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Nairobi, Kenya
I an ex member of both 7 and 8 Squadron's of the Rhodesian war spending most of my operational time on Seven Squadron as a K Car gunner. I was credited for shooting down a fixed wing aircraft from a K Car on the 9 August 1979. This blog is from articles for research on a book which I HAVE HANDED THIS MANUSCRIPT OVER TO MIMI CAWOOD WHO WILL BE HANDLING THE PUBLICATION OF THE BOOK OF WHICH THERE WILL BE VERY LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE Contact her on yebomimi@gmail.com The latest news is that the Editing is now done and we can expect to start sales and deliveries by the end of April 2011

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

NOT LIKELY TO BE PIONEER DAY IN RHODESIA



There is not likely to be a Pioneer Day next year in Zimbabwe

The two leaders of the Patriotic Front guerrillas who are fighting for black rule in Rhodesia, Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe, flew separately last week to Addis Ababa. There they helped Ethiopia's Marxist military rulers celebrate the fourth anniversary of the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie I. More important, from Nkomo's and Mugabe's point of view, they had a chance to confer at length with visiting Cuban President Fidel Castro, one of their principal supporters in the six-year-old war against the Salisbury regime.

The meeting of Castro with the Patriotic Front leaders was the latest in a series of disturbing developments in the Rhodesian debacle. Two weeks ago there was the shooting down by Nkomo's guerrillas of a Rhodesian civil airliner with a Soviet-supplied ground-to-air missile. Anger and revulsion swept the white community, and this time Prime Minister Ian Smith was included as a target of white criticism, because he had secretly conferred with Nkomo in Zambia in mid-August.

Smith had offered, in effect, to set Nkomo up as the first leader of black-ruled Zimbabwe if Nkomo would join the interim government in Salisbury and thus help to bring an end to the fighting. After the airliner incident and subsequent atrocity, whites called for martial law, general mobilization and attacks on guerrilla camps in Zambia.

At first, both Smith and Nkomo seemed to be trying to calm things down. Smith promised merely a "modified" martial law and rejected the idea of general mobilization as an unnecessary burden on the country's economy; most young whites spend six months a year in the armed forces anyway.

But Smith did pledge to "liquidate" those organizations inside Rhodesia that were associated with the external guerrilla movements. Until now, his government had boasted about its release of political detainees and the freedoms enjoyed in Rhodesia by Patriotic Front civilian sympathizers. But no more. By midweek the government had arrested more than 200 blacks thought to be linked to the guerrillas and detained them without trial. As he tried to rally his white constituency, Smith raged that Nkomo, who had readily accepted responsibility for the destruction of the Rhodesian airplane, was "a monster" who had gone "beyond the pale."

From his base in Zambia, Nkomo announced that the plan for an all-parties conference on Rhodesia, long advocated by Britain and the U.S., was "dead and buried" and that "the only way left is war." He again sought to justify the destruction of the airliner. "Having about 40 people killed in a plane crash is not pleasant," he said. "We are not rejoicing over death. But the Rhodesian armed forces are killing 30 to 40 of our people a day."

In view of these "deliberate massacres," added Nkomo, "we cannot contemplate working with them. I don't think there will be a place for them in Zimbabwe."

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I welcome comments from everyone on my book Choppertech.
I am interested especially on hearing from former ZANLA and ZIPRA combatants who also have thier story to tell.