Innocent Victims by Catherine Buckle: Extract 4

This is the last of four extracts from Innocent Victims to be published on The Phraser. It is a reminder of the chaos that came with Zimbabwe’s land redistribution programme, and of the courage of those who tried to help.

The Phraser

Innocent Victims - Rescuing the stranded animals of Zimbabwe's farm invasions by Catherine Buckle Innocent Victims – Rescuing the stranded animals of Zimbabwe’s farm invasions by Catherine Buckle.

Innocent Victims is about animal rescues in Zimbabwe during a violently enforced land redistribution programme which spilled across the country’s farms at the turn of the millennium.

Meryl Harrison and her small team from the ZNSPCA were at the heart of the rescues.

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Innocent Victims by Catherine Buckle: Extract 3

This is the third of four extracts from Innocent Victims, the book by Cathy Buckle about the rescue of the animals caught up in Zimbabwe’s land redistribution programme. This extract shows the confusion that erupted over who got what land, and how this impacted on the animals involved.

The Phraser

Innocent Victims - Rescuing the stranded animals of Zimbabwe's farm invasions by Catherine Buckle Innocent Victims – Rescuing the stranded animals of Zimbabwe’s farm invasions by Catherine Buckle.

“In total, 260 Holstein cows were stuck in the middle of a bitter dispute and were losing weight and condition dramatically.”

The land the cattle were on had originally belonged to the Hughes family who had bought Bains Hope Farm in 1932. In 2003 the family were evicted and the land was caught in a tug-of-war between A1 settlers and Mr Bayisa – an A2 settler. As the arguments and intimidation continued the cattle got weaker and weaker.

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Innocent Victims by Catherine Buckle: Extract 2

Here is the second of four extracts from Cathy Buckle’s book ‘Innocent Victims’ about animal rescues in Zimbabwe. This piece is about Terry Ford’s devoted dog Squeak.

The Phraser

Innocent Victims - Rescuing the stranded animals of Zimbabwe's farm invasions by Catherine Buckle Innocent Victims – Rescuing the stranded animals of Zimbabwe’s farm invasions by Catherine Buckle.

Terry Ford was murdered on Gowrie farm in Norton in Zimbabwe in March 2002. A photograph of his body, concealed beneath a blue bedspread and with a Jack Russell curled against its side, was picked up by news teams around the world.

The dog was called Squeak. His defiant vigil ensured that the world acknowledged his master’s brutal death.

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Innocent Victims by Catherine Buckle: Extract 1

This is the first of four extracts from Cathy Buckle’s book Innocent Victims – a book that tells the stories of the animal rescues attempted during the chaos and damage of Zimbabwe’s land redistribution programme. It begins in 2000.

The Phraser

Innocent Victims - Rescuing the stranded animals of Zimbabwe's farm invasions by Catherine Buckle Innocent Victims – Rescuing the stranded animals of Zimbabwe’s farm invasions by Catherine Buckle

In 2009 Merlin Unwin published Innocent Victims by Cathy Buckle – a book about the efforts made to rescue the animals caught up in Zimbabwe’s farm invasions. Meryl Harrison led the team that tried to help.

Here’s a little background as to how it all began, followed by an extract of a few paragraphs to give a flavour of the story.

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Review: Innocent Victims by Cathy Buckle

This is an updated version of a book review I wrote in my first year as a blogger. I hope, that if you don’t already have a copy, this might persuade you to look for this excellent book about animal rescues in a difficult time in Zimbabwe.

The Phraser

Innocent Victims - Rescuing the stranded animals of Zimbabwe's farm invasions by Catherine Buckle Innocent Victims – Rescuing the stranded animals of Zimbabwe’s farm invasions by Catherine Buckle

Turmoil tore into Zimbabwe’s farms in the early 2000s, the years Mugabe’s government chose to ignite its programme of land redistribution. Thousands of animals were trapped in the mayhem that followed.

Innocent Victims tells the story of the rescues carried out by a small team from the Zimbabwe National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ZNSPCA). The team leader was Meryl Harrison.

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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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