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Friday, January 31, 2014




We start a New Year and are always hopeful that situations will improve and it will be better……. It will, if we all pull together and fight the crime out there.


In the last months we have put out a warning on a gang operating around all Harare suburbs who have now be named the ‘ODD COUPLE’  (one black male and one coloured male) and are still at large . These guys are well dressed and well spoken and have robbed many homes with such ease it seems, and so far escaped the hands of the law.  

Please still be very alert and on your guard whilst travelling to and from the Airport at all times. An incident of two women on their own ,travelling early in the morning from the Borrowdale side of town, two vehicles posing as police trying to pull them over and stop them and then told that they must get out of their vehicle.  Luckily the driver had foresight and refused and a carried on with their journey with windows up and doors locked.  This is a very scary scenario and would seem that women or woman on their own, are the target.  

There seem to have been an increase on theft from vehicles, mainly due to items being left in full view.  Theft from premises, that the gate has either been jammed or left unlocked leaving wide the entry into the yard.  This is all in broad daylight.  Please be warned and make an effort to ensure your gate is locked at all times … it’s a good habit to get into.

Let’s hope we can all start this New Year off with security in mind, and save the trauma which always follows a hijacking or robbery.



Let’s ALL fight this crime together  - stay ALERT and SAFE ! 



Phone : 0772221921 or your nearest Police Station.

We are hoping to create more exposure, specifically in Mozambique in case he may have wondered over to that side.  We need to get flyers to people in areas along the border of Zim/Mozambique especially near Nyanga. 
Sorry cannot copy flyer Zaya Dada

Contact e mail:

Clive Swanepoel

Sadly I must advise you that Clive passed away yesterday afternoon after a long and bravely fought battle with cancer.

Swanie joined the Department in 1982 and was posted to Mana Pools as the resident ecologist and, it was there, with his gregarious personality, he endeared himself to all, always willing to help and lend a hand; he relished challenges and disregarded hardships often teaming up with his buddies on rhino anti-poaching work when patrols or reaction teams were short staffed, nothing was too much for him… he was a friend to everyone and everyone’s friend. We will miss you Swanie - rest in piece.

Clive’s memorial is on Friday at 14.30 at a friend house - 112 Josiah Chinamano / Corner 3rd Street.

Sue needs our support and let’s give Swanie a good send off.

With Kind Regards

Faireways and visiters

HI All, Just received this from Bev Lawes – Is it not time some more of us started visiting some of the other lonely old folk at Fairways (or numerous other institutions)

just sitting there all alone looking out the same old blank window - waiting for JUST ONE Visitor to make their day? – only takes up a little of your time one afternoon ! Mike G


From: Bev Lawes
Dear Mike


To all the wonderful people all over the people the world who have contributed to Heather Fraser,  thank you so very much! Your kindness and generosity defy words.  There is now enough in her account at Fairways to pay her bills until May, with a little left for her to spend. She had her nails cut last week and her hair cut, both of which made her feel so much better.  The Administrator at Fairways asked me to say a special thank you to everyone who donated or left gifts. I gather that there is a growing number of folk at Fairways who have no income or support and the cost of their care is covered by aid organisations or by Fairways themselves. Even sadder is the number of people who never have visitors. There are four ladies in Heather’s room who have never had a visitor in the times that Mary-Lu and I have been visiting. One of the ladies says that she has been in the frail care ward since 1999.  She is beautiful, hardly lined and smiles sweetly at everyone. Mary-Lu calls her the ‘Barbie’ lady as she waves at everyone who comes and goes, just like the Barbie doll. The surest way to reduce us both to tears is to talk about her and how she cuddles soft toys, especially a pink panther.


The news of Heather is that she in better spirits but her recovery is very slow.  She cannot walk much and it causes her huge pain. A very kind doctor has offered his services free of charge and organised x-rays which are being reviewed by the experts. We will let you know progress as soon as we have news.  She is comfortable in frail care and the nursing care is very good, with kind, caring staff.  Heather has also enjoyed the visitors she has had. A lady and her daughters came all the way from Mutare and left a hamper for her that was exquisite. Many people have left lovely gifts. Heather doesn’t show emotion easily or often but she gets tearful at the generosity and kindness that has been shown to her.   She shows us the gifts she receives and tell us as much as she can about the donors. If she doesn’t say thank you, please know that she really is very grateful.


The appeal for Heather brought so much to light, especially how many people have been helping her over the years. The vet who treated her cats for free, people who gave her lifts, food and offers of help.  This has been an amazing journey for me.  I have learned two huge lessons. One is to say thank you for my many blessings as often as I can. Thank you to everyone who has helped us!!!!!!  The other lesson is that the smallest thing I do often has the largest impact. A few words about Heather has generated so much love and caring.


Thank you also for all the memories of Heather as a teacher. I will give her the scrapbook next week. She is going to chuckle! And perhaps cry a little.


Every time I go into the frail care ward at Fairways I think  ‘I am going to get old one day’. It isn’t a rare disease or something I can avoid.  I will be wrinkled, grey and bent over and often grumpy and demanding, just like everyone else.  I don’t want to be forgotten about and neglected.  If you can relate to this, please reach out to an older person in need. It takes so little to make a difference.  I am sure that all retirement homes have their share of people who are lonely and in need.


Fairways have given me a list of the wonderful people who donated and noted their names (a few didn’t). I was going to list all the donors but perhaps it would be better if you let me know if you have donated so that I can confirm. Many people have done so already. Forgive me for not replying sooner to some e-mails. Was a bit swamped at first and then our internet went down.  I will contact everyone who e-mailed me.


Again, thank you, thank you, thank you.




Mary-Lu and Bev

Gwen Adams (Mortimer, Marillier, Southey)

Death Notice:  Gwen Adams (Mortimer, Marillier, Southey) Passed away in Scotland on the 26th January 2014. Beloved Mum of Tish, Buster, Simon and Sarah. Precious Granny and Great Granny. Will be deeply missed by family and friends. Memorial service in Harare to be advised. (

Calling all commercial farmers no longer in Zimbabwe

Calling all Commercial farmers who are no longer living in Zimbabwe.


Wherever you are, whatever you are doing or whatever your circumstances, I think the following will be of intense interest.


One of the many tragedies of the forced emigration of skilled families from their homes and the loss of their livelihoods is that most of us haven't the faintest idea where we all are and how we have adjusted to our new domiciles. Fourteen years is a long time and memories started to fail well before.


The only organisation that probably has the most information about us is JAG, added to the fact that they care which is a great deal more than can be said of the others. So it is they to whom we have turned.


David Sandeman, ex mover and shaker for ZTA members and now living in England, has written to me for help, saying that he will be taking over the Chairmanship of The Zimbabwe Farmers Trust (ZFT) which was set up by George Campbell Johnson and others to identify and possibly assist displaced farmers from Zimbabwe who were forced to leave.


David is now looking for this: firstly to find where we are now living but mainly to establish a network of reputable representatives in the various countries to identify families or individuals that might need a helping hand.


The funds are in place but they have to be used with discretion, the main benefit perhaps is knowing that there are people and organisations that still really care.


So if you read this, as you will I am sure, on JAG's newsletter, please contact David now by e-mail at giving your physical address and full telephone number and copying it to John Worswick of JAG and to me at and leave the rest to us. (However do feel free to tell us more.)


One last thing, as Columbo used to say, and this is important. You may know of ex Zimbabwean farmers close to you or wherever who are NOT on the JAG address list. Please include these for John to contact as I know that there is a small subscription which would be handy for him to help run his excellent service.


We look forward to an overwhelming response.


Thank you


Richard Winkfield, 15,Toop St. Havelock North, 4130 (which is in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand), tel.06 877 4718


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Blood Donations - info

I give lectures on Blood Conservation and especially on "Appropriate Clinical Use of Blood" to clinicians, nurses and medical scientists as well as being a Member of the College of Primary Care Physicians (CPCPZ), Zimbabwe. 


During my 14 years as Director, Blood safety and Clincal Technology at WHO, Geneva, Switzerland, I published, amongst many other publications, the Manual on "Appropriate Clinical Use of Blood", which is in the format of a Clinician's pocket handbook and also as a full Manual for each Hospital Ward and Operating Theatre.


These publications were evaluated and assessed at global level, which is covered by WHO"s 6 Regional Offices and had to be evaluated against all conventional and documented evidence based materials (such as the well quoted "Cochrane Review", before WHO would translate and publish these into all 6 WHO official languages and at least 5 other languages, and many other languages. They have been published in hard copy and through the WHO's Web Page for global electronic access.


During the development I was also invited to present this material at a meeting hosted by the New York Academy of Medicine and at a NATO Conference, in Washington, on blood management and blood conservation for Nato Troops. In addition the concerns and philosophy of the Jehovah's Witness were addressed, through direct face to face discussions with their principals in USA and UK.


The overall message is that blood should only be administered to save a life or prevent severe complications of morbidity. The Blood Transfusion Service is heavily involved in lectures and promotional materials to ensure these principles are promoted at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Clinicians are encouraged to ensure that they take responsibility to adhere to the principles incorporated in these materials, based on WHO's Recommendations and Guidelines, and take responsibility for their decisions and actions and are accountable.


In cases of emergencies there is often no alternative other than to replace the only Oxygen carrying product – Red Blood Cells. In chronic conditions, where the patient is stable, conservative management is always encouraged. The web pages referred to provide useful information for promoting appropriate clinical use of blood through transfusion and encouraging alternatives to "Volume Replacement" and red cell production, in a stable patient; (unrelated to red cell oxygen carrying capacity to sustain life or prevent tissue or neuronal damage, when the haemoglobin levels fall too low to ensure tissue oxygenation, with the result of permanent damage or death).


I shall be prepared to meet, face to face, with the correspondents, if they are genuine and wish to engage in a constructive medical and physiological discussion, other than a faith based ideological discussion; they may e-mail me directly and I shall provide them with an opportunity to debate their views with me, directly.


Kind regards.


Dr Jean C Emmanuel MD

Consultant Medical Director 

National Blood Service, Zimbabwe

Update on Radio Licences

An update to the info on ZBC radio/TV licenses circulated earlier in January, in response to queries and comments by readers of Bambazonke Nhasi:

 Management at ZBC Pockets Hill tell us they have NOT received an instruction that listener’s licences have been scrapped from the Ministry of Information. Therefore radio/TV licences are required and will be enforced accordingly.

 Licences have been received from the printers (both term and annual), and are in the process of being distributed to post offices. These are already being sold by ZBC staff in shopping car parks.

 Personal Vehicle Radio Licence - $30 per year

Personal Vehicle Radio Licence - $10 per term*

Company Vehicle Radio Licence - $80 per year

Home TV/Radio Licence - $50 per year

*(We understand all licenses can be paid over three terms).

 Correction to our previous advice on concessions: these are available for 75 years olds and above, but only for home radio/TV use – not for vehicles.  To obtain this concession you have to go to ZBC Pockets Hill with a copy of your ID (proof of your pensionable age) and Proof of Residence.  Visit the reception at Pockets Hill and someone there will help you.

 Regarding vehicles which have Japanese radios that do not catch local radio signal or non-working radios, according to ZBC the law states: “anyone in possession of a radio” - it does not differentiate whether it is in working condition or not, so regardless you have to hold a licence if you own a radio visible to the public in your vehicle.

ZBC Licencing can be a called directly on (04) 498643; we found their staff very helpful.

Danger - energy drinks

Had a truly frightening experience with my teenage son over the weekend which feel other parents should probably be made aware of  - purchased an XXX Energy drink for him in Westgate (I don't normally let my kids have any energy or fizzy drinks so was a "treat") and we were on our way home when he said "Mom my chest really hurts" - this was within about 5 minutes of  him drinking approximately a quarter of the drink - he then had considerable difficulty breathing and his entire body flushed bright red yet his skin was cold and clammy - fortunately was around the corner from one of the emergency rooms so was able to get him seen to very quickly.


It's frightening to think that less than 100mils can cause such an extreme reaction - life threatening if the child or young adult is not able to get medical attention almost immediately.  Have now banned all energy drinks for my children and their treat will be an occasional Coke or Fanta - definitely NO ENERGY drinks



Zimbabwe Gives Remaining White Farmers Ultimatum

Zimbabwe Gives Remaining White Farmers Ultimatum
The first thing I noticed when I read this article (below), was the language used to describe the remaining White farmers in Zimbabwe - namely "settlers"!

So, you have to assume whoever wrote this article is a pathetic Zunu-PF propagandist. Even the caption under the photo at the article states: Before Zimbabwe’s land reform some White settlers owned land the size of small countries.

So, in their effort to smear the 'settlers', they inadvertently let the cat out of the bag - the farmers OWN the land. Who cares the size! If it's their's then it's THEIR'S! There is plenty of land in Zimbabwe, but Mugarbage and his cronies don't want just any land. No, they want the farms which are already cultivated and successful - where all the hard work has been done for their useless asses. And in order to get those farms they stoke up racial hatred and genocide against the poor White farmers who just want to get on with their lives.

According to one of these settlers, the remaining White farmers have been given until 15 May this year to get off their land, or risk unspecified action. We already know what that unspecified action will be. The "war-veterans" will be bused in to assault the farmers until they either die, or flee for their lives. These so-called "war-veterans" who should be about the same age as Mugarbage - 90 in the shade - but look like sprightly teenagers.....yes, those war veterans.
"Another farmer, who refused to be identified, said even those White commercial farmers who had links with senior Zanu PF members in the province would not be spared."
So it seems that Mugarbage has a few farmers in his back pocket. No doubt they've done huge favours for Zanu in exchange for being allowed to keep their farms. 

You would think that the world would be looking at Zimbabwe and condemning what's happening in the country. But no. They're more interested in Justin Bieber getting arrested. That "news" got coverage around the world for days, but the plight of White farmers in Zimbabwe (never mind those in South Africa!) get NO ATTENTION!

How does that work?? 

What's the bet that were this a White government doing the same to Black farmers, the world would be apoplectic in fits of outrage by now? Sanctions, travel bans, fact-finding missions, you name it, would happen faster than a fly on fresh shite.

But, what more can I do to help these poor farmers but to highlight what's going on in this part of the world?? That's all I can do. Good luck!

AFRICANGLOBE – White farmers in Mashonaland West said they were last week ordered by Zanu PF provincial chairman, Temba Mliswa to vacate African land by May 15 this year or risk unspecified action.

The farmers alleged that Mliswa issued the ultimatum last Friday at Chinhoyi Training Centre at a meeting attended by at least 50 commercial farmers.

But Mliswa yesterday denied that he issued such an ultimatum, saying the farmers came up with that date themselves.

The farmers said the meeting was also attended by the minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Faber Chidarikire, who could not be reached for comment.

One of the settlers, Pieter Zwanikken — who was at the meeting — said Mliswa told them that the directive was in line with Zanu PF’s land policy.

He said they were told in a no-holds-barred meeting that by May 15 this year every White farmer without an offer letter should leave African land.

“He told us that we were at the farms at Zanu PF’s mercy and that come May 15 this year we should wind up activities and leave our farms whether one’s farm is protected by Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement or not,” Zwanikken claimed.

Another farmer, who refused to be identified, said even those White commercial farmers who had links with senior Zanu PF members in the province would not be spared.

Mliswa, they said, also warned them against entering into farming arrangements with A2 farmers as the practice was illegal.

He has been at loggerheads with some of his colleagues in Zanu PF whom he accused of applying the party’s land policy selectively by favouring other White farmers ahead of others.

Mashonaland West Affirmative Action Group (AAG) chairman, Clifford Hlupeko said they supported Mliswa’s stance, saying the White settlers had delayed the land reform process by going to the courts.

“Some African farmers with offer letters have not been able to move onto their farms because of the White settlers who had taken the issue to court,” he said.

Hlupeko was however quick to point out that this was not a racial issue as there were White farmers with offer letters in the province.

He urged the government to capacitate new farmers so that the land reform program would not provide “detractors” with an opportunity to rubbish the exercise.

Mliswa refuted allegations that he gave the farmers an ultimatum.

“We have 74 White farmers in the province and 41 of them were recommended to stay put, meaning the rest should leave,” said Mliswa.

“Those who were not recommended to remain on the farms are the ones that came up with this date.”

He however could not explain the criteria used to recommend those who have been allowed to stay on the farms.

Mliswa also said Zanu PF was not discriminatory as 11 White farmers were given offer letters while four were given 99-year leases.

Since the land reform program in 2000 that reclaimed African land from White settlers, the imposition of American and European economic sanctions have helped to cripple Zimbabwe’s economy and by extension its farming sector.

The country has been relying on grain imported by government and the private sector to cover the local deficit.

Sunday, January 26, 2014


Death Notice: PATRICIA ANNE HAMILTON (FISHER ANNE)  Pat Hamilton beloved wife of David Hamilton, and darling Mum of Nicola, Judy, Bridget, Charles and Nancy, and of course adored Grand Mother and great Grand Mother to so many, passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by love and beauty on Imire. Her memorial service will be held at Imire farm in Wedza on Sunday the 26th of January 2014 at 9.30am. All friends and family are welcome. It could be a wet day, so bring warmth, brollies and hats perhaps. A light lunch will be provided, but where possible could you bring a plate of eats for morning teas. 


urgent need of 4 units of A negative blood.

My wife Nicola Lear is in Avenues Clinic 1 North and again is in urgent need of 4 units of A negative blood.  The hospital is telling my wife there is no A neg blood available. Please could you put an appeal out to donours to give blood if they are A neg as the last time you did this there was an instant response.

We would be most grateful as she is now very weak.

Kind Regards,

Mike Lear


Hi All


Give Mike a call tonight if you can help -  regards Mike G




PS Apparently the blood centre is short all the negative blood types  - why not go down to the Blood centre behind Pari Hospital and donate a pint of Blood on Monday

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

South African Elections - voting




South African Citizens, who are out of the country who are not already registered and wish to apply for registration to vote in the upcoming General Elections, are hereby invited to apply for registration.


Registration is open daily during working hours from 08h30 to 15h30 at the SA Embassy at 7 Elcombe Road, Belgravia, Harare.  The last day for registration will be 7 February 2014.


In addition, special registration will take place on Saturday, 25 January and Sunday 26 January 2014, from 09h00 to 13h00, for those SA Citizens who are not yet registered and cannot come to register during normal working hours.


To be eligible to register at the SA Embassy, a person must:

·       Be a SA Citizen and be 16 years of age and older;

·       Submit a valid green bar-coded Identity Document, a valid Temporary Identity Certificate (valid for 2 months) or a Smart Card;

·       Submit  a valid SA Passport; and

·       Submit in person the application form, (available from the IEC website or at the Embassy), the identity document and a valid passport.


NOTE :  If you are already registered to vote in SA but are now living abroad, you are NOT required to re-register - please check your registration status on   

For any further enquiries, please phone Tel: 0772267854 during working hours or visit the IEC Website at

Odd Couple - from Mike Garden

I have been making good comms with the police on this case of the “Odd Couple” – 1 black and 1 coloured guy


If you have had an incident involving them in the last few months and are happy to talk to CID please either email me or

  Or phone 0772-206348 – you can call them tonight


If you would prefer to remain anonymous then just send details to me and I will forward what is appropriate




Mike G

Death notices

Death Notice: HAMILL Martin (Sparky) - Died peacefully in Northern Ireland on 12th January 2014 after a short illness. A lovable rogue who will be sadly missed by all his family.

Death Notice: Margaret Jill Cunliffe (Margie) - Margie, retired teacher, passed away in Harare on Sunday 12th January.  Mother to Richard (Dick), Wendy and Kenneth (Ken), Granny to Mandy and Toph, Angela and Megan, Christine, Anne and James. Memorial followed by lunch 10:30 for 11:00 AM, Sunday 19th, January at Malvern House, Mvurwi. Donations to Malvern House Trust in lieu of flowers would be gratefully received., 0774347240.


The Memorial Service: for the late GERALD ZIEHL

The Memorial Service: for the late GERALD ZIEHL (he passed away peacefully on Thursday 16/01/14) will be held at The Borrowdale Brooke Club House on Thursday 24th January 2014 at 2.30 pm for 3.00 PM. Guests and friends kindly note that there could be a delay at security gate whilst checking in.


Regarding dogs my friend has recently gone to live in UK and got a certificate from the vet to send her dog to UK. They take a blood test send it overseas I think it took 2 weeks. The dog left here and the next day landed in UK and was delivered to the house.


I have noticed an increase in the missing pets/dog section of Bambazonke, and came across a very interesting and potentially helpful article with advise on finding missing pets, it may be useful for your readers who have lost loved companions. Dog owners should take an article of clothing that has been worn at least all day to the last place the dog was seen, the longer the article of clothing has been worn the better, so the lost dog can pick up on the scent. Leave the clothing in the area, along with a familiar toy (If the dog has one). You may want to leave a note requesting that the items not be moved and your contact details if the dog is sighted. Leave a bowl of water there too, as the dog probably has not had any access to any. Do not bring food, that may attract other animals that the dog may avoid. Visit the area and check intermittently if possible. Hopefully the dog will be waiting there. Dogs generally react better to familiar scents. I hope that this is helpful advise to those who are missing a best friend. Thanks, Kind Regards, Lisa


I have just received mail which refers to the lady on the bike.... I know this lady as Miss Fraser as she was our domestic science teacher when I was at Queen Elizabeth many years ago. She was a stickler for things being done right and heaven help you if they were not. I to this day I make sure that when I put out cups and saucers for a tea party that the angle of the handles and the teaspoons are just as I was taught as I can hear her voice in my head. Over the years I have come to appreciate her discipline which she dished out in the class room whether it was for cooking, needle work or general entertainment. She informed me after coming top of her needle work class with an exam result of 41%  that I would be better off taking an art class the following year. In other words - don't come back. Out of class room and away from the school she was a great character and I am sorry to hear she has hit hard times. I wish her all the very best. I have an old Herald newspaper picture of her sitting on a bench in town feeding the pigeons. I certainly will never forget her.  Jenny


I think your reader who uses words like privileged and enchanted seeing the vultures at the restaurant in the falls then saying when other lodges feed these noble birds that  it is a  gimmick a  very strange attitude.  .
I think it could become a problem if these lodges are in the Falls and  encouraging the birds into builtup areas. This is something that lodges in the open safari areas could do a safe distance from the  lodges as it is a wonderful sight for all to see.       Birds eye view


Almost every day now via your emails, we see dogs advertised as missing from someone’s residence, often with no collar, or no chip. Is it really that hard to ensure that when the main/pedestrian gate to the premises is opened or closed, the animals are observed and their whereabouts established there and there, not several hours later…? Have a walk around the perimeter of the property with the gardener, examine and secure any likely exit/access (stray dogs) in the fence/wall, therefore denying the dog the means to get out and become an issue. It really isn’t rocket science this making ones property ‘’dog-proof’’; it takes a small portion of time and effort to ensure that the animal cannot exit and become another statistic on the roads…


Lomagundi Lakeside: As the Manager of Lodges in Juliasdale, this does give you a wake up call. Thing is, people wouldn't do this in a Hotel, so why in private accommodation? Get the staff to call the Police!! 

I also feel that a Blacklist of unruly people should be posted, everyone needs a heads up.  Repairs are expensive, replacing broken items is expensive, and time consuming, especially when out of Harare.  We can't tolerate a few yobs spoiling things for every genuine guest.  I'm in! Thanks to the unfortunate owner in Kariba.  Alert Lodge Manager   


Lomagundi Lakeside: Hope you are making them pay for the damage.  Possibly take it out of the deposit.  Unbelievable


Angry and Disappointed Owners have got a most valid suggestion in that if people go to Kariba and abuse facilities and Boats made available for their pleasure, then there should be a Blacklist for owners of houses and houseboats that could be at risk.  


However, Likewise, there should be a List of Houseboats people could be advised about, which need to upgrade the standard of what they in reality supply in comparison to advertised in brochures and internet.     A group of 8 of us booked “XXX” houseboat for a special wedding anniversary for 4 nights a while back.   The crew were too smart for us, helping themselves liberally to fuel for the generator for the fridges, food, fishing supplies and more.  The lighting was in dire need of attention, as were the shower facilities, chipped plates and table linen with holes, one cabin leaked badly when it rained and the mattresses got soaked.  The general air of the boat was a rustbucket requiring urgent attention.   The travel agent wrote to the owner on our behalf, who did not have the courtesy to reply, so every dog has its day.

Most people accept within reason minor inadequacies, which will not spoil their holiday.  This was more than that.


Name and shame . That way we know who not to lease our lodges to. Not acceptable




Mike Gill update

Mike went for a second angiogram this afternoon having had a stent fitted on Friday on the right side of the heart where the heart attack happened.

Today they fitted a second stent on the left side of the heart. He still has a temporary pacemaker in and the question at the moment is if he needs a permanent pacemaker. 

When we left the hospital this evening Mike was really tired but in very good spirits having eaten a good dinner for the first time since he arrived 




On Sunday 22nd December, myself and three members of my family (one being Daniel the Spaniel), left for Archipelago Resort.  We were on the road by 5 a.m. and reached Forbes Border Post just after 8 a.m. We executed our customs & immigration duties in under one hour and were on the road again just after 9 a.m.  Travel to Muxungwe was uneventful and we arrived just after 12 a.m.  A good place to await the convoy is under the shade of the Flamboyant Tree to the left of the BP garage.  The convoy, which is supposed to leave at 1 p.m., only left at 2:30 p.m.  This is quite common because the north-bound convoy, which can contain 200 – 300 vehicles, runs late and also due to the fact that the army personnel stop to have their lunch in Muxungwe before heading south again.  There are approximately two to three military vehicles per convoy as well as 80 to 100 military personnel who distribute themselves amongst all the vehicles.  We joined the convoy three to four kilometres back from the lead vehicle, which we believe to be a safe position, remembering that these convoys can be anywhere between 10 to 20 kms long. 


It is important to note that the lunchtime convoy, to the best of our knowledge, has never experienced an incident.  We believe that the early morning south bound convoy has experienced the majority of the incidents.  Our senior housekeeper at Archipelago Resort, Joel, had firsthand experience of an incident when he was travelling in the early morning south bound convoy in a vehicle eighth from the front.  When the convoy came to a standstill and he saw two poorly-dressed, middle aged men firing at the lead army vehicle approximately 150 to 200 meters from the side of the road and then proceeding to run away.  They were chased into the bush by the military.  It was a minor incident of no major consequence and the convoy carried on to the Save. It is interesting to note that RENAMO are claiming that the majority of these attacks are carried by renegade RENAMO bandits.  


We travelled at a steady 80 to 90 kms/hour, staying in front of the heavy vehicles, which were slow, and keeping up with the fast moving traffic.  We felt completely safe and relaxed while driving in the convoy.  We reached the Save bridge in an hour twenty minutes.   From the Save, we proceeded to Archipelago Resort on a well-patched road, arriving at approximately 5 p.m.


We spent a glorious eight days in a sadly empty resort.  The weather was pleasant, with a lovely breeze blowing off the sea keeping the temperatures down.  We thoroughly enjoyed our Christmas lunch of ham and prawns under the tree by the pool and were just sad that there weren’t any Zimbabweans to enjoy it with us. 


To journey home we used the 9:30 a.m. convoy from the Save, which only left at 11 a.m.  To our knowledge that convoy has not experienced any incidents to date; the reason being the 7 a.m. south bound convoy usually clears the road.  The rest of our journey was uneventful, our greatest concern being the fact that Daniel the Spaniel got covered in burrs and paper thorns while sniffing along the road while waiting for the convoy!  We arrived home in Harare at 7 p.m.       


For those wishing to use the alternate route, the journey, which must be broken into two full days, can include a very enjoyable stay at Gonarezhou.  An alternative to staying at Chipinda Pools or Triangle Club is to stay at the National Parks camp called Swimuweni.  Bruce and Grace Campbell and their children drove the alternate route in a Toyota Landcruiser and stayed at Swimuweni, where they saw elephant, giraffe and lots of plains game.  (Please see below for the Campbell’s description and pictures of the accommodation.) Once they’d crossed the border, the Campbells bought Movitel cell phone number which gave them cell phone coverage for the whole journey.  I would recommend travelling in pairs, although we do know of many people who have successfully travelled this route on their own. 


We look forward to seeing you all at the resort in April!


Best regards,










The accommodation at Swimuweni Camp National parks is very basic. There was no hot water, which we didn’t mind given the heat, however, the cold water is very dirty. It is absolutely necessary to take one’s own drinking water. Some of the lodges did have fans but ours did not. We would like to go there again but would definitely take a fan of our own. The lodges did have bedding, a fridge (and small freezer), stove/oven, cutlery and braai. We found the staff to be very helpful. The lodge slept 4 and cost us $75. We also had to pay $3 for each adult and $5 for the vehicle. We saw lots of game and it was a lovely start and end to our holiday.


The contact details I have for Parks and Wildlife Management Authority is: Tel 04 706077/8 . Although we just booked at their offices, Cnr Borrowdale Rd/ Sandringham Drive, National Botanic Gardens, Harare.


On arrival at Gonarezhou, we checked in at the Mabalauta Park Offices. We stayed at Swimuweni camp, the closest camp to the Sango border post. When travelling to the Sango border: from Swimuweni Camp take the exit road to the t-junction at the t-junction turn right, cross over the river and take the first left turn (not sign posted). Not sure how this road is after rain, it is a dirt track and quite bumpy. It is 15 km to the railway line. Cross over the railway line, turn right on the main road and it is about 15km to the border. The national parks staff were very helpful with any directions we needed.