thousands of gum trees east of Fourth Street to provide windbreaks to ease the horrors of the clouds of red dust the blew continually into the city. Remants of those still survive.

Many modern residents of Harare may be surprised to hear that in the middle of the last century there were flowering trees right into the city centre.

Third Street with its jacarandas and Cameron Street with its bauhinias are both more typical of a 1940s street than the modern concrete jungle.

But the motor car, and an insatiable demand for parking and need for four-lane roads, eventually put an end to the flowering city centre. Tree after tree was chopped down to widen a street or squeeze in yet one more parking bay.

And by the 1960s, the shade having gone and flowering trees limited largely to the Avenues, the council decided to face facts and rename Harare as the "City of Sunshine", making a virtue out of the shadeless wastes.

By the 21st century, as all those trees planted in the early 1900s reached their centenaries, the lifespan of the jacaranda became critical.

These pretty trees live only for around a century, and they started dying.

But the city still has the successors of Joshua Billings, is still producing seedlings and still has its believers that a few thousand trees can do a lot of good.

Many of the new highways leading out of the city have their centre-line and side trees, although we need a couple of decades before these reach maturity.

Replanting of the Avenues has started, and even streets like Samora Machel and Sam Nujoma have modest trees growing on their pavements.

According to the sign posted at their premises along Leopold Takawira, in Harare Gardens, the Parks Section of Harare Municipality has the ongoing responsibility for the "beautification of the city so that it continues to be rated amongst the best in Africa".

There are more than 10 tree types that have been set aside for planting in the streets of Harare.

From the wide spreading croton, to the giant eucalyptus and the fragrant bauhinia, there is literally a tree for every street.

The sizes of the verges determine which species goes where.

Jacarandas grow large and spread out so they need to be where they will not interfere with buildings.

They are generally planted on the main roads that lead out of the city centre, like Seke Road and Princes.

It was the intention to plant flamboyants along Joshua Nkomo highway which leads to the Harare International Airport, but there may not be enough seedlings to suffice and jacarandas may be used instead.

Flamboyant, found in abundance in the town of Masvingo, closely resembles the jacaranda but its flowers are a vivid red, hence the name.

The jacarandas along Josiah Chinamano Avenue are more than 100 years old and need to be replaced.

The Parks Section is doing just that, but they do not just chop down the old trees and then plant the tiny seedlings in their place.

They start off by planting the new trees, look after them and make sure that they get established. Then they gradually take off the old guard one by one, so that no drastic change will occur to the ecosystem.

Thus many people may miss the changeover, but it is happening.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Prince Harry’s lover wants to be near Zambia

Prince Harry of England is facing a less certain future with his love, Chelsy Davy.

This week, it was reported that the Zimbabwe-born blonde, who moved to England two years ago, has decided she wants to return to Africa and her family, according to Hellomagazine.

While senior royals have apparently said that the couple are still “very much an item”, Chelsy, 24, is believed to have told the prince that she misses home.

She is said to want to be closer to her parents, Charles and Beverly, and brother Shaun in Zambia – the family moved there from Zimbabwe last year. She also hopes to further pursue her legal career in South Africa.

Harry, who is holidaying in Africa for a few days following the tour with William, is about to begin training to become an Apache pilot, and is therefore unlikely to be able to jet to Zambia on a regular basis.

“Truthfully, the only way I can see this relationship working in the long term is for Harry to give up his royal life in England and move to Africa permanently,” a friend of Chelsy said. “But it is unlikely he will ever be allowed.”

That solution, it seems, would be ideal for Harry. While in Lesotho visiting his charity last week, the 25-year-old prince was asked to jot down what his future ambitions were. “Professional surfer, wildlife photographer, helicopter pilot and live in Afrcia,” he wrote.

But with his commitments to the Army – he may return to Afghanistan in the next 18 months – it seems Harry, for the time being, will be staying put.

Post Metadata

Annette Beresford-Miller

From: Tanya Donaldson [] Funeral service for the late Annette Beresford-Miller will be held at Kingsmead Chapel, Kingsmead Road Borrowdale on Friday the 11th June at 10am, all friends are welcome.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Chegutu Farmer Ben Freeth Receives Royal Honours

Alex Bell
16 June 2010

Chegutu farmer Ben Freeth, who has been campaigning for the rights and protection of commercial farmers in Zimbabwe, has received a prestigious royal award from the Queen of England, for his services to the farming community in Zimbabwe.

Freeth was named as one of 44 recipients of a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) as part of the Queen's birthday celebrations over the weekend. An MBE is a prestigious international honour and is a tangible recognition of Freeth's efforts to combat the injustices of Robert Mugabe's land-grab campaign.

Freeth and his father-in-law Mike Campbell, who co-own Mount Carmel farm in Chegutu, made history in 2008 when they took Mugabe's government to court over land 'reform'. The protracted legal battle within the human rights Tribunal of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) led to the pair and Campbell's wife Angela, being abducted, beaten and tortured. But despite their serious injuries, they continued with their campaign to seek a legal precedent to protect Zimbabwean commercial farmers from land invasion.

The SADC Tribunal eventually ruled in the farmers' favour in late 2008, declaring the land 'reform' programme unlawful. Mugabe's government was ordered to protect the farmers and their right to farm peacefully on their properties, an order that has been completely ignored. Freeth and Campbell have both been forced off their property after their homes were burnt down last year by land invaders. Land invasions and the persecution of farmers in the courts have also continued to intensify across the country.

Freeth told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that the MBE award is a "great credit to all the people that have been so loyal and forthright in this fight for justice." He called the award an honour that gives encouragement to the ongoing fight against illegal land seizures, a campaign that has left millions of people destitute. Over the last decade of land 'reform', an estimated two million farm workers and their families have lost their jobs and homes, and the destruction of the agricultural sector means the country is almost entirely dependent on food aid.

"At last we are making some headway," Freeth said. "This is encouraging for all of the farming community and their efforts during this past turbulent and traumatic decade."

Freeth added that he hopes the award will help the ongoing fight for justice saying: "We hope it will create a new, positive platform from which our country can move forward."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Watch Out!

From: Mike Begbie [] Shortly after 1.30pm today in Mabelreign a daylight robbery took place in our home while

we were resting. The perpetrator went into my office and removed my cell phone (Nokia 6600 slide which cannot be unlocked and is therefore  useless to him/them), a pocket knife, and most importantly my camera case containing: Canon EOS 400D Digital SLR camera 18-55mm Zoom lens 80- 300mm Zoom lens 2x tele-converter Flash unit . All accessories, ie lens hoods, eyecups, charger, usb/video cables, mini tripod, 2 multi card readers, spare memory cards and also a Fujiifilm 10 mp compact digital camera with case, cards, rechargeable batteries etc.

Anyone coming across the goods as described above please contact Mike Begbie 331478 or email

Churchill and College Road

Please advise your readers that the corner Churchill and College Road in Harare is a Smash and Grab Hot Spot. There were two incidents within twenty minutes of each other last night and looking at glass on the road it appeared that five very recent incidents had occurred there. The thieves stroll along the road giving the appearance of being relaxed or even inebriated and then strike as soon as a car slows down or stops for the traffic light. Attacks commence soon after 5:30 in the evening. The thieves easily escape by running through a hole cut the steel fence into the university bush.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Marlene Cullen " Queen of Berwick Drive."

Loving Mother, of Jenny Welch (nee Green) and Dennis Green, Mother in law of John and Gail, and Granny of Dean, Lyndsay, Mandy, Kim and Justin. Long time partner of Jack. Passed away peacefully on Sunday 13th June.

Memorial Service at City Presbyterian Church 5th/Ave. Jason Moyo St.10 a.m. Saturday 19th June. All friends welcome and Tea will be served.


Patsy Dawson (nee Partridge) passed away 1st February 2010 in Baltio, KZN, after a long illness. Thoughts are with her husband Roger and children.


MORGAN - Hilton Heath Died 30 May 2010 in Auckland New Zealand. Beloved husband of Dorothy (Dot) and devoted father of Barry and Jenny and her husband Trevor Kamins - also very proud Grandpa of Warren,Greg, Ryan, Heath and Craig.

He will be sorely missed.

MORGAN - Hilton Heath

Good friend of Ron and Jean Tuckey.

"Always a gentleman to the last and now singing his heart out in a heavenly choir" Hamba Kuhle - go well old friend

Monday, June 14, 2010

Keziah Smit

The memorial service for Keziah Smit will be held at Highlands Presbyterian Church, Enterprise Rd, Highlands, Monday June 21st at 3pm. Koos and Avril warmly invite you to attend. Avril has specifically requested that bright colours are worn to the memorial service as we will be celebrating the life of their very vibrant and colourful daughter Kezi who passed away so tragically on Wednesday 9th June, in a car crash, during the night in the UK. Tea will be served at the church after the service. There is a tribute page on Keziah’s facebook – please contribute your thoughts on that page.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

More danger spots

A friend was attacked in her car at the famous Churchill Rd / College Rd trouble spot 10.06.10 at 6.45 pm and her handbag got stolen. If anybody comes across important documents like driver's licence, ID, etc., your assistance is very much appreciated. The documents are in the name of Bernadette Schuler. Her mobile number is 0914-058 907.

NB I was there at 7pm on Thursday night and a young black guy tried to get into my car – the door was locked but he was peering into the back seat and was unperturbed when we tried to chase him away – be very careful when stopping there for the robots – Mike G

Thursday, June 10, 2010


This month we have seen a few vehicles reported missing from premises, mostly in the industrial sites and CBD area. There seems to have been a lot of interference with drivers having ‘substances’ thrown at them, the origin is not known, but thought to be of an acidic base. These victims were treated at a local hospital; the Police are investigating this crime.

With the incessant power cuts and early sunset and late sunrises in the morning there have been cases of vehicles being followed home on numerous occasions reported, especially in Emerald Hill, Mount Pleasant, Bluff Hill areas. It seems that the ‘tag’ vehicle is a Mazda 323 which keeps it distance but increases speed as the front vehicle speeds up. Please keep vigilant and take note of this, drive into a lighted area if possible or to your nearest police station. If you do not feel safe and are not sure that your gate will open due to the long duration of the power cuts DO NOT get out of your vehicle to open the gate drive to safety until you have back up. This is all repeated advise but so essential for peace of mind.

It is not advisable for women both young and old to drive alone late at night/early mornings if at all possible, there have been a few incidents reported in suburbs around Harare. Form a group to travel together – safety in numbers!

House break ins have been reported in Mount Pleasant, Marlborough, Mandara, and Mabelreign, please be alert and aware keep your security as sound as possible and do take note of the barking of your pets, the tone is always an alert. DO NOT go out but call for assistance.

Winter is now upon us, and with the daily power cuts we need to be very vigilant to strange noises and disturbances this could be a warning.
Let’s ALL fight this crime together - stay ALERT and SAFE !

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

In Memorium

Beloved Father - John Mayers - 19 May 1999
Precious Brother - Malcolm Mayers - 19 May 2007
We could try until forever, yet we'd never find a way
To tell you how much your loss is still with us each and every day.
Loving Mother - Theresa Mayers - 6 June 1999
If Roses grow in Heaven, Lord please pick a bunch for us
Place them in our Mother's arms and tell her they are from us.
Tell her we love and miss her, and when she turns to smile
Please place a kiss upon her cheek and hold it for a while.
Because remembering her is easy, we do it every day
But the ache that's within our hearts just doesn't go away.
Lovingly remembered always by Celia and Errol, JR and Merle, Ambrose and Jackie, Tweedy and Chilly, Ebby and Philapa, Hope and Buster, Mary and Chinky, Rehana and Inayat and their families.

Roger Nicholson
Deepest sympathy to Kay, Gill, Fiona and families on the loss of Roger. He was a good businessman and a real gentleman to work with. Our thoughts are with you at this sad time.
Julie Mellin and Family

STOBBS - James Harwarden (Jimmy). Heartfelt condolences to Priscilla, Jamie and families. Peter and Sharon.
MABEL MILLS, formerly of Bulawayo, Masvingo and Mutare passed away
peacefully on 2nd June 2010,
the day before her 83rd Birthday, in Cape Town ,South Africa. Mabel was a
long standing member of
the Bulawayo Ladies Masonic Society. She had 2 happy years near her only
daughter Elaine and son in law John,
in Tiger Valley, Cape Town. We were fortunate that we were able to spend a
few hours with her before she was admitted to
The Tygerberg Hospital ( Oncology Section) in March this year. She knew
many people, who are in different places
around the world and they can send their condolences to Elaine and JohWhitcombe at
She will be sadly missed by Sybil and Ray Clutty, Nyanga, Zimbabwe
STOBBS - JIMMY. Jimmy Stobbs died in Cape Town on 28th May 2010. Much loved husband of Priscilla, beloved father of Jamie and Michelle, Guy and
Lynne, Mandy and Graham, and grandfather of Mark, Kim, Jason, Shane, Dylan, Rhiannon, Amy and Mickayla. Will be sadly missed but never forgotten.

STOBBS - JIMMY. Jimmy - a wonderful person, talented sportsman and very loyal friend and respected mentor since 1955. Will miss his special brand of humour, calling a 'spade' a 'spade', and his wonderful friendship. Fondly remembered - Peter Abbot

MORGAN - Hilton Heath. Sincere sympathy to Dot and all members of his family. Friends since 1945. Peter Hughes
MORGAN HILTON: died Sunday night in New Zealand. Well known sportsman especially in the field of hockey. Husband to Dot and Father to Jenny and Barry. Condolences can be sent to Very much missed by his cousin Peter, and Diana Charsley

Monday, June 7, 2010

Roy Lionel Nott

A fond farewell to an energetic pillar of the community who will be very greatly missed by so many:
Devoted husband, father, grandfather, friend, colleague.
10 May 1929 - 3 June 2010
Died peacefully at home at 9:30 pm on Thursday 3 June, aged 81.
Memorial service details to be advised shortly.
Sarah-Joan Nott 0912 222 512

Harare Market Square

Be warned that the Harare Market Square area and in particular at intersections of Harare Street/Chinhoyi/ Speke road are street kids in possession of acidic substance. On Friday the 21 May, 2010 at about 1530hrs, a UNIC female staff member in the company of her friend were moving along the aforementioned intersection when a substance was hurled to their faces. Both were instantly blinded and they summoned for help from passers by. They were uplifted to the Avenues clinic where they were hospitalised. Their eyes and chests were burnt by the substance. The UN Doctor (Dr Tekou) attended the scene and he advised that the substance was acidic and staff member had received moderate damage to the eyes. Staff member is recovering in the Avenues clinic.

Further investigations by this office revealed that some members of the public were previously assaulted in the same manner and that area is a hot spot. Police were advised of this case and are also investigating.

Be careful when moving around that area.
Godfrey Macheka

Cath Stephen




Cath Stephen, beloved wife of the late John Stephen, and mother of Jo and Lucinda , grand-mother of Sarah, David, Alexander and Elizabeth, passed away in London on 19 May 2010, surrounded by her family. She was a blessing to all who knew her.



Dave Rundle

A Sad Farewell to a Gentle Giant - my Dad, Dave Rundle, passed away peacefully in his sleep, here at home in Morgan Bay, at the age of 76, on Monday the 24th May 2010. Dad was born Tsessebe, Botswana many moons ago. After meeting and marrying my Mom, Gloria in Francistown, they moved to Chiredzi, Zimbabwe where he worked with Lowveld Tractor and Motor company. During this time my brother Mike was born in Bulawayo and my sister Mandy and i were born in Chiredzi. Later we moved to Chipinga, then to Middle-Sabi where he worked with Sabi Limpopo Authority. Those were good years, we all loved the bush so much ! When the bush war got a bit hot in the Chipinga area, Dad moved us all to Bulawayo where we lived in the Caravan Park for a few months before finding a house. Dad was with Farmec in Bulawayo. After a few years we all agreed that city life was for the birds and Dad took up a job on Benfer Estate in Beitbridge. We all loved living on the farm but sadly had to leave at the end of 1987 when Mike finished his army stint here in SA and i finished matric. We moved on the spur of the moment, loading up whatever would fit into our Valiant and trailer and headed to Pietersburg where we lived in a tiny flat till my sister managed to find us a lovely little plot just outside of town. Dad joined Bakers Garage in Pietersburg and we stayed there till 2003 when we once again decided that city life was not for us and Mom, Dad, Fanie and I loaded up our cars and trailer and headed off to a tiny little seaside village in the Eastern Cape called Morgan Bay. We soon became part of a very loving and caring community, made up of many ex-Rhodies, made great friends and could once again enjoy the quietness and serenity of living close to nature. Dad ran the local bottle store and was a firm favourite with the locals and the holiday makers. Earlier this year, in January, Dad decided to stop working as he was not feeling well and after a few months of illness, being nursed full time by my Mom, he passed away peacefully early on Monday morning, right here at home which had been our prayer for him.

Life with Dad has always been an adventure as he was truly a nomad at heart. He taught us that material things in this life are of no value, it is the people, nature and our Lord that matter. He was the most gentle, humble and honest person i have ever known and he led and taught by example, using few if any words. Truly a special man, a devoted husband and the most incredible Dad any family could ask for. Thank you for all the years Dad, the lessons, the love and the guidance. We miss you so much already but know that you are now safely home with our Lord. Love you forever, love Mom, Mike, Mandy and Deb

(Contact details for Mom, Gloria Rundle or on the landline (043) 8411 366. Our physical address is 155 Magenta Place, Morgan Bay, 5292)

Evangelos Vassili

Evangelos Vassili has passed away peacefully in the Royal Melbourne hospital Australia on the 19 May 2010 he lived in Bradfield Bulawayo from 1953 to 1993 and worked for Karasava and Simpson he is sadly missed by his son John and his daughter Stella and all his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Roger Nicholson,

Roger Nicholson, It was with great sadness we heard about Roger's passing. What a nice man he was and your loss will be felt by many. Fondest love to all the family, Graham and Margie, Clive and Bonnie

Bonnie Lawrence
Tel: 09 474634/09 462765


The History Society of Zimbabwe will be visiting Reps Theatre on Sunday June 20 to have a talk on the history of the Repertory Players and Reps complex, and they have said they would be delighted for Reps members to come along and join them. Here is a copy of the flier they have sent to their members. If any Reps Members would like to attend, please e-mail or call Erin the Reps office and put your name on the list. Please let us know by the and of business on Friday June 11.


On Sunday 20th June the History Society will be joining up with The Repertory
Players (Reps) to celebrate the Society’s 50/80th Anniversary – fifty years since
the opening of the present theatre and eighty years since the formation of the

We will start our function at 11.00 a.m. and I would ask you to please gather
in the theatre foyer in good time. Reps have offered and you are encouraged to park in the parking area behind the theatre. The entrance to the parking area is off East Road.

Special tickets will be given out in the foyer. After a short welcome we will
be shown to our seats in the auditorium. The ushers will be dressed in period
costume to further authenticate the occasion. This presentation is expected to
last about 45 minutes. We will then divide up into
small groups and Reps Exco members will conduct each group around the theatre with
visits to features such as lighting, sound, dressing rooms, main stage,
wardrobe, workshop, Repteens room, club rooms and Theatre Upstairs.
We will then return to the auditorium for the closing of the event. Reps have kindly extended day membership for that day to all those who attend so that
we can afterwards refresh ourselves in the Reps bar.

Reps are a vibrant and lively Society and we can look forward to an exciting
and memorable event. This is a one-off show being put on specially for
History Society and Reps members, so please make every effort to support us on
what promises to be an unique occasion.


for more info see:

Persons in transit: Transit visas have been reinstated and as from 1 June 2010, all foreigners from non-visa exempt countries travelling en-route through the Republic of South Africa to and from neighbouring countries (i.e. the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Kingdom of Swaziland, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique) will be required to be in possession of and to produce a valid transit visa upon entering South Africa.

The South African Embassy in Harare has informed us that the cost of a transit visa is USD45, copy of air ticket, 2 passport size photos must be submitted in person (not through a third party) with the completed application form. Transit visa processing time is estimated to take 3-5 days.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Turbo Charge Lion Attack at Tashinga - The Facts

It was mid morning on a Sunday when the TurboCharge fleet of sixteen
boats arrived at the Tashinga National Park at the mouth of the Ume
River. We were greeted by the sight of a magnificent bull elephant in
the camp calmly feeding himself. Our first mooring spot was too
exposed to potential weather so we moved around the corner into a bay
where the sight of previously buried garbage floating on the bank was
very off putting. The water had come up to such a high level that
previous garbage pits were now under water. Within minutes a gang of
Turbochargers were collecting the rubbish and storing it in dustbin
bags. There was no sign of any other people. We relaxed and marvel
led at the tranquillity of the place and of how wonderful the
campsite must have been in its day. There were ablution blocks that
were still working and were clean and there were various campsites
within the area. After a few hours of entertaining ourselves three of
us decided to set out on foot and try and find some national parks
staff. From the camp to the offices is about a kilometre and a half.
Walking the road without protection makes the road seem a lot
longer. Very fresh tracks are everywhere. You enter the Parks offices
via the workshops where various recent model 4x4 's are in various
states of disrepair. One cruiser was parked against a rock and we
assume this means it was a runner. At the office we found the
Wildlife Manager who offered to send the camp supervisor down to the
camp and book us in. We specifically asked him if there were any
'problem' animals that we should be concerned about and were assured
that there was nothing to worry about. We returned to camp via the
same road, not as worried about animals as before.
The camp supervisor duly arrived in his Sunday clothes and took our
order for firewood. The boilers were lit and everyone was into the
showers quickly. We had permission to have one big bonfire in a
central place and we collected a big tree to help. During the rest of
the afternoon some guys went off fishing, some played scrabble and
some even had a few beers. Firewood arrived and the four cooking
teams started preparations for the evening meal. The sunset was as
spectacular as one could wish for. It is beyond my command of the
English language to describe the colours of red and pink that were
exploding out of the clouds. A Parks member arrived with a weapon
stating that he was here to protect us and could he also have a drink
pointing to the beer in my hand. Beer denied!
It was Andre Van Rooyen and Rich Elman Brown's turn to cook and it was
a superb meal .. We all ate well and there was enough left over for
breakfast. We adjourned to the big bonfire. The other cooking teams
had cooked on the highest part of the camp site and had had a good
loud party. Slowly but surely everyone either gravitated towards the
fire or to bed. It was in the back of everyone's mind that we were in
a wild habitat and that the fast rising lake was restricting the open
ground that normally surrounded the camp. Cooking areas were packed
up well and the thought of hyenas was never far away.
The various campsites consisted generally of one or two asbestos 'A
Frame' huts and a concrete slab. Four people could sleep in or on
each. Eight guys chose to occupy the site closest to the water. This
had two 'A Frames' and a slab, all within touching distance of each
other. One even had a back wall. At about midnight there were four of
us left at the fire. All the sites had people sleeping in them and
all were within a forty meter radius. Mike and I decided to call it a
night and grabbed our bed packs and toured the area. Our first choicewas the camp by the water but we felt it was too crowded. The moon was as bright as daylight and we wandered from spot to spot before
returning to the fire to join Bruce and Justin.
Just before four o'clock in the morning an elephant broke down a tree.
In the still of the night it sounded very close and the majority of
the camp was instantly awake. Down at the crowded camp close to the
water, Dave and Rich turned on some music and chatted. Andre was in
the next hut less than one meter away. Ben was at his boat having a
cigarette on his own. Lance got out of bed to relieve his bladder
shining his hunting torch at his target but not into the close bush .
Unbeknown to any of them, a lioness and her three adult cubs had
crawled down the thick bush line and were just meters away.
The bright moon had just dropped below the horizon and the night was
at its darkest. Andre was asleep with his head against the back wall
of the 'A Frame'. He felt a weight on his body and in his slumber
"\thought he was at home and that his dog had climbed on his bed. He
rolled over to tell his dog off when he saw the lion open her mouth
and close it on his head. He started shouting. Andre is a big man of
about 100kgs. The lioness slapped him through his air mattress and
then proceeded to slap his body against the roof of the hut two or
three times with his head in her mouth. Andre was convinced she was
going to break his neck. Unable to break his neck in the confined
space she then dragged him off still holding his head in her mouth.
Lance Nesbitt was the first hero. Still getting into his sleeping bag
less than four meters away he heard Andre scream and immediately knew
what was happening and what to do. His torch was still in hand and he
shone it straight at the retreating lioness who was already two
meters away from the 'A frame' next to an anthill. By advancing and
shining his torch on the lioness and screaming at the top of his
voice, he stopped the lioness. When Lance was joined spontaneously by
Dean Kendall and Bobo Gibbons, also with torches and loud voices, she
dropped Andre and grudgingly walked away a meter before stopping and
turning back. Very nearby were her three almost full grown cubs. Had
she dragged Andre one or two meters closer to the others, the
situation might have been far more serious. The brave screaming and
cussing from Lance, Bobo and Dean was joined by more voices and more
screaming. The four lions reluctantly retreated another ten meters and
then squatted down in the light bush. I had grabbed my air horn from
the boat. The combination of this unfamiliar very loud noise and many
torches and advancing, shouting humans encouraged the four lions to
wander off. They were in no hurry and on their way towards the thick
bush they walked within ten meters of John and Alex Lucas who were
sleeping in the most isolated of the 'A Frames'. Their father, Lex,
was shouting for his boys but they did not want to shout back in case
it attracted any attention from the lions. When we thought the lions
had gone Dean stated that we were very lucky that it was only an hour
and a half to daybreak and that it would be very unlikely that the
lions would return. It has taken me longer to write the account of the
incident than the actual time this part of the attack and rescue took.
When I got to Andre he had crawled back the two meters to the 'A
Frame' and was vomiting. His face was a mess but the bleeding was not
extensive. At this point there was every reason to panic but the most
amazing scene unfolded. First aid kits came out of most boats. Andre
was made comfortable. Hugh Roberts calmly asserted control and
administered a drip. Alex Lucas sat with Andre and monitored his
shock. Hugh assessed the damage and cleaned up the wounds as best he
could. Andre remained conscious throughout but did not talk much.
Those who could not help congregated to the big fire and a head count
was taken. Rich found Andre's medical aid card and on one particular
spot at Tashinga, Jeff managed to use his South African phone to get
signal from Zambia and phone for rescue. It is an extremely anxious
time trying to explain to someone in Harare at four thirty in the
morning where Tashinga is and the state of the emergency. It was Hugh
Roberts' calming influence that prevented emotions running high. It
was agreed to casavac Andre at first light to Bumi Hills which was
only twenty minutes away by boat. Radio communications were limited
but we thought that Bumi were aware of our forthcoming arrival. Later
I was told that one of the boats had managed to get hold of the
Tashinga Parks (two kilometres away) who said they would send an e-
mail to Bumi! We prepared my boat for the trip but just before we
were going to move Andre, I asked for another boat as it was not safe
to go in only one. Arthur had his ready in seconds and it was decided
his decking was more suitable to carry Andre. Five hundred meters off
shore, Arthur's boat stopped. He quickly corrected a loose fuel
connection and it gave us the opportunity to imagine how badly things
could go wrong if the rescue boat had been on its own and had broken down.
At Bumi I was blowing my air horn as we entered the harbour and a
manager (Ian Smith) saw through his binoculars a drip being held up
in the boat and knew there was an emergency. Bumi was not expecting
us. Mike and Jeff decided to run up to the hotel and were met by a
vehicle near the top. Lying in the boat, Andre was shivering from
shock but the early morning sun was beginning to rise. With his head
covered in bandages, he calmly and bravely stated ' I cannot see and I
cannot feel my feet and that disturbs me'. A true masterpiece of
understatement for us.
The staff at Bumi were magnificent. We loaded Andre onto a cruiser and
took him straight to the airstrip. There we tried to make Andre as
comfortable as possible. Anticipating a two hour wait, there was not
much we could do. Hugh Roberts changed the dressing and eventually
the drip. Andre was in a great deal of pain and Mike, Jeff, Arthur,
Rich and I took it in turns to care for him - all under the calm
leadership of Hugh Roberts. We had a chance to check Andre's back.
Where the lioness had slapped him through his air mattress was an
intense bruise in the almost perfect shape of a lion's paw. The
mattress had merely prevented her claws from ripping into Andre's flesh.
Waiting for the plane was very difficult. We later learned that it had
spent nearly half an hour on the runway in Harare waiting for
On hearing the plane, the Bumi staff quickly drove up and down the
runway to clear the many animals. The very impressive MARS air rescue
ambulance taxied close to us and the professionals took over. Andre
was carried on the mattress to the plane where he got out and walked.
At the last minute he suddenly refused to get into the plane but there
were enough of us to get him those last few meters. It took the
doctor and nurse about half an hour to stabilise him and prepare him
for take-off.
The plane took off and Andre was in safe hands. There was nothing more
we could do. Hugh Roberts could sigh and rest against the vehicle. I
wanted to sit in a corner and cry.
We are told that Andre was suggesting to the pilot how he should be
flying the plane - the morphine had obviously kicked in! Family and
friends were waiting for him in Bulawayo. From being attacked by a
lion at the remoteness of the Ume river to being hospitalised in
Bulawayo in less than eight hours is praiseworthy and we need to thank
all medical staff and pilots involved.
We went up to the hotel to make some phone calls and then returned to
the fleet. Some National Parks staff had wandered down mid morning
that they had heard the noise and was there anything they
could do? Had I been there my reply would not have been polite.
Andre is currently in hospital in Johannesburg. Sadly he has lost his
left eye but his life is no longer in danger. His wife Clare is with
him whilst their three sons remain in Bulawayo to get on with their
schooling. Friends have been amazing in their support for the family.
Our most grateful thanks and respect to the heroes who chased off the
lions and those who rescued Andre afterwards.
To Andre, we wish you a complete and speedy recovery. We salute your
Rob Nixon

Subject: Lion attack Chipangali - the facts

3rd June 2010 – taken from Chipangali web site
Lion attack Chipangali

This is a description of the terrible tragedy that occurred at Chipangali on 1 June 2010 when one of our lions escaped from its cage.
Lion Attack Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage: The Facts.

To dispel all the rumors and gossip around Bulawayo I have supplied you with the facts about our tragic accident that happened at Chipangali on June 1 2010.

Work begins at 7.45 with all staff reporting for the daily duties, this is a daily practice where all the cages are cleaned, water added to the concrete dishes and finally if need be extra bedding placed in their security quarters. Over the weekend Bulawayo experienced, terrible and indeed unusual weather. Normally during this time of the year we have what we term Guti (light drizzle). This weekend showed completely the opposite, with a heavy down pour of cold winter rain. This led to a large number of our carnivore cages having wet and soggy grass.

8.00 am

All staff were given their daily chores including the extra work which we decided to do and that was to top up where ever and in other cases remove the old and wet grass from the many cages.

It was at this time that our Carnivore Team proceeded to the enclosure at the back of our deep freeze and cold rooms and began cleaning and removing the old wet grass.

At this point I would like to explain how the system of working with the large carnivores functions. We have security and lock up cages and exercise cages on all our facilities. The system is as follows, the animals are moved to the security cages and locked up, only once the team is happy with the securing of the sliding doors and all entrance and exit gates do the staff proceed into the neutral cage. This has been the process and routine for the last 38 years.

8.30 – 9.00 am

The staff moved Lobi our large black maned lion from one cage to another and proceeded to remove all the old wet grass, once completed they then started using sacks filled with fresh new grass and added this to the clean cage. It is at this point where the whole system is not failsafe (human error) the team failed to lock and secure the external cage door.

9.10 am

Our staff member then proceeded to the sliding gate and opened the door to move the lion back to the his new clean enclosure.

Unfortunately he ran through and then exited the cage, out to where we had other members of staff assisting to fill sacks with grass.

This is when the lion came into the contact with our staff. Unfortunately, Robyn Lotz, a friend of many years, and great supporter of Chipangali was standing helping to load bags of grass. She was at the back of the cold room area checking on a lion which we worked with over the weekend. An attack ensued, and Robyn being a young lady was no match for a full grown lion. The lion attacked her and pulled her to the ground.

From this point chaos reigned. Over the years we have always had a strict policy of how we would deal with the situation if it ever happened. Our policy always revolved around the protecting of human life and securing of the Orphanage facilities in order to stop the movement of any large carnivores out of the parameter fences.

9.15 am

It is at this time that I became involved, I was sitting in my office attending to new emails and suddenly heard a great deal of shouting and commotion. The next thing was I had Nqoble Ncube at my office door telling me to come quickly with a gun as a lion had grabbed Robyn.

I immediately jumped up and ran to the gun safe and grabbed our 30.06 rifle together with an extra box of ammunition and ran to the cold room area. To my horror and dismay I saw Lobi crouched over Robyn, He had her in his mouth and was holding her at the back of her head.

My first reaction was to shoot but my sight picture only showed that if I had fired, there was a ninety percent chance of hitting Robyn as well. It was at this point that I changed my initial position to try and get a better view of the lion and this failed. I then ran back to my initial position, at this point the lion decided to get up and move with Robyn still firmly in his mouth. By standing up and moving the lion gave me the opportunity that I needed, his body and chest was separated from the sight picture of Robyn’s body. It is the most helpless situation one can be in as you know that time is of the essence, where you have to act quickly and decisively but at the same time you can make the process worse by shooting someone. On having a clear sight picture I fired the 30.06 and with that shot the lion immediately dropped Robyn and moved position. It is at this point that I fired another shot into the lion to secure the area.

9.20 am

From here we quickly removed Robyn and carried her to the vehicle by our house. Immediately, with the assistance of two members of my senior staff we sped to the Mater Dei (Hospital in Bulawayo) casualty unit.

Again this process seemed to take hours in reality the trip from Chipangali to Mater Dei took 4 minutes as I realized yet again time was of the essence. At this time Robyn was partially conscious and kept on telling me that she was battling to breath, I knew this would be a problem as it is the method that lions use to subdue their prey by constricting the airways.

As we entered the traffic lights at the corner of Philips drive Robyn became unconscious and we were literally less than 400 meters from the hospital. We arrived and entered the hospital at the ambulance entrance where we got medical assistance from the casualty unit.

After more than 20 minutes of trying to resuscitate her, Robyn was no longer with us.

This incident is certainly the worst and most unreal experience that one can ever have to go through. It will haunt me and be in my mind for the rest of my life. I would like to pass on our condolences to Robyn’s family and can truly say this was a very sad day in the history of Chipangali. The loss of Robyn, as a friend and supporter, will be widely felt and all we can say is that she left behind some lovely art work and wall murals’ for the public to see around Chipangali. Rest in Peace Robyn.

An excerpt from Maggie Kriels Morning Mirror sums up the nature and feel for life that Robyn had.

Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and Destroying , keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing no rest but in rhythmical motion, chasing everything in endless song out of one beautiful form into another. - John Muir, Naturalist and explorer


Kevin, Nicky and Viv Wils