Book Review: The Odd Man In – Mugabe’s White Hand Man by Denis Norman

The Odd Man In by Denis Norman

The Odd Man In by Denis Norman

The Odd Man In, understated and direct, reaches out to all Zimbabweans. It is a respectful testimony by a man who served as an independent government minister for seventeen years in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.

It is a record of events from the inside.

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Zimbabwe and the Crocodile

Zimbabwe's children - what next?

Zimbabwe’s children – what next?

The sense of dread comes in waves.

How to watch? Where to find the words when the killing starts again in Zimbabwe?

This is an outline in story, a sketch, of the elections (result still contested) held recently in Zimbabwe, and the intention is to try to explain to those who have no connection with the country a little of what is at stake. It is not intended in any way to make light of the efforts and agonies of those involved.

The story is set in a boxing ring, and the prize is leadership of a land rich in elephants, pangolin, gold, diamonds, rivers, life-giving soil…and Zimbabweans.

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The pangolin – still here but only just

A pangolin in Zimbabwe with its handler/protector

A pangolin in Zimbabwe with its handler/protector

The pangolin, or scaly anteater – legendary, gentle, and about to disappear.

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The 2 Incredibles are home – Tom’s Trek for ZANE is done

 

“It’s time to make some wrong things right!”

The 2 Incredibles – who are they?

Tom Benyon is one, and his superpower, unleashed as the millennium changed, is his ability to honour the forgotten of Zimbabwe. Stubborn and determined bearer of the deep red roundel for ZANE (Zimbabwe a National Emergency), he strides the valleys and peaks of his island home to raise ransom for those held hostage by lack of care. His mission – to bring them care.

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2018 – Tom Benyon OBE walks for ZANE, Zimbabwe…again

Tom and Jane Benyon (ZANE) on the final stretch of their 2013 walk into Oxford

Tom and Jane Benyon (ZANE) on the final stretch of their 2013 walk into Oxford

“There they are…sun hats, sticks, fluorescent vests…that’s them.”

“Walking? From Bournemouth to Oxford? In this heat? They’ve just had their 50th wedding anniversary. You sure?”

“Yes. I’m sure.”

“They’re mad. Why do they do it?”

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China and WWF-UK host reception of hope for Africa’s elephants

Invitation to the reception held by the Chinese Embassy in London and the WWF-UK to mark the closure of China's domestic ivory market

Invitation to the reception held by the Chinese Embassy in London and the WWF-UK to mark the closure of China’s domestic ivory market

China has closed its domestic ivory market. The evening begins with speeches, each given to mark the giant step taken by China to protect the elephants of Africa.

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The Struggle Continues – 50 years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe (by David Coltart)

The Struggle Continues - 50 Years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe by David Coltart

The Struggle Continues – 50 Years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe by David Coltart

This is a tale of stubborn politics, war, courage, resilience, legal challenge, and hope. It tells of the evolution of a young democracy, and the consequences of decisions that have shaped that process.

The author, David Coltart, born and raised in Zimbabwe, is an experienced lawyer and politician who still lives in the country. He writes with a style that is clear and controlled, one that allows the subject to reveal itself.

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