Friday, March 30, 2007

Trains of War.

I recently read a comment in a Rhodesia forum about the Yanks finally deciding that one way to counter the problem with road side bombs, was to supply their Hummer transport vehicles with V shaped armour plating. This is about 30 odd years after we had it installed in most of our troop carriers.

The local Rhodesian armour manufacturers were extremely good at adapting vehicles to counter the various weapons used by the Gooks. (Terrs, Communist Insurgents, Freedom Fighters, or whatever, etc etc.) Most of them were named after animals. The Kudu was an adapted Land Rover and the Leopard was constructed, as far as I am led to believe, on the chassis of a VW Beatle. These just being a couple of examples.

I received this photograph in my mail box yesterday and could hardly believe my eyes, as this particular adaptation I had never seen. That is not actually very surprising as there were no railways running through Gokwe. The body of this amazing contraption seems to be taken from a Kudu. Notice the back door, which is open, has the recognizable zig-zag plating to ricochet the AK 47 rounds. The sides have an extra skin of light metal designed to set off a RPG rocket so that it couldn’t penetrate the second, half inch thick plating, behind it. The ‘roof’ is just a tarpaulin to offer some protection from the sun and rain. This has been stretched over tubular roll bars.

The person who has been forwarding this picture around wrote the following:

I recently bought a small lot of photographs, mainly of Rhodesia Railways locomotives. This picture was amongst them. Do you know where and when this might have been used during the Bush War? One suggestion was that it was used on the Plumtree line.

If anyone can supply any information, please contact Ian at

and CC me please so I can place the details here.

Many thanks. Catch ya all soon,


Thursday, March 29, 2007

It’s All Going Tits Up in Zimbabwe.

Whilst Mad Bob shuffles like a geriatric in a Seville Row suit in Tanzania, Lore’s secret agents have managed to obtain photographs of a recent demonstration outside a factory.

The protesters are demanding a wage increase and have resorted to using the only weapons at their disposal.

Even with all the hardships, they can still have a laugh.

With inflation about to top 2000%, what little money these people earn, makes life a real bummer.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Onions, Elephants and Crocodiles.

Poor old elephants in Zimbabwe are really getting it in the neck. I see one just jumped all over some woman and her daughter in Hwange national park the other day. Turns out they were doing walkies. Not a good idea, especially since it turns out that the Safari firms have been kidnapping baby elephants to train as people carriers. Elephants don’t like that. Still, the Zimbabwe reporting is interesting…

Harare - A British woman and her 10-year-old daughter were killed by a rogue elephant while her husband escaped unhurt during a hunting tour in southwestern Zimbabwe, state media reported on Tuesday.

The state-controlled Herald quoted an unnamed parks and wildlife authority official as saying Veronica Poker, 47, and her daughter Shallot died on the spot when they were attacked by a lone elephant which is believed to have been wounded, during a guided tour in the Hwange game park on Saturday.

It happened on Saturday mid-morning "when the three tourists who were accompanied by a tour guide were watching a lone elephant while they were hiding behind an anthill," the newspaper quoted the official as saying.

"It is reported that the elephant could have seen the people and started charging towards them."

He said wardens were deployed following the tragedy to track the elephant believed to be wounded.

"Wounded elephants are those that are normally aggressive," the official told the newspaper.

The official said the guide fired a shot to scare away the elephant but it kept on charging towards the touring party and trampled the guide who suffered a fractured pelvis before turning on the tourists.

National police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena referred questions to the police commander for the Matabeleland north province who could not be reached for comment. (That’s because he is busy organising more beatings for cheeky members of the opposition party)

Sounds like they got themselves in a right pickle!

Maybe the poor girl’s name was really Charlotte?

Meanwhile, over at Lake Kariba, the ellies are getting shot to feed the crocs. Turns out the government wants to expand/increase the croc farms. Now back in the good old days, when I visited the croc farm, the baby crocs were fed kapenta (fresh water sardines) and the big mothers were fed smelly hitchhikers from Denmark. Only kidding. Actually they were given mostly chickens. Now of course, the kapenta industry is in ruins and the chickens have flown the coop. BUT there are plenty of elephants wandering around still, so let’s feed them to the crocs.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Hang in there Bob, I am writing as fast as I can!

With Zimbabwe boiling away at the moment, I really have to pull my finger out of my poop hole (as many of my teachers said to me) and get this book finished. Otherwise I might just miss the gravy train.
A pal of mine, Robb Ellis, has finished his and getting some great feedback. Robb has a huge Blog which was recently mentioned by the BBC.

His book Without Honour also received a great review from a Swedish newspaper, which makes fascinating reading because the Swedes were big supporters of Mugabe during the war for independence. It is a long article with loads of interesting photographs.

Robb became a policeman after Independence. It sure is a very different police force from the one I was in!

Talking about policemen – this little excerpt I found in The Times online edition today.

The officer said he had joined the force more than 20 years ago. “That was a time when a policeman was really a policeman,” he said. “When you woke up in the morning and it was time to get into your uniform you would feel proud. You would cycle to work feeling happiness. Today it’s totally different. It’s like you are in a prison.”
The officer said that men were leaving the police, the army and the air force because conditions were so bad. He had lost as many as a third of his own men. The pay — 150,000 Zimbabwean dollars (less than £5) a month for a constable — was derisory and barely covered the cost of travelling to work. Some routinely extorted bribes to make ends meet. “They are forced by the situation to do what they are doing,” he said.

Racking my memory really hard, I think a Black Constable in my days would have started on about R$110 a month, or about half of what I started on.The senior sergeant you see in the photo, (I took it with a Kodak Instamatic) holding the receiver of a TR28 radio, would have been on about the same income as myself, albeit after at least 15 years of service. We had quite an adventure together in Gokwe, early 1977. (All in my book.) I was 18 and a half, he must have been in his early 40s. He had children he sent to good schools, lived with his wife in a small house inside the police married quarters and owned an immaculately kept family sized car. This same gentleman is now most probably living as another destitute, his pension decimated, his beloved police force turned into state sanctioned thuggery.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Money For Nothing, Get A Kicking For Free.

Fame at last! Well, not quite. The BBC News Online recently did an article about Zimbabwe Blogs. Sadly they left me out. I wonder why? There are a few interesting links listed. Well worth checking out.

Whilst the BBC might not be interested in me, it appears Captain Bob is. I am normally very suspicious when it comes to receiving dodgy Emails but this one did seem genuine…

From: Honourable Robert Gabriel Mugabe,
President of Zimbabwe,
President House,


Dear friend,

I am the President of Zimbabwe and have been for a very long time but that seems to be running out, so I crave your indulgence as I contact you in
such a surprising manner, but I respectfully insist you read this letter
carefully as I am optimistic it will open door for unimaginable financial
rewards for both of us.

In my overseas bank accounts, which I cannot visit personally due to illegal sanctions by the fascist, racist, imperialistic regimes of the war mongering uncivilised nations of Britain and United States, I have accumulated the sum of $10.5 billion US dollars ( ten billion and five thousand million US dollars). These same nations are subverting the course of justice in my country and I am dismayed that I may be forced to abandon my effort to keep Zimbabwe free of foreign tyranny as I am no longer a young man and wish to retire in peace.

Your name was given to me by one of my trusted cabinet members who has sadly passed away recently when he fell down a mine shaft. He had said that you could be trusted in this matter. I am of course willing to reward you very well for your assistance in this matter.

This business is occasioned by the fact that the customer account uses only a security number for access to the account. Due to the above reasons it is not possible to transfer the money to myself or any of my trusted comrades and I have need of an unknown third party. If you were to gain access to this fund and agree to bring this too me in a country to be designated in the near future, I agree that 30% of
this money will be for you as a partner, in respect to the provision
of a releasing the said money, 10% will be set aside for expenses incurred during the
business and 60% would be for me.

You must apply first to the bank indicating your bank name, your bank account number, your private telephone and fax number for easy and effective communication and location wherein the money will be remitted, upon receipt of your reply with a copy of the above details, I will send the access numbers to you by fax or email.

I will not fail to bring to your notice that this transaction is hitch free and that you should not entertain any atom of fear as all required arrangement have been made for
the transfer, you should contact me as soon as you receive this letter.

I like to point out that all recent press coverage is wanton lying and it was necessary to protect my assets from unscrupulous thieves with some soft usage of minimum force. I offer you this same protection to ease of mind this transaction.

Trusting to hear from you soon,

Robert Mugabe,

President of Zimbabwe

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Mad Man Bob Out of Control.

A bit ironic that a day after I wrote the satire piece Comic Relieve, Mugabe’s boys did go on a beating spree. I have been following this rather closely and it is not funny.
The incident has prompted loud outrage, except from South Africa and the rest of the A.U., who just mumbled some wishy-washy hogwash.

When I read the articles in the various newspapers these last few days, some of the readers comments were very interesting. Quite a few loved to rub some salt in the still festering wound that was the last colonial battlefield in Africa. For all its faults, Rhodesia was Super and was progressing at its own mature rate towards an inevitable majority rule and no one was starving in the process.

I wonder if I will live to see a prosperous and stable Zimbabwe in my life time. Till then, I think I will stick to the plan of having Last Of The Rhodesians inscribed across my ashes urn.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Hallo and Welcome to the Red Nose Mugabe Show

Yes, Comic Relieve (you of money) week is back, my favourite time of the year; when just for a laugh, all you idiots send me money, so I can keep you entertained all year and next year and next year and every year - for ever!

Here are some of my new jokes for this year. Remember to laugh very loud and clap or my boys will give you a severe clap and I will be laughing very loud.

In Zimbabwe, we have reduced our carbon emissions by 95% in six years. That’s because only me and my boys are having a gas…hah hah – get it, gas =

Last week, Clever Ncube, became the first person to win our own televised Who Wants to be a Millionaire? He got mugged on the way out of the studios and the perpetrators stole the suitcase with the winnings - after emptying it…hah hah hah

Michael Jackson phoned me yesterday. He wanted to buy a farm. I told him we don’t sell farms to white people…hah hah hah. (laugh louder, or my boys come with the truncheons)

Last week I went to Ghana’s 50th Anniversary celebrations. My wife donated $2000 US dollars. To get that money my boys beat 30,000 people centless…hah hah hah..get it…

If you shout obscenities at the Jewish Zionist state loud enough, they give you great discount on water cannons. Mazeltov…hah hah.

All of our mines are at full capacity – filled to the brim with dead protesters…hah hah hah. (I want to hear more clapping or you better run to England quick, before my boys catch you.)

15 people on their way too my birthday celebrations in a donkey drawn cart never made it. At a road block, the police ate the donkey….hah hah hah..ahh, that one is just too funny.

I have just ordered another 200 cupboards for my bedroom. I’m planning on putting some more skeletons in them this year. (laugh louder or you become one of them)

When our teachers went on strike, by the time they settled, the rise was worth only half of what they demanded…and they call themselves teachers? Hah hah hah.

Climate change in Zimbabwe is a big joke – if it rains, we have no food. If it doesn’t rain, we have no food…so bring a packed lunch.

A man came up to me the other day. He says ’Uncle Bob, can you tell me why the banknotes are useless as toilet paper?’ I said to him ‘but it’s better than the toilet paper Smith gave us when we were in his prisons.’ He say, ‘but at least we had toilet paper, now they have none in the cells.’ I told him ‘they don’t need paper now. My boys beat the shit out of them before they get thrown in the cells.’ Hah hah hah (Just like they come and beat you and set your house on fire if don’t start clapping louder you white maggots.)

Tony Blair phone me yesterday. He said ‘ Honourable President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, liberaliser of Africa, passionate defender of human rights, blah blah blah,’ I tell him ‘Hey Tony, what you bloody want, you gay gangster, I am a busy man, I have a nation to ruin.’ This Bliar then has the cheek to ask me for a job! I tell him we got enough Blairs in the country and they all full of shit.’ Hah hah hah…get it, huh, HUH? Blair = name of portable toilet here in Zimbabwe…hah hah hah. That one is my favourite one at the moment.

How am I doing so far? I hope you are all phoning in and raising plenty of money for me. Hah hah, my wife said to me today, ‘Bob, I am really worried about all this money coming in.’ I was shocked, I said ‘why my precious?’ She says to me, ‘I am running out of things to buy!’ Aah, I laughed at that one myself a lot. She is a very funny girl you know. That white maggot Nick von Hogstreet or something like that, is sniffing around her a lot and mumbling at the ten million pounds he lent me needing paying back. I don’t trust that mad man. I think my boys must have a chat with him…hah hah hah.

To solve the problem of all those female students stealing the red bulbs from the traffic lights to put in their rooms to attract some extra money for tuition fees and food – the council has approved to replace them with green ones…hah hah hah…they are so stupid, they don’t know my chauffer is colour blind…hah hah hah

So comrades, dig deep in your pockets and support this worthy cause. I highly recommend this link:;jsessionid=UQ2RJV3CULVGBQFIQMGCFFWAVCBQUIV0?xml=/opinion/2007/03/11/do1101.xml

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Death Of A Stupid Cow

In the film, The Last King of Scotland, a car transporting Idi Amn hits a cow. The young Scottish doctor, who is taken to the scene to attend to Amin’s superficial wound, is constantly distracted by the cow. It lies on the side of the road mooing away in pain. The film sequence is brilliantly done. The locals are standing around observing the whole scene and no one gives a shit about the cow.

Eventually the doctor, after repeated demands that some one sort the cow out, takes matters into his own hands and snatching up a pistol, sends the cow to roast beef paradise.

That made me recall an incident that happened to me. I had to hand in an assignment yesterday, so thought I could maybe kill two cows with one bullet. I dug up the part of LOTR with a short bit about a similar scenario. This gave me the perfect opportunity to work hard and rewrite the thing. So here it is.

I don’t recall ever seeing one sign on that Gokwe – Que Que road warning drivers of cows crossing. When I think about it, anyone, besides some very lost tourist, knows perfectly well that the odds of coming across some stupid cows drifting across the road are very good.

Working on the piece, I did a bit of research. I had originally recalled that the vehicle in this incident was a ’57 Ford. I did find the right pickup on the net and I was amazed to see I was just a year out. I decided to put up a photo of this mini-truck to give you an idea the size of it. Searching around a bit, I picked this one. I think it is about as close I can get to the real thing as it must have looked after the crash...

Death of a Stupid Cow

‘Aah Patrol Officer Lore, sorry to bother you Sah, but there has been an accident involving some cows. It has happened on the Que Que road, the Veterinary Department has been informed and are on their way. Chief Inspector Harvey… ’

I interrupted the Constable before he could finish - ‘said I must go. Has there been an entry in to the incident report book?’

There hadn’t, which is good. Less paper work the better, as at that time I was completely swamped with the stuff. So with rifle in tow, the book for on the spot fines, and after being allocated by the duty desk Sergeant another Constable for translation purposes, I picked a Land Rover that just might get us there and back and off we went.

More suicidal cows! Just what is it with these cows? None of them get it into their heads that when speeding steel meets flesh and blood, nine times out of ten, the cow won’t live to regret it, but the driver of the vehicle might. Why do they keep crossing the road? For some reason, they always think the grass IS greener on the other side. The fact that its all the same yellow/brown bush never enters their heads.

Now maybe Mandeeka’s No.1 son can instantly terminate three mombes with a commuter bus, (last weeks incident, same problem, different road, different cows), but this particular driver, when I arrived at the shambles, had been using a 1956 Ford F100 Pickup.

He must have had the rather well preserved relic going at full tilt over the small incline when he ploughed into the 3 cows crossing the road in single file at their usual unconcerned sedately pace. This time, it hadn’t been a clean kill. First thing I ascertained was that the driver and passenger of the well smashed up ancient pickup were amazingly unharmed, albeit a little dazed. The accident scene was complete carnage. The Ford must have bounced off the beasts like an arcade machine flipper ball, spun around a couple of times, before, still upright, came to a halt sideways across the road.

The way I pieced the picture together from the blood and drag marks on the very dry gravel road - the ‘Middle of the road’ cow had kissed itself goodbye with the engine block. The massive, heavy 8 cylinder engine had crushed its head so it resembled a giant hairy horned squashed tomato. The machine must have then spun and freakily rear swiped the ‘Entering the road’ cow, which had grotesquely been almost completely decapitated by the tail gate that had burst open from the initial impact. With the Ford’s momentum being severely slowed by the first two impacts, the final remnants of kinetic energy were spent on, ‘Leaving the road’ cow. The animal had landed up lying immobile, but looking relatively unscathed, trapped against the crushed body work and it was still very much alive.

As usual, from out of the surrounding bush, where there is not even a kraal in site, a small crowd of locals had gathered around. With little entertainment available, incidents like these were as much fun as watching Roman gladiators in an amphitheatre with no entrance fee to pay. With the Constable translating rapidly for me, I soon put a few of them to work by making them temporally officers of the law and positioned them a couple of hundred yards from the crash scene, flapping their arms to slow any oncoming traffic. We were only maybe 5 miles out of Gokwe town, and I didn’t fancy standing in the middle of the road if Mandeeka’s No. 1 son suddenly appeared in his bus again, packed with passengers and all possessions on the roof higher than the surrounding trees. Always pleased to help the law, the locals responded with enthusiasm. Whilst their antics might not have been text book style, their newly found impromptu dance routines did the job nicely - a bit like scarecrows in a tornado. The Black veterinary assistant, who had arrived at almost the same time, examined the surviving beast. He twisted brutally for a few seconds on the poor mombe’s tail, and then with an enormous amount of heaving, dragged its arse away from the wreck. I watched this with fascinated horror. The cow didn’t react at all, no moos of pain; it just seemed to look at me with big brown sad eyes.

‘This cow has got a broken back,’ says the Vet man. ‘You can shoot it,’ and he speeds off, leaving a huge dust cloud following his Landy. His job was done. I have to shoot a stupid cow! The driver seemed to have recovered enough to start moaning about his pick-up and his desire for compensation. Now by this time, I had garnered enough experience to know, that if it was possible to wrap up a case without using a ball point pen (unless it was for the on the spot penalty book), the better. This could get complicated if I opened up a traffic accident docket. Now was the time to use my expanding diplomatic skills to clarify a few points. Through the Constable, who gathered very quickly where this was heading, I pointed out, that in theory, perhaps compensation MIGHT be attainable if he could meet and prove the following criteria:

Possession of a valid driving license, road tax, car ownership papers and insurance. Of course, the pickup would have to be checked that it was road worthy – which might be rather difficult, considering the fact I could see 4 extremely bald tyres and that for some strange reason, there appears that there is not one mark on the dirt road suggesting any attempt of braking. Which could lead to the fact there wasn’t any. The drivers reply was the perfect one. None! He just stared at the ground for a moment and on rather shaky legs wandered off to sit under a nearby tree to get out of the heat. He had got the idea - Let sleeping mombes lie huh!

With that problem neatly eliminated, I turned my attention back to the cow and cocked my weapon which had been clasped in my right hand the whole time. Even a well oiled F.N. 7.62 semi-automatic rifle makes quite an audible noise, as its breechblock is shoved back and upon its return shoves a bullet up the barrel, ready for firing. All the gathered locals made a noticeable move back. I find it really weird, I doubt many had ever heard that sound or ever seen the loading action done, but they knew instinctively, that what had been a long extension of my arm, had suddenly been turned into a very deadly object. I wasn’t really sure about the right place to shoot the beast. I had read that elephants’ brains are really small and they have to be shot behind the ear. I didn’t know how big a cow’s brain was.

Suddenly, as I was musing over this mercy killing, a very excitable grey haired man breaks through the circle of gawkers, gesticulating widely and talking in rapid shona to the Constable.

‘P.O. Lore, Sah, this man here, he says that the mombes belong to him and please not to shoot the live one, as he lose too much money.’

I started to feel a little sorry for the owner, as this was definitely a serious financial blow to him, but I explained that the beast was in obvious pain and it had to be put down with a severe dose of lead poisoning, administered via my rifle muzzle.

Sah, this man says, if you shoot it here, by the time it gets to Mandeeka’s butchery in town, the meat will be useless. He say, he get a rope and can you drag it behind the Land Rover back to Gokwe to be slaughtered.’

Welcome to the clash of the cultures. I was appalled! What was asked of me, was in my mind, extreme cruelty for the sake of profit. I just couldn’t understand. That made me recall a recent article in the paper about cattle rustling on White owned farms getting out of control. Security forces had followed one group and came across a camp where they had removed the rear legs of one beast, but to keep the rest of the meat ‘fresh’ they had primitively cauterised the amputation wounds with absolutely no regard or remorse to the beasts suffering.

‘Tell this man,’ I shouted, whilst lifting the rifle in his direction, ‘to get out of my sight before I drag him to the butchers and then shoot him.’

There wasn’t any need for the translation. My tone and gestures sent a very graphic image. I turned my attention back to the cow, who had listened to the debate about its life without registering a single protest, not even a last moo goodbye!

I fired twice in quick succession, at point blank range, straight between the eyes; short, sharp explosions shutting up the incessant, screeching cicadas for a brief moment. No drama, no exiting bullet holes, no blasted out tissue or bone. No shuddering nervous system. Nothing at all to announce the grim reaper of cows - its eyes sort of glazed over. It looked dead. I couldn’t even see the small entrance holes as they were completely covered by the tight, smooth hair.

I was still fuming and called over the late cow’s owner and asked him for his situpa. I copied his details into the fixed penalty book and gave this ‘animal rights activist’ a ticket for 75 dollars for letting unattended domesticated animals wander the road. Then I told the pick-up owner to clear his wreck off the road before I give him a ticket for obstruction. I knew the crash scene would be cleared up faster than vultures would strip a buffalo carcase. Quite a few of the spectators had already returned with pangas and were haggling with the owner over the price of the best cuts. That took care of the cows.

I knew the old ’56 Ford would land up at Mandeeka’s garage, where presumably it would be beaten back into some shape of automobile recognition and be back ploughing into more cows in the near future.

So with everything wrapped up, it was back to the office – job done, just in time for lunch. I really fancied a fat juicy steak, as long as there weren’t any bits of steel in it.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

For Satan so loved Zimbabwe, he gave his only begotten son, Mugabe, that whoever follows him shall have everlasting poverty.

Nice one! This little gem I picked up from the Zimsituation web site. It appears the police were doing the old search and beating thing on some poor peasant, when they found this little very witty ditty written across one of his numerous next to worthless bearer cheques he was carrying. The poor sod was arrested for defecating on the President. Oops I mean defamation. It looks like maybe – just maybe, cos I have heard it all before and I have predicted a couple of times that he will go this year.

Why? Because the economy has almost, not quite, hit rock bottom. 1600% inflation heading for a new world record of 4000 by end of the year.

Do I give a damn. Of course not. (not)! This Blog is just to keep telling everyone – Nah nah nah na … we horrible naughty white people got what we deserved, piss off and let us dig our own graves now. Oh, any one got a shovel spare, mine was stolen. I called the police but they said I got to pick em up ‘cos they got no cars or fuel and…whatever.

Meanwhile – back in the good old days, there was Sammy.

I wonder what happened to my first and only black friend. I think he must have been a couple of years older than me, back in ’77, when I was in Gokwe. His rank would have been Constable and he would have had to call me Sir. I got on well with all the Black staff in the police. I always seemed to instinctively know and respect their vast experience and knowledge when I first started as a P.O. (Patrol Officer) deep in the bush. But this man – he was special. I look at the photograph as I write my memoirs and struggle to remember his name. I think it was Sammy. I know that he was the first and only Black person at that time in Rhodesia that I allowed to use my first name - but only in private, for I feared recriminations. Don’t forget, I was a city boy – so my only personal contact with Black Rhodesians was with the domestic staff of our family and neighbours and all, including staff in shops and at the factory where my father had worked, used terms ranging from Picinini Baas to just Baas, as I grew up.

In ’77, I was barely 19, and my cutting wit and satirical tongue was primitive and often enough cause for a deservedly good kicking from my fellow White P.O.s. Such was our lot when a tiny minority were tossed in a communal pot of social intercourse not of their making. Sammy was based in Gokwe as well and we did a PATU (Police Anti Terrorist Unit) tour together, my first. Sammy was as slim as my self but at least 3 inches taller than my boring average height of 5’8 and a half. His English was exceptional to the point of brilliance. He could word play and banter with me and I was constantly pushed to match his wit. In those days White ignorant bigots would have ranked him as a cheeky ‘kaffir’, only because they instinctively knew that the man was far ahead of them in raw intellectual intelligence. In the photo, that’s him in the middle. What happened at that place is in my memoirs. Crazy stuff with dead snakes and deader men whilst we drunk numerous cups of the best coffee in the world – you have to wait till I finish it.

But I was reflecting recently what was it that made me want us to become friends, to such an extent I would have preferred his company a lot more than some of the other young White patrol officers I was forced to live with. Sadly, etiquette of the time and my upbringing created mental barriers I could not overcome.

But I do remember that day when I decided that I would like Sammy to be my friend, if he wanted to. Colour had nothing to do with it. I still have few friends, most people think I am obnoxious arrogant twat, and they are right, so making friends have never been easy…

It was a dry season day when me, Sammy in the middle and NSPO (National Service Patrol Officer) Nicholas (Nick) Robinson, who was driving, were on the way back to Gokwe town from some bush camp in a mine proofed open backed Land Rover. Sammy had flatly refused to sit in the back, where it was unprotected, and didn’t have any problem making his point. It was hot and cramped, three of us in the front as we swerved, bucked and zigzag over those dirt tracks through the bush. The engines on these basic machines kicked out incredible heat and Nick was forced to change gears between Sammy’s legs. The middle position of a land Rover’s bench seat is pure misery as far as comfort is concerned.

When we came across a troop of baboons, which was quite often in those parts, as usual between youngsters at the time, something insulting would be said. Nick decided to slur Sammy –

‘Hey , Sammy, isn’t that your family? Should I stop and let you say hallo?’

Nothing said here was really big deal. It was such an old joke, and I guess it barely brought a snicker to my lips. Sammy just smiled faintly. I don’t think Nick was racist. It was just a classic piss take we all did. If Sammy hadn’t been in the front with us, I would have been the brunt of the basic bush humour. Then, around the next bend sat a huge baboon on its own facing the oncoming Landy and touching Nick’s shoulder lightly, Sammy pointed at the animal and with a huge grin announced in a very feigned falsetto excited tone -

‘P.O. Robinson, have you told your sister that you have joined the police force? Perhaps you should stop and have a chat with her.’

I burst out laughing, and Nick nearly ran the poor creature over in anger as it dashed out the way. He hadn’t taken that comeuppance very well. He never said a word for the rest of the trip back.

Nick was a classic example of a NSPO. There is a lot of fuss being made recently over Peter Godwin, author of Mukiwa, (a best seller, I loved it) Co-author of Rhodesians Never Die (IMHO perhaps THE best factual book about Rhodesia between 1970-80) and his latest memoirs When a Crocodile Eats the Sun (not read it yet, hoping someone sends me a free copy). He was also one of those type of policeman. Highly educated, usually with A’levels, they used the opportunity to do their national service in the police – the idea being of course that you reduced your chances of having the shit shot out of you by 50% than if you in the army. Also, if you lucky and staioned in a city or town, good odds of wasting the 18 months of call up (at that time) playing policeman plod and having a laugh before going off to university. The pay was also slightly better than the average troopie. Being clever was always an advantage if you happened to be a bit of a sadist and off you would go into Special Branch, grow your hair and beard and beat the shit out of people. 30 years later nothing has changed much, just the name. Now these nutters are called the C.I.O.

Sammy and I discussed everything when we were alone, which was not often. Conversations about home, politics, minority White rule, and why he was fighting on ‘our side’, but I cannot recall the details. Then one day he was gone. I think it must have happened whilst I was at driving school. I vaguely remember he said his time was almost up in Gokwe and he wanted to be transferred to a town. It just wasn’t the thing to do in those days to make enquiries about the whereabouts of Black people unless they were bad. Rather stupid of me when I think about it now.

I often mull over the idea, that with that fine intelligence if Sammy climbed high in the new Zimbabwe Republic Police Force, only to be succumbed to temptation and became another looting corrupt officer - now the terrorist. I somehow don’t think so. More I fear that his cutting sharp tongue could have landed him in big trouble – like a bullet in the head and an unmarked anthill somewhere in the bush as his grave.

But maybe he was as clever as I believed him to be, and got out with his family when Mugabe completely lost the plot. Perhaps he is a teacher in London. I suppose I will never know now. I just have an old photograph of some kids ‘dressed to kill’ in combat camouflage larking about with a snake we terminated and that handsome grinning, unforgettable face of Sammy - my Black friend.

Friday, March 02, 2007

This Needs a Look At.

Wandering through the world of cyber news I came across a rather fascinating article in the Guardian. The article is rubbish but the comments that follow make a really good read.

I'll never lament the passing of white rule in Zimbabwe,,2022223,00.html

I of course had to add my little say!!!

Back to my problem with my browsers. It would appear after much research that I am not the only one. More alarmingly, it appears that this phenomenon is growing and no one has a bloody clue what the hell it is! Something has affected the computer and so far zip of an idea what is going on!

if anyone out there can solve this puzzle – I will nominate you for the Rhodesian Noble Bread Prize.