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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Robbie Robertson

Death Notice: Robertson, Robbie. Passed away in Liphook, England, on 24th February.  Beloved brother of Stuart, and father of Adele and Kerry.  He will be deeply missed by family and friends. (Phone 0776 404456 if further information required.)

POT holes

With the heavy onslaught of rains in the past few months many of our city roads are taking a hammering resulting in more and more of those annoying potholes popping up (down?). End result is a far more arduous trip down to the local shops.

It would appear , also, that every Tom, Dick and Harry now sees an opportunity to start up a new career in civil engineering. Out comes the wheel barrow along old bricks and with a “Stop Pliz” sign and outstretched hands. They certainly hold up the traffic in busy thoroughfares.

I am sure the City of Harare would welcome any constructive suggestions on what we can do improve this situation. I

South African Voting

HI All, The Counsellor for Corporate Services at the South African Embassy in Harare has asked me to send this email out about voting in the South African Elections later this year. Please see his details below if you need any  further details.  Best Regards, Mike Garden


Election day in South Africa as well as abroad was today, 25 February 2014, proclaimed in the Government Gazette.  This also means that no further registrations will be entertained. .

Voting abroad will take place on Wednesday, 30 APRIL 2014.  By law it is not possible to vote abroad on any date other than 30 April 2014, and no exceptions will be made.

Applications are now open to notify the IEC of your intention to vote abroad and where (at which mission) citizens intend to vote, by completing a VEC10 form.  This includes ALL South Africans who are registered and whose names appear on the voters’ roll, Diplomats and their households.

Applications need to be submitted ONLINE ONLY on the IEC website at and will close at midnight (SA time) on 12 March 2014.  Applicants will receive either an e-mail or sms notification to acknowledge receipt of their application.

T. Nieuwoudt.

Counsellor: Corporate Services

South African Embassy - Harare

Tel: (+ 263 4) 251843/52

Cell: (+263) 772 267 854

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Death and MemorialNotices

Death Notice: Moira Turk passed away peacefully on the 19th February. Beloved mother of Michael, Viv, Steve, Trish, Gillian, Leon, Andy and Denise.  Loving Grandmother of Lara, Sarah, Adam, Brendan, Seb, Jonathan, James, Bryn, Kaitlin, Lauren and Kevin.  Serivce to be held at Nazareth House on Tuesday 25th February at 3:00pm.   Teas to be served after the service at Lamenier Community Center. Steve Turk


Memorial Service: Sarah Anne Rosier (nee Francis) The Memorial Service for Sarah will be held on Sunday 2 March at 11.00 am at the Arundel School Chapel, followed by refreshments at the school sports pavilion. Tea and coffee will be provided but please bring a plate of snacks and your own drinks.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Arts Events List

Arts Events List (Zimbabwe)
AEL as @ 23 February 2014
Edited from e-mails received by Twin Arts, Zimbabwe. This compilation © Twin Arts Trust.
The AEL is sent weekly by e-mail to over 750 addressees, all of whom have asked to receive it.
To subscribe, or to unsubscribe, please send a request to <>.
The AEL is also available online at <>, hosted by M-Web.
Note:  AEL can accept no responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained herein.

Events on now, or starting on or before 10 March 2014

Events are in Harare unless stated otherwise.


  • Francophonie Week (10–22 March)


  • Chitungwiza Harmony Singers @ HIS (28 February)
  • Book Café (24 February – 1 March)
  • Chamber Music Concert @ Harare International School (2 March)


Performing Arts Bulawayo [PAB] and the Academy [Bulawayo]

  • Oh! What a Lovely War (27 February)
  • Elgar: Enigma Variations / The Man behind the Mask (28 February)
  • PAB AGM (6 March)
  • The Godfather (6 March)
  • Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (7 March)


  • Multifaceted Arts Domain: Loving Zimbabwe @ Green Park (28 February)
  • Dramascapes @ First Floor Gallery Harare (to 25 March)
  • Artists in the Stream V @ Gallery Delta (to early March)


  • Night and Day @ Reps (27 February – 15 March)
    • Charity Gala (1 March)
  • Book Club @ Book Café (9 March)


  • Movies @ Ster-Kinekor (to 27 February)


  • Zimbabwe German Society AGM (8 March)


  • Mindfulness teachings @ KSDH (6 to 11 March)


Information for event organisers/advertisers

Please send items of news about ARTS EVENTS, written EXACTLY as you wish them to appear, in the BODY of an e-mail, to <> to arrive BY 6.00 p.m. on FRIDAYS for the Sunday mailing.
Please make sure that it includes the key information (e.g. date, time, place, cost) plus contact details if more information is available to interested readers. Please try to follow the format that we use here, DO NOT USE FANCY FONTS, and please DO NOT TYPE IN ALL CAPS!
Please keep what you send us brief. We reserve the right  to edit contributions if necessary.

DONATIONS. We do not charge for items to be included, but do appreciate donations and/or complimentary tickets (though we may not always be able to take them up), where appropriate. We can accept donations into the Twin Arts Trust CABS account no. 9012665517 – by cash deposit at any CABS branch or via CABS online banking. Please send us an e-mail to advise us if you have made a donation so that we can know who it's from and acknowledge it. We do not receive funding from any other source.
How much to donate: Whatever this service is worth to you, and what you can afford.

Twin Arts gratefully acknowledges the support of M-Web, who have donated the mailbox & Website.



Francophonie Week (10–22 March)
Each year, the Alliance Française and its partners join the world in celebrating Francophonie Week. This year it will be held in both Bulawayo and Harare. The event will run over two weeks from 10 to 22 March. Francophonie Week celebrates the French cultural life with a diverse number of activities associated with the French way of life. The Francophonie week will include :

  • Film Festival everyday at AF
  • Sing your way to Paris
  • Quiz and dictation
  • Hope Masike special Francophonie concert

Sing your way to Paris Competition (Registration deadline 28 February)
This competition is open to anyone between the age of 14 and 26. The Winner gets an amazing prize of two weeks in Paris sponsored by Bon Marché, all expenses paid. The competition aims at encouraging a wide participation among the Zimbabwean students community so as to select the best amateur singer in French of the year on the occasion of the Francophonie celebration week. Competitors must select an original French song from the repertoire provided. Registration is free of charge at Alliance Française.
Contact Sharon on 04-704 795 or 04-704 801 for more information. Deadline for registration is 28 February.



Chitungwiza Harmony Singers @ HIS (28 February)
The Chitungwiza Harmony Singers are a volunteer community choir comprised of ambitious musicians from the Chitungwiza community and have been singing together since 1993. Taking the baton from his late father, Arnold Dzangare continues to lead the choir to success on an international level in both African and Western music traditions.
Last year, the group was named one of the top 3 choirs at the Old Mutual Choral Finals held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban, South Africa. Each year, the choir raises money for transport and accommodation to attend these festivals and they are currently working towards constructing a rehearsal hall in their hometown of Chitungwiza. They are very excited to present a special programme on Friday, 28 February at 6pm with admission at $5 at the door of the Performing Arts Centre at the Harare International School at 66 Pendennis Road, Mount Pleasant. Please join us!
For further information please contact <>

Book Café (24 February – 1 March)
Mon 24, 6pm - BOOK CAFE OPEN MIC – the hottest jam party in town!  Poets, comedians, singers, dancers, musicians, bands – come register with the MC before 6pm – FREE, All welcome!

Tue 25, 8pm, TENDAI MANATSA & JAM SIGNAL – The gifted guitarist Tendai Manatsa in an exciting double-bill with the emerging afro-fusion group, Jam Signal who impressed at the October World Music Festival - cc $3

Wed 26, 6pm, FILM CLUB DISCUSSION: ‘CHILL & CHAT ‘– discussing film distribution in Zimbabwe, with guest speaker filmmaker and actor Stephen Chigorimbo.  Free, all welcome.
Wed 26, from 7pm, THE MIC INITY SHOW featuring Mic Inity with guest band 'HOUSE OF STONE' & their unique blend of original Zimbabwean dub + guest vocalists. Opening the evening at 7pm with strictly roots session from IRIE LION Sound system in the garden. cc$3 before 9pm, $5 after

Thu 27, 5.30pm, TINA WATYOKA CD LAUNCH: ‘NDOITA SEI?’  - The young Zimbabwean singer, composer and musician launches her exciting second album, ‘Ndoita Sei?’ and everyone is invited. Special guests will be star artists Victor Kunonga and Alexio Kawara, who she names among her mentors.  Free, all welcome!
Thu 27, 5.30pm-8pm, Garden Stage: GARY TIGHT, with exciting young artists and original new flavours of Zimbabwe, recent openers for Sulu at Book Café, and coming up strong! cc$5
Thu 27, 8pm, VIBE CULTURE & M'AFRIQ - Former backing band of the late great Chiwoniso Maraire, Vibe Culture has teamed up with M'Afriq for a one-off collaboration show with a new original contemporary mbira-hip hop sound. cc$5

Fri 28, 7pm, Garden Stage: FRIDAY MBIRA with MAWUNGIRA ENHARIRA, Harare's favourite mbira ensemble feat. Nyamasvisva  - cc$5 (Entry from 6th Street gate).
Fri 28, 8pm, Main Stage: Jive Zimbabwe's SCHOOL OF ROCK - Showing that Zimbabwean rock music is alive and well, Jive Zimbabwe brings you 4 outstanding rock acts this Friday: mbira-punk rockers 'chikwata.263', winners of 2013 Arcadia battle of the bands 'Evicted', former dynamos goal-keeper 'Laban Kandi' and his new rock band 'Total Package', and the super energetic and crazy 'Acid Tears'. Guaranteed non-stop rock from start to finish! cc$10 or $7 if you dress up in your old school uniform!!!

Sat 01 MARCH, 2-5pm, HOUSE OF HUNGER POETRY SLAM – Poets for Music Freedom Day!  Zimbabwe’s longest running poetry platform with over 20 poets performing: Come feel the energy!  Poets to register with the Slam Master before 2pm.
Sat 01, 6pm, FREE FILM-screening “LET FREEDOM SING” – How music inspired the civil rights movement in the USA.  The story sweeps us to the heart of the movement in the 1960s, and explores its continuing impact on music, politics and culture in the decades that followed.  Never-before-seen historic footage and remarkable new interviews with Gladys Knight, Isaac Hayes, Chuck D, Andrew Young, Qunicy Jones and Pete Seeger, among many others.  FREE, All Welcome!
Sat 01, 7pm, Garden Stage: Hip Hop & we don't stop! A night of young hip hop talent hosted by the 'Private Number' crew with Marcus 'The Destroyer' as their featured guest artist. cc
Sat 01, 8pm, MUSIC FREEDOM DAY Celebration: NU ALLIANCE, JAM SIGNAL, SELMOR MTUKUDZI and TRANSIT CREW – a shout-out for music freedom!  In the usual great association with Magamba Network. cc$5

The New Book Café: 139 Samora Machel Ave, cnr. 6th Street, Harare. Tel. 086 440 66015 <>
For bookings – venue hire, music, catering – contact Daniel 0772 484 634.
Enquiries to <>

Chamber Music Concert @ Harare International School (2 March)
Chamber Music Concert to introduce Abigail and Amy Macy (violin and cello) with Catherine Stirling (violin) and Jeanette Micklem (piano ) on Sunday, 2 March at 4.00 p.m. at the Harare International School Performing Arts Centre (Auditorium). Tickets by donation at the door.
Beethoven:  Sonata No 5 for Violin and Piano (The Spring)
Prokofiev:  Sonata for Cello and Piano in C major (Opus 119)
Mendelssohn:  Piano Trio No 1 in D minor

Abigail Macy began studying the violin in 2004 at the age of four as a Suzuki student. She is Concertmistress of the Harare International School Orchestra where she is a student. She also performs with the Sixteen Strings Quartet. Since moving to Zimbabwe in 2012 she has performed as soloist with the National Musicamp Orchestra and with the Harare Chamber Orchestra.

Amy Macy, having performed cello for twenty years with the West Virginia Symphony, returns to her first love – chamber music – which she performed as a student and young professional with the Sapphire String Quartet and the Wind Piano Trio in America. She is an accomplished music teacher and has developed many student programmes. She has been her daughter Abigail’s main teacher.

Violinist Catherine Stirling and pianist Jeanette Micklem need no introduction to Harare audiences, having performed frequently in recitals, chamber music and orchestral concerts over many years.

Barnyard Theatre: Strictly No. 1s @ Twin Rivers School (15 March)
Barnyard Theatre returns to Harare from Tuesday, 11 until Saturday, 15 March @ Twin Rivers School.
The show, Strictly No. 1s, celebrates 60 years of Billboard 100 No. 1s. The show has a ten-strong cast and features Harare’s own talent Josh Ansley on vocals. Tickets from $20 – $30.
The Box office will open on16 February at PaSangano Building reception (MultiChoice/DStv offices). For more info, tel: 0772-238715, or e-mail <>

Performing Arts Bulawayo [PAB] and the Academy [Bulawayo]

Oh! What a Lovely War (27 February)
Thursday 27 February in the Robert Sibson Hall at 7.00 p.m.
'Oh! What a Lovely War' is the 1969 film directed by Richard Attenborough, with a cast including among others Dirk Bogarde, Paul Daneman, Edward Fox, John Gielgud, Jack Hawkins, Ian Holm, John Mills, Kenneth More, Nanette Newman, Laurence Olivier, Cecil Parker, Corin Redgrave, Michael Redgrave, Vanessa Redgrave, Ralph Richardson, Maggie Smith and Susannah York!
Admission: $3.00 [free to  film members]

Elgar: Enigma Variations / The Man behind the Mask (28 February)
Friday 28 February in the Robert Sibson Hall at 6.30 p.m.
Two films to commemorate the 80th anniversary of Elgar's death on 23 February 1934. The first is a BBC documentary in which Sir Andrew Davis unravels the mystery of the famous musical puzzle contained in Elgar's work before conducting a complete performance in the cathedral in Elgar's home town of Worcester.
In the second film, John Bridcut explores the secret conflicts in Elgar's nature which produced some of Britain's greatest music. Although often regarded as the quintessential English gentleman, Elgar's image of hearty nobility was deliberately contrived. In reality, he was the son of a shopkeeper, who was awkward, nervous, self-pitying and often rude, while his marriage to his devoted wife Alice was complicated by romantic entanglements which fired his creative energy.
Admission: $3.00  [free to Red Carpet members]   Dinner available during the interval ($10.00)

PAB AGM (6 March)
Thursday 6 March in Room 25 at the Academy at 5.15 p.m.
We intend to keep the AGM short but would like to hear other views on what has happened in the last year and plans for the future. There are vacancies on the committee and new faces will be welcome.
Supper will be available after the meeting: Macaroni cheese with bacon ('the
best in Bulawayo'!) - main course only ($6.00).  It MUST be ordered in advance!  Followed by...

The Godfather (6 March)
Thursday 6 March in the Robert Sibson Hall at 7.00 p.m.
'The Godfather' needs no introduction - it was for a time the highest grossing picture ever made and it won three Oscars - Best Picture, Best Actor (Brando) and in the category Best Adapted Screenplay. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest films in world cinema and one of the most influential. The story spans the years 1945 to 1955 and centres on the transformation of Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) from reluctant family outsider to ruthless Mafia boss while also chronicling the family under the patriarch Vito Corleone (Brando).
"Pulp fiction raised to the highest level, a film of epic proportions, masterfully done, and set to Nino Rota's memorable music. Absolutely irresistible."  [Maltin's Movie Guide ****]
 [The Godfather II and The Godfather III will be shown later in the year.]
[Admission: $3.00 [free to  film members]

Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (7 March)
Friday 7 March in the Robert Sibson Hall at 6.30 p.m.
Rossini's 'The Barber of Seville' is one of the best-known of all operas and comes in a filmed version (which has not been shown previously at the Academy) as a further tribute to Claudio Abbado who died in January "A wonderful performance, superb staging and excellent interpretations by a cast who very obviously loved what they were doing. The artists are having great fun, and that is what drives this opera."  [Amazon review]
Admission: $3.00  [free to Red Carpet members]   Dinner available during the interval ($10.00)


Multifaceted Arts Domain: Loving Zimbabwe @ Green Park (28 February)
MAD (Multifaceted Arts Domain) Creative Photography launch: 'Loving Zimbabwe', not to be missed!
Featuring Zimbabwe's top photographers: Alice Tavaya, Eric Gauss, Michelle Fortmann, Nicole Du Preez, Eugene Nyhati, Craig Van Zyl, Gregg Robinson, Tony Chuna and many more ...
Friday, 28 February:  6pm sharp.
Venue: Green Park, Enterprise Road, Glen Lorne

Dramascapes @ First Floor Gallery Harare (to 25 March)
First Floor Gallery Harare is proud to open its 2014 exhibition programme with Dramascapes, a solo exhibition by Wycliffe Mundopa, a major new body of work, introducing some the artist's largest canvases to date as well as a new series of works on paper.
Opening: Thursday, 13 February at 5.30pm. All welcome! Exhibition runs till 25 March.
For additional information, see: <>
First Floor Gallery Harare, 2nd floor Mercury House, 24 George Silundika Avenue, Harare (btwn First Street and Sam Nujoma Street, opposite Wimpy)
Contact: Telephone: 04 251502    Email: <>

Artists in the Stream V @ Gallery Delta (to early March)
Artists in the Stream V: The Annual Young Artist's Exhibition
Paintings, Graphics, and Multi-Media Sculptures by 33 young, aspiring and maturing artists
Exhibition duration until early March.
Sponsored by the Embassy of Germany

Gallery Delta, 'Robert Paul's Old House', 110 Livingstone Avenue/Ninth Street, Greenwood Park, Harare
Telephone/Fax: 792135; <>; <>.


Night and Day @ Reps (27 February – 15 March)
A wonderful musical revue for the whole family! Book early.
Preview night Thurs 27 Feb (7pm) – pensioners free
Opening night Fri 28 Feb (7pm)
Tues 4 Mar and Tues 11 Mar – family nights, with all tickets $10
Matinees Sat 1 Mar, Sat 8 Mar and Sat 15 Mar at 2.30pm. Book at the Spotlight

Charity Gala (1 March)
Vabatsiri Soroptimists are hosting a charity gala evening for Cole Porter’s fabulous musical, ‘Night and Day’, at 7.00 pm at REPS Theatre in Belgravia on Saturday, 1 March.
Tickets are the normal price of $15 – enjoy good SA wine and snacks before the show and know you are helping Childline, childen’s charities and old-age homes by choosing to see the show that night.
Tickets from Jill Day at <>, 0772 224 165, 480455.

Book Club @ Book Café (9 March)
We will be discussing “Small Island” by Andrea Levy, a delightfully entertaining and probing book about Jamaican immigration to Britain in the days after World War II. Andrea Levy explores black and white issues of post-war London, which include questions of class, race, and Empire. This novel is about the irony of intolerance, stereotype, and prejudice in a country that fought a war against these very issues. [Amazon]
Small Island won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2004, the Whitbread Book of the Year in 2004 and the Commonwealth Writer's Prize in 2005.
  What is the Book Club about? Books are better appreciated when we're able to share our experience of the writing through discussion and exploration of the text. We get ideas through learning from how others see the same story. At the Book Club we read an agreed book in advance and then meet at a set time to talk about it. Come along even if you haven’t read the book. Sunday, 9 March at 4pm.
Book Café, 139 Samora Machel Ave, corner 6th Street, Harare. For more information call 0864 406 6015



Arundel Village Farmers & Craft Market (1 March)
Join us at the Arundel Village Farmers & Craft Market, for all your fresh produce, freshly prepared food, honey, jams, pickles.
We also have a good selection of books, arts and craft.
Saturday 1 March, 9am- 2pm
Arundel Village Shopping Centre, Quorn Ave, Mt Pleasant, Harare
Admission free.


Movies @ Ster-Kinekor (to 27 February)

Visit us at any of our branches and enjoy our Tuesday half-price specials.
SK 105 opposite Eastgate $2 2D and $3 3D.
SK Westgate $3 2D and $4 3D.
Be part of the great moments at their greatest!!

105 R. Mugabe Road (Eastgate)

Movie Title: ROBOCOP 2D.
Age Restriction: (nu12).
Show Times: Fri-Thurs 12:30 & 15:00

Movie Title: ROMEO & JULIET 2D.
Age Restriction: (nu12).
Show Times: Fri-Thurs 17:30 & 20:00

Movie Title: LAST VEGAS 2D.
Age Restriction: (nu18).
Show Times: Fri-Thurs 12:30, 15:00, 17:30 & 20:00.

Movie Title: POMPEII 3D. (new release).
Age Restriction: (nu16).
Show Times: Fri-Thurs 12:30, 15:00, 17:30 & 20:00.

Age Restriction: (nu18).
Show Times: Fri-Thurs 12:30, 15:00, 17:30 & 20:00

Age Restriction: (nu18).
Show Times: Fri-Thurs 12:30, 15:00, 17:30 & 20:00

Movie Title: THE NUT JOB 3D. (new release).
Age Restriction: (nu12).
Show Times: Fri-Thurs 12:30, 15:00, 17:30 & 20:00

Westgate Complex

Movie Title: THE NUT JOB 3D. (new release).
Age Restriction: (nu12).
Show Times: Fri-Thurs 12:30, 15:00, 17:30 & 20:00.

Movie Title: LAST VEGAS 2D.
Age Restriction: (nu18).
Show Times: Fri-Thurs 12:30, 15:00, 17:30 & 20:00

Age Restriction: (nu18).
Show Times: Fri-Thurs 12:30, 15:00, 17:30 & 20:00.

Age Restriction: (AA).
Show Times: Fri-Thurs 12:30 & 15:00

Age Restriction: (nu18).
Show Times: Fri-Thurs 17:30 & 20:00

For more information, please contact:
701933 (105 R. Mugabe) and 332253 (Westgate), or e-mail  <>, or Whatsapp 0783-019-993


Zimbabwe German Society AGM (8 March)

ZGS 30th AGM
This year, our AGM will be held on Saturday the 8th of March 2014 at 2pm. This is our election year and all valid members are invited to participate in the election of our new board. New members are welcome as well, you will be able to sign up for membership or renew your membership beforehand as well as on the actual day.
8 March, 2pm, FREE

All events are held at 51 Lawson Avenue, Milton Park, Harare, unless otherwise stated.
For further information, please e-mail <>.


Mindfulness teachings @ KSDH (6 to 11 March)
KSDH invites you to join us in welcoming Lama Tsondru from the Spanish Kagyu Buddhist Centre. She will be here from 6 to 11 March and will be offering three teachings:

1. Retreat on the four foundations of mindfulness, Thursday 6 - Sunday  March in the beautiful and tranquil setting of Susurumba, Nyanga $95 shared accommodation, $70 camping. Cost includes all meals.
Theme: Mindfulness of body, mind and teachings. Mindfulness can help us see what is going on within our minds which we are often unaware of but which drive much of our behaviour and unhappiness

2. Public Talk on Living a Meaningful Life: 5.15pm Monday 10 March, Kagyu Samye Dzong Harare Temple, 7a Ernie's Lane, Monavale
Lama Tsondru will examine the difficulties we face in leading a meaningful life and explore ways where deeper, more meaningful communication and happiness can be found in our lives. Cost $5

3. Refuge and Talk Ceremony : Tuesday 11 March, Kagyu Samye Dzong Harare Temple, 7a Ernie's Lane, Monavale - 4pm for the talk on Refuge and 5pm for the Refuge Ceremony.
Lama Tsondru will give a Refuge Ceremony for those wanting to make the Buddhist path their spiritual path.  For those wanting to do this, attendance to the talk is a prerequisite. Dave Sheehan 0772 317 424 is available to answer your questions. No charge.

For more information on any of these teachings, contact the KSDH office at304202 (mornings only) or email us at <>. Or visit our website at <>.


This section is for special arts-related events that don't fit into other categories and that are held primarily to raise funds for charity or other deserving causes. The Editor's decision will be final as to whether a notice will be included in this category.


Individuals or organisations wishing to advertise in this section must submit copy together with a donation.
Please note: this section is only for services, tuition or goods relating to the arts.


© Copyright in this compilation and its format belongs to Twin Arts Trust.
Permission is required from Twin Arts for the reproduction of this compilation in this format, either electronically or in print.
We will be happy for other Websites to link to this information, so long as it opens in its own window/frameset and credit is given to Twin Arts Trust.
If individual items are selected from this compilation for inclusion in other compilations, we would appreciate acknowledgement being given to Twin Arts, together with a link to <>.
Any enquiries may be addressed to <>.

To unsubscribe from Arts Events List, send an e-mail to <>.
If you are giving up your e-mail address, or leaving Zimbabwe, please remember to unsubscribe before you do.

Copy of letter sent to Skye News concerning the plight of British nationals in Zimbabwe

Help Our British People in Zimbabwe Facing Poverty and Disillusionment
Odette H Lind

An open letter
I am a warden/consular correspondent (a voluntary role) with the British Consul in Harare. We are here to assist British nations who have problems and issues and act as assistants between the passport holder and the Consul. There are issues which the consul cannot attend to although they are helpful and qualified they have to abide by rules and regulations.  I am outlining problems which should be addressed and which are not being recognized by the present British Government or other bodies.
Some months ago I wrote letters outlining problems being encountered by British Nationals in Zimbabwe and sent this communication to every British Government office that I thought would have been able to assist. 
I had acknowledgments from the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and the Archbishop of Canterbury and no one else.   Acknowledgements but no comments, replies and no follow ups!  The situation with, especially our older residents, is now getting to crisis point in many cases.  I am therefore addressing this letter to Skye news in hope that you may be able to use the details in attempting to assist the people in need.
I am now outlining the problems that British citizens living in Zimbabwe are encountering in hopes that someone may take up our problems and that they are made known to the world.
Our consular teams at the Embassy, in Harare, are doing everything they can to inform us, and we as Consular Wardens have been asked to keep them informed of any incidences that may occur, and to assist them where possible.
We have a unique situation here.  I looked after over 800 people when we had a registration system.  We now understand that this has fallen away and therefore we have no idea who we are supposed to be assisting and supporting. This withdrawal of the registration process, we are told, is due to the data protection act, I quote the act as follows:
The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) is a United Kingdom Act of Parliament which defines UK law on the processing of data on identifiable living people. It is the main piece of legislation that governs the protection of personal data in the UK. Although the Act itself does not mention privacy, it was enacted to bring UK law into line with the EU data protection directive of 1995 which required Member States to protect people's fundamental rights and freedoms and in particular their right to privacy with respect to the processing of personal data. In practice it provides a way for individuals to control information about themselves:
Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully and, in particular, shall not be processed unless-
Personal data shall be obtained only for one or more specified and lawful purposes, and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes.
Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which they are processed.
Personal data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date.
Personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes.
About the rights of individuals e.g personal data shall be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects (individuals).
Appropriate technical and organizational measures shall be taken against unauthorized or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data.
I cannot see that the registration process in any way was outside the outlines of this act – all registrations were done at the request of the British National.
I always telephoned and kept in contact with the people on my list on a half yearly basis, at my own expense. Now, with no updated registrations, if a problem occurred in the future how are we going to be able to assist? It is vital that we know who we are looking after so we can advise and assist them.
I have been contacted by a number of people who know I am involved in the consular correspondent/warden program – all asking about re-registration as they feel the need of the reassurance that if there should be a problem they will be contacted or have someone they can contact. It is understood there are between 10 and 12 thousand British people in Zimbabwe.
One reason given for stopping the registration program was that when the Japanese Tsunami occurred they contacted the 2 thousand odd British citizens in Japan and none of them required assistance.  Our situation is very different – if there should be a problem it is likely not be a natural disaster but a man made one.
Our populations of British nationals are mainly elderly – many not able to use the internet or email and even have problems using their cell phones.  The switch to obtaining passports, not through the embassy, but by downloading, filling in and dispatching documents individually is already causing problems.  Many people here are not only not computer literate but do not own computers or cell phones.
The advice to those here has been to keep looking at the web sites set up for the area – but how can they do this if they do not have internet connections or are unable to use them – internet cafes are few and far between. It is also almost impossible to keep in touch with those who are computer literate as we no longer know who they are. We also have frequent breakdowns of power and communications.
Should we have, and we hope not, a situation like Sierra Leone, we would not know who to contact or what to do – the numbers of people seeking assistance would be outside the limitations of our consulate or those who help them. Not many people listen to the radio, our local television studio or buy newspapers.
I do think that the foreign office has not thought through the situation. We understand that we can no longer talk directly with our consular staff but have to connect through a call center in Spain.  All the good will and connection that has been built up through the years has now disappeared.  There is a very grand and efficient embassy here in Harare and staff that are helpful, efficient and qualified but it would assist everyone if they were allowed to do more.
The large and impressive embassy building is now being used only to house the Embassy and Consular staff who apparently are there to deal only with emergencies and British people in trouble.  There are few of these now that the farmers have been sent off their land. The consulate is giving out the information that should anything happen then the frail and infirm would be their first consideration and everyone else should make their own plans.  The nearest border is Mozambique – one needs a visa on a British passport – and once across the border what does one do?  There is a security situation there and it takes funds to live in a foreign country. There are British people here who cannot even afford a passport.
There are people valid for free passports as long as they were born before 02 September 1929.  The reason for this date we have been told was that these people suffered from the effects of the Second World War. I was born in 1945 and remember being held up to a window – I must have been about two when an unexploded bomb went off down the street – I still have scars from the glass. We underwent rationing – I still have my ration book!
It would be a great help to people here, especially under the situation that it is so difficult to obtain funds in this country, if free passports could be offered to other elderly.
The delay in obtaining passports and the new regulations  are put down to security – recently one lady of 91 had her doctors letter proving here place of residence and her identity rejected and she was asked to submit her school records and her driving license – neither of which she had. (After correspondence with the Newport Office she is now finally having her passport issued and sent to Zimbabwe – but the stress she endured was not something a woman of her age have experienced.) This is all put down to security yet no longer does anyone have to sign that they know a person or on their photographs confirm that this is a true likeness of the person. 
Documents have to be signed by a justice of the peace but JPs sit on every corner in Harare, they have no idea who you are or anything about you.  One dollar obtains a so called legal document!!!  We as wardens are no longer allowed identity cards – how can we expect an elderly person to believe who we are?  This is especially so in the case that they have to complete a form with their credit or debit card details, or that of a friend or relative (most people cannot obtain these debit/credit/ cards as the banks refuse to send them to Zimbabwe – it is the same with cheque books).  It seems as if we are being looked at as criminals, whereas in England you can complete forms on line and have your passport returned to you within a very short time by ordinary post….. I thought that there were potential terrorists in Britain – here we are being treated like criminals – aid being considered a sanctioned country and our own people being treated like this is dreadful.
Another serious issue is the issuing of visas – I assisted someone a while back whose sister was seriously ill in the UK.  He held a Zimbabwe passport. Visas are only issued by a courier company called FedEx. It took 8 days to obtain his visa – FedEx was a great help but still he had to wait.
I continue on the issue that everything to do with Embassy matters are now being transferred to the internet and this a major problem here.  Again I reiterate that most of our British subjects are elderly – they do not have access to the internet and are on the main unable to understand it.  Trying to download passport forms is almost impossible for them – not only do they not have the skills or the equipment but the cost of ink cartridges is so high that they are unable to perform the printing required. This together with the slow speed of most of our internet services causes stress and confusion among our elderly. Our consul is no longer allowed to print out forms and the reliance on the internet and e-mail is just not viable in a country such as ours where internet access is often unavailable and knowledge of it is if not always what people in the UK and elsewhere are used to seeing.
I would like to request that  someone approach the government and look into these matters and consideration be given to us in Zimbabwe.  My earlier attempts have fallen on deaf ears!
This comes to my next point.  Most of the British nationals here are of pensionable age.  They either receive no pension or a frozen pension which is not adequate for their needs in this country. There are British people starving and living on handouts.  My husband and I personally have fed people, and even their pets, as they had not been able to cope.  Most people provided for their old age by investing in what was a viable economy.  This crashed and the situation of the economy here has left many penniless and most unable to live in what would be considered a poverty line existence in the UK. The fact that we have to have organizations within Zimbabwe and South Africa like SOAP (Save Our Old Age Pensioners) and others to assist in feeding and looking after our aged is admirable as they are funded and staffed by volunteers. It is a disgrace that individuals have to support others in need but shows the determination of the British people here to assist their kith and kin. It appears that London does not look at this situation, as it has done in other countries,  and we are indeed forgotten. There are British citizens living hand to mouth and Britain seems not to care. Aid is given to complete foreigners but not to our own people.  It is understood that The British Government is giving a large grant of money to assist the people of Zimbabwe – and yet their own British nationals are receiving little or no assistance.
Most of our wards are elderly, as previously mentioned. Many have financial problems. Again I mention there is a problem obtaining debit cards, cheque books and transfers from banks who claim we are an embargoed country.  It is impossible to obtain a PayPal account and even visitors to this country cannot operate their accounts.  This means that access to e-Bay and similar companies is almost impossible. Trying to obtain money from an ATM is difficult or impossible and recently the only really safe source of obtaining cash from a bank account – suspended cash transfers – I understand they have now been reinstated. (
Recently we had a lady who was unable to obtain her cheque book or her funds – the Ambassador intervened and after some time the bank released a cheque book – a little late - the lady passed away 6 weeks later as she had been unable to feed herself in the period when she had no money. She was too proud to come to me or others who could have helped her.
I spoke with a lady a few days ago who told me ‘it is if we have been forgotten and discarded’.
A few years ago our then consul – Sarah Mannell – organized a breakthrough plan to repatriate British citizen who could not support themselves and were ill or just too aged to cope.  It worked well but now we have another generation who are in the same situation.
The British nationals and their partners, even if not British, were taken over and set up in accommodation and with benefits.  From what I understand there was only one person who returned here – and he returned the money that had been paid for him.
I have one lady on my list whose husband has Alzheimer’s she has been told the only way they could return to the UK would be by him obtaining a settlement visa – this is costly and takes time – no one can tell her what help she would get on arrival. They are unable to afford the costs involved.  They cannot afford drugs for him and she is suffering from anguish and depression as she can do nothing to help.  I have now another similar case which I have placed in the hands of our consulate. They have informed us that all that can be done is for her to apply to a charity – but they cannot give her any names she should contact.  She has to pay $500 per month for a nurse and they only receive about $1000 a month in pensions etc.  That amount goes no where in this country where inflation is excessive.
There are many people here in the same situation.  It must be remembered that most of the British citizens in this country were brought here by the British Government – to work and advise or run vital instillations or were orphans, sent here to get them out of the UK.  My husband’s own father was brought here by the army and they settled in a country that needed their services. An infrastructure was built up from roads to water supplies and more – none of which have been maintained.  Yet we are continually being blamed for failings being encountered today.
Abandonment is the only word one can use.  The British population developed this country and assisted its indigenous people to develop.  They built and ran schools and hospitals and still do so when allowed to continue. Many of those no longer allowed to farm have had to leave viable schools and clinics – which have been, in most cases, demolished for the doors, window frames and bricks that could be sold.
People from here fought in the World Wars, some lost their lives or were injured, and yet we seem to be excluded from any benefits that might be available. Even the names of those that fell have been obliterated. I write this letter in hope that someone will recognize the situation.  Either our selves or our parents were brought here to develop this country for Britain and now in our latter years have no funds to return to the home country. In many cases people have to live in misery.  Britain brought out children to live here under the Fairbridge program – many are still here as they have no where else to go.
Help could be in the form of assistance for medical treatment and drugs, pensions being recognized at the normal level and, if necessary, food banks.  Why can the consulate not allow pensioners the services of the embassy medical staff and drugs at NHS level? Aid is being plowed into Zimbabwe on a large scale but the British people here are suffering. How about helping our own – our forgotten – those who worked for Britain and are now discarded.
I can be contacted at the address, telephone and e-mail below:
No one has prompted me to write this letter.  I feel so strongly about the fate of our people that I feel our plight must be heard and recognized.  My name and this letter may be used in any interactions with any persons – published if required in media on television .
February 23, 2014
Odette H Lind.
18 Alveston Ave
Tel 884663 or 0772328701