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Zim - my two cents

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  • Sara Hersey
    Hello, all. The following is an e-mail sent to a friend of mine from her uncle, a white farmer in Zim. I thought you might be interested in a day by day
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 21, 2000
      Hello, all. The following is an e-mail sent to a friend of mine from her
      uncle, a white farmer in Zim. I thought you might be interested in a day by
      day account of what is going on.

      Sara Hersey

      Subject: Things getting tight.....
      Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2000 07:48:00 +0200

      Hello, Sorry our land line is now out of order, and cell no; works at the
      farm 09-263-11608064.
      It has been very exhausting here, and I tell this story how it all happened,
      starting from Saturday late afternoon, we were just settling down to
      sundowners, when Suzie Whaley(Toppy Bakers daughter) phoned in a mad state
      to tell us Macheke/Virginia area were evacuating, and five farmers had been
      abducted, we quickly phoned Andrew Huck, and he confirmed they were dashing
      out the door, I phoned the press and informed them on the situation, Marty
      was very clever and he told me to phone Mrewa police station, while he was
      on another call, I got through to Murewa police station and I asked to speak
      to Gary Luke, I said they were there, (I had no idea if they were or not),
      he the police gave me another no in Merewa, a Mr. Munguni who is Andrew
      Hucks business, partner, on the Murewa farm,he was the one who phoned Andrew
      and warned them all to get out, when I got through to Mr. M I again asked
      for Gary Luke, and was passed on to John Osborne, I could not believe it, I
      quickly asked him if he was okay, he told me he had been beaten up and they
      were looking for some petrol to send him to Marondera, I gave the phone to
      Marty who assured John, (Marty) would come to fetch him, I am now on the
      radio, informing all looking for the farmers that we have found John, the
      others John had not seen since he was taken to Mr.M house, we then get a
      call from Mr. M to say John is on his way to Marondera, I phone the hospital
      to see if he has arrived, and am told his wife is there, I talk to her, and
      she was shattered to hear that he was on his way and he was still alive, she
      had no idea,I then decided this poor woman was a bit of a wreck and I would
      go and wait with her, when Garth and I arrived at the hospital, John had
      arrived, and told me he was so chuffed to have talked to us, because he
      really thought he was next to die, but now that he knew we knew he was
      there, he then told me in hospital that they had dragged them out of the
      police station and shot Dave Stephens, and the others were still there, I
      asked Mari Osborne to come home with me, and she declined, wanting to stay
      with John, I asked to take her kids home with me, and she agreed, Andrew age
      12, Lisa aged 9, came home with us, with their little Jack Russell puppy and
      their toothbrushes, and this little girl asked me if they would be going
      home soon as she has other pets at home, it was awful, the children did not
      know at this stage that they had shot Dave Stephens, and Garth and I battled
      to keep cheerful on the way home, when we returned I phoned Murewa police
      station and asked, no I begged them to tell me where the others were, I
      said, I know what happened there this afternoon, so please tell me, he
      denied anything happened there, and said there were no farmers there , and
      put the phone down, Marty had a call from BBC and he begged them to put this
      story out as fast as possible, which they did that was the first BBC report,
      that same night two of the farmers, were taken by vehicle just out of Murewa
      and thrown out, they were told to run we are going to shoot you, and they
      fled into the bush, and walked all night, back to Koodoo Range Macheke,
      Squacky Whaleys farm, when they got there, all the vehicles were locked up,
      and they managed to find the forman with a radio and called the Machekle
      farmers, who were now in Marondera, they managed to get a tractor and get
      across the river which was in full flood,and were met on the other side, by
      the farmers who brought them through to Marondera hospital, now Sunday
      morning, that was Gary Luke and Steve Kraynaw who u saw on TV, the other two
      are still missing, and again I phone the cops in Murewa, and they told me to
      came there, hence the film of me telling them it is too dangerous, and they
      again put the phone down, the other two that night were taken to a cave in
      Murewa with rock paintings, and Marty always takes our visitors to see these
      paintings, they were taken to the caves, tied up, and beaten, and were told
      by the thugs they were coming back to shoot them, one of them had his feet
      so beaten he could hardly walk, they managed to get untied, and slowly made
      there way into the bush to hide, Sunday they saw the helicopter, and managed
      to attract their attention, not knowing if it was friendly or not. They
      then arrived at Marondera hospital. I talked to them all and they really
      believe they were alive thanks to the press making it headlines.
      Tuesday::I have good coms with the press and they sent a crew out to us on
      the farm for Independence day, they wanted to film us with other farmers
      watching bobs speech, so I had to find a rent a crowd, not easy when u want
      to put them on TV. any way Margot and Phil Worswick came, (she has sent her
      children out to her sister in Johanesburg), Jenny Manix came, and Nika my
      housegirl came, hense the clip on us all, after the speech Marty Phil and I
      had to give our reaction on the speech. That evening, which was the worst,
      as it is now the end of the Independence day and all zanu pf thugs are now
      drunk, Marty and I are on full alert, and suddenly Marty comes in from one
      of his walks outside he comes in shouting,lets go lets go, he has heard a
      vehicle with a singing rowdy bunch, on its way, my god I leap up the first
      thing I grab is my scotch and soda, and ran in little cirles, this is not
      good, managed to get it together grabbed the cell phone and shot gun, and
      ran to the vehicle we had parked outside the fence for a quick get away, we
      headed for the bush, and stop, I am told to hide in the bush with cell
      phone, shotgun and two dogs, its not good trying to hide in the bush with
      dogs, it just does not work, Marty in the meantime went back, turned off all
      lights, and called our security chap who is hiding up near the road with a
      radio, he confirms the lorry was up on the road, but we have taken down all
      our sign posts, and let the grass grow long, and it looks like a bush road,
      in the meantime I am sitting in the bush, and my cell phone rings, it is Sam
      my reporter for assosiated press she is thanking me for having her team out
      that morning, she then said are u okay, no I am hiding in the bush, she was
      shocked, anyway she stayed on the phone talking to me, until Marty came back
      to get me, the gook lorry had continued up the road, and we came back,
      shattered, did not sleep all night just waiting, we all are chuffed when day
      break arrives.

      Wednesday;;; I packed up all my photos, certificates, and Garth and drove
      him through to Harare to stay with his school friend, very emotional good
      bye as he is at that age 17, where he thinks he should protect his mother.
      I have left the photos and passport in my folks flat in Harare,
      I returned in the afternoon, and around six of clock the radio goes, and
      Phil and Margo have gooks at their fence, we have an organised unit where
      we have 10 workers, ready to react, they were amazing, I hit the siren out
      side and they all came running with there pick handles, thinking I was in
      trouble, it is fantastic, how they are prepared to fight with us, anyway our
      unit is ready, and Ian Mannix has his ten, and Toppy has ten, but Toppy is
      in South Africa, and so his house is full of the Macheke farmers who still
      cannot get home, I call Squacky, (Toppys son in law) and he was told to go
      and hit the siren, he was shocked at the response from our workers on that
      side, infact he had so many he had to take some off, so squack and Mick
      Rose, went and they all arrived at Margot and the gooks fled, our teams now
      made up a force of over 100 with batons and pick handles. Everything
      quietened down and the units came home, all rather disappointed they did not
      catch any to club.
      The Mackeke bunch at Toppys were shocked at the fantastic response, and
      Topys house is full, the wives of the beaten farmers are there, John Whaley,
      and Fred & Mick Rose.
      Alister Keith has radio coms with his forman in Mackeke, and Conrad keeps
      reporting what is going on in the area, he is very brave old Conrad, John
      Whaley has coms with his farm and they have set up a signal that if there
      are fertiliser bags on the lawn when the plane goes over, it is not safe,
      its unreal. We have small planes going over Mackeke every day, and Alsister
      yesterday saw his garden full of gooks and coming out of his house. John
      his cook had ridden his bike into Marondera to Judy where she is staying
      with her brother, and told her not to worry he is feeding the dogs, and
      cats, what a nightmare, who would have thought we would have come to this.
      We are now enemies of Bob and we feel like hostages, he is using us.
      Today as I am finally getting to write this, the radio is going, and
      everyone on this radio has to report that we are still alive, Margot is on
      radio duty today, mine is next month. You have to man the radio for the
      day. I hope I get a quiet day.
      I am agian sorry I have not answered you all soon, but I thought if u see us
      on tv then u know we are still alive.
      I shall keep coms and send the Commercial Farmers update, love Jani

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